C&D World speakers discuss regulatory progress

The past year has seen quite a bit of progress made on the regulatory and legislative front for those in the construction and demolition (C&D) recycling industry, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) Final Rule and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Crystalline Silica Rule.

During the 2016 C&D World, the annual meeting of the Milwaukee-based Construction and Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA) held in San Jose, California, in early May, Gary Sondermeyer, vice president of operations for Bayshore Recycling, Keasbey, New Jersey, called the NHSM rule “the most significant [rule] in the history or our association.”

The rule was proposed in 2012. The CDRA joined a consortium of trade associations and hired outside services to help get its message to regulators.

“Our industry and the viability of our business was at stake,” says Sondermeyer. The rule could have prevented C&D wood from being used as fuel, one of the industry’s largest end markets for the material. He said the entire rulemaking team toured nearby Broadrun Recycling, a C&D recycling facility in Manassas, Virginia, in 2013, and it changed regulators’ minds.

He called it a jaw-dropping experience for regulators, one of whom said, “It really is fuel.”

“I firmly believe that this rule was changed from that visit to Broad Run Recycling,” he told attendees.

Jay Behnke, president, STATE Testing, East Dundee, Illinois, and director of Behnke Materials in Wisconsin, compared the two states’ departments of transportation (DOT).

He said Wisconsin operates like most states where the DOT sets standard and everyone else follows. Chicago DOT is a progressive agency and the Illinois Tollway system’s program has led to the greenest reconstruction of a tollway in the entire United States, he noted.

C&D World was May 1-3 at the Doubletree by Hilton in San Jose, California.