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Environmental Impact

Asphalt Environmental ImpactThink asphalt is just another industry with no regard for the environment? Consider this amazing fact: Over the past 40 years, asphalt plants in the U.S. increased production by more than 250 percent, but reduced total emissions by 97 percent. Asphalt plant emissions are very low and well-controlled, as has been verified by extensive air quality testing.

As early as 1973, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established New Source Performance Standards, setting strict emission guidelines and requiring control systems to prevent the release of dust and smoke into the air. The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) led the way for a rigorous research program about asphalt plant emissions.

The EPA conducted its own independent study of asphalt facilities over six years during the 1990s. NAPA and member companies cooperated closely with EPA throughout the process. As a result of this research, in 2002, the EPA acknowledged that hot mix asphalt facilities are not a major source of emissions and actually removed asphalt plants from its list of major sources of hazardous air pollutants. Experts in the field say that few, if any, industries have been evaluated as thoroughly as the asphalt industry.

Read more about the environmental research on asphalt plants.


Approximately 300,000 people in the U.S. are employed by the asphalt industry.

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