Forward-thinking producers at companies such as Dalton, Ga.-based North Georgia Ready Mixed (NGRM) Concrete realized some time ago that environmental consciousness in the concrete production industry is not a passing fad and have taken steps to ensure compliance.

The Clean Air Act of the early 1990s helped to lay the groundwork for air-quality standards. The Clean Air Act is brought to life for the concrete industry in AP-42, Section 11.12. Highly detailed guidelines, they have evolved into a well-defined air-quality "road map" for the concrete production industry. However, individual counties and municipal jurisdictions sometimes choose to enforce their own stricter regulations.

Kelly Hughes, president of NGRM Concrete—which operates in both Georgia and Tennessee—acknowledges several advantages to the increasingly regulated environment in the concrete production industry.

First, he notes the enhanced community image developed through earnest efforts to operate an environmentally friendly business. Second, the increased demands of environmental compliance make entry into the industry more costly up front and more complicated as well. Third and foremost, it is the right thing to do.

In a ready-mixed concrete plant, four major sources of air pollution exist. These four sources include those relating to cement hauler unloading operations, the weighing of cementitious materials, concrete batching, and finally, truck traffic in the plant yard.

The article covers several technologies and best practices that can reduce air pollution in a concrete plant.