The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Dec. 19 decision not to regulate fly ash, a byproduct of coal combustion to produce electricity, as a “hazardous material” will save American taxpayers $105 billion over the next 20 years.
That, research by ARTBA’s foundation found, would be the additional cost to build roads, bridges and airport runways if fly ash, widely recycled as a pavement mix additive, was not available as a building material.
The EPA’s rule will be setting new requirements for the storage of fly ash.
ARTBA has been actively engaged in the regulatory and legislative debate in Washington over fly ash since 2007 and applauded the decision as a “win-win” for both the taxpayer and the environment.
The association notes the U.S. transportation construction sector is one of the most prolific recyclers in the world. In addition to recycling over 8 million tons of fly ash annually as a pavement additive, road base or structural embankment fill, 70 million tons of asphalt pavement are also reclaimed and recycled as new pavement product.