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PACA News

PACA's June Members Forum Online Meeting With PennDOT

PACA's June Members Forum online meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 13th at 11 AM.

The June members forum sponsor is Babst Calland.

The June featured speaker is PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Michael Rebert.

To register,GO HERE.

Cybersecurity Webinar - Part II - Cybersecurity: Myths and Misconceptions – How to Protect Your Company from Complete Destruction

We’ve all heard of several PACA member companies that have been hit with a cyber attack. It’s getting worse. This webinar is Part 2 of the Cybersecurity - The Preparation Mindset webinar from February 28, 2023 (recording available below). While the Part 1 webinar focused on the cyber threats out there, This webinar will focus on the simple pivotal IT strategies, systems, and breakthroughs that you need to put in place now to turn most terrifying cybersecurity threats into non-events with very little disruption to your business. The last presentation ended with the challenge of ensuring you can recovery your operations in under 20 minutes from nearly any cyber threat. This presentation will show you exactly how to achieve that level of recovery.

Who should attend?

The PACA membership’s business owners, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operations Officers, Business Leaders, and interested parties who want to protect their businesses and industry. Particular focus will be on business owners who are preparing to retire and “exit.” Fifty-Two percent (52%) of SMBs go out of business within a year of a ransomware attack. We will discuss why that happens and give specific strategies and tactics to preserve the owner’s business value and their book-of-business so they can exit on their terms.

This webinar is applicable to all audiences interested in learning how to protect their business from destruction due to a ransomware or other malware attack, internal personnel malfeasance, or even complete systems hardware failure. The presentation will discuss how to do a risk assessment, phase one risk assessment, and the three simple steps you need to take ASAP to be prepared.

Speakers

  • John Twigg, Ascent Systems, Inc.
  • Mike Jurcevich, Amerikohl Aggregates

When is the webinar?

This webinar is scheduled for THIS Thursday, June 8th at 2:00 PM.

Register HERE.

To view part I:

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/sh... Passcode: b=pH41mb

#ICYMI - 2023 Members Forum Recordings Available

JANUARY 2023

Guest Speakers- Austin Bone, Senior Director of Government Affairs, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association and Hank Butler, PACA Lobbyist

Topic - National and State Political Update

Sponsor: Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co., Inc.

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/sh... Passcode: A$aq%^R2

FEBRUARY 2023

Guest Speaker: Julie Garbini, Executive Director, Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC) Research & Education Foundation

Topic: Workforce, Sustainability and Other Important Resources Available from the RMC Research & Education Foundation and MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub

Sponsor: ASGCO Complete Conveyor Solutions

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/sh...

MARCH 2023

Guest Speakers: Arthur Wolfson and Patrick Dennis of Fisher Phillips LLP

Topic: What's New with MSHA & OSHA

Sponsor: Continental Placer, Inc.

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/sh... Passcode: #7i8nRhs

APRIL 2023

Guest Speaker: Matt Osenbach, Legislative Director, Office of State Senator Gene Yaw, Majority Chair of Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committe

Topic: Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee Update

Sponsor: Burch Materials & Supplies

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/sh... Passcode: u1R@m6N*

MAY 2023

Guest Speakers: Arthur Wolfson and Raeann Burgo of Fisher Phillips LLP

Topic: May is Mental Health Month - Mine Safety Issue: Promoting Mental Wellbeing in The Workplace

Sponsor: Commonwealth Equipment Company

To view the recording:

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/sh... Passcode: 9@Mb!w1x

2023 Young Leaders Development Group Conference Dates - Mark Your Calendar

Attention PACA Members ages 40 and under!

This year's Young Leaders Development Group Conference is scheduled for October 11-12, 2023, at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, Philadelphia West; 640 Fountain Road, Plymouth Meeting PA 19462.

Please watch for more information on this meeting in future e-blasts.

Advocacy News

PACA Monthly Goverment Affairs Report - As of May 17, 2023

This is the beginning of a new product for our members meant to update and inform you of issues and topics of interest to our industry.

This will be value added to the monthly reports presented by Hank at our Members Forum online meetings and in-person events like the recently concluded Townhall Meeting.

May 17, 2023

No significant surprises from yesterdays’ primary election results. House Democrats retain control of the PA House of Representatives by retaining the seat vacated by Representative Zabel in Delaware County. Rep. Heather Boyd was elected with an unofficial 60% of the vote. Governor Shapiro tweeted the following:

Heather Boyd is a teacher, mom, and public servant —now, she's Delaware County's newest state rep. Together, we'll work to get things done for Pennsylvanians and protect real freedom. And to Delco: Thank you for showing up to defend our rights and the Democratic House majority.

In other news, both the PA Senate and PA House are not in session this week due to the election and the House returns for 3 days next week and both chambers are governing once again starting Monday, June 5 as we start the exhausting month-long task to approve the 2023/2024 state budget by the June 30th deadline.

In the old news category, Governor Shapiro’s cabinet members are being confirmed on a piecemeal basis. Of interest to our industry was the confirmation of Michael B. Carroll as PennDOT Secretary. We are anxiously awaiting the confirmation of DEP Acting Secretary Negrin as the directive from the administration to the Cabinet has been not to engage outside stakeholders until their confirmation process has been completed. We are waiting patiently.

ICYMI! We have partnered with Rep. Torren Ecker to introduce House Bill 780 to protect our ready mixed concrete industry from substandard testing in the commercial world. In case you have not seen our video supporting the reasons for the legislation, please access it here.

We are working on additional legislation to reimburse a portion of state gas tax paid by our concrete producer members and in the appropriations arena for a significant upgrade to the PA Geological Survey services in support of the aggregates industry. We can’t spill the beans just yet.

Dear reader, this is the beginning of a new relationship with our members to keep you updated on what is happening in the government affairs space that impacts our industry. It will be a labor of love, it will be succinct, we promise to deliver the news and information that you need to manage your business. Our only request is for your feedback and your engagement in our grassroots efforts because it truly takes our entire community’s participation to create change. WE DO NEED YOUR VOICE. Comments are welcome to Peter Vlahos.

Environmental News

Chapter 77 Noncoal Regulations

At the May 18, 2023 Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) meeting, the Commissioners approved the revised regulation unanimously. It will take a few weeks for the official version to appear in the PA Bulletin. When it does, it will be effective immediately.

Should you have any questions, contact Josie Gaskey.

PA Supreme Court Decision Regarding Legal Fees

In February 2023, the PA Supreme Court decided that the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) may award attorneys’ fees and costs against operators in challenges by third-parties to permits issued by DEP. Clean Air Council v. Department of Environmental Protection. Previously, attorney fees, when awarded under the Clean Streams Law, were assessed against the Commonwealth, through the DEP. Now, the environmental industry and members of the public who appeal permits may more easily get an order directing the companies who applied for the permits to reimburse their litigation costs.

This will encourage more “sue and settle” cases, encourages more environmental industry and community permit challenges by making it easier for them to obtain litigation costs from the permit seeker, particularly in industries they oppose. We will continue to analyze this and determine an appropriate action plan and keep you informed.

Should you have any questions, contact Josie Gaskey.

Safety & Health News

PA Department of Health Environmental Public Tracking Program (EPHT)

The EPHT Program is a new program at the PA Department of Health (DOH). It is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the 2022-2026 grant cycle.

The stated purpose of the EPHT program is to provide a centralized source for environmental exposure and health outcome data. EPHT data are continually updated and available on the Enterprise Data Dissemination Informatics Exchange (EDDIE) website. EDDIE is an interactive health statistics dissemination web tool where you can create customized data tables, charts and maps for various health related data. Understanding Health Statistics is part of this and provides the public with information on how to collect, calculate, analyze and present health statistics. Another tool to be potentially used by nonscientists against industries.

This will eventually be tied to the Environmental Justice Mapping Tool.

Should you have any questions or comments, contact Josie Gaskey.

Technical News

Improper Field Testing of Concrete Continues to be a Top Priority

As we move into the warmer weather the problem of improper testing and care of concrete test cylinders on construction projects becomes crucial. When these issues occur, it is important to document them fully. Please feel free to forward to me that information and call me at any time to discuss.

At the recent PACA Town Hall meeting our members had a discussion on this subject with a panel of three experienced attorneys. We have requested that these attorneys forward to PACA a proposal to provide further professional insights for our members on this issue. PACA leadership will review these proposals at our meetings in June.

One item that was agreed to was the usefulness of the attached checklist for proper field testing. This document is intended to be a tool for producers to use with their mix design submittals, at a preplacement meeting, and hopefully for design professionals to include it as part of the required construction documents for projects. Please feel free to use this draft as is on the PACA letterhead or your own company's version.

For more information or if you have questions, please contact Jim Casilio.

Constructability Issues with Increased ASR Mitigation on PennDOT projects

It has been almost exactly one year since the rash of PennDOT ASR aggregate retests have inexplicably required many producers to substantially increase their level of mitigation. Our concern is and always has been with the constructability issues of this approach, and the risk it brings to our producers. As the 2023 PennDOT Construction season gets into full swing we recommend that you communicate directly and in writing your contractor customers, the concerns for strength gain, extra curing, durability, and overall changes in expectations due to the high levels of mitigation of these mixtures. During the past year we have noted these concerns to upper management of the Department on multiple occasions.

As these issues present themselves on the projects you supply, please report all these instances to me.

For more information or if you have questions, please contact Jim Casilio.

Industry Events

Penn State University Mining PA Conference

The Penn State University Mining PA Conference previously scheduled for May is to be held Aug. 14-16 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.

PACA is a sponsor of this conference. We encourage you to attend.

Industry Related News

What Does AI Think is Our #1 Challenge

AI has been a topic that has consumed significant space in social media, talking head shows, and even in the Halls of Congress in recent times. Good, bad, or indifferent only time will tell.

We decided to test drive the latest AI chatbot tool courtesy of Google, aptly named Bard (ode to William Shakespeare?) and we asked a simple question – what is the number one challenge for the Pennsylvania crushed stone, ready mixed concrete and cement industry.

Aggregates

The number one challenge for the Pennsylvania crushed stone industry is the availability of quality raw materials. The state has a limited supply of high-quality crushed stone, and much of the existing material is located in environmentally sensitive areas. This has made it difficult for the industry to meet the growing demand for crushed stone, and has led to higher prices for the material.

Other challenges facing the Pennsylvania crushed stone industry include:

Increased competition from other states and countries

  • Rising costs of production

Environmental regulations

Labor shortages

Despite these challenges, the Pennsylvania crushed stone industry remains an important part of the state's economy. The industry employs over 10,000 people and generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. The industry is also a major supplier of materials for infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, and buildings.

The Pennsylvania crushed stone industry is working to address the challenges it faces. The industry is investing in new technology to improve production efficiency and reduce costs. The industry is also working to develop new markets for its products. The Pennsylvania crushed stone industry is committed to providing the high-quality materials that are essential to the state's economy.

Concrete

The number one challenge for the Pennsylvania ready mixed concrete industry is the rising cost of materials. The cost of cement, sand, and gravel has all increased in recent years, and this has put a strain on the industry's profitability. In addition, the cost of fuel has also increased, which has made it more expensive to transport concrete to job sites.

Another challenge facing the Pennsylvania ready mixed concrete industry is the shortage of skilled workers. The industry is facing a retirement wave, and there are not enough young people entering the workforce to replace the experienced workers who are leaving. This shortage of skilled workers is making it difficult for ready mixed concrete companies to meet demand.

Finally, the Pennsylvania ready mixed concrete industry is also facing increasing environmental regulations. The industry is required to comply with a variety of regulations related to air quality, water quality, and waste management. These regulations can be costly to implement and can also make it more difficult to do business.

Despite these challenges, the Pennsylvania ready mixed concrete industry is still an important part of the state's economy. The industry employs over 10,000 people and generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. The industry is also a major contributor to the state's infrastructure, as it provides the concrete that is used to build roads, bridges, and other structures.

The Pennsylvania ready mixed concrete industry is working to address the challenges it faces. The industry is working to find ways to reduce its costs, to attract more skilled workers, and to comply with environmental regulations. The industry is also working to promote the use of concrete as a sustainable building material.

The Pennsylvania ready mixed concrete industry is an important part of the state's economy, and it is working to address the challenges it faces in order to continue to be a vital part of the state's future.

Cement

Here are some other challenges facing the Pennsylvania cement industry:

  • Rising energy costs
  • Environmental regulations
  • Competition from imported cement
  • Declining demand for cement in some markets

The cement industry is facing a number of challenges, but it is also working to address these challenges and remain a vital part of the Pennsylvania economy.

Do you agree? Complete this one question poll and we will share the results in the next issue of the Conveyor.

GO TO POLL.

Russell Redding Confirmed to Serve as 27th PA Agriculture Secretary

Mr. Redding previously served as Agriculture Secretary under Governors Tom Wolf and Ed Rendell. He is the former dean of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Delaware Valley University.

Redding worked on Capitol Hill as Ag Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and served for nearly 25 years in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. He currently serves on the Agriculture subcommittee of the USDA’s Equity Commission. He earned his B.S. in Agriculture Education and M.S. in Agriculture and Extension Education from Penn State University. In addition, he is a graduate of the Agribusiness Executive program. A native of Pennsylvania, Redding and his family own and operate a farm in Gettysburg.

We’re still waiting for DEP Acting Secretary Rich Negrin’s confirmation.

Should you need further information, contact Josie Gaskey.

Members in the News

Amerikohl Upgrades Internet Service to Show Optimum Customer Service

PACA Member, Amerikohl Aggregates, is always reaching for the stars to serve their customers better. At their rural Welsh Quarry near Ellwood City, the company is now connected to the Internet via the Starlink satellite service. This gives them 24/7 365 Internet communications reliability to ensure that their dispatch, servers, and communications are always in real-time to serve cutomers better. Amerikohl is among the first users in the area for the Starlink satellite system, and it was proposed and ordered over two years ago by their technology management partner, Ascent Systems. Starlink’s unprecedented combination of Internet availability, data transfer speed, and low latency for rural sites opens the door for new service delivery options to Amerikohl's clients and their drivers.

For more information about how Ascent Systems can help you get more out of your technology, contact John Twigg at 724-212-3342

Mellott Partners with Southern Machinery

Rich Blake, Mellott Company President and CEO, and Abbay Blankenship, Southern Machinery Company Owner and President, join together in announcing that their companies have entered into an agreement for Mellott to acquire Southern Machinery. Per Abbay, “This is an exciting opportunity for our family, dedicated associates, and loyal business partners. With Mellott’s expertise and resources, Southern Machinery will grow to better serve our customers by adding to our inventory, sales force, and service teams.”

Rich adds, “In Southern Machinery, we add another quality business partner with a long history of serving the Aggregates industry. Abbay and her team bring experience, core competency, and a customer focus that will further strengthen Mellott as the preeminent service provider to the industry.”

PACA Events Calendar

2023 Summer Summit
Jun 25, 2023
Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa And Marina
2023 Golf Outing
Jun 25, 2023
River Marsh Golf Club
2023 Sporting Clays Tournament
Jun 26, 2023
Transportation to be provided to field house
PELA May Meeting
May 15, 2024
Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co., Inc.
2024 Board Social
Jun 22, 2024
Exact location at the Hyatt TBD
2024 Golf Outing
Jun 23, 2024
River Marsh Golf Club
PA Aggregates Concrete Association PAC QR Code
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