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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: May 17, 2013 09:42 AM
From: Senator Kim L. Ward and Sen. Elder A. Vogel, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Memo #24 - Use of Steel and Blast Furnace Slag as an Aggregate in Road Construction Projects

In the near future, Senator Vogel and I intend to introduce legislation that will encourage the beneficial use of steel and blast furnace slag as an aggregate in road construction projects throughout the Commonwealth.

When metal ores, such as iron or copper, are first extracted from the earth, other metals are often found mixed in. During the smelting process, these other metals are separated and removed. Slag is the collection of compounds that are removed during this process.

Slag is used as a reliable, versatile and cost-effective road construction aggregate, which is a material that adds strength and reinforcement to concrete and asphalt. It has been used by PennDOT engineering districts throughout the Commonwealth for over 50 years, as well as throughout the United States and in several other countries with steel production. As a manufactured product that helps preserve natural resources, slag supports environmental responsibility and stewardship for Pennsylvania.

Despite its widespread use, in recent years some PennDOT engineering districts have used the procurement process to exclude slag as a road construction aggregate. This effort has already triggered job losses, including a reduction of over 50% of the workforce at one Pennsylvania-based steel service firm.

In order to rectify this situation, our bill will simply direct PennDOT to develop a uniform policy regarding the use of blast furnace and steel slag aggregates that will be implemented equally throughout the Commonwealth. Our bill does not mandate the use of slag, but will direct PennDOT not to specifically exclude the use of slag aggregates from the procurement process. By doing this we will simply restore the status quo throughout Pennsylvania and memorialize current policy.

Our bill is supported by the Pennsylvania Steel Alliance and the National Slag Association.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our offices at 717-787-6063 (Ward) or 717-787-3076 (Vogel).

Introduced as SB1006