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City environmental program gets business buy-in

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The city of Springfield’s Environmental Services Department has businesses on board for its new project called the Clean Pavement Initiative.

CoxHealth, Mercy, Missouri State University and Springfield Striping & Sealing committed to the program designed to reduce the use of coal tar-based sealant that coats pavement in parking lots and driveways, according to a news release.

The Clean Pavement Initiative calls on businesses and individuals to instead use asphalt-based sealants, which according to the city, contain lower levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that can impact aquatic life in the area’s streams.

“CoxHealth is proud to be in the forefront of this environmental issue,” said Rod Schaffer, vice president of facilities management for the health care system, in the release. “We reached out to Springfield Striping & Sealing and worked together with manufacturers in Kansas City to figure out the right alternative formula for our parking lots. CoxHealth has been using this asphalt-based product for six years with good results.”

Multiple Springfield streams are designated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as “impaired” due to high levels of the hydrocarbons in sediment. City officials say the stream impairments are a source of one of the largest potential unfunded environmental mandates it faces. If regulations continue, the city could be forced to push more funding to address the problem. City spokeswoman Cora Scott said the municipality doesn’t currently have an estimate of those costs.

“Water quality should be a concern for everyone,” Springfield Striping & Sealing owner Joe Manzardo said in the release. “I’m glad we have an opportunity to offer an asphalt-based option to our customers.”

For participating in the Clean Pavement Initiative, businesses will receive parking lot signage recognizing their environmental pledge. Individuals will receive yard plaques.

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