Texas legislator aims to promote ’green’ cements

Texas legislator aims to promote ’green’ cements
Published: 10 March 2009

A Texas lawmaker wants to protect local governments from lawsuits if they try to select green cement providers for construction projects, reports the Fort Worth Star.

State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller, filed HB 2174 to protect local governments that are creating bid guidelines to buy cement that will not harm local air quality.

Truitt also filed HB 2175 last week to prohibit the Texas Department of Transportation from using anything other than environmentally friendly cement coming from dry cement kilns, considered by environmental groups to be the best way to produce cement.

In November, Ash Grove Cement Co. of Overland Park, Kan., which has a cement plant in Midlothian, sued Tarrant County, Fort Worth, Arlington and other municipalities that were trying to select environmentally friendly cement.

The company operates a wet kiln in Midlothian that opponents say produces more pollution than the newer dry kilns.

The company said that allowing municipalities to stipulate the use of green cement violates the state’s public contracting laws and that cities can determine only "the quality and price of the product or service to be purchased" and can’t give preference "for air quality purposes."