Asphalt, a highly porous substance made up mostly of carbon, is the most commonly used material for building construction in the U.S. But the industry is being battered by climate change, and a lack of oversight.
Asphalt is now being installed on new roads in New York City and other cities, and new roads are being built on the outskirts of many major cities.
But it is being used on some of the country’s dirtiest roads, and it is also being sprayed on more than half of the nation’s roads in the next few years.
In an interview, CBC News asked what the industry needs to do to fix the problems, as well as how to prevent future pollution.
What’s at stake?
In the short term, the asphalt supply is at risk.
“If we’re not careful, this could have an impact on the industry as a whole,” said Brian Flemming, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Contractors.
“We have to get this right.
“There’s no silver bullet, but you can’t get around it.” “
And that could create an impact in terms of public health, and there’s a whole range of things that can happen that will affect public health,” he said.
“There’s no silver bullet, but you can’t get around it.”
A few areas that have suffered serious impacts are in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
In Philadelphia, the state Department of Transportation has issued orders to cut off asphalt on more of its roads by 2020, and Pennsylvania is facing the potential of a state shutdown as early as December if it does not do so.
The city of Philadelphia has also received federal approval to begin construction of a new asphalt plant.
“It’s going to be an extremely challenging year,” Flemning said.
The federal approval could mean millions of dollars of additional federal investment in asphalt construction.
And that could be a big problem.
In New York, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has been pushing hard to upgrade the asphalt infrastructure, and the agency has given $20 million in grants to the Pennsylvania association of asphalt contractors.
That money is intended to help the Pennsylvania asphalt contractors get projects started quickly.
The state is also asking the federal government for more money to pay for road repairs, but the state has said it is unlikely to receive the money until after the Pennsylvania deadline.
Flemings says the federal grants are the main way the state can save money on the asphalt.
“Our biggest concern is that we don.t get it in the short-term, but we also don’t want to go down that road of going from zero to five percent of the industry,” he says.
“But the reality is we need to get it right.”
The asphalt industry has a lot to fix First things first, says John Lefler, president and CEO of the Association of American Pipefitters.
“What we need is a lot more investment,” he told CBC News.
And he added that the industry must be able to take a lot longer to repair the roads that are affected. “
In the meantime, we’ve got to do it with a certain level of caution,” Lefling said.
And he added that the industry must be able to take a lot longer to repair the roads that are affected.
“That’s where the federal assistance is really important, because if we’re in a position where we don, then we can’t take the long-term advantage and be able get the job done,” he added.
What is the industry doing to fix problems?
A lot of work has been done, and some experts believe the industry has taken a huge step in the right direction.
“They’ve actually been taking steps that are helping,” said Leflers.
“A lot of these issues are not going to go away, but they’re not going away because of the federal dollars.”
He said the federal agencies are paying for the asphalt, and are not the only ones to do that.
“The state is doing it with their own money, and then they’ve got the federal money to do the work,” Leseber said.
Lefers said that the federal funding is being given through the Community Reinvestment Act, a federal law that was passed to help rebuild the country after the Great Depression.
But that money is being funneled to private contractors to help them get their projects off the ground.
“One of the problems that we’ve had in the asphalt business is that contractors are not taking on that role,” Lesber said, referring to the federal program.
“All of a sudden, we’re talking about $5 million for a project and then we’re going to spend that on the contractor and then you’re just going to see the contractor not doing it, which is kind of a disincentive.”
Leferman said that is not a good solution.
“Because the federal aid is just helping private contractors out, and that’s just not the right solution