javascript:; It's a 'Fine' Time for Illinois to Pass Coal Tar Sealant Ban Legislation | Coal Tar Free America

Legislative newcomer, Laura Fine, earlier this month introduced legislation to ban coal tar containing pavement products, aka "sealers," from sale and use in the entire state beginning next year.  The legislation, HB 4599, has the backing of the Illinois Sierra Club and others and is based upon the research completed by the DuPage River/Salt Creek Workgroup (DRSCW) in suburban Chicago.

This issue got its first real coverage of coal tar sealer pollution with a front page article in the Chicago Tribune in 2011 entitled, "Toxic Goop; It May Be on Your Driveway and Tracked into Your Home."  Some of the data for the article was based upon USGS testing of parking lots, driveways and ponds in suburban Lake-in-the-Hills, Illinois.  Last year the Tribune followed up this article with another story detailing how the industry exaggerates the findings of their own funded research.  Earlier it was reported here that the DRSCW found the highest incidence of concentrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ever found in the United States.  The State of Illinois has but one community, South Barrington that has passed a ban.  One suburban community brought it up a few years ago and quickly backed down after the industry showed up to oppose it.

The City of Chicago, via Alderman Ed Burke, introduced a bill to ban this product there in 2013.  He simply said "it is time" for Chicago to ban this.  It has been heard in committee, but no vote has been taken yet.  During those proceedings though, the Chicago Department of Health endorsed the effort to control this pollutant for the sake of human health.  An endorsement was also received from the Chicago Physicians for Social Responsibility.

A few years ago another freshman representative introduced a coal tar sealant ban in the State of Washington.  In the end he said, "We are the first, but we won't be the last."  Let's hope for a repeat of freshman performance here.  As you can see, a lot of groundwork has already been laid, but the opposition will be all the stiffer in Illinois.

What can you do to help?

Contact Representative Fine by any of the following means and let her know your support for this legislation:

Representative Laura Fine (D)
17th District
Springfield Office:

231-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-4194
(217) 524-0449 FAX

District Office:

1812 Waukegan Road
Suite A
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 998-1717
(847) 998-1707 FAX


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