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Infrastructure Hearing Raises Buy American, Plastics Issues
March 29, 2021 by NAPA Government Affairs

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg testified before the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure on March 25. While President Joe Biden is expected to unveil his infrastructure plan on March 31 in Pittsburgh, details of that plan are still unknown. The hearing therefore focused on a wide assortment of transportation issues important to committee members, rather than the administration’s detailed infrastructure priorities. 

On construction materials, Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) continued his crusade to apply Buy America rules to construction materials declaring, “When the rubber meets the road, is that road going to be built with American products and services?” 

The issue of plastics in asphalt was also raised. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN; pictured) said, “The United Kingdom has used recycled binder in road construction as a substitute for oil,” and asked the secretary if he supports this technology. In response, Buttigieg said he was not aware of the technology and said, “The way we [pave our roadways] looks a little too much like what it looked like 100 years ago and there are so many possibilities in terms of recycled materials, in terms of lower emission solutions.” He added that he would like to see the US lead when it comes to pavement technologies. 

The hearing can be viewed here. Rep. Garamendi’s remarks start at 1:35:15 and Rep. Burchett’s remarks start at 3:36:36.

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