In good news for taxpayers, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) said 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 the association’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 also are reclaimed and recycled as new pavement product.