javascript:; California Coal Tar Seal Ban Narrowly Passes First Step | Coal Tar Free America

Assemblymember Jared Huffman, with support from a host of California environmental organizations, successfully led this week's committee hearing to a 5 to 4 vote! Huffman compared the exposure to coal tar sealant dust to secondhand smoke and said that it only takes one parking lot with coal tar sealant on it to expose people to this risk.

An explanation of the science was given by Dr. Peter Van Metre of the USGS in just 3 minutes!

Whether the committee hearing would take place or not was a little uncertain. What compelled the chair, Bob Wieckowski, to change his position from blocking the legislation from being heard in committee is unknown. He voted against it nonetheless.

California is developing a green chemistry review that will look at multiple chemicals that may do harm in the California environment.   Wieckowski said that he preferred this regulatory mechanism during the committee meeting.  That position was countered by the testimony of Bill Allayaud of the Environmental Working Group.  He said the concern over "single chemistry bills" should not apply in this situation for the following reasons:

  1. Coal tar pavement sealant is a substance that is currently available to the citizens of California.
  2. Coal tar pavement sealants are clearly and undeniably toxic.  No further research or debate is necessary.
  3. Alternatives to this product are many times less toxic and are currently available.
  4. It may be as many as 20 years before the Green Chemistry review will be ready to rule on this product.
This bill now goes on to the Appropriations Committee.

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