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Coal Tar Bill Would Ban Hazardous Paving Products

The paving products pose environmental and health risks, said Montgomery County Councilman Craig Rice (D-Dist. 2), of Germantown, who introduced the bill Tuesday.

The use of paving products with coal-tar and pitch-tar, known carcinogens, would be forbidden in Montgomery County under a bill introduced Tuesday by Montgomery County Councilman Craig Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown.

Referred to as the Coal Tar Bill, Bill 21-12 would ban the use and sale of such products, which contain hazardous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs. The use of such products can contribute to elevated levels of PAH in the environment, posing health concerns, Rice said during Tuesday’s council meeting.

A draft version of the bill is available online, at the county council’s website.

According to Rice, the issue came about as a result of dredging Lake Whetstone in Montgomery Village, where elevated levels of PAH were found. Samples from roughly 10,000 cubic yards of sediment showed “elevated” levels of PAH, reported in 2011.

During the meeting, council members Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring and George Leventhal (D-At Large) of Takoma Park requested more information from the county’s health department.

County Health Officer Dr. Ulder J. Tillman said she would review the coal tar issue. Rice said the Department of Environment would be weighing in on the measure, as well.

The bill’s co-sponsors were Council Vice President Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring, and council members Ervin, Marc Elrich (D-At Large) of Takoma Park, and Hans Reimer (D-At Large) of Silver Spring.

At the time of the meeting Tuesday, the bill had not been assigned a committee. A public hearing on the Coal Tar Bill has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 10.

A similar ban was instituted in Washington, D.C., in 2009.

Bob Hydorn June 21, 2012 at 01:16 PM
The real question at this time is. What are the results of the meeting between the Mont County DEP and the MDE regarding the levels of PAHs? The meeting was scheduled for last week. That is the information that everyone including the Council needs to be reviewing, prior to such an action. It may well be a required change, but let’s be sure. This as well should not delay the dredging of Lake Whetstone.
Timothy June 21, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Unless there is substantial, objective scientific evidence that these products pose an increased risk to the health of County residents and others, the law should be voted down. Unfortunately, I think this may be yet another instance where the Councilmembers are devoting a lot of time, energy and dollars to an issue of dubious importance while failing to come to terms with the big issues that plague us. In short, it may be more about political hype than about the public health.
Bob Hydorn June 21, 2012 at 03:18 PM
As I was just chatting with a resident of the Village, she made a very interesting comparison. "The proposal is a little bit like the displaced service workers bill. It makes one want to go HUH? What are they thinking???"
Brown Brothers Contracting November 15, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I think this is a big issue if it's true, so it should be looked into at least. http://www.bbasphaltandconcrete.com/

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