On Oct. 17, 2023, Massachusetts passed a law that requires all concrete products sold for use within the state to be produced only from aggregate sources that have obtained a license from the Highway Division of Transportation (MassDOT).
The new law not only applies to state-owned, MassDOT projects but to all concrete “structural elements or infrastructure” in the state, including residential projects and private entities.
To obtain a license, aggregate producers must submit test reports to MassDOT to confirm that the aggregate contains a minimal amount of sulfur and pyrite and absolutely no presence of pyrrhotite.
All concrete production facilities, including precast manufacturing facilities that sell products within Massachusetts, must use aggregates only from MassDOT approved sources and must keep a record of those sources on file for at least 30 years.
The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2024, and has sweeping consequences for anyone who provides precast concrete products for any project in Massachusetts.
But the law may have unintended consequences.
“Durability in concrete structures is vital, not only for our customers but for everyone in our communities,” said Karen Hubacz, president and CEO of Bond Construction Corp., Spencer, Mass. “This Massachusetts state law is following the path of Connecticut and has the potential to set a dangerous precedent. In addition to pyrrhotite, the law includes pyrite, which in comparison, is more stable and not known for creating failures in concrete.
“Due to its abundance, the inclusion of pyrite can potentially disqualify several aggregate sources in the state that have been used for the production of concrete for decades without any issues,” Hubacz told Rock Products. “There are numerous issues with the state requiring this type of permitting for producers. This is better to be addressed with a research-driven approach that will not increase costs or hinder the use of locally available aggregates.”