javascript:; MD Drops Sealant Ban After Industry Bluster | Coal Tar Free America

The State of Maryland's coal tar sealant ban effort ended quietly after less than a month of its introduction.  The end began at a public hearing by the Environmental Subcommittee with overwhelming representation by industry making some wild claims and 3 attendees who spoke in favor of the legislation. 

Needless to say the industry flexed some muscle, but with many exaggerations and false claims.

Some of the classics were:
  • "3000 jobs would be lost if the ban were to take effect" (Actually no applicators would loose their jobs, they would just switch to using asphalt sealants).
  • "There is no link showing harm between coal tar and humans"  (Just search this site for the word 'human').
  • "Consumers overwhelmingly choose coal tar sealant" (Perhaps if it is couched in vague terms that detract from the harmful ingredients.  I'd love to see a poll of folks and ask if they prefer the quick-drying capability and deep black color of coal tar sealants so much that they would overlook any health risks to them, their families or the environment.  I bet not).
  • "Alternative sealants cannot meet ASTM standards" (Actually since the ASTM standard is for coal tar sealants, then it reasons that a non-coal tar product would not meet these standards).
  • "BWI (Baltimore-Washington International Airport) would lose its millions of dollars of FAA funding if they didn't use coal tar" (FAA funding has not been reduced at the various major airports around the US that have used non-coal tar sealants (Portland, San Francisco, John Wayne Airport (Orange County, CA), and Austin-Bergstrom, Austin, Texas).

Ironically, about the same time, a Bay Foundation's reported that a clean Chesapeake Bay means more jobs.

So on February 23, 2012, 8 days after the hearing, it was removed from the legislative roll by its sponsor, Delegate Dana Stein.

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