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Austin Board: Coal Tar Ban Success Demands a National Response

Late last month Austin's Environmental Board unanimously voted to modify the City's federal legislative agenda to include a nati...

Late last month Austin's Environmental Board unanimously voted to modify the City's federal legislative agenda to include a national ban on coal tar pavement sealers. This motion was made after hearing a presentation by staff biologist Mateo Scoggins on the recent USGS research that showed nearly a 60% decline in pollution levels in the sediments of Austin's main water body, Lady Bird Lake.

The video of that presentation by Scoggins is included below and is a helpful overview of the new USGS research, the history of the ban in Austin and the events that let up to Austin taking this action. This isn't the best video you'll ever see on this site, but it is clear enough for those interested in a deeper view of the issue.



The motion read:

Amend the City of Austin federal legislative program to support a national ban on coal tar-based pavement sealers.

Whereas the City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) have documented that PAHs in coal tar pavement sealants are toxic to aquatic life and established probable human exposure routes for these suspected carcinogens,

and whereas the USGS published findings in 2014 demonstrating that the City of Austin local ban on coal tar sealants has successfully reduced the concentrations of PAHs in the sediments of Lady Bird Lake.


Therefore the Environmental Board recommends that the Austin City Council add support for a nationwide ban on the use of coal tar pavement sealants to the City of Austin’s federal legislative program for the 114th Congress.

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Coal Tar Free America: Austin Board: Coal Tar Ban Success Demands a National Response
Austin Board: Coal Tar Ban Success Demands a National Response
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