Environmental Leader: Blythe Asphalt Plant Recognized by NAPA for Sustainability

April 22, 2019

Blythe Construction’s Concord asphalt plant on Poplar Tent Road has been selected by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) as a semi-finalist for the Environmental Leadership Award.

One of the most prestigious sustainability-focused awards of its kind in the US, the Environmental Leadership Award uses a rigorous two-year evaluation process to recognize the highest-performing asphalt plants in the country. Selection of the Concord plant as a semi-finalist reflects Blythe’s ongoing commitment to preserving natural resources in our communities and building a sustainable future.

To qualify for the award, asphalt plants must first receive the Diamond Achievement Commendation from NAPA, which covers operational aspects ranging from plant appearance and safety, to overall regulatory compliance and community relations. Additionally, there is a sustainability component that gauges a facility’s effectiveness at implementing its environmental goals. Only plants which have received a Diamond Achievement Commendation are eligible to be selected for Environmental Leadership Award, and only those that demonstrate exceptional sustainability practices are chosen as semi-finalists.

Selection of the Concord plant as a semi-finalist reflects Blythe’s ongoing commitment to preserving natural resources in our communities and building a sustainable future.

All six Blythe-owned asphalt plants within the Charlotte area currently hold NAPA Diamond Achievement Commendations. Plants Manager Steve Nearhood says that each is exceptionally well run and focused on the environmental concerns, and the Concord plant is especially deserving of being chosen as a semi-finalist.

“Blythe holds all of its asphalt plants to the same strict standards,” he says. “Individually, any one of them could have been chosen. The Concord plant just went above and beyond in terms of its operations.” Nearhood credits Concord Plant Foreman David Fleming and his team for their hard work and their tireless commitment to excellence in every aspect of their operations.

Environmental focus has increasingly become a priority within Blythe’s operational practices. According to Allen Hendricks, Vice President of Asphalt Operations, approximately 35 percent of total paving material used in 2018 was reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), and Blythe is developing new sustainable practices constantly. Hendricks points to the increased use of Recyflex, a cutting-edge base material consisting of 50 percent RAP material, as further evidence of its environmental commitment. Recyflex is currently being implemented on the shoulders of I-85 in Cabarrus Co., and is produced onsite at the Concord plant.

Additional application materials for the Environmental Leadership Award have been requested and will be submitted to NAPA in the fall of this year. If selected, Blythe Construction will be presented with the award at association’s 2020 Annual Meeting in Maui, Hawaii.