Clean Pavement Initiative

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The goal of the Clean Pavement Initiative is to voluntarily encourage the use of environmentally-preferred choices for pavement sealant in Springfield.  The Initiative is a cooperative effort of the City of Springfield and participating sealant industry professionals to educate customers on the pros and cons of coal-tar- and asphalt-based sealants to allow them to make an informed choice for their parking lot or driveway.  

By committing to this program...

Businesses who choose to use asphalt-based sealant when sealing their parking lots can elect to help educate their customers about the water quality benefits of this choice through parking lot signage supplied by the City that provides positive recognition for the business and the sealant industry professional.

Citizens who choose to use asphalt-based sealant when sealing their driveways can elect to showcase the water quality benefits of this choice through a Clean Pavement Initiative yard plaque supplied by the City. 


Participate in the Clean Pavement Initiative by completing a commitment form.

Clean Pavement Initiative Sign Display

What's in YOUR Parking lot?

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Sealant used to coat asphalt pavement in parking lots and driveways comes in two common varieties:  coal-tar-based and asphalt-based.  Both varieties of sealant contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are a group of chemicals created by heating or burning materials that contain carbon.  Asphalt-based sealants  typically contain much lower  concentrations of PAHs than coal tar-based sealants.

PAHs are a potential environmental concern because some studies have shown that they can be toxic to fish, wildlife, and invertebrate species that live in streams and are the base of the food chain.

Alternate Site B Upstream SamplingPAHs in Springfield

There are many sources of PAHs in urban environments including tire particles, motor oil, and vehicle exhaust.  However, some studies have identified coal-tar-based sealant as a major source of PAHs in urban environments.  When it rains, sealant particles from parking lots and driveways can be washed into local streams.  In Springfield, some streams have been identified by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as impaired for PAHs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to make the clean pavement commitment? 
Any owner of asphalt pavement can make the commitment to choose asphalt-based sealant the next time they plan to seal their pavement. The owner can commit at the time of resealing with asphalt-based sealant or commit now for future sealant choices. 

How do asphalt pavement owners sign up?  
Make the commitment for your parking lot or driveway by completing a commitment form.

How do participants get a sign?  
Participants can choose whether or not they want a sign.  The City will supply a sign to the owner along with a companion sign recognizing the industry sealant professional, if that information has been provided.  The owner is responsible for installing the sign. Participants can also choose not to receive a sign.  

How do sealant industry professionals participate? 
To participate, sealant industry professionals agree to offer asphalt-based sealant (i.e. asphalt emulsion) as an option to their customers and educate their customers by providing this brochure and discussing the pros and cons of sealant types so customers can make an informed choice.  They also agree to provide annual data on the amount of coal-tar-based and asphalt-based sealant applied in Springfield so the effectiveness of this program can be tracked over time. Sign up as a participating professional.  

What about concrete pavement?  
Concrete pavement does not need sealed and therefore is a good choice for reducing PAHs in the environment.  The Initiative commends owners of concrete pavement for helping to reduce PAHs.  To focus on reducing the use of coal-tar-based asphalt sealants, the commitment and signage is only available to asphalt pavement owners.