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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Brown, Brinton C.
Cement,   pp. 247-287 ff. PDF (4.5 MB)

Page 248

may acquire additional gas wells for its Longhorn plant in Texas. Lone Star
Industries, Inc. was *undertaking a natural gas exploration and development
program in New Mexico and Texas to assure gas supplies for manufacturing
cement. Because of the shortage of low-sulfur coal more companies changed
from coal to fuel oil. Nevertheless, an impending -fuel oil shortage had
many -companies investigating the use of low-sulfur coal from western States
for standby fuel. The cost of all fuels was increasing. 
 Several plants completed air pollution control projects during the year
to comply with present standards and regulations. Most of the plants in the
country were modernizing and improving the efficiency of dust-collecting
-facilities. Many -companies were financing pollution control facilities
through tax-exempt -bonds and securities issued -by municipalities and local
government agencies. Companies will repay under a lease arrangement with
the local governments. These bond issues represented an effective means to
raise capital at relatively low cost for essential, but nonproductive, equipment.
 In 1972 four new kilns started operation with a combined annual capacity
of 1.5 million tons. But -by yearend 13 old kilns were permanently removed
from service, so the production capacity of the industry remained virtually
unchanged. Several new plants and many plant expansion and modernization
programs were in various stages of planning and construction. 
 In response to the Portland Cement Association's (PC*A) request for an industrywide
price relief the Price Commission held a public hearing in Houston, Tex.
on October 6. The Commission received information regarding price -controls
and related problems of industry -capacity, supply shortages, costs, profitability,
and capital investment in the cement industry. No decision had been made
-by yearend. 
 The year 1972 marked the first full one of experience with a newly developed
system of reporting injuries and illnesses under the Williams-Steiger Occupational
Safety and Health Act of 1970. The Ideal Cement Co. plant at Portland, Cob.,
was the leader in the PCA safety honor awards for 1972, working 3,400 consecutive
days without a lost-time or disabling injury. Universal Atlas Cement Div.
of United 
States Steel Corp. plants at Leeds, Ala., and Waco, Tex., also completed
more than 3,000 acci-dent-free days. Members of the PCA competition with
more than 2,000 consecutive days without injuries were: 
Hawaiian Cement Corp. at Ewa Beach, Oahu; Louisville Cement Co. at Logansport,
md.; Lone Star Industries at Demopolis, Ala.; and Universal Atlas Cement
at Hannibal, Mo. The Manitowoc, Wisc., plant of Medusa Cement Co. received
the PCA Twenty-fifth Safety Trophy Reaward for 26 accident-free years (not
consecutive). Lone Star industries plants at Birmingham, Ala., and New Orleans,
La., received the PCA Twenty-first Safety Trophy Reaward for 22 years without
lost-time injuries. 
 Legislation and Government Programs. 
—Two Federal laws -were enacted that directly affect environmental
aspects of the cement industry. Pu-blic Law 92—500, the Federal Water
Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, effective October 18, extends Federal
responsibility -from interstate waters to all U.S. waters; calls for States
to retain primary responsibility but provides for Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) intervention if States fail to act; requires more stringent
effluent limits; requires the EPA to establish guidelines and water quality
standards; provides for a permit program to replace the 1899 Refuse Act permit
program; provides -for penalties up to $50,000 a day and 2 years in prison
for second offenses; and specifies dozens of other key provisions. The $24.5
billion authorizations -contained in the 98-page act represent the largest
single -public works program authorization since the enactment of the Federal
Interstate Highw-ay Program. Pollutant permit activity administered by the
Corps of Engineers under the 1899 Refuse Act was superseded, but the Corps'
authority to issue dredge and fill permits was continued. 
 Public Law 92—574, Environmental Noise Control Act of 197-2, effective
October 27, directs the EPA to set and enforce noise standards for certain
equipment. Provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act were designed
to eliminate the possibility of hearing loss in three ways: (1) by taking
the initial step and making a sound survey; (2) engineering noise out; and
(3) using protective devices to reduce noise levels. The Occupational Safety

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