ATLANTA, GA, July 30, 2015 -- Holcim Inc. -- a supplier of portland and blended cements and related mineral components, which operates a cement plant in the census-designated place of Theodore, Ala. -- has received the First Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Business and Industry Category from Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program for its advanced stormwater management efforts.
In 1999, Holcim initiated a stormwater management program at its Theodore Plant that eliminated discharges into the Theodore Industrial Canal. A team of plant managers and process engineer began collecting stormwater and using it as cooling/conditioning water in the production process, saving 88 million gallons of captured stormwater from being discharged into the canal and reducing the facility's dependence on municipal water for process gas conditioning.
The project has a positive impact on the environment in a critical region and can be duplicated in other areas. At present, the only time water is discharged to the Theodore Industrial Canal is when hurricanes or tropical storms threaten the Alabama or Mississippi coastline or when maintenance dredges are being performed, which occurs once every 15 years.
Holcim is committed to engaging stakeholders through the formation of a Community Advisory Committee and participating in the South Mobile Industrial Association. Through both of these stakeholder groups, Holcim employees have provided tours and presentations to aid in understanding the successes of this project.
The Gulf of Mexico Program initiated the Gulf Guardian awards in 2000 as a way to recognize and honor the individuals, businesses, community groups, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. First, second and third place awards are given in seven categories: individual, business/industry, youth environmental education, civic/nonprofit organizations, cultural diversity/environmental justice, partnership, and bi-national efforts.
The Gulf of Mexico Program began in 1988 to protect, restore and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in economically sustainable ways. The program is underwritten by the EPA and is a non-regulatory, inclusive consortium of state and federal government agencies and representatives of the business and agricultural community, fishing industry, scientists, environmentalists, and community leaders from all five Gulf states. Further, it seeks to improve the environmental health of the Gulf in concert with economic development.