P&Q Roundtable a wrap in Miami

By and |  January 25, 2023
The 2023 Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference was held at The Biltmore hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. Photo: P&Q Staff

The 2023 Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference was held at The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Florida. Photo: P&Q Staff

Aggregate producers, equipment suppliers and others gathered this week at the 2023 Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference in South Florida.

The event, which took place Jan. 24-25, brought industry stakeholders together at The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Florida, to reflect on 2022, look to the year ahead and discuss relevant topics such as ConExpo-Con/Agg, equipment and technology and inflationary impacts.

“It was great to once again bring the thought leaders of our industry together to address the key issues facing the aggregate market,” says Rob Fulop, group publisher of Pit & Quarry. “We were excited to welcome a varied representation of industry professionals, including producers, dealers, OEMs and industry associations from across the U.S. and Canada.”

Wednesday morning’s program featured a presentation by FMI Capital Advisors’ George Reddin, who offered a 2023 outlook for the construction materials market.

“Demand remains strong [and] the IIJA (Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act) is going to be a big game changer for the industry,” says Reddin, a managing director at FMI who regularly presents at the Roundtable. “Residential [construction] short-term [looks] not so good, but we think it’s going to return in 2024. Headwinds [include] inflation, interest rates, the Russia-Ukraine [war] remains an unknown, labor shortages [and] the supply chain. All of those things are still out there, but I think we feel pretty strongly now about the future.”

Michael Johnson, president and CEO of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, also spoke at the Roundtable, providing insights on legislative and regulatory developments pertinent to aggregate producers during a Wednesday morning Q&A with P&Q’s Kevin Yanik. One regulatory issue he touched on was the recently released definition of waters of the U.S. (WOTUS).

“WOTUS is a great example of the regulatory dysfunction in the federal government,” Johnson says. “We are now on our seventh iteration of the waters of the U.S. rule since the Bush administration.”

Ogletree Deakins’ Bill Doran visited with Yanik, as well, to provide updates related to the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA). He spoke on the recent pattern of violations notice MSHA issued to a Morton salt mine in Louisiana.

“Pattern of violations is a section of the Mine Act that enables MSHA, when they identify a pattern of S&S (significant and substantial) violations, to issue a pattern notice, which means that any S&S citation after that notice results in a withdrawal order,” says Doran, shareholder of the Washington, D.C., office at Ogletree Deakins, who co-authors the MSHA & The Law column each month within Pit & Quarry. “Normally MSHA only issues a withdrawal order for an operation if there is imminent danger or if there is a series of unwarrantable failure citations. The pattern provision has always been used as the atomic bomb of the Mine Act.”

Additionally, Roundtable attendees had the opportunity to share their own insights Wednesday morning during discussions moderated by Pit & Quarry editors. The seven topics the magazine drew up for discussion this year were 2022 reflections; 2023 outlooks; capex spending/economy/inflation; ConExpo-Con/Agg; equipment and technology; sustainability; and safety and health.

The Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference concluded with a panel discussion between four aggregate producers on cutting-edge equipment and technology. The four participating producers were Luck Stone’s Dan Babish, Capital Aggregates’ Jamie Jones, Rogers Group’s Nick Pearman and Wm. D. Scepaniak’s John Scepaniak.

A golf outing at The Biltmore Golf Course and a cocktail reception welcomed attendees to South Florida on Tuesday.

Look for P&Q’s full report dedicated to the 2023 Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference in the magazine’s April 2023 edition. Additional Roundtable content will appear on pitandquarry.com in the days to come.

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