javascript:; 'Crack' Filling in Great Lakes Region is Non-Profit's Next Effort | Coal Tar Free America

Just this week, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced the grant recipient for an effort to reduce the use of coal tar sealants in the Great Lakes States of the US and the Province of Ontario in Canada. Minnesota is outside of the scope of this effort since their statewide ban went into effect earlier this year. The grantee is Freshwater Future, a group out of Michigan which assists local efforts to improve the water quality and land in the Great Lakes basin.

"Studies have show that as much as 50%-75% of PAH contamination found in the sediment throughout the Great Lakes region comes directly from driveway sealants," notes Cheryl Kallio, Associate Director for Freshwater Future. "This deadly toxin to human health and our environment in unacceptable to our region's Great Lakes way of life. The fact that this much pollution comes from just one product that has slipped through the cracks of regulation is astounding."

This area is currently the most active in the entire nation with respect to ban legislation.  Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and New York all have statewide bans at one stage or another in their legislatures and the City of Chicago has introduced an ordinance to ban it there. How Freshwater Future might influence these efforts is uncertain.

The MPCA utilized a similar grant which culminated in, not just the passage of a ban in Minnesota, but the voluntary registration of coal-tar-free contractors in the upper Midwest; a three session webinar; an excellent, web resource about coal tar sealers; and a list of coal tar sealer removal companies.

The grant is funded by the US EPA and is scheduled to be completed by September.  Stay tuned for more on these efforts.

In the meantime, if you want to assist in this effort or want additional information, then contact Cheryl Kallio, Associate Director at or 231-571-5001.

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