There’s no need to pave roads to protect local water sources when you have access to Midwest’s dust control products and services.
Arkansas has long been associated with the rustic beauty of its rural landscapes, from the famous Ozark Mountain Range to the Arkansas Timberlands and Mississippi River. The state’s official nickname is “The Natural State,” reflecting the importance of the wilderness to its collective identity. The state’s infrastructure also reflects this mindset, as “more than 85% of rural roads in Arkansas are unpaved,” according to a report from Ammoland.
While unpaved, these roads are actually key elements of the state’s economic backbone, servicing the agriculture, oil and gas, forestry, and outdoor recreation industries. Beyond its central economic role, Arkansas’ network of unpaved roads also connects thousands of residential areas, providing citizens with essential access to their homes.
This network has long served communities across the state, but there has been growing concern recently over the unpaved roads’ potentially negative impact on the environment. Some environmentalists and members of the state legislature have noted that these roadways can pollute crucial water sources like streams and lakes, as sediment from the roads runs off into these bodies of water.
Of particular concern are the state’s stream crossings, where unpaved roads pass over these diminutive bodies of waters. At these crossings, sediment — rocks and dust in particular — can easily fall into the water, mix with the streams, and damage entire ecosystems, altering native habitats and hydrology. The damage can have a lasting impact on the state’s entire natural landscape, permanently shifting the streams’ natural direction and movement.
In response to these concerns, the state legislature has passed the Arkansas Unpaved Roads Program, which aims to protect Arkansas’ waters by funding efforts to pave dirt and gravel roads. Another impetus for the bill’s passing is the protection of aquatic species, some of which have been put on endangered species lists by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
While paving is certainly one way to keep the dust kicked up on these crucial roads from harming the environment, there are other, less costly solutions to the problems presented by unpaved road sediment.
Costly Paving or Affordable Solutions? You Be the Judge
Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. offers a number of such solutions with its dust control and road and surface management products and services. Midwest is an industry leader in providing effective, environmentally safe, and fiscally smart answers to issues of dust control on unpaved roads, and its dust suppressants serve as a great alternative to the more costly installation of asphalt and concrete roadways.
Products like EnviroKleen® and EK35® ensure these roads remain in compliance with the EPA’s Clean Air Act and other regulatory requirements, so you can be sure that all environmental concerns are adequately addressed. They also reduce equipment wear-and-tear and grader usage, all while tackling the tricky sediment and dust issues communities so frequently encounter when unpaved roads stray near water sources.
Before the Arkansas government invests a great deal of money to pave over the state’s extensive road network, legislators and community leaders should make sure they have exhausted widely available, affordable dust control options first. Failing to take advantage of Midwest’s time-tested and proven dust suppression services might be one of the costliest mistakes they can make.