Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Huffman Says Uncertainty Shrouds California Coal Tar Sealer Ban Demise
When asked if there were lessons learned from this, Huffman was uncertain about what he would have done differently. He had lined up key support from environmental organizations throughout the state and had no public opposition from the industry. Nonetheless, he felt that this effort lays the groundwork for another legislator to pick it up in the future.
Huffman is nearing the completion of his term limits in California's Assembly and is running for US Congress. He felt it would be a privilege to make it to Washington and support Congressman Doggett's effort to pass a national ban.
The California ban attempt is a good illustration of how well the EPA's hands-off approach to coal tar sealant bans is working. Even the State of California couldn't get the traction necessary to pass a ban! In October an EPA report stated that perhaps the best way to manage this pollution source is for local units of government to ban it.
In spite of being in an environmentally-progressive state, significant coal tar sealant use, support from key environmental organizations and no apparent opposition from the sealant industry, the ban failed. How does this result bode for others that want to take it on? Is that the role of the EPA to act as spectator to a long, drawn out, effort by communities across the nation?