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.