Pennsylvania State Senator tours infrastructure products manufacturing plant

Pennsylvania State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) recently visited the Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (ADS) manufacturing plant to gain first-hand experience of how large diameter thermoplastic pipe is made, and to discuss with ADS executives fair and open competition for products used in federal and state projects.  Other topics included the use of recycled plastics and education initiatives by ADS.

Senator Yaw is the Chair of the PA Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee and is the Vice Chair of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee.  ADS manufactures high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) pipe in diameters up to 60 inches for storm water drainage and sanitary sewer systems.

“It was quite an experience to see pipe that is five feet in diameter being made,” Senator Yaw commented.  “And to find out that even a standard 20-foot piece of that pipe is very strong but also light enough to be easily moved and installed by the crew on a job site.”

Fair and open competition for state and federally funded projects was also discussed.

“When open competition is allowed, material costs for public projects can drop dramatically and also provide the best possible product,” Senator Yaw said.  “Across the country, open competition could save $22.3 billion for storm water in pipe material costs during the next 10 years.”

According to Tori Durliat, director of marketing for ADS, “The trend by Departments of Transportation throughout the nation is to improve drainage systems while controlling costs by using thermoplastic – HDPE and PP – pipe.  The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) national construction and maintenance regulation allows the use of alternative types of pipe on federal-aid highway projects.  Many local jurisdictions and state departments of transportation, however, have outdated specifications that do not allow plastic pipe.  This, unfortunately, creates a monopoly, increasing the cost of a project.  Updating specifications to allow approved product alternatives can save taxpayers money.”

Another key topic discussed during the senator’s visit was reducing plastic waste.  Every year, ADS uses nearly 400 million pounds of recycled plastics to make its products.  “Our state’s recycling act just celebrated 30 years,” stated Senator Yaw.  “We’re very proud of being one of the first states in the nation to enact legislation to help the environment.  And it was gratifying to find out that ADS is turning that plastic scrap into advantageous products that are used to improve our infrastructure.”

The ADS Muncy plant, opened in 1984, has some 100 employees, and is the largest in terms of production for the company.  ADS is headquartered in Hilliard, Ohio and has a global network of 60 manufacturing plants.