The Montgomery County Council this week unanimously approved legislation to prohibit the use and sale of driveway sealants with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) levels higher than 0.1 percent.
The bill, sponsored by Councilmember Craig Rice, aims to strengthen 2012 legislation that prohibited the use and sale of coal tar pavement products. Council President Nancy Navarro co-sponsored the bill, which received support from County Executive Elrich and the County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
“While I hoped prohibiting the use and sale of coal tar products would severely limit our PAH contamination runoff into our waterways, I am happy to have the support of my Council colleagues in correcting the issue of new sealants in the market with high PAHs,” said Councilmember Craig Rice. “This bill is the next step in creating a regional approach to improve our waterways and protect the health of our residents and animals.”
According to a press release:
Specifically, Bill 8-19 addresses the unpredicted effect of new non-coal tar sealants with extremely high levels of PAHs entering the market. After the coal tar ban, the runoff from the new sealants with high PAHs were discovered in our County waterways. Due to the adverse health effects caused by PAHs, the county is taking the next step to safeguard residents and wildlife. The goal is for more jurisdictions in the region to join this effort and protect our watershed that ultimately flows into the Chesapeake Bay.
This legislation requires the Director of DEP to publish a list of approved sealants with less than .1 percent PAH for use in the County. DEP also will oversee the enforcement of the law. The bill will go into effect July 1, 2020.