California Asphalt Magazine – 2021 Environmental Issue

Page 1


The asphalt industry works with air quality regulators, communities to further reduce emissions

INSIDE: New regulations on air quality & aggregate dryers Environmental Product Declarations go mainstream AB617 community engagement

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Publisher’s Letter Your association, your voice Recently our nation celebrated Independence Day in, what was for many, a somewhat bittersweet occasion. Thanks in part to the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, the careful practicing of “social distancing” and other public health measures, our state lifted most of the COVID-19 restrictions put in place last year to hinder the spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus. We appear to be on a difficult yet steady path toward what was considered “normal” before the pandemic, though, we remain saddened by the suffering experienced by so many during these difficult times. The July 4 holiday is an occasion to celebrate our Nation’s founding, and to be reminded about the foundation of our Republic as embodied by the U.S. Constitution. The brilliance of our founding documents, in particular the Constitution, is not only the freedoms it provides to us as individuals, but its ability to be amended through widespread consensus and help us achieve what it described in its preamble as, “A more perfect union.” Similarly, CalAPA, a non-profit trade association that was founded in 1953, operates on a set of rules known as our corporate Bylaws. Periodically, we have needed to review and update our Bylaws to ensure they reflect current 501(c)6 law governing non-profits, and are relevant to today’s realities. Recently we conducted a review of our Bylaws, assisted by our attorney, Mark Alcorn, who specializes in association law. After a top-to-bottom review, and a half-dozen revisions, we conducted an election where the new bylaws were presented to our statutory board members for review. I’m pleased to report that the new bylaws have been approved by an overwhelming majority of our members, and will be our guiding documents going forward. In addition to making some changes in wording to conform with current law covering non-profit corporations, and even after trimming the document by five pages the Bylaws achieve several other important goals. For the first time we are going to open up our association’s Board of Directors to representation by all classes of members, including our Associate Members and Supplier Members, as well as our paving contractor members, our producer members, and our binder supplier/refiner members. In short, if you pay CalAPA dues you will have a voice on our Board. Like the rallying cry often heard during the American Revolution, “No taxation without representation!” In the weeks ahead, our association will be distributing the new Bylaws along with soliciting candidates from our membership to serve on the Board of Directors. CalAPA’s strength is our singular focus on the advancement of the asphalt industry in California, a strength amplified by our brand identity and reputation. We will continue to exert positive influence in targeted areas where we have the greatest opportunity to make a difference on behalf of our members. With our new Bylaws, and even broader participation going forward, I see a bright future ahead for our Association, and our Industry. Our Founding Fathers saw the wisdom in unity and an unwavering resolve, and that (minus the powdered wigs) serves as the inspirational model our Association follows today. Sincerely,

Scott Fraser Operations Manager R.J Noble Company 4

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue


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Contents Volume 25, Issue 4


Publisher’s Letter


Environmental Product Declarations: A powerful tool for climate innovation


Adventures in Air Quality Regulation and Health Risk Assessment


An AB617 briefing paper


South Coast AQMD to consider NOx reduction rule for aggregate dryers


Member Profile: MacRebur Southern California

Page 8

Page 26

Helping to produce and enhance Hot Mix Asphalt while eliminating waste plastics


CalAPA engages Legislature on plastic-inasphalt bills On the Cover:

Cover illustration by Aldo Myftari of Construction Marketing Services.

Page 28



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 Fraser, Operations Manager, R.J. Noble Company Construction Marketing Services, LLC • (909) 772-3121 P.O. Box 892977 • Temecula • CA 92589 Aldo Myftari Ezra Kahn, PhD, US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library, Heather Dylla, PhD, Federal Highway Administration, Brian Dobling, PE, Federal Highway Administration Colorado Division, Scott D. Cohen, P.E., C.I.H., Sespe Consulting, Scott Taylor, Taylor Environmental Services, Inc., Brian Hoover, CMS, Russell W. Snyder, CAE, CalAPA Kerry Hoover, CMS, (909) 772-3121

Copyright © 2021 – 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 • 2021 Environmental Issue


Efficiency and Productivity Designed with safety and operator comfort in mind, the Shuttle Buggy® SB-3000 material transfer vehicle features adaptive cruise control, bright LED lighting, four-wheel steering for easy transport and ground-level maintenance access for added convenience. Operators can rely on clear sightlines and the ground operator is safely protected inside the structure of the machine. The Roadtec SB-3000 is the perfect blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology.

Environmental Product Declarations: A powerful tool for climate innovation

By Ezra Kahn, Heather Dylla, and Brian Dobling

Framing the discussion There is increasing expectation on the construction and paving industry to provide high quality and well-maintained roads and bridges while leading in the reduction of transportation and infrastructure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Additionally, infrastructure projects are expected to be built with a decreasing “net” environmental burden. As a result, state and local governments are taking an active role in developing frameworks for lowering GHG emissions over the life cycle of a project; with California emerging as a key leader. There is growing recognition that the environmental burden of material production, procurement and construction of infrastructure contribute to the GHG footprint of on-road transportation. Given the volume of these materials there is a significant opportunity to reduce GHG emissions. This total supply chain perspective can provide new opportunities for reducing the overall impact of a project by incentivizing materials produced from plants with cleaner operations, better plant efficiencies, or innovative mix designs when permitted by specifications. Finding effective tools to communicate the benefits of the paving industry’s investments in efficiency and green technology with a life cycle perspective is becoming an imperative. Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) have emerged as a tool for communicating the environmental impact of a product due in part to state-led “Buy Clean” legislation, first introduced and passed in California. 8

Figure 1: An example asphalt mixture EPD for environmental impacts. Results are scaled to a declared unit of 1 short-ton of asphalt mixture. Source: https://asphaltepd. org/published/epd/52/

EPDs are like nutrition labels for products, but instead of nutritional content, EPDs communicate life cycle environmental impacts. EPDs are formally defined by the International Standards Organization (ISO) standard 14025. Their stated purpose is to provide environmental information on the life cycle of a product to enable comparisons between products “fulfilling the same function” for business-to-business communication. EPDs used in construction typically include material extraction and acquisition, transportation, and product production (defined by ISO as scopes A1, A2, and A3, respectively). EPDs communicate a range of environmental indicators including Global Warming Potential (see Figure 1 for example) and other environmental impacts which in the United States use EPA’s Tool for Reduction and Assessment of Chemicals and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI), Resource Use,

and Waste flows. They are generated using a year of emission, energy consumption and production data collected at a specific location for a specified product and are contextualized by a standardized “declared unit,” such as “1 short ton of an asphalt mixture” for example. Even though currently there is no Federal requirement for EPDs, California is one of the first states to require EPDs for select materials (carbon steel rebar, structural steel, flat glass, and mineral wool board insulation) through the passing of AB 262, the “Buy Clean California Act” enacted on Oct. 15, 2017. Yet other major paving materials such as asphalt, concrete, and aggregate are not included in the Buy Clean California Act. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is taking the program a step further by encouraging the creation of EPDs of high-volume materials used in transportation

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) Vision: Use environmental product declarations (EPD)s to collect high-quality, regionally-applicable, standardized data for environmental impacts to support better decision-making using life cycle assessment (LCA), create market incentives for improvements, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other environmental impacts from projects. - CALTRANS Department of Engineering Services

products to support decision-making tools such as life cycle assessment. Caltrans initiated a two-phase pilot program requiring the submittal of EPDs for three high-volume materials, namely asphalt, concrete and aggregate. Phase A, which is completed, selected seven pilot projects where EPDs were required for not only the mandatory products under the Buy Clean California Act but also for high-volume materials. Starting in the summer of 2021, Caltrans will implement lessons learned from the first phase of the pilot project and expand their program to collect EPDs of highvolume materials to more than 20 projects statewide. The Ins and Outs of Environmental Product Declarations Consistency and reproducibility of EPDs is foundational to implementing any EPD program. EPDs of a competing product from different vendors must be consistent with each other, and the EPD results need to be reliable. To fully understand how agencies may use EPDs, it is important to understand what EPDs are and how they are produced. In practice, EPDs are the result of Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) following the appropriate product category rules (PCRs). PCRs contain a consensusbased set of specific rules, guidelines and recommendations for developing EPDs of a product category. Similar to Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA), which is the life-cycle thinking approach used 1

to assesses the economic pillar of sustainability, LCA is the lifecycle thinking approach used to assess the environmental pillar of sustainability. LCA, standardized by ISO 14044, is a well-developed environmental management technique that identifies the environmental impacts of a product or process, from raw material extraction, production, use, endof-life treatment, recycling and final disposal (cradle-to-grave). LCA attempts to cover every stage of a product’s life, and account for a comprehensive set of impacts, including human health and wellbeing, eco-toxicity, bio-diversity and resource depletion to identify hot spots in a supply chain, tradeoffs (ex: bio-diversity vs. human health), and burden shifting (ex: material production vs. end-oflife options). To this end, a highly detailed, process-based LCA is very useful but a full LCA model is often too much information for a customer. Full LCA models can also reveal a business’s proprietary or privileged technical information. As a result, EPDs should be written to deliver necessary LCA results as shown in figure 1 in a concise and clear way while protecting proprietary trade information. EPDs of construction products typically are cradle-to-gate systems such as asphalt mixtures. As such, EPDs can be used in broader product systems LCAs such as pavements. For instance, the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is the program

operator for asphalt paving products in the United States. NAPA maintains and publishes the PCR for Asphalt Mixtures and provides access to a tool to develop EPDs compliant with the PCR. The program operator is also responsible for verifying and publishing EPDs. PCRs are necessary to make EPDs consistent and comparable within a product category, but this goal is not always achieved. LCA is a powerful and broadly applicable modeling tool; however, LCA results are highly sensitive to decisions the LCA modeler makes when conducting the study. The selection of included processes, background data sources, design assumptions and LCA-specific

FHWA Resources Building Blocks of Life Cycle Thinking – Introduces sustainability assessment tools (LCA, LCCA, social LCA and others) that can be used for asset management or pavement design. Data Needs for Pavement LCA: What agencies need to know – Introduces the different types of data sources which can be used in LCAs of pavements, including how EPDs can support analysis. Environmental Product Declarations: Communicating Environmental Impacts for Transportation Products – Introduces EPDs, their uses and how to get started with encouraging their use. Life Cycle Assessment Framework – A detailed framework for performing an LCA specific to pavement systems along with guidance on the overall approach, methodology, system boundaries and current knowledge gaps.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue


modeling choices can all have a significant impact on the results. Without specific guidance on how to conduct an LCA, two practitioners modeling the same product would likely come up with different environmental profiles. The purpose of PCRs is to address this variability by applying constraints on what processes to include, quality of

Asphalt binder production presents a classic example of LCA modeling choices that heavily influence results. Asphalt binder is a refinery product derived from a crude oil feedstock used for dozens of products including fuels, petrochemicals, lubricants, and construction materials. How should the impacts of crude extraction, transport, and separation be allocated to the various product streams? A common approach is to assign a fraction of the upstream impacts equal to the fractions of either mass, energy content, or economic value of various the product steams. Each approach produces a different reported impact on EPD, which is why the PCR is necessary to ensure all EPDs use the same allocation method. NAPA prescribes the USLCI approach, a combination of mass and economic value.

data types and sources, and how to handle LCA modeling choices such as recycling and co-product allocation. The expected outcome is that two EPDs generated by different people following the same PCR should have LCA results that are comparable. As such, the difference in environmental profiles should be attributed to the actual production differences, not in the way the LCA was conducted.

Figure 2: Applications of EPDs and PCRs. Source: FHWA2

Therefore, the PCR should enable the investments in production efficiencies to be reflected in the results reported on an EPD. Accordingly, it creates a method by which vendors can use environmental impact performance to differentiate themselves from competitors. The standardized approach for generating EPDs also permits tracking improvements to environmental efficiency of a product or an industry over time. EPDs in construction projects; risks and opportunities Industry investment in EPDs has grown in recent years. PCR programs have been launched by the asphalt mixture, cement, concrete, aggregates and steel industries, with thousands of verified EPDs published. The use of EPDs is increasingly being proposed as part of proactive GHG mitigation strategy. Following California’s “Buy Clean” lead, similar efforts requiring EPDs for public procurement have been proposed in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, New York and even Federally. With EPDs being

considered as a tool for informing public purchases and decision making, some of the challenges of working with this type of information product are emerging. EPDs were intended to be used to inform business-to-business communication for product environmental performance (see figure 2). They are well suited as a procurement aid to make business decisions such as considering the potential environmental impacts of a supplier’s product in addition to cost. EPDs are increasingly being used as data sources for developing additional EPDs or broader LCAs, an application for which they may not have been originally intended. Reusing EPDs as data sources for performing LCA highlights some of the challenges facing policy makers and regulators in leveraging these tools to meet climate goals. Figure 3 presents a simplified asphalt product system with all phases of an asphalt roadway’s life. Each box in the diagram represents the range of industries involved in the development of a [ Continued on page 12 ]


Rangelov et al. (2020) Use of environmental product declarations (EPDs) of pavement materials in the United States of America (USA) to ensure environmental impact reductions. Journal of Cleaner Production, p.124619.


California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

HERRMANN EQUIPMENT, INC., AND J.B. BOSTICK COMPANY INC. Right: JB Bostick crew using their new Bomag CR820W paver to pave streets inside Van’s Mobile Home Park in Bellflower. Below: JB Bostick’s professional crew members.

J.B. Bostick Company, Inc. (J.B. Bostick) has been setting the standard in asphalt paving, maintenance and repair since 1969. The company specializes in asphalt paving for shopping centers, industrial parks, mobile home parks and homeowner associations. Working primarily in the state of California, J.B Bostick has branches in Anaheim and Roseville. They own and maintain an entire fleet of state-of-the-art equipment, which gives them complete quality control over the wide range of products and services they provide. J.B. Bostick recently purchased a brand new Bomag CR820W highway paver from Herrmann Equipment Co. Over the years, they have purchased six Bomag/Cedarapids pavers, along with six Bomag rollers from Herrmann Equipment. J.B. Bostick utilizes its new Bomag CR820W paver to perform full-width paving applications on various industrial, commercial and residential projects. J.B. Bostick owner, Jim Bostick, has been working with Herrmann Equipment and Mike and Jackie Allen for many years. “We go with the Bomag paving brand from Herrmann Equipment because they offer the most versatile machines for our scope of work. The maneuverability of these machines is perfect for parking lots and mobile home HOA projects. Our operators also prefer the Carlson screed, along with the ease of operation, improved visibility and state-of-the-art controls,” says Bostick. “I can never say enough about Mike and Jackie Allen of Herrmann Equipment. They are always there for us, before, during and after the sale. I don’t think there is anything Mike does not know about these exceptional paving machines.” Bostick continues to point out that Mike Allen personally demonstrates every machine his company is interested in purchasing. “Mike has spent countless hours with our company personnel, and he remains onsite until everyone is completely comfortable with the operation of each machine,” continues Bostick. “I have never met another sales or service representative in our industry that communicates or stands behind their product more than Mike Allen. Mike is not a typical salesman, he never pushes anything on anyone, over the years he has proven that his equipment sells itself (good thing for Mike)! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, business for me, is about relationships. My relationship with Herrmann Equipment and the Allen’s is one of my most valued in the industry, professionally and personally.”





Figure 3: A simplified asphalt LCA product system. Source: FHWA2 [ Continued from page 10 ]

road: material extraction, transportation, production, maintenance, recycling and disposal, waste management, energy and use. The left side of the diagram represents the material production processes; the right side represents the construction and maintenance. Processes in a supply chain such as these are typically led by different enterprises, exchanging goods, services, and money toward the development of an end product. Figure 3 illustrates how a manufacturer will produce an EPD for an asphalt mixture, which requires LCA information from the mixture component manufacturers: aggregate, binder and additives. This upstream information is exchanged through EPDs for each of the component products. In the same way an asphalt mixture is a combination of individual components in specific quantities, an asphalt mixture EPD is a combination of component LCAs (or EPDs if available), with the addition of the energy, waste, and emission profile of the mixture production. 3

In principle, the use of EPDs as a data source in LCA is convenient; in practice however, combining EPDs comes with several technical challenges. The most immediate challenge is the consistency of individual PCRs for each product category. PCRs are intended to make EPDs for the same product category comparable and thereby enable comparisons of products fulfilling the same function. As such, they may not have been designed to produce EPDs that should be combined with EPDs for products fulfilling different functions. Reusing EPDs for components of a product requires combining EPDs from different PCR programs, and currently PCR guidance and requirements are not coordinated. Each PCR has different rules regarding system boundaries, data sources, assumptions and modeling choices. In practice, every EPD is biased by the PCR rules used to conduct the LCA; differences in results are only meaningful when comparing EPDs from the same PCR program since in theory every EPD will be biased in the

same way. Without harmonization among PCRs, comparing or combining EPDs from different PCR programs can be difficult or technically unsound. Additionally, it may not be possible to determine if the differences in environmental impacts are due to process technology or bias in LCA results. Selection of background datasets is one area of EPD variability that is gaining a lot of attention recently. These inputs are typically outside of the control of a material manufacturer. It is also possible that there may be a significant uncertainty about the technology, location or time frame of emissions associated with background activities. Typical examples of background processes are electricity generation, fuels for transportation, energy, heat and waste management for upstream or downstream processes. These classes of processes are typically inputs into many components of every LCA and are also referred to by the EPA as Scope 3 emissions . Although a producer may not have much control over how electricity is developed in their region, how


California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

Scope 1 GHG emissions are direct emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the Organization. Scope 1 includes on-site fossil fuel combustion and fleet fuel consumption. Scope 2 GHG emissions are indirect emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the Organization. Scope 2 includes emissions that result from the generation of electricity, heat or steam purchased by the Organization from a utility provider. Scope 3 GHG emissions are from sources not owned or directly controlled by EPA but related to Organization activities. Scope 3 emissions include employee travel and commuting. Scope 3 also includes emissions associated with contracted solid waste disposal and wastewater treatment. Some Scope 3 emissions can also result from transportation and distribution (T&D) losses associated with purchased electricity. (source: US EPA)

electricity in the grid is represented in an LCA can have a major impact on the EPD results. Given all the uncertainty and variability around background datasets, many PCRs prescribe specific industry average data products for representing background activities. For example, NAPA requires the use of the GREET tool from Argonne National Laboratory for electricity emissions profiles, and the United States Life Cycle Inventory (USLCI) for crude oil refining and natural gas combustion. The prescription of these free, publicly available data sources increases the transparency and reduces the variability of verified EPDs. The issues around harmonization are not limited to just different product categories. Considerations of imported versus domestically produced goods are also a challenge. PCR programs are typically run at the national scale and are not coordinated at the international level. The need for consistency and harmonization of PCRs is clear. EPD-based procurement programs that do not consider inconsistencies in these tools risk the potential for outcomes that do 4


not achieve the intended goals, undermining the credibility of LCA as an otherwise effective tool for incentivizing investments. Despite these challenges, EPDs have the potential for being an effective mechanism for creating value and competitive advantage from investment in environmental sustainability. Current and emerging efforts to increase PCR harmonization Alignment of PCRs is a necessary next step for realizing the potential of EPDs for sparking further innovation in climate friendly technology. Coordination across industries and across borders will be key in converging on standard approaches for modeling and communicating these types of life cycle results. Additionally, harmonized EPDs require the development and maintenance of transparent, publicly available background data models and supporting open data infrastructure. The federal government is increasingly being looked to for leadership in coordinating the diverse range of stakeholders. State DOTs, including Caltrans,

and industry groups are pressing for standards and consistent frameworks for implementing EPDs for pavement technology to address these issues around harmonization. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been facilitating the adoption of pavement LCA, EPDs and the development of PCR through the Sustainable Pavement Program . Launched in 2010, the Sustainable Pavement Program has been working to help improve knowledge of sustainable pavements through education, tools and resources. Through webinars and stakeholder meetings, FHWA has helped identify outstanding issues and areas of concern around the dissemination of EPDs for the paving industry and state DOTs. Critical to the success of the program has been working with stakeholders from industry, state agencies, including Caltrans, and academia. The program holds biannual meetings and is emerging as an important vehicle for exchanging information around priorities and interests in EPDs. In addition to working with state partners, FHWA is coordinating its efforts across the federal government through its participation in the Federal LCA Commons: an interagency community-of-practice of over 20 national LCA experts across 12 federal agencies and federally funded National Laboratories. The Federal LCA Commons is working toward developing transparent, publicly accessible and trusted Federal data suitable for use as background data for a broad range of applications. Use of this dataset is helping to drive consistency across government LCA research products and could be adapted for use with PCR programs as well. To help advance harmonization of LCA and EPDs for pavements, FHWA has created a simple Excel-based

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue


tool, LCA PAVE. LCA PAVE is one of the first pavement LCA tools that was created with key stakeholders, using only free and publicly available data sources, and can incorporate EPDs. The underlying LCA framework in the excel tool will also be available in the openLCA modeling environment. OpenLCA framework LCA models can serve as the foundation for a range of harmonized LCA applications including EPD generation. The framework and several use cases will be available on the federal government’s open access LCA repository, LCA Commons. EPDs can be an important and useful tool for incentivizing investment in more climate friendly paving technology. EPDs are useful in communicating the environmental performance of products. However, comparing EPDs over time to determine trends, or using EPDs from different industries or countries, will continue to be a challenge without increased standardization. The federal government can help facilitate standard practices in PCRs and EPD development, by encouraging advancements, identifying competing interests, proposing solutions to competing interests, providing background data, and open source tools and frameworks. However, it will be essential for the paving community to continue to actively lead and participate to realize this potential. For more information about the Sustainable Pavement Program, upcoming events or recently published resources, be sure to sign up as a friend to the newsletter. For interest in the Federal LCA Commons and data products visit CA 6


LCA PAVE will be available later in 2021. More information can be found at: http://www.ucprc.ucdavis. edu/pdf/lca2020/LCA_Pave.pdf


openLCA is a free open source LCA modeling tool available at


Ezra Kahn, Ph.D., is a technical information specialist at the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library, serving on detail to the Federal Highway Administration Sustainable Pavement Program. He leads the Federal LCA Commons community of practice, and manages, a repository for open LCA data and resources produced by the US Federal Government. He received a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington in 2011, and currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Office of Infrastructure and Sustainable Pavements Program. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in civil engineering from Iowa State University and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Colorado.

Heather Dylla, Ph.D., is a sustainable pavement engineer for the Federal Highway Administration, where she manages the FHWA Sustainable Pavements Program and the Pavement Policy. In this role, she is leading an effort to incorporate principles of life cycle thinking into the design and decision-making process that include the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social impacts. Heather obtained her doctorate from the Louisiana State University where she focused on quantifying the environmental impacts of photocatalytic concrete pavements.

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: watch?v=9u8-tYuEpy4&feature=youtu. be

Brian Dobling is an area engineer and pavements & materials engineer with the Federal Highway Administration Colorado Division. He is currently on a rotational assignment with the Federal Highway Administration

REFERENCES: Snyder, R. (2020) EPDs slowly gaining acceptance for road work, but challenges remain. California Asphalt, Journal of the California Asphalt Pavement Association, Vol. 24, Issue 4, July 2020, p. 12-17. Rangelov et al. (2020) Use of environmental product declarations (EPDs) of pavement materials in the United States of America (USA) to ensure environmental impact reductions. Journal of Cleaner Production, p.124619.

Federal Highway Administration “Environmental Product Declarations And Product Category Rules” informational page. Updated May 14, 2019. Accessed June 22, 2021: sustainability/articles/environmental. cfm National Asphalt Pavement Association “Emerald Eco-Label” EPD Tool page. Accessed June 22, 2021: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) “Greenhouse Gases at EPA” information page. Accessed June 22, 2021: greenhouse-gases-epa

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

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California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue


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Adventures in Air Quality Regulation and Health Risk Assessment By Scott D. Cohen


n past issues of this magazine that are referenced at the end of this article, the author presented changes to California health risk assessment methodologies and suggested it may be desirable to sample for metals concentrations in fugitive dust or other pollutants and/or emissions sources at an individual operation. Consequently, the asphalt industry may be well served by developing pooled test data in support of emissions factors that are representative and available for emissions reporting. Recently, increased visibility and momentum regarding environmental justice have resulted in numerous regulatory developments. One example is Assembly Bill AB617 (Garcia, 2017) which has created many ancillary regulatory actions because AB617 provides legal authority beyond the federal and California Clean Air Acts and Amendments which are somewhat siloed and confined to certain classes and types of sources. AB617 provides state and local air agencies the authority to regulate “outside the box” and at a community-by-community level. In 2020, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) began overhauling California’s emissions reporting and the chemical compounds required to be reported under the broad scope of AB617 authority. Given society’s focus on equity and transparency, a primary purpose of AB617 was to create a 18

statewide emissions reporting system whereby emissions from a facility in one region can be compared to emissions from a similar facility in another region. However, because CARB has given local air districts discretion over which sources to report and how those emissions are calculated, the result is inequity among businesses and an inability to compare data. For instance, an asphalt plant in a district that requires road dust to be reported will calculate greater emissions than an asphalt plant in a district that does not consider road dust, and the public will have no way to distinguish that difference in the emissions data. On Nov. 19, 2020, CARB adopted amendments to the proposed Regulation for the Reporting of Criteria Air Pollutants and Toxic Air Contaminants (CTR)

and to the Air Toxics “Hot Spots” Emission Inventory Criteria and Guidelines (EICG) Regulation to further the goals of AB617. However, based on public comment received, the Board directed CARB staff to consider additional modifications to the regulations prior to finalizing the revisions. Staff will incorporate any revisions through a public "15-day" revisions process, including a workshop. The 2020 amendments revise the Emission Inventory Criteria and Guidelines Regulation (Title 17, California Code of Regulations, Section 93300.5) to incorporate by reference, the 2020 amended Emission Inventory Criteria and Guidelines Report (2020 EICG Report). The amendments included in the 2020 EICG Report include revisions to the main Sections (Sections I through XI), as well as

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

Table 1. Formerly Proposed Amendments to EICG and Appendices Topic

Proposed Regulatory Updates


Incorporate by reference the most recent OEHHA Risk Assessment Guidelines Incorporate by reference the most recent CAPCOA Facility Prioritization Guidelines Update several definitions for clarity and consistency with other programs Update list of documents incorporated by reference Harmonize with other reporting requirements

Reporting Requirements

Expand the reporting of building height and related parameters within zone of building downwash effects Include language to address prior guidance regarding on-site mobile source coverage and other technical interpretations Add factors for district consideration in determining facility exemptions and reinstatements Add factors for district consideration in determining extent of update reporting provisions

Diesel Engine Reporting Requirements

Update Diesel engine risk screening tables Require reporting of emissions from stationary portable diesel engines greater than 50 horsepower at specified larger facilities Clarify text allowing districts to override facility exemptions for smaller engines that may pose public health risk Clarify scenarios that the districts may determine as routine operations for emissions reporting Strengthen the use of population-wide impact parameters as a consideration for screening assessments

Appendix A – List of Reportable Substances

Update the list of reportable substances to include new/modified chemicals of concern Add three types of chemical functional group categories to Appendix A-I Establish a phase-in schedule for reporting of newly added chemicals

Appendix C – Facility "Look-Up" Table

Update the list of chemicals associated with specific industry sectors and broad overarching processes

Appendix D – Source Testing Requirements

Add new source test requirements for waste management facilities, allowing for a two-step testing and review process Add new source test requirements for secondary aluminum processing

Appendix E – Requirements for

Update the classes/sectors and reporting thresholds to add facility types posing potential public health concerns

Facilities Emitting Less than 10 ton/year of Criteria Pollutants

Revise categories and thresholds to more health protective levels, in light of 2015 OEHHA health risk science Add a class/sector for facilities that emit 4 or more tons per year of criteria pollutants (but less than 10 tons per year) Establish a sector phase-in schedule consistent with CTR Regulation

Appendix F – Criteria/ Protocols for Screening Assessment

Establish a stepwise protocol for determining acceptable types of screening air dispersion and other screening methods


the Appendices (Appendix A through Appendix G). Table 1 shows a summary from the CARB regulatory documentation however may not reflect the regulations as approved. CalAPA published a “Member Alert” on Feb. 12, 2021, and followed up with an update on May 13, 2021, to summarize the revised air toxics requirements for CalAPA members. The association also cooperated with the California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA) to hold video conferences with CARB staff, issue several joint comment letters November 13, 2020, February 25 (“informal 15-day” comments) and April 13, 2021, and generally made the case for using methods that reflect the best available science and most accurate estimates of emissions and related health risk indicators. CARB’s actions expand the number of facilities that must report from about 1,500 reporting entities

to tens of thousands, the mass of toxic dust components reported by at least double (i.e., from PM10 to PM as will be required and used in future health risk assessments), and the number of chemicals of concern. These changes represent a further tightening of the health risk regulatory framework and standards for notifying neighbors that they were exposed above a threshold and for requiring health risk reduction measures to be implemented by facility operators. The Feb. 25 informal comments not posted on the CARB website, like the other two letters, addressed the following issues: • CTR Regulation 10 TPY Reporting Threshold Change – Asphalt concrete manufacturers now must report (i.e., threshold is zero tons per year). • Air District Discretion Provisions Undermine Uniformity – A

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

primary reason for the regulations was to standardize emissions calculations procedures among air districts statewide while the result is just the opposite. • Confusion Regarding Toxics Reporting – This issue was resolved by clarifying language that thresholds for inclusion in reporting apply to the total emissions of permitted equipment and other sources that may be required to be inventoried for health risk assessment purposes at district discretion are excluded for purposes of triggering reporting. • Total PM Reporting – Language that would encourage agency use of voluntarily submitted sampling results for other PM fractions such as one might use to analyze deposition 19

rate rather than rely on the contested policy-based deposition rate that is used by the HARP2 Software Risk Module, was requested. In conclusion, although emissions reporting requirements are changing at the state level, individual air districts retain discretion over in what is reported

to the state in each district. In one example, San Diego APCD recently proposed changes to its Rule 1210 which uses emissions reported under EICG to estimate and control health risk. Among the proposed changes is a definition for “economically practicable” which, if adopted, would mean “whether, and to what extent, the annualized cost of the airborne toxic risk

reduction measures necessary to reduce the health risk to below the significant risk threshold(s) is not more than 10% of the annual profits of a facility or 1% of the annual operational budget of a nonprofit facility.” If this language is approved, then it will undoubtedly be re-used by other air districts and possibly other states. Because the air regulatory framework has been extended and is seemingly in constant flux, emission reporting data for 2022 reports should be identified as soon as possible. Site-specific data is almost always beneficial to emissions and risk estimates and should be collected for that purpose. However, there may also be ways for operators to pool test data such as by allowing CalAPA to work with air agencies to redact and publish the data. Asphalt producers will likely require expert assistance to prepare a HRA as directed by the local air district and may be required to notify neighbors and reduce risk levels by implementing controls to reduce emissions. Now is the time to be thinking about what can be done to reduce emissions and refine assumptions used in dispersion modeling and quantifying health risk. CA Scott D. Cohen, P.E., C.I.H., is a Principal Engineer with Sespe Consulting, a Trinity Consultants Company REFERENCES: Cohen, S. (2020) “Health Risk Assessment: What to Expect, How to Prepare.” California Asphalt, Journal of the California Asphalt Pavement Association, Vol. 24, Issue 4, PP 14-18 Cohen, S. (2017) “Environmental Justice and facility-related health risk scrutiny coming to a community near you.” California Asphalt, Journal of the California Asphalt Pavement Association, Vol. 23, Issue 4, PP 20-24.


California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue




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An AB617 briefing paper Community Name

Special to California Asphalt magazine

What is AB617 and what is it intended to accomplish? AB617 was a bill introduced in the Legislature in 2017 and was authored by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-D-Bell Gardens (58th Assembly District). The bill was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on July 26, 2017. The bill created the Community Air Protection Program, which has a stated goal to “reduce emissions of toxic air contaminants and criteria air pollutants in communities affected by a high cumulative exposure burden.” The program is implemented by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and local air quality management districts. CARB is responsible for designating AB617 communities and local air districts are responsible for developing community air monitoring plans (CAMPs) and community emissions reduction plans (CERPs). The statute requires that local programs be data-driven and prioritize measures that are proportional to the contributions of various sources to air quality problems in the designated community. AB617 implementation at the community level. CARB has designated 15 AB617 communities to date: 22

Air District

CARB Designation Year

Richmond – San Pablo

Bay Area AQMD

2018 (CAMP), 2020 (CERP)

West Oakland

Bay Area AQMD


El Centro, Heber, Calexico

Imperial County APCD


South Sacramento – Florin

Sacramento Metropolitan AQMD


Portside Environmental Justice Neighborhoods

San Diego AQMD

2018 (CAMP), 2019 (CERP)

Arvin, Lamont

San Joaquin Valley APCD



San Joaquin Valley APCD


South Central Fresno

San Joaquin Valley APCD



San Joaquin Valley APCD


East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, West Commerce

South Coast AQMD


Eastern Coachella Valley

South Coast AQMD


San Bernardino, Muscoy

South Coast AQMD


Southeast Los Angeles

South Coast AQMD


South Los Angeles

South Coast AQMD


Wilmington, Carson, West Long Beach

South Coast AQMD


The Community Steering Committees (CSCs) created to advise air districts on plan development have struggled to overcome controversies related to designation of community boundaries, member roles and responsibilities, industry participation and other issues. Despite these challenges and air district resource limitations, CARB has adopted air district-approved CAMPs for nine communities and CERPs for seven communities. More than 100 additional communities have been

identified as candidates for AB617 programs. In response to criticisms from communities that remain on the waiting list, CARB has indicated it will prioritize emissions reduction measures that can be implemented on a statewide basis. CARB has the authority to reject inadequate plans, but in recognition of the short timeframes provided in the statute (e.g., adoption of CAMPs and CERPs within one year of community designation), CARB has approved every plan submitted by an air district, albeit with

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

guidance on how each plan can be improved during implementation. Some of the emissions reduction measures included in approved CERPs are air district regulations that were already under development or identified in air quality implementation plans. Others are voluntary or incentivebased (e.g., rely on grant funding to replace older, higher emitting equipment). In some cases, measures reflect community priorities that may not align with monitoring data. These measures undermine the overarching statutory goal to reduce emissions that contribute to a high cumulative exposure burden in the community. A renewed emphasis on Environmental Justice. Environmental Justice (EJ) groups are dissatisfied with what they perceive to be a lack of progress on AB617 implementation. They have voiced several complaints, including that: ♦ Too few communities have been brought into the program; ♦ CARB and air district AB617 budgets are inadequate, leading to competition among eligible communities; ♦ The CSC process is controlled by air districts, not communities; ♦ Business participation on CSCs is an impediment to achieving community priorities; ♦ Community plans reflect air district priorities, not community priorities; ♦ There are few measurable results after three years of implementation. According to the California Environmental Justice Alliance, “The lack of rigor and enforceability of CERPs has hurt communities’ trust in CARB’s ability and willingness to ensure effective plans as provided by AB617.” The Office of Community Air Protection (OCAP) was recently

realigned under CARB’s new Deputy Executive Officer for Environmental Justice (Chanell Fletcher). CARB’s new leadership, from Board Chair Liane Randolph to OCAP Chief Delde Reyes, subscribes to the view that EJ priorities take precedence over other priorities. EJ groups have also taken the initiative to draft a document that would recast CARB’s framework for AB 617 implementation – the Community Air Protection Blueprint (2018) – in a manner that more explicitly advances EJ priorities. CARB recently anointed the “People’s Blueprint” as the foundation for updating the current Blueprint. A recent report on research conducted by the University of California for CARB and the Department of Toxic Substances Control proposes new methods and metrics for measuring community vulnerability and cumulative impacts. If the report recommendations are integrated into the AB617 Blueprint, which seems likely, they would expand the scale of community redlining, encourage more aggressive and direct emission reduction measures, and intensify political pressure for land use restrictions on industrial operations. These trends appear to be moving away from the data-driven approach required by the statute, and can be expected to increase burdens on businesses, especially those targeted by EJ groups, without providing much near-term relief from cumulative exposure burdens in AB617 communities. What can business do to help set the program on a more constructive course? ♦ Advocate for strategies that are consistent with the intent of the statute. Monitoring strategies should seek to fill data gaps that can inform emissions reduction plans.

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

Rigorous monitoring methods and data QA/ QC are critical to ensure that data is accurate and actionable. Emissions reduction strategies should be data-driven and target contributing sources in a proportional manner, not just the most visible or controversial sources. Strategies should emphasize near-term reductions through deployment of available, cost-effective technologies that are within the reach and resources of affected businesses. ♦ Oppose strategies that would undercut achievement of nearterm emission reductions in AB617 communities. One recent example is CARB’s unilateral focus on electrification of the transportation sector in its draft Mobile Source Strategy. CARB should be held accountable for pursuing its own agendas at the expense of disadvantaged communities. There is opportunity for alignment of community, air district and business interests. ♦ Continue to advocate for a level of business participation on CSCs that reflects the contributions of businesses in the community. Nominate individuals who live and work in the community. Their opinions should carry greater weight with the agencies and other community representatives. Maintain a strong business presence in the CSC process by supporting 23

regular participation of these individuals, regardless of whether they are granted membership on the CSC.

general plans to incorporate setbacks from sensitive environmental justice receptors). Support feasible elements. measures that will allow Land use measures are also businesses to continue to being considered in AB617 operate while preventing CERPs. incompatible future uses. ♦ Engage in local processes to Local agencies will face update land use planning tools, pressure from community ♦ Participate in CARB’s AB617 such as local zoning ordinances. groups to adopt measures Blueprint update. Under SB1000 (Leyva, in both contexts that may The shift in focus toward EJ 2016), cities and counties be infeasible for existing priorities should be grounded are required to update their businesses (e.g., retroactive in the purpose and requirements of the statute. Ceding control of the implementation process to the most vocal community representatives will not guarantee significant improvements in air quality in AB617 communities. We are a client-focused environmental consulting firm and The next opportunity for CalAPA member specializing in air quality, water quality and land business engagement will use issues impacting manufacturing and industrial facilities as well as the construction and marine construction industries. be through public comment during AB617 Consultation AIR QUALITY Group meetings. CA


Our staff of consultants and air quality regulators with decades of permitting and compliance experience travel the country providing expertise in regulatory training, assisting industry groups all while advocating for our clients.


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Article provided to California Asphalt magazine by the AB617 Coalition, an informal gathering of California trade associations, business groups and others that actively follow and engage on AB617 issues. REFERENCES: California Environmental Justice Alliance, Environmental Justice Agency Assessment 2020: uploads/2021/07/CEJA-AgencyAssessment-062021-FINAL-WEB.pdf Community Air Protection Blueprint: Morello-Frosch, R et al (2020) Final Report: “Integrating a Community Cumulative Impacts Framework in the implementation of AB617 and SB673.” University of California, Berkeley, prepared for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Department of Toxic Substances Control: resources/documents/integratingcommunity-cumulative-impactsframework-implementation-assemblybill

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue


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South Coast AQMD to consider NOx reduction rule for aggregate dryers

By Scott Taylor


our years ago, South Coast AQMD (the District) adopted the 2016 Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP). The AQMD helps to set the action plans for the district in the coming years and includes control measures which help create the path to reaching emission reductions. The AQMP required a 5 ton per day NOx emission reduction to be achieved with the Best Available Retrofit Control Technology (BARCT) as soon as feasible but no later than 2025. Aggregate dryers from a few industries, including asphalt plants, were among the industries identified for emission reductions. At the same time, the AQMP also mandated the transition of facilities to a command-and-control structure from the RECLAIM program. The RECLAIM program was the highly publicized clean air incentive market which was the world first complete market for reduction of air pollution. Meeting the emission reduction goal through BARCT and the sunsetting of RECLAIM has resulted in the development of proposed Rule 1147.1 for Aggregate Dryers. The proposed rule will be heard by the AQMD board on August 9th. If adopted, the rule will have an impact on asphalt facilities throughout Southern California by requiring the retrofitting of equipment or possibly building a completely new plant. It is one of the most aggressive air quality rules that targeted this industry. Reducing emissions by 5 tons per day means SCAQMD must look at every source of emissions possible to find the reductions needed to meet the mandate. Asphalt plants have been reducing emission over the years with new burners, plant redesign


with more efficient drums, utilization of warm mix technology, increased thermal efficiency, and overall better plant design. The AQMP mandate to look at reductions from BARCT meant that any additional reductions needed to be evaluated. The dry burner became the focus as it is the largest NOx source from the operation. Despite the emission reductions through improved burner technology over the years the focus of the technology assessment for the proposed rule determined how much better emission reductions could be achieved and on what timeline it could be implemented. Asphalt plants throughout southern California have been subject to the RECLAIM program since its inception in 1993. Currently there are 11 facilities that are required to tract and report NOx emissions on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and/or annual basis. With the significant monitoring and reporting California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

requirements comes some flexability with NOx emission reductions. The sunsetting of RECLAIM will take away those flexibilities and require all asphalt operations to meet the same emission standards. The proposed Rule 1147.1 provides a landing rule for the future when these facilities transition from RECLAIM to command-and-control and result in a significant upgrade to the plant dryer. Most facilities will be required to meet the new standards before that transition happens. The process for development of Rule 1147.1 started in earnest in early 2017 when changes to Rule 1147 were first proposed. At that time the CalAPA Environmental Committee mobilized a working group to evaluate and meet with SCAQMD. Over the last four years there have been numerous Working Group meetings, CalAPA meetings, and individual producer meetings with SCAQMD staff. It became apparent that the aggregate dryers had unique issues that required a separate rule. With decades of experience in aggregate dryers and rule develop the CalAPA subcommittee supplied SCAQMD with data to help with the evaluation and analysis necessary for the rule development. The development process did not slow down even when COVID restrictions prevented in person meetings and site visits. Working group meetings moved to ZOOM and members of the committee offered virtual tours of their facilities so staff could see the operation and the physical challenges that impeded some of the proposed NOx emission reduction strategies. The collaborative effort with SCAQMD allowed for productive discussions about feasibility of proposed limits and realistic solutions to reduced emissions for aggregate dryers. The result is proposed Rule 1147.1. The rule targets a NOx limit of 30 PPM measured at 3% O2 and a simultaneous limit for CO of 1000 PPM at 3% O2. For NOx this is 25% reduction from the current Rule 1147 limit. For CO the reduction is even greater as it achieves a 50% reduction from current rule requirements. For some RECLAIM facilities the reduction is even greater. RECLAIM plants have had the option to offset emissions with credits which has allowed their current burner to remain in operation. For some of these facilities the reduction in NOx will be as much as 70%. This level of reduction requires significant lead time for capital procurement, equipment redesign and installation. As a result, the rule provides a phase in schedule depending on the current NOx limit of the aggregate dryer burner and the age of the burner. Beginning in January of 2022 the phase in schedule will begin. It is anticipated that most of the emission reduction will be achieved by 2024 and much of it will be earlier. Once the upgrades have been implemented the burner will have to demonstrate compliance. California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

One of the most significant concessions that result from this rule is the initial and ongoing compliance demonstration requirements. Currently many facilities perform only initial compliance tests on their burners. RECLAIM facilities are also required to perform either annual or triennial testing. Rule 1147.1 will require an initial compliance demonstration and annual testing thereafter. Once a facility is subject to the new limit the initial compliance demonstration must be performed and annual testing must be maintained. Currently the 30-day public notice has been published for the August 9th AQMD board hearing and can be found on the districts calendar along with the draft rule. ( pr-1147-1-ph-8-30-2021.pdf?sfvrsn=8 ) After four years of work this rule is anticipated to be approved in its current format. Through the joint efforts of the Environmental Committee, AQMD staff and stake holders, Rule 1147.1 balances a fine line between achieving aggressive reductions needed by AQMD and realizing those reductions with proven and available control technologies. CA Scott Taylor is president of Taylor Environmental Services, Inc.

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MacRebur Southern California Helping to produce and enhance Hot Mix Asphalt while eliminating waste plastics By Brian Hoover

Left: Chris (left) and Rebeca Sparks at The Sparks Company Inc. facility in Vista. Below: Storage silos and mobile hopper at The Sparks Company, Inc. facilty in Vista.


he world's first fully synthetic plastic was Bakelite, invented in New York in 1907 by Leo Baekeland, who coined the term plastics. Made from materials like cellulose, coal, natural gas, and salt, the production of plastics begins with the distillation of crude oil in a refinery. Approximately 8% to 10% of our oil supply goes to manufacturing plastic, and 12 million barrels of oil are used each year here in the United States just for making plastic bags. It is also well documented that plastic can take many years to break down, with decomposition estimates of up to 450 years in landfills. It is estimated that by 2050, as much as 12 billion tons of waste plastic 28

will be taking up landfill space or generally polluting the world's natural environment. Over 300,000 tons of plastic are produced every year for use in a variety of applications. Now consider that 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year, equating to 80% of all marine debris. Thus, with each passing day, approximately 8,000 pieces of plastic make their way into the marine environment. Based on a 2015 plastics study by a U.S.based environmental group Ocean Conservancy, environmentalist Ellen MacArthur created a report and introduced her findings at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January of 2016.

“In a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight),” the report read. Most people would agree that keeping plastic out of our landfills and oceans is a good thing. The big question is what to do with the overwhelming tonnage we use and dispose of each year. People like Chris and Rebeca Sparks have stepped to the forefront of this pressing environmental issue. Chris has been involved in and around the asphalt paving industry since he was a toddler growing up in a home where asphalt and general construction were a “Daley” topic

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue




1: Chris Sparks directing waste plastics into the mobile hopper at a continuous feed / drum plant. 2 & 3: Precalibrated low-melt plastic bags at a batch plant. 4: Mobile hopper ready for pre-calibration prior to traveling to the asphalt plant.


of conversation. Chris went on to work and eventually became a partowner of California Commercial Asphalt (CCA), headquartered in San Diego and now part of the Lehigh Hanson Heidelberg Cement Group (the Daley family had been longtime owners of CCA, hence the “Daley topic of conversation” reference). “The idea of getting involved with the use of waste plastics in asphalt production originally resonated with Rebeca and me back in 2018. I worked as a part owner/sales manager at CCA when the subject of waste plastic came up with Gary Oshima, the Construction Commodity Manager at UCSD (University California San Diego),” says Chris. “MacRebur Limited had reached out to CCA to see if we were interested in paving a pilot road project at our Miramar asphalt plant. Then, UCSD contacted MacRebur to explore an opportunity to install plastic asphalt on a section of an ongoing campus project. As a result, we decided to work with UCSD, along with Southland Paving, to pave the first waste plastic asphalt roadway in the United States.” CCA manufactured three different waste plastic product types for the UCSD pilot project. “After the waste plastic asphalt roads were installed, Rebeca and I took a close look at the finished product. It just made sense from every standpoint. From

asphalt manufacturing, paving and the environment, to the fiscal and economic benefits, it just made perfect sense,” says Chris. “There was just too much there to ignore, and we knew that we had to take the next step and get more involved with this new product and technology.” Rebeca and Chris Sparks continued their talks with MacRebur Limited and eventually established a distributorship here in the United States. “We carried on in the distributor capacity for a while but found that we were really interested in bringing this new waste plastic technology to local markets right here in Southern California,” continues Chris. “So, we secured a material licensing agreement with MacRebur Limited that allowed us to use local waste plastic to manufacture and distribute the new waste plastics product in California.” MacRebur Southern California officially began producing plastic additives in the latter part of 2019. Rebeca Sparks worked in a consulting capacity for the Department of Defense. She was the PMW 170 SCN (Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy) financial consulting lead for the communication systems that went on SCN and RCOH (Refueling and Complex Overhaul) ships in the navy, in addition to some U.S. Coast

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

Guard vessels, the Missile Defense Agency, and the Virginia Class Submarines. “My background is very much in finance, and my initial question to Chris was, ‘Does this make sense from an asphalt perspective?’ Chris knows that there is always a new product or flavor of the month additive in this industry. It is natural for anyone to be skeptical about a new technology, I know we were before we experienced the product and installation firsthand,” says Rebeca. “For me, it is all about going back to that first day on the UCSD campus. I was holding our year-and-a-half-old daughter in my arms and watching as Southland Paving paved a new roadway with waste plastic additives. I remember thinking, wow, this could really make a difference. My hope is that one day I can reflect on that first day at UCSD and see that as the moment we became a tiny part of the solution to end the waste plastic epidemic. We want to do everything we can to assure that our children will be able to see the ocean as a beautiful and peaceful place, full of wonder and vast marine life. Not a body of water filled with more plastic than fish.” Chris and Rebeca Sparks have been married for nearly 12 years, and their combined skills and life experience work well together as 29

Left: Chris and Rebeca Sparks holding some MR6 product. Below: MR6 and MR8 ready for a ride to the asphalt plant instead of the landfill.

both business partners and parents. Rebeca has managed billion-dollar spend plans, while Chris brings years of experience and a vast knowledge base in both the asphalt production and paving industry. “MacRebur Limited provides the MacRebur Southern California branch of our company with the tools and technology needed to process, package, and distribute waste plastic additives to asphalt suppliers. They also provide us with the proprietary activator, which is a cross-linking polymer that allows the waste plastics to bond with the asphalt oil,” says Chris. “The MacRebur technology fits in well with the other branches of our company, The Sparks Company, Inc.” 30

MacRebur Southern California currently offers two primary products from waste plastics. Each product contains a carefully selected blend of polymers designed for the extension and enhancement of asphalt oils. Chris says that their first product is referred to as MR8 and is meant to replace a conventional, run-ofthe-mill Greenbook or equivalent Caltrans mix. Customers can expect a comparable performance that they would see in a conventional, non-polymer additive mix. Their other product offering is MR6 and is meant to stack up to polymermodified Hot Mix Asphalt. “Having been in the industry and worked with these types of materials, I can tell you that there are often issues

with availability, costs, and storage of polymer modified asphalt oils. Our product can replace a portion of traditional, neat asphalt oils and modify them to produce an asphalt that performs better than or equivalent to a polymer-modified asphalt, like a 76-22M for example,” says Chris. “Our products replace asphalt oil by 6 to 12 percent of total weight and offer an alternative to expensive modified oil with virgin polymers. Our products also allow for higher RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement) usage. So, we are saying that we have a product that can replace virgin oil, divert plastics from the ocean and landfills, reduce carbon emissions and allow for increased RAP. That all sounds great. [ Continued on page 32 ]

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue


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Right: Waste plastic being loaded into the MacRebur mixing unit.

Left: Waste plastic feedstock ready to be made into plastic additive.

[ Continued from page 30 ]

Right? Does it cost more? No. Is it difficult to manufacture? No. Putting our personal bias aside, there is no reason why we should not be using this product regularly in asphalt paving products.” No matter how good a product or idea may be, it always seems to take education and time to achieve acceptance. Rebeca points out that her company, The Sparks Company, Inc, has completed massive amounts of testing with reams of data that prove the success and viability of the MacRebur Southern California branch. “We strive to get this data and information to people in a way that they can comfortably understand. It can get confusing at times where people ask us if we are supplying an asphalt additive, rejuvenator, or oil replacement. We explain that it is all three. We want to remain open to thoughts, opinions, and even opposition. We want to hear from other members of CalAPA and those with experience in our industry. Chris' dad, Don Daley Jr., has an office here at our facility, and we pick his brain all the time because why wouldn't we?” says Rebeca. “Our waste plastic technology plays so nicely with 32

everything else that is available on the market today. We are not in competition with virgin oil suppliers or other sustainable efforts like RAP. We offer a product that can complement these other businesses and product lines.” Don L. Daley Jr., it should be noted, is a “Life” member of CalAPA and was inducted by his peers into the association’s Hall of Fame. MacRebur Southern California operates out of a 7,000 square foot facility in Vista. The company keeps its feedstock inside and sorted by polymer type. The processing equipment includes a large computer-controlled scale mixer, transfer lines, storage and feeding silos, and other support equipment like high-reach forklifts and loaders. Chris explains that they keep their waste plastic additives in the dry process. “We mix the plastic with the proprietary activator and bag it into a supersack or pre-calibrated low melt bags,” says Chris. “The final product is offered in a flake ground form that mixes homogeniously within the asphalt production process. Grinding into flakes maximizes our surface area, lowers density, and increases

the efficiency of interaction with asphalt oils.” MacRebur Southern California is still in the early stages but is currently supplying MR6 and MR8 products for several private and public works projects. “We have been written into spec on a surface road project that is going out to bid for Oakland International Airport. Also, through the assistance of CalAPA, we have been approached by Caltrans to identify a pilot project, and we are currently meeting with engineers to determine the most appropriate candidate,” says Chris. “Our product is primarily being utilized by private companies and agencies, along with property owners at this point. We are also proud to have our waste plastic additives on several shopping centers and office park paving projects, in addition to other property management projects. We are working with a few local paving contractors, with Black Diamond Paving at the forefront, which are now using our waste plastic additives as their primary asphalt product.” MacRebur Southern California has also supplied material to Brookfield

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

Homes and Brookfield Property Asset Management, which did a pilot project with them through a Lehigh Hanson asphalt plant in Bakersfield. “Lehigh Hanson has been an integral part of getting this technology off the ground in Southern California. Ryan Merritt and Matt Pound have been visionaries in diverse areas of asphalt sustainability, and having their support in MacRebur products has been no exception. Rebeca and I are both extremely grateful for Lehigh’s excitement, acceptance and implementation of our technology,” says Chris. Rebeca has a particular project that is near and dear to her heart. Cardiff Elementary was getting ready to pave a road using a conventional mix, but Rebeca got wind of the project and made an appointment for a sit-down. “I believe our CalAPA executive director, Russell Snyder, calls us the 'plastic evangelists,' and that is

not too far from the truth,” laughed Rebeca. “We preach the benefits of our products to anyone that will listen.” She respectfully asked Cardiff Elementary to consider using their waste plastic additive for their upcoming paving project. Rebeca explained that there would be no additional cost, no additional training, and no difference in the final product. “Cardiff Elementary agreed to use our product, and with that decision, they were able to divert all 17 teachers’ plastic waste footprint by more than an entire year, continues Rebeca.” Rebeca further explains that this was just the first of two phases, so the benefits only increased by just picking up the phone and requesting that CCA use the MacRebur product. “The way we live today is not sustainable, and our young and bright future generations can make a big difference,” concludes Rebeca. “I want these young people to get inspired for our

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

environment. I would challenge them all to find their own ‘plastic asphalt’ “aha!” moment that can make a difference in our world.” MacRebur Southern California is a part of The Sparks Company, Inc., which is also the parent organization for Chris and Rebeca’s other businesses, which include Ocean Paving & Sealing and GuardTop Vista Express. MacRebur Southern California offers tours of their facility on the last Wednesday of every month. Please visit their website at for more details or call their Vista headquarters at (619) 994-2501. They can be reached via e-mail at: CA Brian Hoover is co-owner of Construction Marketing Services, LLC, and editor of CalContractor Magazine.


CalAPA engages Legislature on plastic-inasphalt bills By Russell W. Snyder

A bill was introduced this legislative session in Sacramento seeking to promote the use of recycled plastic in asphalt, and it immediately became one of CalAPA’s top legislative priorities for the year. The bill, SB580, by state Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, was inspired by two environmental organizations at Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista, Calif. (San Diego County). “As a leader on environmental justice issues, California is uniquely positioned to innovate the transportation industry by introducing new technology that could revolutionize the way we look at recycled plastic,” Hueso said in an April 13 press release announcing the bill. “This bill would simultaneously address two of our state’s most pervasive issues – reducing our plastic waste and fixing our roads.” CalAPA’s Legislative Committee and Environmental Committee closely reviewed the legislation, and also sought guidance from the National Asphalt Pavement Association and the Asphalt Institute, CalAPA partners. As the voice of the asphalt industry in California, CalAPA’s position carries a lot of weight in the Legislature on issues related to asphalt, roads and infrastructure funding. On the one hand, the asphalt industry is proud of its record on recycling. Asphalt is the world’s most recycled product, and CalAPA has advocated for changes in specifications at the local and state level in California to increase the percentage of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) permitted in asphalt mixes used for public works. 34

CalAPA also was a prominent supporter of AB812, legislation carried in 2010 by thenAssemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, to promote more RAP usage in California. Ma, now California State Treasurer, posted to social media earlier this year her fond recollections of carrying AB812 and CalAPA’s support. More than 4.1 million tons of RAP were used in California in 2019, and an additional 18,000 tons of Recycled Asphalt Shingles were used in asphalt mixes, according to a report by NAPA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). In addition, the use of rubber from reclaimed tires in California also is in widespread use in the state. CalAPA delivered a presentation Feb. 8 to a committee of CalRecycle (the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery) about the use of rubber from discarded tires in asphalt, known as RHMA (Rubberized Hot Mix Asphalt). During that presentation CalAPA noted that the use of recycled tires in asphalt pavements in California “is by far the most successful reuse

initiative of its kind in America.” The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the largest consumer of asphalt in the state, recently reported that 46 percent of Caltrans asphalt pavements include CRM (Crumb Rubber Modifier), consuming the equivalent of 5.5 million tires that otherwise might end up in landfills. With a proven track record of incorporating recycling and sustainability in its operations, there was naturally a high degree of interest in the concept of utilizing recycled plastic in asphalt by the asphalt industry in California as well as nationally. CalAPA worked closely with the Caltrans Division of Pavements on a pilot project utilizing recycled plastic in asphalt that was conducted in Oroville in 2020 along a 1,000foot stretch of Highway 162, and reported on the project in the association’s weekly newsletter, the California Asphalt Insider. Tom Pyle, the chief of the Office of Asphalt Pavement for Caltrans, has been closely monitoring various plastic-in-asphalt applications [ Continued on page 36 ]

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

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California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue



[ Continued from page 34 ]

and research, and was closely involved in the pilot project in Oroville. "The plasticized pavement is being investigated to understand the construction, material and environmental characteristics that could make it a specialized tool in the department’s options to repair pavements," he told CalAPA in 2020. CalAPA’s position on the use of recycled plastic in asphalt, which is in alignment with the position of the National Asphalt Pavement Association, is that the concept merits additional study to ensure all performance and environmental impacts of incorporating recycled plastic in mixes is understood. CalAPA opposed a previous bill in the Legislature last session, SB1238, that it deemed too prescriptive and the bill did not advance to the governor’s desk. The chief concern, CalAPA said then, was understanding how plastic in asphalt would perform, and ensuring that there were no unintended safety or environmental consequences from incorporating a new material, recycled plastic, into asphalt, which is produced at high temperatures and is already highly regulated by air quality regulators. CalAPA took a similar position this year, when a similar bill, SB580, was reintroduced in the Legislature. Meanwhile, the association continued to gather and disseminate information to the industry to raise everyone’s awareness of the state of the technology, applications and the latest research. CalAPA hosted a technical webinar on March 3. The webinar featured Richard Willis, Ph.D., Vice President for Engineering, Research & Technology for NAPA, providing a national perspective on the use of plastics in asphalt, as well as presentations from Chris Sparks, CEO of CalAPA member company MacRebur, and Rebecca Sparks, COO of the company, on their experience utilizing recycled plastic 36

products on various projects in Southern California. On the legislative front, however, the association did express concerns, with an early version of SB580, which the association deemed still too prescriptive for a paving technology that is still relatively early in the development stage. CalAPA’s initial position on SB580 was “oppose unless amended.” “While we believe the concept of utilizing recycled plastic in asphalt pavements merits further study, we are concerned that references to the development of specifications in your bill is very premature given the evolving nature of our understanding of how asphalt mixes that incorporate recycled plastic will perform in the field, any potential environmental and safety implications (such as occupational hazards, emissions, etc.) and longterm implications for the potential reuse of asphalt pavements that have reached the end of their service life,” CalAPA said in its March 24 letter to the author’s office. The author’s staff worked closely with CalAPA’s advocate, Jeff Sievers, and the association offered amendments that would make the bill less prescriptive and call for additional study on the concept. When the author accepted CalAPA’s amendments, the association on April 20 withdrew its opposition to the bill. "We appreciate Senator Hueso's consideration and adoption of our amendments to his bill," Sievers said. "His staff worked closely with us to understand our concerns and help us improve the language in the bill allowing us to remove our opposition." Meanwhile, various environmental groups came forward to raise additional concerns about the legislation, and it was temporarily pulled from committee consideration while the author met with various constituency groups to address their concerns. No further hearing dates on the bill had been scheduled

by the time the Legislature adjourned for its Summer recess. The National Asphalt Pavement Association, meanwhile, continues to advocate for funding to be included in federal infrastructure legislation to pay for additional research into the safe and economical use of recycled plastic in asphalt pavements. As a recent NAPA publication directed to elected officials put it: “As we move forward to determine if it is responsible to recycle plastic in asphalt pavements, we must focus on three things: patience, partnerships, and communication. We must know that answers will not come overnight, but through working together and sharing our successes and failures, the industry will be able to more fully understand how recycled plastics in asphalt mixtures might impact our infrastructure in the long-term.” CA Russell W. Snyder, CAE, is executive director of the California Asphalt Pavement Association (CalAPA). REFERENCES: Snyder, R. (2021) New plastics-in-asphalt resources published in advance of upcoming CalAPA envir-tech webinar. California Asphalt Insider newsletter, Vol. 14, Issue 8, Feb. 22, 2021. Snyder, R. (2020) The latest pilot project utilizing recycled plastic in asphalt takes shape in Northern California. California Asphalt Insider newsletter, Vol. 13, Issue 30, Aug. 3. 2020. National Asphalt Pavement Association “Plastics in Asphalt” web page of resources: expertise/engineering/plastics-inasphalt Wright, F. (2015, September 8). FHWA Recycled Materials Policy. Federal Highway Administration. directives/policy/recmatpolicy.htm

California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue



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California Asphalt Magazine • 2021 Environmental Issue

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Above and right: Competitive Asphalt Coatings, Inc. using their brand new LeeBoy 8520B “Raised On Blacktop” special edition heavy-commercial asphalt paver to pave Best Buy’s parking lot in Riverside. Competitive Asphalt Coatings, Inc. was established in 2005 and started as an asphalt maintenance and repair company that performed a lot of sealcoat and striping. The company grew into the commercial paving business and is now focused primarily on private construction work. Located in Redlands and owned by Lars Ingerslev, the company performs their asphalt work on a variety of projects, including retail centers, parking lots and for a long list of property management companies. The company recently took delivery of a very special paving machine from Nixon-Egli Equipment Co., the LeeBoy 8520B heavy-commercial asphalt paver. Known as the “Raised On Blacktop” special edition paver, the LeeBoy 8520B was designed with input from a paving contractor, and pays tribute to family-owned paving companies everywhere. This machine is “special” in every way. From the gray paint scheme, and red embroidered operators’ seat, to the numerous stylized decals and logos, this unit is really something to behold. The 8520B represents the third LeeBoy paver that Competitive Asphalt Coatings has purchased from Nixon-Egli. “If you ask my crews, it is the power that impresses them most concerning our new LeeBoy 8520B paver,” says Ingerslev. “This machine can push trucks, and with its larger sized auger, it can easily put down 1,000 tons per day.” Ingerslev points out that his 16-year business enterprise is currently thriving, and he recognizes and commends his amazing paving, seal coat and striping teams for the amazing success. “The best part of purchasing this special edition LeeBoy paver is seeing the look on my crews faces when working on and around this machine. It is not just the special amenities and incredible paint job. Our operators also appreciate the amazing technology and advancements that come with our new LeeBoy 8520B “Raised On Blacktop” special edition. “Nixon-Egli’s sales representative, Matt Mendenhall, has been great to work with on this unique purchase. We were visiting Nixon-Egli’s service department when we got our first look at the LeeBoy 8520B paver. I was very interested but was told that the machine had been sold. Matt called me two days later and said that he had a 8520B “Raised on Blacktop” special edition that will be delivered in September. I said let me think about it. He called me 12 hours later because there were other customers that were interested in purchasing the machine. I said, ‘I’ll take it.’ Matt surprised me and said, ‘Well it’s here come and get it.’ Matt helped us secure great financing options and the entire transaction went very smoothly,” concludes Ingerslev. “I have been going back to Nixon-Egli for machines, service and parts since I purchased my first roller from them 15-years ago. We’ve always been able to rely on Nixon-Egli and their entire sales, parts and service teams. We look forward to working with Nixon-Egli for many years to come.”

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