A just-released study of coal tar sealants by Missouri State University agrees with other scientific findings across the US and Canada that coal tar sealants lead to elevated levels of PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and stream degradation.  The study also found that PAH levels in urban stream sediments exceeded the recommended standard in nearly 46% of streams.  In fact, they exceed the probable effects concentration 3-4 times more often than levels found in Austin, Texas, which passed their ban based upon similar findings.


The study was commissioned by the City of Springfield, Missouri after looking into the problem of coal tar sealants over two years ago.  An ordinance to ban coal tar sealants failed to pass the Council at that time.

Yesterday this study was presented to the Springfield City Council. A copy of this presentation can be found here.  Council discussed what actions, if any, they would take with this new information.  It is unclear at this time, but the Springfield New-Leader reported Councilwoman Rushevsky's following comment:
Councilwoman Cindy Rushefsky, who supported a wider ban two years ago, said she intends to renew the push for a restrictions.
“I think this (study) makes it clear that coal tar is the problem,” she said. “Now the question becomes, what are we gonna do about it?
Absent from the discussion was new information that further debunks industry's claim that stormwater controls are the answer to coal tar sealant pollution in Springfield.  This was their claim 2 years ago.  Not only does the potential construction cost make this unrealistic, but now the State of Minnesota has shown that coal tar sealers can a huge cost burden to clean up and dispose of contaminated sediments.  For the Twin Cities area the estimate is about $1 Billion!

For more on this, see my post, The High Cost of Cheap Coal Tar.





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