St Marys Cement, Charlevoix, Mich., was one of six cement providers from across North America recently honored by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) for commitment to improving the environment or their communities.
The awards honor individual cement facilities that exemplify the spirit of continuous environmental improvement and support this spirit with action, according to a PCA official. The honored plants went beyond government regulations and local laws to ensure their processes and policies contributed to making their communities better places to live and work.
The St Marys plant in Charlevoix was recognized in the category of overall environmental excellence, for installing a new indirect firing system that reduced both fuel consumption and emissions. It also replaced power plant fly ash with on-site shale, overburden and purchased bottom ash to reduce mercury emissions.
Located close to a residential area, the facility conducted a noise study that lead to the design and installation of silencers that reduced noise for the surrounding community. Working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, St Marys maintained a fish-stocking program for Chinook salmon fingerlings and worked to encourage the regional resurgence of the bald eagle by constructing nesting platforms on its property.
In 2006, the plant launched a local newsletter to inform the community about environmental projects at the plant.
Other honored facilities and their categories — Holcim (US) Inc., Theodore, Ala. (Outreach); St. Marys Cement Inc., Bowmanville, Ontario (Environmental Performance); CEMEX, Davenport, Calif. (Land Stewardship); CEMEX, Knoxville, Tenn. (Innovation); and California Portland Cement Co., Mojave, Calif. (Energy Efficiency).