EPA Compliance Using diesel fuel on truck beds and at the lay down site is a thing of the past. Paving contractors, state, city, and council departments are now forced to look for alternative methods.

There are regulatory considerations at work when using diesel fuel, kerosene and petroleum based asphalt solvents. Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has been implementing it with their usual hard hitting approach. Violations can result in fines up-to $25000.00 per day per violation. The resulting fines could easily put a contractor out of business altogether.

 Australian Environmental Legislation - Clean Waters Act 1970

 Protection of the Environment Operations Act, 1997 (POEO Act) 

 What the Act requires under s 96(3A) of the POEO Act?

 Pollution of waters under s120 of the POEO Act?

The above Public Law prohibit discharge of diesel or related substances on the ground. These Public Law relate to paving industry, and are the reasons why it is no longer permissible to use diesel fuel to clean equipment with or as a release agent.

These Public Law language has been placed in several other laws, including state laws, and has been subject to a wide variety of interpretations. Literature by the major petrochemical producers indicates that petroleum distillate fractions, even with some modification of the chemical structure, are still considered “oils” under these Acts. Therefore, diesel fuel being a fuel oil, is considered an oil under these Acts.

As anyone working with asphalt knows, asphalt sticks to tools & equipment when cooled. It must be removed by dissolving it in a solvent. Anyone with field experience also knows, it is impossible to prevent spillage of the solvent while doing paving operations. This has significant regulatory implications.

For those in paving industry, the bottom line is that any unused chemicals are waste. There are five ways that a waste can be said to be hazardous. If a waste is:

Flammable: Flash point <52° C

Corrosive: Corrodes steel or pH outside 2 – 12.5 range.

Reactive: React when mixed with water or chemical 

instability:   Generate heat or explode. 

Toxic:  Contains toxic materials above specified limits.

Listed:  Under hazardous waste.

Regulatory Implications for the Paving Industry:

Below given issues are reporting requirements. This would be required for every facility that generates hazardous waste:

 Proper training of paving crews to handle diesel fuel.

 Type of containers it is stored.

 Length of time diesel can be stored.

 Paperwork documenting all facets of the handling process.

 Spill prevention control and countermeasure handling process.

 Contingency plan, waste minimisation plan, hazardous waste job analysis. 

 There are also strict requirements on transportation of diesel.

How Does Diesel Fuel Affect the Paving Industry?

Under SARA Act (Superfund Amendments Reauthorization Act) has a regulatory implication under “joint and several” liability associated with landfills that become Superfund Clean-up sites. All parties that put hazardous wastes into the landfill become proportionately liable for the clean-up costs if it becomes a Superfund clean-up site.

Since diesel fuel and petroleum solvents has flashpoint below 53°C becomes hazardous wastes when discarded. Therefore, even if the wastes are collected and disposed of to a landfill, there is a risk of liability to the user down the road. This is another reason for pavers not to use diesel fuel or petroleum solvents.

Under CERCLA Act (Comprehensive Environmental Responses Compensation and Liability Act of 1980) is another regulatory issue.

It primarily deals with emergency spills or releases, ordering the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) to designate hazardous substances and reportable quantities for spills of the designated hazardous substances.

Materials that are hazardous by reason of Flashpoint are listed as CERCLA hazardous substances. 

The most likely way a chemical used by the paving industry could be defined as hazardous waste is if it is ignitable. For this reason, the flashpoint of chemicals bought for various applications such as lubrication, cleaning etc. becomes important.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is now starting to enforce environmental laws much more aggressively. 

You can avoid EPA fines by using Pavertrend™, which meets all environmental regulations as a non-hazardous waste. It contains no petroleum or other hazardous ingredients and has a high flash point. Here’s what you should know about the Environmental Regulations:

• The use of diesel fuel for asphalt removal and as a release agent is no longer Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) compliant.

• Discharge of petroleum or fractions thereof is prohibited by the Australian Clean Waters Act 1970.

• State Departments of Transportation are forbidding contractors from using diesel fuel on State jobs.

• Bitud’solv™, DragChain™, Fortknox™, Pavertrend™ flash point is above >125°C and therefore not considered a hazardous waste according to EPA (Environmental Protection Authority)