The Environmental Protection Agency has released a final rule to reduce emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants at portland-cement manufacturing facilities. When fully implemented in 2013, the rule, announced on Aug. 9, will require cement manufacturing facilities to limit emissions of mercury, total hydrocarbons, hydrochloric acid and particulate matter. EPA estimates implementation of the rule will reduce mercury emissions by 92% by 2013. Brian McCarthy, the Portland Cement Association’s CEO and president, says the emissions targets are “very low” and “will not be achievable” by many facilities. Ultimately, the U.S. cement production capacity could be affected, he adds.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.