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The Largest Gathering of PVC Pipe and Fitting Manufacturers in the World
Each year the Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association members gather for our Annual Meeting – the largest gathering of PVC pipe and fitting manufacturers in the world.
Presentations cover topics ranging from market assessments for PVC pipe, vinyl resin and related chemicals, to sustainability, technology, legislative affairs and product certification. Participants come from around the world, and their ranks include pipe and fitting manufacturers, resin and additive providers, equipment manufacturers, affiliated associations, and non-profit certification agencies. Speakers include academics, business analysts, engineers, municipal officials, taxpayer advocates, public affairs specialists, etc.
50th Annual Meeting
February 26-28, 2024
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort
800 Meters West of Herradura Entrance
Herradura, Costa Rica, 028-4023
Sunday, February 25
Monday, February 26
Tuesday, February 27
Wednesday, February 28
Debunking False Environmentalism
Alex Epstein, Founder and Director, Center for Industrial Progress (CIP)
According to Alex Epstein, our quality of life is under attack by ‘environmentalists’ who wish to shut down safe and reliable sources of energy and replace them with intermittent and unreliable sources. This is happening in many areas of our society where false claims and misinformation are being used for similar ends. In his work, Mr. Epstein has proven unmatched in his ability to successfully out-message and neutralize his attackers, to turn non-supporters into supporters, and to turn supporters into champions. Find out how the same can be done for the PVC pipe industry.
Myth Busting: The Facts Regarding PFAS and Plastics
Janet K. Anderson, PhD, DABT, Principal Toxicologist, GSI Environmental
“Forever chemicals” – the moniker recently prescribed to a class of chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) - are a hot topic for drinking water, environmental concerns, and product liability regulations and lawsuits. Unfortunately, fact-based decision making is often not the driver for such actions. This presentation will introduce you the complicated PFAS family, highlighting the difference between PFAS of potential concern to public health versus PFAS that are essential to modern society with no known human health concerns. We will discuss the current drinking water regulations, as well as the manufacturing reporting requirements at the state and federal level. “Guilty by association”, misinformed public, and fear-based propaganda campaigns targeting PFAS have unintended consequences for many industries, including polymer plastics. Finally, recommendations and opportunities specifically for the polyvinyl chloride industry will be proposed.
Investment Trends in the Public Water and Wastewater Systems – The Federal Boost is Here
Richard F. Anderson, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council
Local government expenditures on water and sewer systems reached $148.7 billion in 2021 according to the latest Census data, and that was 3.4% higher than the $143.7 spent in 2020. Yet the 2020 expenditure was 6.7% higher than the $134.6 billion spent in 2019. Recent research suggests that contrary to fears of declines in public services and lost revenues from the covid pandemic, federal financial assistance, including the CARES Act, helped keep revenue and expenditure outcomes of water utilities in a relatively safe place. While growth from 2020 to 2021 was under 4%, future growth is expected to increase for several reasons. First, data reports on water and sewer infrastructure spending using State and Local Fiscal Relief Funds under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) show significant increased spending on distribution and collection systems. Second, the federal subsidy effects of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the $53 billion in grants and loans for utility upgrades is on a five-year horizon. Third, regulatory drivers such as the Lead and Copper Rule will further increase demand for a variety of pipe materials to replace lead and distribution pipes over the next decade or less.
Sustainability as a Core Strategy for Achieving Carbon Neutrality for PVC Piping
Zoran Davidovski, Head of R&D and Sustainability, Pipelife
Sustainability and reducing CO2 emissions are top policy priorities for the world and plastic pipes are playing a key role. The pace of action has been accelerating due to increased awareness, legislation, and the poor image of single-use plastics. The European Union is committed to carbon neutrality by 2050 and to reducing CO2 emissions by 55 per cent by 2030. We do not have all the answers to these problems as an industry since there is a high degree of ‘implementation complexity’ as well as regional differences around the globe. However, there is a lot to discuss regarding the sustainability attributes of virgin and recycled PVC production as well as PVC pipe manufacturing. Additionally, the focus needs to be on circular solutions and achieving a lower CO2 footprint in the construction and use phases of piping as well as end of life. Collaborative sustainability efforts between industry partners and associations like TEPPFA and others will be needed to meet these objectives.
Fifty Years of PVC Sewer Pipe at the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority
Mark S. Holstad, P.E., Chief Engineer – Collection Section, Field Division, Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority
A firsthand look back on the acceptance of PVC for sanitary sewers at Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority. The presentation will focus on the role the PVC industry played in working with and educating utility engineers and contractors through the Piping System Institute at Utah State University. Additionally, how PVC pipe manufacturer representatives assisted in this process will be discussed. And finally, a look at various sewer system and pipe material experiences, over a 48-year career.
An Update on NSF Standards and Activities for Distribution Pipe
Nasrin Kashefi, General Manager, Plastics & Plumbing Program, NSF International
A presentation on the recent changes to NSF standards and policies related to health effects and performance of distribution pipe, including some new service offerings for PVC distribution pipe.
Housing Market Outlook
Fan-Yu Kuo, Economist, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
The housing market is an important sector which helps drive PVC water and sewer pipe demand. This session will provide an overview of the macroeconomy, housing market conditions, industry-level details on supply-side headwinds for housing, and the 2024 NAHB forecast for single-family and multifamily construction.
PVC: Key Drivers and Trends, Feedstock’s Outlook, and Worldwide Economic Factors
Hazel Kreuz, Vice President, Global Inorganics Business, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones Company
A look at capacity and demand in the global inorganics marketplace, with special emphasis on North America.
Selection of Pipe for a Potable Water Transmission Pipeline in West Texas – Why PVC was the Best Material for the Job
Joe Mangrem, P.E., Project Manager, Enprotec/Hibbs & Todd, Inc.
When the City of Midland decided to move forward with the Northeast Water System Improvements Project in the fall of 2020, which included a lot of large diameter pipe, using a material that was robust, familiar, affordable, and available was critical. As a result, Midland selected PVC pipe for the 13-mile project. Despite supply-chain disruptions caused by Covid, Winter Storm Uri, and numerous other challenges that come with the construction of large pipelines, the project was delivered on-time and on-budget. To make this happen required the owner, engineering consultant, and contractor to work seamlessly together. This presentation will discuss the “Dos”, “Don’ts”, and “Lessons Learned” of this project.
PVC Large Diameter Pipe: The Right Material for Sanitary Sewer Interceptors
Catherine Morley, P.E., Senior Project Manager, RJN Group, Inc.
PVC is the predominate material used for small diameter sanitary sewers in North America. In large diameter applications, however, many owners use PVC, but other materials are often considered. The evaluation process in the selection of piping used for sewer interceptor construction projects is rigorous. In recent years, owing to its proven performance and its resistance to hydrogen sulfide corrosion, the use of large diameter PVC sewer pipe has grown. This presentation will examine case studies where PVC pipe was chosen for sewer interceptors and discuss the unique engineering design, construction challenges, and project constraints that made PVC the material of choice.
Microplastics and Plastic Pipes
Peter Sejersen, Technical Manager, The European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA)
Microplastics in drinking water is a growing area of concern for the public owing to claims that microplastics are generated by plastic piping systems. Measuring microplastics in drinking water is very difficult. Although challenging, it is important for the plastic pipe industry to understand this issue. TEPPFA has therefore conducted several studies to investigate if plastic pipes are a source of microplastics. The testing methodologies and results of two studies performed on drinking water pipes and one on storm water pipes will be discussed.
Transitioning to PVC Water Pipe and Main Replacement at the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, PA
Mark Shaffer, P.E., former Senior Operations Manager, Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County (MAWC)
A review of MAWC’s transition to PVC pipe including a discussion of its main replacement program using PVC. Since its first installation of gasketed PVC pipe in 1980, MAWC has become a leader in water transmission and distribution in northeastern United States using PVC pipe. MAWC is the largest municipal authority water provider in the state of Pennsylvania. Additionally, common misconceptions about PVC pipe will be covered as well as proper installation and inspection procedures.
The Future of Water and Sewer Infrastructure: Gauging the Impacts of Change for the U.S. and Canada
Reese Tisdale, President & CEO, Bluefield Research
The U.S. and Canadian municipal water and wastewater sectors have undergone significant turbulence in recent years, with supply chain disruptions, inflation, and the potential of a recession still looming post COVID-19. In parallel, unprecedented financial support for underground pipeline infrastructure has been legislated to accelerate utility capital investment as well as the operations and maintenance (O&M) spend. As a result, total water and wastewater expenditures in the U.S. & Canada are forecasted to scale from US$187.5 billion in 2022 to US$222.8 billion in 2030. Accounting for these market crosswinds, a timely assessment of the U.S. and Canadian water market outlook will be provided which will assist companies gauge the potential impacts on their business strategies going forward.
Multi-Jurisdictional Pumping Station Consolidation Addresses Environmental Concerns
Thor Young, P.E., Wastewater Treatment and Recycling Leader, GHD
A new regional sewage pumping station is being constructed to replace three aging pumping stations which required significant improvements to address identified deficiencies and increase reliable pumping capacity. As part of the project, 10,750 feet of existing 20- and 24-inch diameter failing PCCP force main was replaced with new PVC pipe. Several alignment and construction approach alternatives were considered during planning and design for the force main with the final approach selected through a multi-criteria analysis. The project was funded through a combination of federal, state, and local funding.
Janet K. Anderson, Ph.D., DABT is Principal Toxicologist at GSI Environmental Inc. and a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and Principal Toxicologist with over 15 years of experience providing toxicology, risk assessment, and risk management strategies for emerging and unregulated contaminants to federal agencies, private industry, and municipal clients. Dr. Anderson specializes in the translation of human health toxicology data into state and federal regulatory policy decisions related to environmental risk, remediation, and public health. She has broad experience assessing the potential toxic characteristics of chemicals to support scientifically sound decision making and the development of methods to track, communicate, and mitigate human health risks and address potential liability associated with emerging chemicals like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), 1,4 dioxane, microplastics, and 1,2,3-trichloropropane.
Richard F. Anderson, Ph.D. is Senior Advisor to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council and Director of Energy. His responsibilities include federal policy advocacy, dissemination of best practices, and federal funding opportunities for the municipal water and energy sectors. Previously, Dr. Anderson was Director of Government Affairs at Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., an energy, solid waste, and water services company. He served as Co-Chair of the EPA’s Federal Advisory Committee on the Industrial Combustion Coordinated Rulemaking in 1996-97 and was Assistant Professor at Boston University’s Program in Urban Affairs and Planning where he taught environmental planning, urban economics, statistical analysis, and environmental health.
Zoran Davidovski is Head of R&D and Sustainability at Pipelife, an international manufacturer of sustainable piping solutions, and has over 25 years of experience in the plastics industry. Zoran has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and began his journey with Pipelife in 1998 as General Manager of its Croatian facility, taking on diverse responsibilities in marketing and product management over the years. Mr. Davidovski is a key representative of Pipelife at The European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA)) and has chaired numerous Plastic Pipes conferences (PPXIV, PPXVI, PPXVIII, and PPXX). Zoran’s expertise and leadership have contributed significantly to advancing sustainable practices and innovation in the plastic pipe industry.
Alex Epstein is a philosopher and energy expert who argues that "human flourishing" should be the guiding principle of energy and environmental progress. He is the author of the new bestselling book, “Fossil Future: Why Global Human Flourishing Requires More Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas—Not Less”. He is also the creator of EnergyTalkingPoints.com—a source of powerful, well-referenced talking points on energy, environmental, and climate issues. Widely recognized as a master of persuasion and debate on energy issues, Alex has spoken at dozens of Fortune 500 companies and prominent universities, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Duke (his alma mater). Mr. Epstein has published feature articles for The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, The Objective Standard, and numerous other publications largely on the subjects of energy and industrial policy and appears regularly on talk radio and television. He is also a highly sought-after consultant on messaging, working with major political offices on pro-energy, pro-freedom messaging.
Mark S. Holstad, P.E., is Chief Engineer – Collection Section, Field Division, for the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (Water Authority) which serves approximately 700,000 customers. Mr. Holstad has 48 years of experience in the public and private sectors, serving a total of 22 years at the Water Authority, where he initially worked as a junior engineer for five years before leaving for the private sector. Mark returned to the Water authority in 2007 as Chief Engineer. In his 26 years as a consultant Mark worked on a wide range of engineering projects for utilities and other clients, ranging from sewer lines, pipeline rehabilitation and replacement, corrosion, and odor control. Mr. Holstad was directly involved in Albuquerque’s evaluation of PVC as an alternative to VCP and authored the 1981 report which recommended acceptance of PVC sewer pipe.
Nasrin Kashefi is General Manager, Plastics & Plumbing Program at NSF international, an organization providing standards development, product certification, education and risk management for public health and safety.
Fan-Yu Kuo is an Economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), specializing in conducting comprehensive economic research with a primary focus on macroeconomics and forecasting. She also plays a pivotal role in updating economic and housing data. Prior to joining NAHB, Kuo was a research assistant at the Academia Sinica. She holds a master's degree in international economics and finance from Johns Hopkins University and an additional master's in international political economy from King’s College London.
Hazel Kreuz is Vice President, Global Inorganics Business at Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones Company, which includes chlor-alkali, vinyls, soda ash, and bleaching chemicals. Ms. Kreuz joined IHS Market in 2016 after four decades in the petrochemicals and chlor-vinyls industries. The IHS Markit business was acquired by Dow Jones in June 2022, and is now known as Chemical Market Analytics. Her background includes assignments in manufacturing engineering, risk analysis, finance, marketing, and strategic planning.
Joe Mangrem, P.E., is Project Manager at Enprotec/Hibbs & Todd, Inc., in Abeline, Texas, and has over 17 years of experience in design, bidding, construction management, operations and maintenance of water and wastewater infrastructure for systems across West Texas. Mr. Mangrem has developed and implemented design and construction standards for cities, worked with private developers on material selection, toured factories and facilities, broken things, fixed most of them, and learned the importance of proper material selection for the job.
Catherine Moreley, P.E. is Senior Project Manager at RJN Group, Inc. and has over 35 years of experience in municipal engineering in the U.S. and internationally. She has extensive experience in the design of complex sanitary sewer projects for both new construction and rehabilitation. She has written articles for Trenchless Technology magazine, and presented at NASTT’s No-Dig , WEF Collections and ASCE Pipelines conferences.
Peter Sejersen is Technical Manager at The European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association and has had a long career in the plastic pipe industry. Peter worked at Wavin where he was responsible for eight manufacturing facilities in Scandinavia, including quality assurance and standardization. Mr. Sejersen has also been very active in Europe in the public and political discussions on the sustainability of PVC. He was Chairman of a PVC recycling initiative in Denmark for which he received an industry award.
Mark Shaffer was Senior Operations Manager for the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County (MAWC) from 1978 to 2021 and has almost 43 years of experience in the water distribution sector. During his career, he has worked with and installed most types of pipes, valves, and distribution materials. While at MAWC, Mr. Shaffer was responsible for maintenance of the distribution system, the vehicle fleet, distribution material stock, bidding and material selection, distribution budgets, construction, and supervision of 140 employees.
Reese Tisdale, President & CEO of Bluefield Research, has an extensive background in industry research, strategic advisory and environmental consulting in the power and energy sectors. Prior to co-founding Bluefield, Mr. Tisdale was Research Director for IHS Emerging Energy Research, a leading research and advisory firm. Reese also has experience in groundwater remediation for oil and gas companies as an environmental scientist and as an international market analyst for ThermoFisher Scientific. Mr. Tisdale spent three years in El Salvador, where he led water supply and agriculture projects immediately following the civil war.
Thor Young, P.E., is a Wastewater Treatment and Recycling Leader at GHD. Thor is a registered professional engineer in Maryland and a board certified environmental engineer at the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. He has been with GHD since 1990, and is currently based out of their Bowie, MD office.
The Path to a Brighter Future for North America’s Underground Infrastructure
49th Annual Meeting
March 20-22, 2023
Casa Marina Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton
Key West, FL
2023 Annual Meeting Program
2022 and Beyond: Setting our Sights on the Next Decade of Growth
48th Annual Meeting
April 4-6, 2022
Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
2022 Annual Meeting Program
PVC Pipe in North America: Celebrating
More Than Sixty Years of Success
47th Annual Meeting
March 11-13, 2019
Fairmont Grand Del Mar
San Diego, CA
2019 Annual Meeting Program
PVC Pipe: At the Forefront as New Forces
Reshape the Municipal Pipe Market
46th Annual Meeting
March 12-14, 2018
Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Key West, FL
2018 Annual Meeting Program
Improving Water Quality, Durability and Safety
in Post-Flint America with PVC Pipe
45th Annual Meeting
February 27 - March 1, 2017
Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains
2017 Annual Meeting Program
Rebuilding America with PVC Pipe: A New
Threshold for Pipe Performance and Sustainability
44th Annual Meeting
February 22-24, 2016
Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort
Key Largo, FL
2016 Annual Meeting Program
The Tipping Point: PVC Pipe in the Age of Replacement
43rd Annual Meeting
February 23 - 25, 2015
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort
Playa Herradura, Costa Rica
2015 Annual Meeting Program
The Future is PVC Pipe
42nd Annual Meeting
March 10-12, 2014
Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2014 Annual Meeting Program
Building A Greener World with PVC Pipe
41st Annual Meeting
April 22-24, 2013
The Resort at Pelican Hill
Newport Beach, California
2013 Annual Meeting Program
Unleashing American Innovation with PVC
Pipe: The Sustainable Solution for Corroding Water & Sewer Systems
40th Annual Meeting
April 23-25, 2012
Marriott Key West Beachside Hotel
Key West, Florida
2012 Annual Meeting Program
Smarter Spending For Challenging Times:
Rebuilding America's Water/Wastewater Infrastructure with PVC Pipe
39th Annual Meeting
April 18-20, 2011
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
2011 Annual Meeting Program
Fighting Back: Gaining Ground in Tough Economic Times - The World's Largest Gathering of PVC Pipe & Fitting Manufacturers
38th Annual Meeting
April 19-21, 2010
Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa
Marco Island, FL
2010 Annual Meeting Program