Paving Greener with Asphalt
Nov 23, 2010
FHWA and NAPA hosted this conference in Denver just before Thanksgiving. The intent of the two-day conference was to highlight the necessity for sustainability initiatives in asphalt paving and to introduce some of the current "green" practices in the industry. Included in the program were some very interesting public policy presentations.
- John Bukowski, FHWA, presented on the "Every Day Counts" initiative that will continue to provide federal incentive for states to adopt warm mix specifications.
- The American Society of Civil Engineers and FHWA has developed a Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool to provide agency and contractor personnel the ability to apply, integrate, and evaluate sustainability "best practices" on their roadways. The beta version of this tool will roll-out within the next three weeks, with V1.0 available sometime in 2011.
- Howard Marks, NAPA Director of Regulatory Affairs, presented on the carbon footprints of different asphalt production and paving practices. He discussed the NAPA Greenhouse Gas Calculator that asphalt mix producers can use to evaluate the amount of GHGs that their facilities produce. The calculator is dynamic, allowing contractors to adjust mix production temperature, fuel type, and fuel consumption in order to monitor the impact of these different factors on GHG emissions.
- Robert Lee, Texas DOT, presented on the use of recycled materials (specifically RAS, but his presentation incorporated both RAP and RAS) and the potential cost savings that can be incurred through the use of RAP/RAS mixes. Texas DOT has developed a Recycled Materials Blending Program that contractors can use to not only check if a certain RAP/RAS mix is within spec, but also forecast possible savings by using these materials.
- John Harvey, University of California – Davis, presented on the current practices and expectations in California with regards to carbon footprint and GHG emissions. He spoke specifically about Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which mandates that by 2020 California's GHG emissions be reduced to 1990 levels and by 2050 the state GHG emissions be reduced, even further, to 20% of 1990 levels. This is critical to the paving industry, he feels, because within the next six to eighteen months companies will begin to buy and sell carbon credits.
Author: David Newton