Why You Should Quit Cleaning With Diesel
It’s Time to Quit Cleaning with Diesel Fuel
For years diesel fuel was the industry standard for cleaning asphalt off of tools and paving equipment. Many paving crews still use it today despite EPA regulations and known safety hazards. Switching from a solution that’s been used for years and seems to get the job done may be hard, but the payoff is worth it. It’s important to recognize that continuing to use diesel fuel is hurting the paving industry and businesses in the long run. Not only does it show a disregard for environmental and legal standards, but it also overlooks an alternative that actually works better than diesel. Let’s take a look at why diesel was outlawed in the first place and why switching to a better alternative pays off.
Environmental & Safety Regulations
The Resource Conservation and Recovery (RCRA) Act of 1976 made the use of diesel fuel as an asphalt remover and release agent illegal. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) further strengthens the government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills. These acts are under the umbrella of the EPA. State and Federal DOTs have forbidden contractors from using diesel fuel on state and federal jobs.1
To regulators, using diesel fuel to clean construction equipment is essentially the same as an oil spill. The “spilled” fuel does not biodegrade and eventually makes its way into storm drains and waterways. This pollution not only harms the environment, but also contaminates drinking water. Heavy fines have been put in place ranging up to several million dollars.2 With the amount of time that has passed since it was first outlawed and the plethora of information on the environmental hazards of diesel fuel, pleading ignorance is no longer an excuse for paving crews.
Contrary to popular belief, diesel fuel is not the most effective method of keeping tools clean from asphalt. The perceived cost savings of using diesel are short sighted as well. Diesel fuel has a low flashpoint meaning…
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