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13 April 2024

Environment agency to tackle harmful effects of asphalt manufacturing

By Wam

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, EAD, has extended its Eltezam compliance campaign to target the damaging effects of asphalt production in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Eltezam (meaning compliance in English) is ensuring adherence to environmental laws as part of a continued focus on industrial manufacturing. The asphalt industry represents the fourth phase of the campaign, with prior attention centring on the Ready-Mix, Fiberglass and Metal Coating sectors.

Asphalt is a high-viscosity black oil substance extracted through the process of crude oil distillation, which is the main material used in paving roads and runways. The manufacturing of asphalt includes the storing, drying and mixing of raw materials that can emit dust and other fine particles, potentially also producing carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide -- products that may be hazardous to the environment and human health. The effects can further cause soil contamination and contribute to industrial waste.

The Eltezam Campaign aims to prevent or reduce the negative impact of urbanisation on the environment, by ensuring compliance to local environmental laws, international standards and best practice. EAD will carry out routine inspections to determine facility compliance using a specialised computer software tool, monitoring any regulatory violations. Inspectors will review all appropriate records, systems, equipment and licenses, issuing a recommendation report for any breaches. Inspection of the asphalt manufacturing facilities is set to begin early next year.

Ahmed Al Waheebi, Unit Head, Environmental Compliance and Audit, Environment Quality Sector at EAD, said, "With Abu Dhabi undergoing rapid urban development, the Eltezam campaign is trying to ensure the emirate is built with sustainability at the core of its considerations. With a renewed emphasis on safer asphalt manufacturing processes, we hope to raise greater awareness and reduce any related adverse environmental effects."

EAD recently held a workshop for representatives from 16 asphalt manufacturing facilities to reinforce the specific requirements in obtaining the relevant environmental permits. This information is also available online to help asphalt manufacturers stay up-to-date on the latest environmental procedures and guidelines.