By Mary Lou Jay
Each year, the National Asphalt Pavement Association’s (NAPA) Ecological Awards recognize hot mix asphalt (HMA) production facilities that best demonstrate safe and responsible environmental practices.
They have a well-planned layout, clean operation, good maintenance practices, and a commitment to their communities.
In addition, they have owners, managers and employees who take pride in their workplaces and in their company’s commitment to the environment. Shelly & Sands is one such winner from West Virginia in the Existing HMA Facility category.
When Shelly & Sands bought the HMA facility in Weirton, WV, it faced a difficult public relations battle. The plant, now known as Carl Kelly Paving, is highly visible, located on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River.
The previous owner had not maintained the property well, and as a result area residents and authorities took turns complaining about the noise and the dust at the facility. A local Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official, concerned about stack emissions and fugitive dust, was very concerned about the plant’s operations.
The senior management of Shelly & Sands understood these concerns, since the condition of the facility did not meet its own standards of operation and cleanliness. It immediately embarked upon a cleanup operation that in two years has turned around not only the way that the plant operates, but also the attitudes of the community.
The plant originally operated with a baghouse and two silos. Shelly & Sands built a new wet wash system to better control the plant’s stack emissions, as well as a third silo with a smoke recovery system to capture emissions generated by the truck loadout process.
The company replaced the burner with a new system to eliminate noise pollution. It graded and paved the entire plant and added an asphalt berm to control storm water runoff.
To add visual appeal Shelly & Sands painted the plant in its trademark beige and brown colors and erected a giant American flag. Extensive landscaping at the site included an entrance framed with flowering pear trees, and a perimeter outlined with carpet-quality sod and arborvitaes, black-eyed Susans, and day lilies.
The outstanding improvements have won praise from city and environmental officials as well as community residents. The city of Weirton even awarded a commendation to Shelly & Sands for the improvements that it had made to the plant.
“We were bound and determined to make this happen,” said Jerry Taylor, Shelly & Sands vice president. “We work to make our plants nice for our employees as well as for the community’s residents.”
(Reprinted by permission of the National Asphalt Pavement Association from the March/April issue of “HMAT” magazine.)