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County Executive Steve Schuh Signs Coal Tar Ban

Measure will Protect Environment and Public Health


Annapolis, MD (November 12, 2015) County Executive Steve Schuh today signed Bill 104-15, legislation that would ban the use and sale of coal tar pavement products in Anne Arundel County.

“After a thorough review by the Health Department, I believe this substance represents a significant risk to the environment and to public health, particularly the health of children,” said Schuh. “The science clearly shows that coal tar is harmful to our streams, waterways, and citizens. Given the availability of acceptable industry alternatives, this legislation is the right thing to do for Anne Arundel County.”

“Everything we do on the land affects the health of Anne Arundel’s rivers,” said Councilman Chris Trumbauer, lead sponsor of the legislation. “Prohibiting the use of this known carcinogen is one more step forward in our County’s effort to make our waterways safe and healthy for our residents.”

"County Executive Schuh had a very good record on the environment as a delegate in the General Assembly," said Co-Chair of Anne Arundel Chapter of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters Kincey Potter. "Signing this legislation is an indication that he will continue that record as our County Executive."

“The South River Federation thanks County Council and Councilman Trumbauer for passing this important piece of legislation to protect the health of our citizens and our waterways,” said South River Keeper Jesse Illiff. “The SRF commends County Executive Schuh's leadership in signing this bill and upholding his commitment to improving the County's creeks and rivers.”

Coal tar is a thick, black or brown liquid that is a byproduct of the carbonization of coal for the steel industry or the gasification of coal to make coal gas. It has been historically used as a sealant applied to parking lots associated with commercial businesses, apartment and condominium complexes, churches, schools, business parks, and to residential driveways.

With this legislation, three out of the top four counties in Maryland have passed bans on coal tar products. The number of Maryland citizens under a ban is more than 40% of the state's population.

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