California Asphalt Magazine - 2020 Environmental Issue

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CLEARING THE AIR Regulators get an up-close look at asphalt plant operations to inform clean-air rule-making

INSIDE: Environmental Product Declarations update Hazards of noise pollution Member profile: Albina Asphalt



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Publisher’s Letter Keeping an eye on the environment The 2020 CalAPA Annual Environmental Edition of this magazine comes at a time when changes are constant, businesses are opening and closing, a face-to-face meeting seems to be a thing of the past and many things are canceled. During the past seven months something that has not been canceled in California is environmental compliance requirements. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s policy tells states to “take into account the safety and health of their inspectors and facility personnel and use discretion when making decisions to conduct routine inspections, notwithstanding any applicable compliance monitoring strategy.” While some state like Arizona, Utah, North Carolina, and New Jersey have acknowledged that they will use their enforcement discretion during this time, other states like Nevada, West Virginia and California have indicated they expect to proceed as usual. A letter issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on March 20 of this year stated in part that “CARB’s regulations continue to be in effect and deadlines apply.” The California Water Board’s COVID 19 compliance statement says, “timely compliance by the regulated community with all Water Board orders and other requirements…is generally considered to be an essential function during the COVID-19 response.” In other words, there is no regulation vacation for the environmental compliance component for businesses in California during this time. In addition to compliance, rulemaking and rule development in California continue to proceed, albeit at a much slower pace. This requires that the CalAPA Environmental Committee continue to stay engaged with both compliance and rulemaking efforts. Currently CalAPA has member subcommittees working on sunsetting of the RECLAIM program and Rule 1147.1 rule development in the South Coast Air Quality Management District, an industry working group with the San Francisco Bay Area AQMD, and CARB’s AB617 reporting and community groups. Through continued participation and persistent involvement these subcommittees are helping to educate stakeholders about the asphalt industry and shape how their companies will be impacted by these requirements. This Environmental Edition highlights some of these efforts as well as regulations that continue to proceed uninterrupted. The continued support of CalAPA member companies and the dedication of the committee members time and expertise to help these efforts are greatly appreciated. If something here inspires you to get involved, feel free to join in on one of our bi-monthy meetings.


Scott Taylor CalAPA Environmental Committee Co-chair. Taylor Environmental Services, Inc.


California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue


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Contents Volume 24, Issue 4


Publisher’s Letter


State & local air quality regulators tour asphalt plants to get an up-close view of operations, environmental controls


EPDs slowly gaining acceptance for road work, but challenges remain


Hearing loss and tinnitus are just two potential hazards of noise pollution


‘Environmental Justice’ and facility-related health risk scrutiny coming to a community near you


Trout return – First San Benito river sighting in 75 years attributed to reclamation work


Albina Asphalt – Standing behind the integrity of their people and products for over a century

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Page 20

Page 30

On the Cover:

State and local air quality regulators get on-site briefing March 3 at the DeSilva Gates asphalt plant in Sunol. Photo by Russell W. Snyder.



P.O. Box 981300 • West Sacramento • CA 95798 (Mailing Address) 1550 Harbor Blvd., Suite 211 • West Sacramento • CA 95691 • (916) 791-5044 Russell W. Snyder, CAE, Brandon M. Milar, P.E., Bill Knopf, • (442) 400-9697 Sophie You, Scott Taylor, CalAPA Environmental Committee Co-chair, Taylor Environmental Services, Inc. Construction Marketing Services, LLC • (909) 772-3121 P.O. Box 892977 • Temecula • CA 92589 Aldo Myftari Erik Chalhoub, South Valley Magazine | San Benito Magazine, Scott D. Cohen, P.E., C.I.H., Sespe Consulting, Inc., Brian Hoover, CMS, Natalie Pless, Westward Environmental, Inc. & Russell W. Snyder, CAE, CalAPA® Kerry Hoover, CMS, (909) 772-3121

Copyright © 2020 – All Rights Reserved. No portion of this publication may be reused in any form without prior permission of the California Asphalt Pavement Association. California Asphalt is the official publication of the California Asphalt Pavement Association. This bimonthly magazine distributes to members of the California Asphalt Pavem­­ ent Association; contractors; construction material producers; Federal, State and Local Government Officials; and others interested in asphalt pavements in California and gaining exclusive insight about the issues, trends and people that are shaping the future of the industry.


California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue


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State & local air quality regulators tour asphalt plants to get an up-close view of operations, environmental controls

Above: Tracy Zubek (left) explains the operation of the DeSilva Gates materials laboratory in Sunol.

Above: Matt Eala (pointing) conducts part of the briefing inside the plant's control room.

By Russell W. Snyder, CAE


he inner workings of an asphalt plant are unlike any other industrial facility, which is why no amount of animation, verbal explanations or published studies can take the place of actually seeing one in operation. CalAPA’s educational mission extends to helping communities, elected representatives and regulators better understand how modern asphalt plants function, and the myriad of environmental controls and best practices that help them operate safely and in harmony with the communities they serve. A group of air quality regulators from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the San Francisco 8

Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) recently got an up-close demonstration of these principles courtesy of CalAPA member DeSilva Gates Materials. Virtual technologies were used to give another group of regulators from the South Coast Air Quality Management District a similar experience, courtesy of CalAPA member Sully-Miller Co. In both instances, regulators found the experience to be illuminating. The tour of the state-of-theart DeSilva Gates asphalt and aggregates operation in Sunol took place March 3, just prior to COVID-19 travel restrictions, and was attended by five representatives of CARB and nine

representatives of the BAAQMD, which has local jurisdiction over the plant. The DeSilva Gates operation off the 680 Freeway in Alameda County is about 17 miles north of the center of San Jose and 32 miles southeast of San Francisco, yet operates in harmony with nearby wildlife corridors and watershed. The facility visit and orientation took place prior to restrictions put in place by public health officials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tour was an outgrowth of ongoing discussions between the CalAPA Environmental Committee and Bay Area regulators over permitting and enforcement

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

issues. CalAPA outlined the industry's chief concerns in a letter to the BAAQMD in 2018, which triggered subsequent meetings with air district executive management. In the interest of knowledgesharing, CalAPA offered to coordinate an educational tour of an asphalt plant for regulators, and DeSilva Gates volunteered to host. The three-hour visit was a more intensive version of tours CalAPA has coordinated for elected officials and other state and local agency representatives over the years, and placed special emphasis on the many environmental controls at the facility, including blue-smoke controls, low NOx burners, mist eliminators and the use of water for dust-control. Haul roads have been paved to further reduce dust track-out, and the plant features cutting-edge seismic safety strengthening supporting its six, 300-ton asphalt storage silos. The tour group, which included members of the CalAPA Environmental Committee, was split in two and alternated between a walk-through of the materials laboratory, conducted by Quality Control Manager Tracy Zubek, and then a visit to the control tower, asphalt production, storage and loading area, led by Matt Eala. The agency representatives expressed appreciation for the comprehensive briefing and the detailed answers to all of their questions. All participants received environmental-related briefing materials provided by CalAPA. "The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is committed to the highest standards of engineering in its emissions control programs," said Damian Breen, BAAQMD Deputy Air Pollution Control Officer, who was one of the participants of the tour. "Site visits like the one at DeSilva

DeSilva Gates asphalt plant in Sunol was the site for the tour.

Gates in Sunol allow our team to get an up-close look at the equipment we regulate, to interact with our industry partners and to exchange information in a way that benefits everyone." Ben Sehgal with CARB, who has conducted training sessions on asphalt plants in the past, proclaimed the tour "fantastic," adding: "It is a stellar plant with state-of-the-art controls. Whether you are incompliance or writing a permit, you've got to know how stuff works in the field." Frank Costa, General Manager of DeSilva Gates Materials, said it is his company's philosophy

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

to share best practices for the betterment of the industry, and he appreciates that other CalAPA members also feel the same way. "This is a cultural belief at our company that I think is good for the industry in general," he said. "I believe in sharing because, at the end of the day, you build a better mousetrap, you get better information, it's good for the industry." That view was shared by another member of the CalAPA Environmental Committee, Brent Leclerc, manager of Environmental Services for Vulcan Materials, Western Division. 9

Frank Costa (second from the right) conducts a pre-tour safety briefing and site orientation.

"It was a good visit. I appreciate the time and effort DeSilva Gates put into this. I think if we continue to have these types of knowledgesharing, knowledge-transfer activities, it can only help with reinforcing that we're all working toward the same thing." Vulcan Materials has also hosted plant tours, including one in Southern California for Gavin Newsom shortly before he was elected governor. Following the tour, Environmental Committee Co-Chair Scott Taylor, owner of Taylor Environmental Services, said, "I was really impressed with the number of people that the Bay Area dedicated to coming out here, everyone from the very top all the way down to the permitting engineers. I think it shows a real commitment on their part to follow-through on what they committed to, and I think it is a good starting point for our continuing work with the Bay Area and helping them understand what the challenges are." The CalAPA Environmental Committee is seeking to form an industry-agency task force with the BAAQMD to delve more deeply in permitting processes and difficulties in the hopes of identifying opportunities for improvement. The tour, Taylor said, is an example of engagement that "lends credibility to the Environmental Committee and allows us to have access to all the different people we do at all the various agencies. It shows that we are a unified front and that we've got things that we'd like to address as a group, and that helps all of us." 10

On July 22, with coronavirus pandemic restrictions firmly in place across California, CalAPA member Sully-Miller hosted a “virtual” plant tour for South Coast Air Quality Management District regulators at the company’s Sun Valley plant. CalAPA Environmental Committee Co-Chair Scott Taylor with Taylor Environmental Services and longtime Environmental Committee participant Ken Barker with SullyMiller conducted the tour that was attended by six SCAQMD officials, including Susan Nakamura, Assistant Deputy Executive Officer, and Michael Krause, manager of the oversees various programs that pertain to asphalt plants. “After waiting and trying to figure out a way to conduct a site visit in person, it became obvious that SCAQMD was continuing with rule development and a virtual tour was the best way to provide the first-hand information they needed for their work,” Taylor said. As Barker conducted a live walk-through of the plant, filmed by his fellow Sully-Miller co-worker William Quach, the regulators asked numerous questions via a chat box and the questions were answered in real-time by Barker and Taylor.

Afterward, Krause called the tour a “shining example” of transparency and industry-regulator educational collaboration. The air district covers air quality regulation for a sprawling area that includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Other SCAQMD staff who attended the tour included Shannon Lee, senior air quality engineer; Gary Quinn, program supervisor; and air quality specialists Yanrong Zhu and Steve Tsumura. The tour coordination team included CalAPA Regional Director Bill Knopf and Suzanne Seivright-Sutherland, director of local governmental affairs for the California Construction & Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA), assisted by CalCIMA’s Adam Harper, director of policy analysis. In an after-action report, Seivright-Sutherland wrote: “This was the first virtual plant tour South Coast AQMD participated in, and their team expressed significant accolades for the excellent job the Sully Miller team executed!” Various educational materials were assembled for the regulators in advance of the tour, which was meant to inform the air district as

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

Left: The start of the virtual plant tour July 22 with industry and staff from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Right: Ken Barker, Environmental Manager for CalAPA member Sully-Miller, conducts a live “virtual” plant tour of the company’s Sun Valley facility July 22, using a pointing stick repurposed from a fruit picking pole.

it proposes changes to Rule 1147.1 “NOx Reduction from Equipment at Aggregate Facilities” rulemaking group. Commented Barker after the tour: “I think we have opened up a new door with these virtual tours. We can make life easier for industry and the agencies to understand what we do and how we do it.” In addition to cutting-

edge virtual technologies, Barker used an old-school pointing tool repurposed from a fruit picker pole. “We are adapting because of COVID-19,” he said. “With a pointer like that, you can make darn sure people know what you are talking about.” CA

Russell W. Snyder, CAE, is executive director of the California Asphalt Pavement Association. CalAPA Regional Director William Knopf contributed to this article. REFERENCES: Taylor, S. (2015) “DeSilva Gates Expands Their Sunol Aggregate Quarry with a New Asphalt Plant.” California Asphalt, Vol. 19, Issue 4, PP 10-12. California Asphalt Pavement Association.

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California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

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EPDs slowly gaining acceptance for road work, but challenges remain By Russell W. Snyder, CAE


reen may be the most popular color in the color wheel these days, but moving environmental-awareness and sustainability beyond a marketing slogan to a robust and trusted system for procurement is proving to be a daunting challenge, even for a green-centric state like California. Take EPDs, for example. Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) appeared to be a logical first step for project owners to better understand the environmental impacts of the construction materials used in a project. But raising awareness about EPDs has been a challenge from Day 1. So has agreeing on what should go into an EPD, and ensuring that the information is accurate and comparable. Adding to the challenges, gathering and quantifying the data needed to produce the underlying environmental Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) and Product Category Rules (PCR) is an excruciatingly slow and timeconsuming (expensive) process, which has further slowed the ability of the EPD concept to catch on. Still, the forward progress is unmistakable. “It is coming whether you like it or not,” says Greg Reader, an engineer with CalAPA associate member LASTRADA Partners who was the point person for developing EPDs when he was a Technical Specialist for CalAPA member George Reed Inc. “Get 12

in front of this. It’s an opportunity to be a leader in our industry and shape the future. That’s my best advice. Confront this with your eyes wide open.” Indeed, the steady drumbeat from project owners to better understand the environmental impacts of the projects they design and build and the materials they use continues unabated. Local agencies in particular increasingly call for EPDs on projects, triggering a frenetic conversation on the state of the science and the practicality and feasibility of generating them. At the same time, a cottage industry has developed to generate EPDs that may not meet stringent international standards for quality and transparency, further muddling the EPD picture. “It is a recipe for chaos and bad decisions and cheating if done wrong,” says John Harvey, Ph.D., P.E., Director of the University of California Pavement Research Center. He urged a step-wise approach whereby agencies request EPDs, evaluate them and set regional baselines based on the information they gather from the first one to two years of EPDs. Some EPDs currently contain national baselines, Harvey said, which may or may not be accurate and relevant to what is achievable locally. “What we are concerned about,” he said, “is local agencies that are moving straight to procurement and looking to accept quasi-EPDs

with non-transparent data, and ‘go / no-go’ specifications that have baselines that may produce no incentive to improve if they are set too low or be very difficult to achieve even with significant innovation if set too high.” Long term, many familiar with the EPD concept see California public agencies continuing to ask for EPDs, and eventually require them for projects. Ultimately, these people say, project owners may establish those baselines for projects from data gleaned from EPDs, and use that to determine winning bidders in a low-bid environment, which is most worrisome to the industry given the nascent state of EPD science and application. That concern was shared by the UCPRC’s Harvey. “The idea is to collect information, using real EPDs, based on real operations, that undergo a critical review and are transparent,” Harvey said. “A goal could be to go to an incentive-disincentive model, rather than disqualifying potential bidders in a go/no-go system and possibly driving up prices. With an incentive-disincentive model, if you are good, you are rewarded. If you are not good, there is a disincentive. And as the overall industry and local competitors continue to innovate as reflected in incoming EPDs, the baseline for incentives and disincentives continues to be adjusted to drive innovation.”

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

Left: Jackie Wong of Caltrans delivers a presentation on Environmental Product Declarations at the CalAPA Spring Asphalt Pavement Conference held March 20, 2019 in Ontario. Below: Greg Reader provides a contractor’s perspective of EPDs at the CalAPA Spring Asphalt Pavement Conference March 20, 2019 in Ontario.

The asphalt pavement industry has advocated for a similar approach, which has proven to be successful in spurring innovation and investment in other aspects of construction by contactors and suppliers always highly motivated to go after incentives. “We need to develop the expertise to evaluate EPDs, and make them credible from the customer’s perspective,” Harvey said. “Among the state DOTs, Caltrans has really taken the lead on this.” The emergence of EPDs has coincided with a greater public awareness of the impact to the environment from many human activities. EPDs got their start in pavements in the Netherlands 20 years ago, and received a boost in the United States when they were included in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4 rating system, which included a materials and resources credit that rewards product teams for using products that are accompanied by ISO 14044-compliant LCAs or ISO 14025-compliant EPDs. The newest version of the rating system, LEED v4.1, goes a step further by rewarding projects that select materials which have been “optimized” based on the data provided in EPDs, demonstrating a willingness to utilize a tool that project teams may not yet fully understand. On the federal level, the Energy Independence and Security Act requires the U.S.

General Services Administration to evaluate and recommend green building certification systems to assess progress made toward agencies’ missions and goals. The Federal Highway Administration’s EPD information web page for pavements acknowledged that “specifics on how to interpret and apply the general rules (of EPDs) have proven to be varying from one application to another.” In California, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) created a sustainability program and communicated its desire to incorporate environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and possibly EPDs in its decision-making. Some local agencies have also signaled their desire to incorporate EPDs in the procurement process, with Marin County emerging as one of the early adapters. EPDs gained additional urgency in 2017 when a bill was introduced in the California Legislature, AB262, authored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, and Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, that would require the use of EPDs in the state procurement process. CalAPA expressed concern that the bill was too far ahead of the industry’s ability to produce EPDs, and the premise was built on a go/

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

no-go system based on national averages that were hard to define. The bill was ultimately modified and all references to asphalt were deleted. The bill eventually passed the Legislature and was signed into law on Oct. 15, 2017 by then-Gov. Jerry Brown. Although references to asphalt were removed from the bill, Caltrans signaled its intention to eventually seek EPDs for construction materials. The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), a CalAPA partner, has been developing an EPD program since 2013, which culminated with the Emerald EcoLabel tool, which was designed to make it easy for asphalt producers to create EPDs. EPDs come from an environmental life cycle assessment and seek to capture and quantify information on the impacts to the environment from materials that are used in construction, and present them in a manner that is standardized and easy to understand by project owners and the public. EPDs are meant to represent the impact of raw material acquisition, energy use and efficiency, content of materials and chemical substances, 13

Left: Presenters at a CalAPAsponsored “webinar” on the subject of Environmental Product Declarations broadcast out of the CalAPA offices in West Sacramento. The Jan. 8, 2019 webinar featured presenters from NAPA, Caltrans and the University of California Pavement Research Center.

emissions to air, soil and water, and waste-generation, so-called “cradle to gate.” Developing an EPD can be a daunting, complex and expensive proposition, which is greatly simplified and made more cost-effective with NAPA’s Emerald Eco-Label tool. For companies seeking to produce an EPD, NAPA suggests assigning a subject-matter expert within a given company, and then have them study the various educational materials and quizzes available on the NAPA website devoted to the topic. NAPA webinars to introduce the concept, which are free to CalAPA members, are advertised periodically on the NAPA website. After some familiarity with EPDs is established, NAPA then suggests the company move on to understanding the process of utilizing the NAPA “Emerald Eco-Label” tool – which is a feebased, web-based product. The company subject-matter expert will need to work with others to oversee the gathering of data that will be input into the tool, such as plant energy, mix-design 14

component sources, warm-mix asphalt technologies, haul distances from suppliers, use of recycled materials, etc. EPDs are specific to each plant, so data gathered must be site-specific. NAPA has developed a spreadsheet to aid in the data-gathering process. More information on this topic is available at the NAPA on-line store. “It was just a few short years ago when NAPA launched the Emerald Eco-Label Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) program, and just recently, NAPA began updating and revising the program,” said Richard Willis, NAPA’s Director of Pavement Engineering & Innovation. “Since we launched, some states have started considering what it would look like to require EPDs in the decision-making process. The Democratic Climate Change Action Plan specifically called for an EPD database to be put together, and more data are becoming available to increase our environmental transparency.” Willis says more experience with EPDs is needed to ensure they are used properly.

“We can’t forget that the biggest need right now regarding EPDs is education,” he said. “The industry, legislators, and agencies know what EPDs are, but we need to provide further education on how to use them appropriately if they are going to be used; stakeholders need to understand what EPDs can and can’t tell you.” As part of the outreach and educational effort, CalAPA co-sponsored a 90-minute informational webinar on Jan. 8, 2019, featuring NAPA representatives along with local subject-matter experts from industry, Caltrans and University of California Pavement Research Center. A recording of the webinar and presentations were later uploaded to the web for ease of access (a link to the recording is included at the end of this article). Reader, the former Technical Specialist with George Reed Inc., was one of the panelists on the webinar to give a contractor’s perspective in developing an EPD. “The first thing I learned is, the hardest part of doing an EPD is gathering all of the information,” says Reader, who still interacts with contractors in his current job as an engineer for LASTRADA Partners. “The best advice I can give people is to start early, grab the EPD data-gathering sheet that NAPA provides, and start collecting the information that is required, such as electrical consumption and water consumption from the previous year. “That is the most time-consuming part,” he continued. “The next best piece of advice I give people is just to start. You’ve got to [ Continued on page 16 ]

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

[ Continued from page 14 ]

start somewhere. We didn’t wait until EPD language showed up in a project out to bid. We were proactive. We knew this was coming down the road. We decided to be pro-active, and learn about what is involved. We made a couple of EPDs so we could make comparisons — so we could compare, for example, asphalt with zero percent RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement), 15 percent and 25 percent. A good Quality Control department is pro-active, always studying trends and making adjustments in anticipation of changes. A bad QC Department is always reacting to changes.” Reader said the EPD information was useful when his former company brought in outside experts to evaluate plants and make recommendations for improvements, not only for efficiency but also for environmental impact. Reader agreed with UCPRC’s Harvey on a slow and careful approach to implementing EPDs in the asphalt pavement industry. “The slower approach would be the better approach,” Reader said. “This eventually is going to become required. Agencies will be gathering data to establish baselines, in five or 10 years, and then possibly setting limits or caps, and compare EPD vs. EPD when evaluating bid price, not just the overall cost, but the overall lifecycle cost as well. But the Product Category Rules are changing. There are a lot of assumptions upstream, and some of those assumptions are going to change in 2022.” Reader said he has been part of a committee advising NAPA on the next generation of the Emerald Eco-label on-line software, which likely will include an Impact Analysis Tool to help plant operators understand the result of various changes to plant equipment or procedures. 16

Companies participating in the Emerald Eco-Label program may be asked by NAPA to verify the data used in the company’s EPD, and random audits may be conducted to ensure that users are correctly inputting the data, all in the interest of ensuring the final EPD produced is robust. Since EPDs are relatively new, and the “rules of the road” have only recently been developed, it is in the best interests of the industry to ensure that published EPDs are accurate and comparable. Jacquelyn Wong, P.E., is the project lead for the EPD program within the Caltrans Materials Engineering & Testing Services section, and was another of the presenters at the 2019 CalAPAsponsored EPD webinar. She recently held a meeting July 9 with stakeholders to assess the current state of EPDs for the state transportation department and what is likely to be the way forward. In the opening of the meeting, she reminded attendees that Caltrans sees EPDs as linked to broader goals of environmental sustainability, staying ahead of legislative mandates, and creating a standardized, rigorously enforced process that quantitatively assesses environmental impacts while at the same time reducing the number of spurious “green” claims that are flooding the marketplace. Caltrans is also interested in a system that is both transparent and implementable, she said. She also noted how construction materials make up a large part of total Caltrans spending, which presents an opportunity for big impacts in the reduction of Greenhouse Gases. About two-thirds of the $6.8 billion (or $4.56 billion) that Caltrans spent last year was on construction projects, and based on bid quantities that works out to about $1 billion a year for the

procurement of aggregate base, asphalt and concrete. Wong acknowledged that EPDs only provide a slice of the overall GHG impact, focusing on raw materials acquisition, transportation and manufacturing. There are many more components to the product lifecycle that have environmental implications, including transportation from the plant, installation, usage, maintenance, repair, replacement, refurbishment, de-construction, transportation of de-constructed materials, waste processing, disposal, and the potential for reuse and recycling. When the Caltrans EPD effort got underway, one of the initial goals was to identify 20 potential pilot projects and include the production of an EPD in the bid as a separate bid item in 2019. Ultimately seven projects were selected and included in bids, but not until the 2020 fiscal year. A major hindrance to the identification of more projects, Wong said, was the lack of understanding among Caltrans personnel and contractors about what EPDs are, and the capability to produce them. There were also wide variations in the prices contractors affixed to the EPD bid item, ranging from $500 to $5,000, which generally does not include the cost of staff time in developing an EPD. She noted that the cost typically drops with each mixspecific EPD that is produced. The focus for the pilot projects is on projects with large quantities of construction materials. She said the goal for the current fiscal year that began July 1 is to identify 100 projects, although she is realistic about the chances to reach that lofty target after only seven projects were identified the year prior. “It doesn’t happen quickly,” she said, adding that she wants to ensure that each pilot project results in a quality EPD. Eventually,

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

she said, Caltrans envisions EPDs are something requested for all projects and just part of the normal cost of doing business for a contractor. She also said the department is emphasizing the importance of high-quality EPDs. “An EPD enhances the way we think about the environmental impacts of the materials we use on our construction projects,” Wong said. “Like how we consider Life-Cycle Cost Accounting (LCCA), we want to also consider environmental impacts on a lifecycle basis to support our three pillars of Sustainability: People, Planet and Prosperity, which can also be categorized as Social, Environmental and Economical.” Wong and others interviewed for this story share a comment belief that EPDs are here to stay, and that companies and agencies would be well-served to

understand them better and how to use them properly as part of an overall strategy of moving toward a more sustainable construction program.. CA Russell W. Snyder, CAE, is executive director of the California Asphalt Pavement Association. Joseph Shacat, NAPA’s Director of Sustainable Pavements, contributed to this article. REFERENCES: A recording of the CalAPA-NAPA “Webinar” held on Jan. 8, 2019 on the subject of Environmental Product Declarations in California can be accessed here: Federal Highway Administration “Tech Brief: Environmental Product Declarations, Communicating Environmental Impact for Transportation Projects” (2020). FHWAHIF-19-087. Issued July 2020.

Dylla, H. (2016) An Update of the NAPA EPD Program. Asphalt Pavement, Published by the National Asphalt Pavement Association, Vol. 21, Issue 1, Jan-Feb. 2016, pp 24-27. Santero, N., Gadonniex, H., Wong, S. (2014) Defining Environmental Impact: The What, How and Why of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). California Asphalt, Journal of the California Asphalt Pavement Association, Vol. 18, Issue 4, July 2014, pp. 12-14. Information on the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v.4 international standard for the design, construction and operation of structures can be found here: Federal Highway Administration “Environmental Product Declarations And Product Category Rules” informational page. Updated May 14, 2019. Accessed July 12, 2020: sustainability/articles/environmental.cfm

Willis, R.J. (2017) NAPA Launches Emerald Eco-Label Tool. Asphalt Pavement, Published by the National Asphalt Pavement Association, Vol. 22, Issue 3, May-June 2017, pp 22.

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Hearing loss and tinnitus are just two potential hazards of noise pollution By Natalie Pless, Special to California Asphalt


sphalt facilities and road construction sites are known for the noise pollution they seem to create; however, both work sites are necessary for the production and maintenance of roads we drive on. Both asphalt facilities and road construction sites can produce noise pollution from the many different tasks and machinery associated with them; however, if the equipment is utilized properly and is continuously maintained, some of the noise may be eliminated. The Environmental Pollution Center defines noise pollution as “regular exposure to elevated sound levels that may lead to adverse effects in humans or other living organisms.” High noise levels can affect both workers and the community, so it is crucial to understand what noise pollution is, where is comes from, how it effects people, as well as preventative measures to protect one’s health. Asphalt facilities have many different moving parts that can cause high levels of noise such as constant conveyor usage, dryer, blower, exhaust fan, drag slat, mobile equipment, etc. However, if each of these components are maintained and proper controls are in place, noise levels should be below harmful levels. Controls such as containment walls to create a sound barrier, replacing faulty equipment with upgrades to reduce noise, or insulation can aid in reduction of noise levels. Paving Construction tasks involve multiple pieces of equipment creating noise levels that have proven to be harmful to the persons around it. Below is a list from the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Journal that contains different machinery utilized and the time weighted average (TWA) in decibels (dBs) relating to the equipment associated with paving: 18

• Heavy-duty bulldozer – TWA 99 dBs – Range 91 – 107 dBs • Vibrating road roller – TWA 97 dBs – Range 91–104 dBs • Light-duty bulldozer – TWA 96 dBs – Range 93–101 dBs • Asphalt road roller – TWA 95 dBs – Range 85–103 dBs • Wheel loader – TWA 94 dBs – Range 87–100 dBs • Asphalt spreader – TWA 91 dBs – Range 87–97 dBs • Light-duty grader – TWA 89 dBs – Range 88–91 dBs • Laborers – TWA 90 dBs – Range 78–107 dBs Some of the tasks associated with the equipment listed above are not preformed constantly but may still be above regulated levels. Noise pollution begins with being exposed to 85 decibels (dBs) of noise for an 8-hour period. Once noise reaches 90dBs, even for a short duration, personal protection equipment (PPE) such as hearing protection is required. This can be from working in or next to a noisy area, or living within proximity of a noisy worksite. In order to ensure noise levels are not creating noise pollution or health concerns, companies should utilize professionals to examine and evaluate the noise. Professionals evaluating an area for noise pollution will use a sound level meter or dosimeters to see if the level of noise are exceeds the Occupational Safety and Health Association’s (OSHA) regulations. Sound is a valuable part of everyday life, but once sound

increases and becomes hazardous noise, it can negatively affect a person’s health. According to OSHA, exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss. Neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct certain types of hearing loss. Short term exposure to loud noise can also cause a temporary change in hearing (your ears may feel stuffed up) or a ringing in your ears (tinnitus). These short-term problems may go away within a few minutes or hours after leaving the noisy area. However, repeated exposures to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss. Hearing impairment isn’t the only health concern noise pollution can create; below are illnesses and impairments high noise levels may cause as listed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI): • Speech Communication — Noise interference with speech comprehension results in many personal disabilities, handicaps, and behavioral changes. Resulting problems may include difficulty maintaining concentration, fatigue, uncertainty and lack of self-confidence, irritation, misunderstandings, decreased working capacity, issues in human relations, and several stress reactions. • Sleep Disturbances — The primary sleep disturbance effects are: difficulty in falling asleep; awakenings; alterations of sleep stages or depth, especially a reduction in the proportion of REM-sleep; increased blood pressure; increased heart rate; increased finger pulse amplitude; vasoconstriction; changes in respiration; cardiac arrhythmia;

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

and an increase in body movements during sleep. • Cardiovascular and physiological — Acute noise exposures activate the autonomic and hormonal systems, leading to temporary changes such as increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and vasoconstriction. After prolonged exposure, susceptible individuals in the general population may develop permanent effects, such as hypertension and ischemic heart disease associated with exposures to high sound pressure levels. • Mental Health/Stress -- noise is not believed to be a direct cause of mental illness, but it is assumed that it accelerates and intensifies the development of latent mental disorder including anxiety; emotional stress; nervous

complaints; nausea; headaches; instability; argumentativeness; changes in mood; increase in social conflicts, as well as general psychiatric disorders such as neurosis and psychosis. • Performance — In workers exposed to occupational noise, that noise adversely affects cognitive task performance. Considering the health risks noise pollution can potentially create, it is imperative to participate in utilizing preventative measures to ensure personal safety. The most common noise control utilized is hearing protection, this type PPE comes in two forms: ear plugs and earmuffs. If used correctly, these products can reduce the likelihood of hearing loss. Communities such as office buildings or neighborhoods in close proximity to asphalt plants can reduce noise

levels by increasing the surrounding vegetation. Vegetation creates a natural barrier in the reduction of noise. Utilizing preventative measures can help prevent negative health concerns by reducing noise exposure. Asphalt plants and road paving construction are necessities we need for everyday life. Recognizing what noise pollution is, where is comes from, health concerns associated with it and preventative measures in need of our attention is important to maintain a safe environment. Three important things to always remember when dealing with noise pollution include: noise exposure frequency, duration, and intensity; From this, we can find sustainable ways to manage and reduce the potential hazard. CA Article by Natalie Pless of Westward Environmental, Inc. An environmental and engineering consulting firm. Reprinted with permission. The Westward Environmental, Inc. Website is:

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‘Environmental Justice’ and facility-related health risk scrutiny coming to a community near you By Scott D. Cohen, P.E., C.I.H.


hree years ago, California Asphalt magazine published an article describing changes in health risk assessment (HRA) cancer risk methodologies. It described how cancer risk had increased on paper, air district actions as they scrambled to respond, and recommended ways that operators could prepare, including the following recommendations: • Know what’s in the air district engineering files by submitting a record request. • Be certain that emissions inventories submitted are as accurate as possible (e.g., inclusion of control efficiencies assigned during recent permit modifications). • Develop site-specific parameters and substitute them for default parameters that predict greater emissions. Air toxics programs are retrospective. Emissions are assessed for health risk many months to years after they are submitted. Waiting for an HRA to be requested before determining site-specific data may be too late depending on air district preferences/policy and whether conditions on-site remain representative of conditions that existed during the inventory year. • Perform an HRA on last year’s emissions inventory using the new methodology to see where the facility stands with respect to the cancer-risk threshold in your air district and take actions to refine the results, if necessary. Better yet, perform an HRA on the facility potential to emit (PTE) to know the maximum risk possible.

Hopefully, right now you’re thinking, “Yeah, we did all that. Tell me something new.” What’s new is the current renewed public interest, participation, monitoring and other features of the environmental justice movement as embodied in Assembly Bill 617 (AB617), titled “Nonvehicular Air Pollution: Criteria Air Pollutants and Toxic Air Contaminants” (authored in 2017 by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens). In addition, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed updates to the list of toxic air contaminants that must be reported by stationary 20

sources under the existing Air Toxics "Hot Spots" Information and Assessment Act (AB2588, authored by Assemblyman Lloyd Connelly, D-Sacramento) What follows are the latest developments that are certain to impact asphalt pavement industry in California. AB617 – Environmental justice bill goes beyond the Clean Air Act AB617 provides regulatory authority separate from existing federal and state air quality laws, which theoretically expands the scope of sources that may be regulated and control measures that may be enforced. The intent of AB617 is to develop a collaborative relationship between CARB and local air districts to facilitate community participation, provide a science-based foundation supporting the identification of communities with high cumulative exposure burdens, accelerate the development and use of advanced air-monitoring methods and equipment, and support the use of new mobile and stationary source technology. To achieve those goals, AB617 requires six significant measures: (1) Annual Reporting; (2) Best Available Retrofit Control Technology (“BARCT”); (3) a Statewide Clearinghouse of BARCT; (4) Community Air Monitoring; (5) Community Emissions Reduction Programs; and (6) Increased Penalties. The “Regulation for the Reporting of Criteria Air Pollutants and Toxics Air Contaminants” also known as the California Toxics Rule (CTR), requires annual reporting of criteria and toxic emissions data using a uniform statewide system. During a recent CARB Board Meeting, a board member suggested expansion of the list of facilities required to report beyond the statutory amount (about 1,600). CARB staff then brought back to the Board a rule that required about 50,000 facilities to report, which was later withdrawn so that the original language could be approved. Although local air districts oppose expanding reporting applicability, CARB staff has yet to cease efforts to amend CTR so that more facilities will be required to report. CalAPA submitted a letter opposing that rule change as well as provisions of the existing rule, which requires asphalt plants to report regardless of the amount of emissions generated (i.e., zero threshold trigger). There is concern among industry surrounding California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

Left: The California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool: CalEnviroScreen 3.0 was updated in June 2018. CalEnviroScreen is a screening methodology that can be used to help identify California communities that are disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution. CalEPA has used CalEnviroScreen 3.0 to designate disadvantaged communities pursuant to Senate Bill 535 in April 2017.

differences in emissions factors and calculation methods between air districts and CARB. As long as these differences remain, comparison of emissions among facilities in different jurisdictions will quite often lead to erroneous conclusions about which facility has greater emissions and associated health risk. BARCT can be addressed by an air district any time a better technology is identified by making a new rule or updating an existing rule. AB617 pushes that schedule forward by mandating BARCT and seeks to facilitate exchange of information by creating a clearinghouse upon which air districts will post their BARCT findings. BARCT standards affect each source and not necessarily just those sources at facilities that must report emissions under CTR. AB617 also allows CARB to issue grants to community organizations for performing air monitoring. Industry concerns with validity of data produced and published by grant recipients stems from lack of grantee experience and expertise in air sampling and potential for use of alternative methods or monitors that may produce unreliable or inaccurate results when compared to standard methods used by air regulators. In 2018, the Community Air Grants Program received 65 applications and awarded 28 projects totaling $10 million. In the Summer of 2019, the Community Air Grants Program issued a second solicitation for an additional $5 million in funding. An additional $10 million was provided in the fiscal year 2019/20 state budget, which will be the subject of a third solicitation in 2020. All combined CARB claims that $740 million in grants for air quality improvement projects is available among various programs (a link to the website on this subject is at the end of this article). California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

Communities are selected from a pool of applicant communities each year to develop a Community Emissions Reduction Plan (CERP). The CalEnviroScreen prioritization model is a primary tool for selecting the communities. In the first year of CERP preparation, the 10 communities listed below were chosen: • Richmond (San Francisco Bay Area). • West Oakland (San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District). • Calexico, El Centro, Heber (Imperial County Air Pollution Control District). • South Sacramento – Florin (Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District). • Portside Environmental Justice Neighborhoods (West National City, Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, and Sherman Heights) (San Diego County Air Pollution Control District). • Shafter (San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District). • South Central Fresno (San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District). • East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, West Commerce (South Coast Air Quality Management District). • Muscoy, San Bernardino (South Coast Air Quality Management District). • Wilmington, West Long Beach, Carson (South Coast Air Quality Management District). The CARB staff report for the 2019 community selection included only the four communities listed below, at least one of which would continue work from having been selected in 2018. 21

Right: Overall CalEnviroScreen scores are calculated from the scores for two groups of indicators: Pollution Burden and Population Characteristics. This map shows the combined Pollution Burden scores, which is made up of indicators from the Exposures and Environmental Effects components of the CalEnviroScreen model. Pollution burden represents the potential exposures to pollutants and the adverse environmental conditions caused by pollution.

• Portside Environmental Justice Neighborhoods (San Diego Air Pollution Control District). • Southwest Stockton (San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District). • Eastern Coachella Valley (South Coast Air Quality Management District). • South East Los Angeles (South Coast Air Quality Management District). Existing law establishes maximum criminal and civil penalties for any person, as defined, for violations of air pollution laws from nonvehicular sources. Existing law generally establishes the maximum criminal and civil penalties to be $1,000 per day, unless otherwise specified. AB617 increased the maximum for the generally applicable criminal and civil penalties to be $5,000 per day adjusted annually based on the California Consumer Price Index. AB2588 – Expanded list of toxic air contaminants and provisional risk factors In June 2019, CARB first presented to the Scientific Review Panel (SRP) its intention to list additional chemicals in Appendix A-1 to the AB2588 Program Guidelines, which is titled, “Substances for Which Emissions Must Be Quantified.” Currently, there are 468 chemicals in Appendix A-1. Nearly half (228) of the listed chemicals lack an approved risk factor, making them impossible to include in an HRA. At the time, CARB wanted to add 449 chemicals, the majority 22

of which also lack approved risk factors, more than doubling the total number of chemicals to be quantified by facilities that must comply with AB2588. In March of 2020, CARB held a webinar on the proposed changes and upped the number of chemicals being added to Appendix A-1 to 730 (a link to information on from this webinar is at the bottom of this article). CARB staff must have realized the limited utility of adding chemicals that can’t be assessed for health risk. The number of such chemicals would be approaching 1,000 (i.e., 228 + 730 = 958), and approximately 132 years would pass before risk factors could be developed for each chemical assuming the average historical approval rate (7.25 chemicals/year). In the June 23, 2020 notice for the July 9, 2020 SRP meeting it was stated that CARB would be proposing “provisional” health risk factors for chemicals that did not already have risk factors. At the July 9, 2020 meeting there were presentations by CARB and state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) discussing various approaches that could be taken to develop “provisional” risk factors. However, industry representatives and even non-governmental organizations did not seem persuaded. The July 9, 2020 comment letter from California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB) to the Scientific Review Panel, OEHHA and CARB contains a seemingly fair and relatively comprehensive review of the current proposals and potential cumulative effects. [ Continued on page 24 ]

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue



Above Left: Haitbrink Asphalt’s new Bomag 1200/35 milling machine. Center: New Bomag BW151AD articulated tandem roller. Abover Right: Alex Luna, Shop Foreman (left), Robert Haitbrink, Hunter Haitbrink, of Haitbrink Asphalt and Rob Pickrell, Herrmann Equipment. Left: New Carlson CP100 paving machine.


aitbrink Asphalt Paving, Inc. (Haitbrink) has been one of Southern California’s premier paving companies for more than 30 years. They are a full-service grading and paving contractor that also specializes in grinding, trench repair, seal coating, striping, ADA upgrades and concrete construction services. Headquartered in Corona, Haitbrink maintains their reputation for excellence by hiring the best in the business and owning only the most productive and reliable equipment. Haitbrink recently took delivery of three brand new machines from Herrmann Equipment, Inc., a company that was recommended to them by others in the industry for their impeccable service, training, and parts availability. Founder, Robert Haitbrink serves as the CEO with his son, Hunter, overseeing operations as the company president. “This was our first purchase from Herrmann Equipment and we have been very impressed with both the equipment and the way everything was handled by the folks at Herrmann,” says Hunter. “We just can’t say enough about the Herrmann Equipment team. Their

sales manager, Rob Pickrell, is extremely knowledgeable with consistent follow-up and outstanding support throughout the entire sales process. Mike, Jackie and Rob and their team put customers first and that is why they have our business.” Haitbrink’s initial purchase was for their new Carlson CP100 paving machine. “We absolutely love our new Carlson Paving machine because it is an awesome mid-sized paver with the features of a full-size machine,” continues Hunter. “It’s heavy duty design really packs a punch. In my opinion, there is just no competition for this particular size machine. Haitbrink also purchased a Bomag 1200/35 cold planer milling machine, a Bomag BW151AD articulated tandem roller and a Carlson CP100 paving machine. “We had been renting a milling machine three to four days a week and it just made sense to purchase a larger machine to fulfill our busy schedule. Alex Luna is Haitbrink’s shop foreman had this to say about the purchase. “We liked the flush cut design, and the rear mounted drum that makes maintenance so much easier,” says Luna. “The overall electronics and state-of-the-art controls also made a big impression on all of us.” Hunter Haitbrink was also very excited about the Bomag BW151AD articulated tandem roller purchase. “We really lucked out on this fully-loaded Bomag roller. We had ordered the open cab unit, but when one was not available, Herrmann upgraded us to the fully enclosed cab model at the same price,” says Hunter. “We are the first paving company on the west coast to take delivery and having the enclosed cab is just that much sweeter.”




[ Continued from page 22 ]

A link to that letter is at the end of this article. CARB’s July 9, 2020 presentation shows that they anticipate the following timeline of events: • Discuss concepts with SRP: July 2020 • Develop proposed approach with OEHHA: mid-2020 to early 2021 • Present the proposed approach for SRP review and further discussion: early 2021 • Draft health guidance: mid-2022 • Provisional health guidance available for use: mid-2023

In summary, many operators of facilities that report emissions under AB2588 will need to prepare an HRA to address cancer risk methodology changes adopted in recent Health Risk Assessment Guidelines (OEHHA, 2015). For the foreseeable future, reporting will be scrutinized more closely by the public and regulators given the effect AB617 has had on government as it responds to the environmental justice community. There is also a chance that if “provisional” risk factors are allowed to be published, these same facilities will again be subjected to HRA because new pollutants with “provisional” risk factors may then apply. CA Scott D. Cohen, P.E., C.I.H., is a Principal Engineer with CalAPA member SESPE Consulting Inc., and co-chair of the CalAPA Environmental Committee. SESPE Consulting, Inc. has assisted dozens of companies throughout California and elsewhere with air emissions quantification, dispersion modeling and health risk assessment for a variety of purposes, including AB 2588 compliance, permitting/NSR, and CEQA. Scott can be reached at (619) 894-8670. REFERENCES: The California Air Resources Board 2019 staff report on the Community Air Grants Program and recommendations can be found here: https://ww2.arb. community_recommendations_staff_ report_november_8_acc_3.pdf California Air Resources Board information on proposed changes to AB2588 “Substances for Which Emissions Must Be Quantified.”: July 9, 2020 comment letter from the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB) to the Scientific Review Panel, OEHHA and CARB on proposed AB2588 expansion is here: default/files/2020-07/CCEEB_AB2588_ final%20ADA.pdf Cohen, S. (2017) “Health Risk Assessment: What to Expect, How to Prepare.” California Asphalt, Journal of the California Asphalt Pavement Association, Vol. 21, Issue 4, PP 14-18. Snyder, R. (2019) “Latest draft of CARB rules on community air monitoring removes onerous reporting language.” California Asphalt, Journal of the California Asphalt Pavement Association, Vol. 23, Issue 4, PP 20-22.


California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

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First San Benito river sighting in 75 years attributed to reclamation work By Erik Chalhoub


fter 75 years of abuse and countless tons of garbage dumped into it, all it took was 18 months of work from dedicated volunteers to get the San Benito River on the road to recovery. Just a few weeks ago, a discovery was made in the river in what environmentalists are calling an historic milestone for the Pajaro River Watershed: The threatened steelhead trout are back in the river in the first confirmed sighting in three-quarters of a century. Herman Garcia, founder of Gilroybased Coastal Habitat Education and Environmental Restoration (CHEER), made the discovery by happenstance on a recent tour of the river, where it meets up with the Pajaro River adjacent to the Betabel property along Highway 101 at the northern end of San Benito County. “This is huge, historic news,” Garcia said. Landfill along the river About 18 months ago, Graniterock enlisted CHEER and its team of volunteers to clean up the San Benito River on property it owns south of Buena Vista Road in Hollister. The volunteers were kept busy. Garcia said they were removing “thousands of pounds” of trash every day, which by the end of the work included 14 cars and trucks, one RV and two ski boats, along with 420 tires and plenty of other junk. At the same time, CHEER gained access to the confluence of the San Benito and Pajaro rivers on the Betabel property, which is owned by the McDowell Charity Trust. That property includes a half-mile of both rivers.


RESTORING HABITAT - Herman Garcia, founder of Gilroy-based Coastal Habitat Education and Environmental Restoration, describes recent reclamation work along the San Benito River. Photo: Juan Reyes/ Hollister Free Lance.

Rider McDowell of the trust said when they purchased the 112-acre property adjacent to the Betabel RV Park a number of years ago, they knew it would need some major reclamation work before they could begin with plans to build a vintagethemed roadside stop. “It was so polluted in so many ways,” he said. On one side were 170 junked vehicles, where an illegal chop shop was operating, McDowell said. About 10 people were living in mobile homes on the property, while a doublewide trailer served as a meth lab. Things were even worse deeper into the property toward the San Benito River. “We didn’t even extrapolate how bad it would be further back in the watershed,” McDowell said. “It was a landfill down there. There was so much junk. People had been using it as a dumping ground.” It was around this time McDowell met Garcia, who gave him access to the property to begin the arduous task of restoring the polluted river. “I started deep diving into the brush,” Garcia recalled. “I’m discovering all this garbage. I mean,

tonnage of garbage. Down the river banks, in the river channels, in the floodplain. It was a mess. I said, ‘Rider, you bought a landfill, man.’” Garcia, who called the confluence “just about the heart of the watershed,” said when it rains, much of the waste from as far north as Cochrane Road in Morgan Hill finds its way downstream to Watsonville and the Monterey Bay. The volunteers went to work, pulling out roughly 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of trash every day, according to Garcia. Their efforts from both the Betabel and Graniterock properties were rewarded. Clean water attracts steelhead Steelhead trout require “good to very good” water quality for their habitat, Garcia said. As such, the fish avoided the San Benito River for roughly 75 years. “It was all polluted and nasty,” Garcia said. “They didn’t even think about going in there.” A 2010 report by the California Department of Fish and Game cited studies from 1913 and 1934, where juvenile steelhead were collected at the Pajaro River near the San Benito

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

River confluence. A 1959 study by the department reported an absence of juvenile steelhead in the area. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported in 2013 that the dry conditions of the San Benito River has “limited potential” to provide a habitat for juvenile steelhead. A few weeks ago, Garcia was giving a tour of the river on the Betabel property when at one point he had to jump over the creek. As he did so, he noticed what looked to be a startled juvenile steelhead darting out of the way underwater. He enlisted the help of a photographer, who captured video of the fish both underwater and jumping out of it to catch bugs floating along the river. The video was sent to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where they confirmed that the juvenile fish were indeed steelhead trout. The fish are now migrating into the Pajaro River and eventually the Monterey Bay. “The reclamation work that we did had a significant impact on the water quality and the health of the ecosystem,” Garcia said. A healthy watershed also has economic benefits, he noted, such as boosted property values. Restoration work continues Garcia said CHEER’s work is far from finished. “We are going to continue our maintenance work,” he said. “To be sustainable, we can’t stop.” The organization plans to jump in and put its “fine touch” on Llagas Creek in San Martin—a few miles north in Santa Clara County—as that creek flows into the Pajaro River, following Graniterock’s work to expand the capacity of the creek as part of a flood control project. Garcia is thankful for the support CHEER has received throughout its efforts. Graniterock and the McDowell Charity Trust provided financial support for the nonprofit to purchase a trailer, while Recology

South Valley waived all fees for CHEER to transfer the debris to the San Martin Transfer Station. McDowell called the return of steelhead trout a “major development,” and gave all credit to Garcia and CHEER. “We were the passive party here,” he said. “The one that did all the work was Herman. He is a powerhouse.” Garcia called CHEER the “first line of defense in the Monterey Bay, and

the last line of defense in the lower watershed.” “If it wasn’t for all the work that CHEER has done, Monterey Bay would be a mess,” he said. “Our group of volunteers is doing a tremendous job protecting the marine sanctuary.” CA Article by Erik Chalhoub of South Valley Magazine | San Benito Magazine. Reprinted with permission. Website is:


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California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue


ALBINA ASPHALT Standing Behind the integrity of their people and products for over a century

Above: Albina Asphalt’s Klamath Falls, Oregon Terminal.

By Brian Hoover, CMS


lbina Asphalt is a leading manufacturer and distributor of asphaltrelated products in Oregon, Washington and California. It all began in Portland Oregon, back 1903 when Albina Fuel was started by the Arntson family. 117 years later, the company is owned and operated by the fourth generation of Arntson family members, with the fifth generation currently working within the corporation. Albina Asphalt is a division of Albina holdings and provides paving grade and asphalt 30

emulsion materials to federal, state county, city and private enterprises. They are headquartered in Vancouver Washington, where they have two terminal locations with another in Madras, Oregon, and one more in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The Klamath Falls terminal also serves customers in Northern California from Sacramento and the Bay Area to the northern border. Kevin Jeffers is the operations manager for Albina Asphalt, and he has been with the company for 14 years. Before joining Albina Asphalt, Jeffers worked for an

asphalt emulsions company in Northern California and is intimately familiar with the local market. “Albina Holdings purchased the Klamath Falls terminal in 1998 and has been serving customers throughout Northern California ever since,” says Jeffers. “We offer the widest selection of asphalt products in our area, and it is all backed by outstanding customer service. Our advantage is our people. I mean, anyone can provide PG 64-16 to a customer, so it comes down to service and the relationships you build

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

Above: Kevin and Jill Jeffers. Right: Hot chip seal project in the high desert. Below: Albina Asphalt brings in first asphalt cargo from overseas circa 2018.

with your customers and how attentive you are to their needs. We’ve outlasted some of the biggest names in the industry, and it is all due to our people, our methodology, and willingness to go above and beyond.” Going above and beyond is something that Albina Asphalt continues to do to keep its customers supplied with both paving grade and asphalt emulsion

products. They maintain their own rail fleet, which is something that not many asphalt product suppliers can claim. “Having a fleet of rail cars is a great help when materials are in high demand. This allows us to bring in product from the Rockies, Canada and even the Midwest,” continues Jeffers. Jeffers says that maintaining a reliable supply chain is the most important thing they can do for

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

their customers. “We brought in our first overseas cargo two years ago for the first time in our company history. Asphalt was very tight, and we decided to get ahead of the situation by bringing in a ship full of 18,000 tons of liquid asphalt. There were many in our industry that were allocated or shut off completely during this period, while we were able to keep our customers supplied.”


Above: Albina Asphalt’s Madras, Oregon Terminal. Right: Klamath Falls Terminal and BearCat Transportation.

Jeffers points out that the California paving grade market has been a growth area for Albina Asphalt in recent years. “We are putting more time and effort into expanding our Klamath Falls operations for service to Northern California and Northern Nevada. The emulsion end of our business is also growing with the continued emphasis on maintenance over new road construction,” says Jeffers. “We remain diversified by serving customers in the private and public sector for both new construction and pavement maintenance. We maintain a dedicated fleet of over 100 units for hauling asphalt emulsions. This includes several asphalt tankers, and more than a dozen BearCat distributor trucks. We also invested in a new trucking fleet in Klamath Falls five years ago to better serve our Northern California base.” Although Albina Asphalt’s main product line is liquid asphalt and asphalt binder, they also provide customers with release agents, hot asphalt, cutbacks and dust control products. They offer over 100 asphalt solutions and deliver everything from paving grade products to the high desert to asphalt emulsions in 32

Alaska and everything in between. Albina Asphalt has a long list of customers in Northern California, including J.F. Shea, Tulis Construction, Hatcreek Construction and Eagle Peak, to name a few. Their quality is consistently maintained through their in-house testing procedures. Albina Asphalt’s years of technical expertise make them a recognized leader in the asphalt construction industry, as they continue to meet the needs of contractors and municipalities with superior road improvement solutions throughout their vast trade area. Albina Asphalt remains dedicated to the same reliable standards, whether they are providing a few tons of material on a private job or hundreds of tons of asphalt binder on a major interstate project. In 2018, Albina Asphalt supplied J.F. Shea Construction with 64-28M and PG58-34M asphalt binder on both phases of the Dunsmuir Grade Project just north of Redding, on Interstate 5 in Siskiyou County. “We value all of our clients equally and are honored to have been afforded the opportunity to forge such incredible relationships,” says Jeffers. “We remain involved in our trade areas and educated in the

advancement of our industry through our memberships in various organizations and associations. We joined the California Asphalt Pavement Association (CalAPA) three years ago. I came from the California market, and I like to stay involved in our industry and keep up with our competitors. I joined CalAPA as soon as I was in a position to do so and plan to continue taking advantage of all of their wonderful programs and assets.” Albina Asphalt comes from humble beginnings in 1903 and has grown to become an industry leader in the manufacturing and distribution of asphalt-related products in the Pacific Northwest. Four generations later, the brother trio of Greg, Jeff, and Jarl Arntson continue the legacy of their great-grandfather, Sophus Arntson. For more information on Albina Asphalt, please visit or call their Vancouver headquarters at (800) 888-5048. CA Brian Hoover is co-owner of Construction Marketing Services, LLC, and editor of CalContractor Magazine.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

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Los Angeles city officials salute CalAPA at annual dinner held on January 16; legendary industry figures recognized Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti extended his warm wishes. Los Angeles City Public Works President Kevin James praised the collaboration between his city and the industry. Los Angeles County Federation of Business founding CEO Tracy Hernandez noted CalAPA's important contributions to the local business community. And the association paid tribute to some legendary figures without whom none of those achievements could have been possible. All in all, it was another memorable evening at the CalAPA Annual Dinner held in January 2020 at the historic Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles attended by about 170 luminaries. "It's my pleasure to welcome you to the California Asphalt Pavement Association's annual dinner here in the City of Angels," Garcetti said in opening remarks videotaped

for the event. "And I send my congratulations to this year's Hall of Fame inductees and your newly installed officers. In the time since your association was founded in 1953 right here in our city, your companies and contractor members have improved and maintained Los Angeles' vast network of streets and bridges, and we are so proud to be with you because in doing so you helped us build an even stronger city." The mayor's remarks helped set the tone for an upbeat evening program that included the installation of the association's officers for 2020 and an opportunity to pay tribute to industry leaders who contributed greatly to the achievements of the industry over the years. "Once again, this has been another amazing year for CalAPA and the asphalt pavement industry in California," said outgoing Chairman Jordan Reed of George Reed Co. "It

certainly has been a year of firsts in the 67th year of our association." He noted the billions of SB1 dollars that are now being converted to pavement improvement projects across the state, the active engagement of the association with state and local agencies on specification reviews, responses to numerous regulatory challenges, and the record number of technical training classes held in 2019 by the association across the state. "We recently reviewed and updated our association's Strategic Plan, setting forth an ambitious agenda to continue to promote asphalt, share knowledge, advocate for our industry, and provide ample opportunity to build and strengthen relationships," Reed said. Added incoming Chairman Scott Fraser with R.J. Noble: "One of the themes in our association's Strategic Plan, as well as in our Code of Ethics,

Mayor Eric Garcetti sent a recorded video addressing the attendees.

Featured Speaker Kevin James, President, Los Angeles City Board of Public Works.

Tracy Hernandez, Founding CEO, Los Angeles County Business Federation (Biz-Fed) was a featured speaker.

Tyler Gonzalez (left), KaSondra Gonzalez, R.J. Noble Co., Scott Fraser, R.J. Noble Co. and Christie Brooks, CRM.

Don Daley, Jr. addresses the crowd after being recognized for all of his contributions to CalAPA and the asphalt industry and becoming a Life Member of CalAPA.

Johnny Rodriguez, R.J. Noble Co. (left), Tim Saenz, RMA Group, Terry McGill, R.J. Noble Co., Steve Mendoza, R.J. Noble Co. and Voytek Bajsarowicz, Haley & Aldrich.

Edwin Abarca, World Oil Corp. (left), David Mora, World Oil Corp., Jonathan Dietzel, SWT Group and Scott Johns, Cleancor LNG, LLC.

Justin Usary, Quinn Company, Tim Wardy, Quinn Company, Steve Cota, Patriot Risk & Insurance Services and Mike Hinson, Quinn Company.


California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

Berlene Hernandez (left), Jim St. Valero Marketing & Supply Martin, Life Member and Carlos group; Anna Trinidad (left), Jackie Henry and Linda Ellis. Hernandez, Life Member.

Brandon Milar, Tech. Director, CalAPA presents Al Ochoa, Caltrans – District 11 his award.

Naveed Kharrat, R.J. Noble Co. (left), Susanna Mitchell, Taylor Environmental Services and Terry McGill, R.J. Noble Co.

Don Matthews of Pavement Recycling Systems with Brandon Milar, Technical Director, CalAPA was honored with an award.

Vulcan Materials Co. group; Alvaro Espinoza (left), Ralph Donaldson, Joelle Donaldson and Grant Hughes.

Lisa Watts (left), Del Crandall, C & C Transportation, Austin Miller, World Oil Corp. and Bob Ross, World Oil Corp.

Out-going chairman Jordan Reed, George Reed, Inc. hands off the gavel to in-coming chairman Scott Fraser, R.J. Noble Company.

is to be trusted partners with public agencies and others who use our product. I'm so pleased that we are joined tonight by our partners at the City of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works, Bureau of Street Services. We have so much in common. We both share a passion for maintaining our critical transportation infrastructure, and we both understand how important those investments are for the quality of life in our communities." The other association officers installed for 2020 were Vice Chair Toni Carroll with Graniterock, Treasurer Scott Bottomley with SullyMiller/Blue Diamond Materials, and Secretary Mike Herlax with Lehigh Hanson. "The City of Los Angeles values its partnership with the asphalt pavement industry in California. It's been going strong now for six decades," said James, who oversees more than 6,000 city employees as president of the Board of Public Works. "We also have benefited from numerous knowledge-sharing activities between the City and CalAPA, including last year when dozens of of our Street Services personnel attended an asphalt plant optimization class that was held

in our StreetsLA offices just a few blocks away. This is a really great example of collaboration that helps elevate the skills and abilities of public and private sector personnel at the same time to ensure that we are using our precious tax dollars efficiently and effectively. "With Hollywood award season in full swing, James noted that Los Angeles remains the film capital of the world, and that his department issued more than 18,000 on-location film permits last year for the filming of movies, TV shows, commercials and even streaming productions. "What is one thing that the entertainment industry, that the film industry, that the streaming industry, likes for shoots in the public rightof-way? Good roads. They like good roads in great condition," James said. "So don't let anyone tell you that you're not already a key part of the entertainment industry in Hollywood, because you are, and it’s something we pay close attention to." He also thanked CalAPA members for their work in supporting SB1, a statewide road-repair investment initiative, and Measure M in Los Angeles County, as well as in exploring innovation.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue

"Recycling, of course, and use of new materials and techniques are all at the forefront of our thinking all across Public Works and we appreciate that CalAPA is helping connect our staff with national and international experts in this regard," James said. Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Federation of Business, known as BizFed, also thanked CalAPA and its members for its active engagement on SB1, Measure M and other issues of importance to the local business community and transportation interests. CalAPA members contributed nearly $7 million to the campaign to defeat Proposition 6 on the Nov. 6, 2018 statewide ballot. The measure would have repealed the funding behind SB1, the $50 billion statewide roadrepair bill passed by the Legislature a year earlier. James said SB1 helped boost the local streets budget by 25 percent. The association also paid tribute to some legendary leaders by installing them into the CalAPA Hall of Fame, including Don L. Daley Jr. with California Commercial Asphalt, introduced by his son, Don L. Daley III, and Pascal Mascarenhas with 35

Russell Snyder, Executive Director, CalAPA and Pascal Mascarenhas, Life Member with his recognition award.

Todd Fields, Butler-Justice (left), Don Daley, Jr. and Mike Butler, Butler-Justice.

Gary Houston, Valero (left), Sallie Houston, VSS Emultech and Don Matthews, Pavement Recycling.

Martin Hansberger, Holliday Rock (left), Len Nawrocki, Life Member and Peggy Robertson, Holliday Rock.

Scott (left) and Diane Taylor, Taylor Environmental Services.

Ron Turcotte, Syar Industries (left), Riye D’Ambra and Steve D’Ambra, Maxam Equipment.

Pascal Mascarenhas, Life Member (left) with Tim Reed, Vulcan Materials Co.

Margaret (left) and Jeff Reed, George Reed, Inc.

Tracy Hernandez, Founding CEO, Biz-Fed (left), Keith Mozee, Assistant Director - Bureau of Street Services, City of L.A., Bill Knopf, Regional Director, CalAPA, Kevin James, President, Los Angeles City Board of Public Works, Sarkis Kotanjian, Biz-Fed and Adel Hagekhalil, General Manager & Executive Director of City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Street Services.

Vulcan Materials, introduced by new CalAPA Board Member Tim Reed, also with Vulcan Materials. The association also conferred "Honorary Member" status to longtime Caltrans District 11 Materials Engineer Al Ochoa, who among his many contributions also played a key role in the launching of the Caltransindustry Joint Training & Certification Program for materials technicians. Ochoa retired from Caltrans last year. A special recognition was also presented to Don Matthews with Pavement Recycling Systems for his many contributions to the development of the revised Caltrans pavement smoothness specifications. 36

Don Matthews, Pavement Recycling Systems (left), Ryan Zenahlik, Pavement Recycling Systems, David Ford, Pavement Recycling Systems, Shari Sendejo, Nixon-Egli Equipment Co., Jay Rosa, Nixon-Egli Equipment Co. and Vern Gunderson, Nixon-Egli Equipment Co.

Caltrans last October also presented Matthews and other industry representatives with awards for the pavement-smoothness work. CA

Reception Sponsors: Kenco Engineering Inc. Mercer Fraser Teichert Materials

The gala event could not be possible if not for the generous support of the many sponsors of the evening.

Dinner Sponsors: Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions CRM Co., LLC G3 Quality Vulcan Materials Co.

Leadership Sponsor: Pavement Recycling Systems

Post Dinner Reception Sponsor: Nixon-Egli Equipment Co.

VIP Table Sponsors: R.J. Noble Company RMA Group Sully Miller / Blue Diamond Materials Valero Marketing & Supply California Asphalt Magazine • 2020 Environmental Issue


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