Montgomery County Officials Move To Ban Potentially Hazardous Pavement Sealant | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Montgomery County Officials Move To Ban Potentially Hazardous Pavement Sealant

Play associated audio

A bill that could ban the use and sale of coal tar and other chemicals as pavement sealant received mixed reactions from legislators and businessmen during a public hearing in Montgomery County Wednesday.

Bill 21-12, which is sponsored by Montgomery County Council member Craig Rice (District 2), is also known as "The Coal Tar Bill" in reference to the compound which is widely used as a road surface sealant. It would ban sealants that contain potentially hazardous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, known as PAHs. These compounds, such as the coal tar pitch used to make the sealant, are classified by the EPA as possible human carcinogens.

"Just because a product has something in it that isn't proven to do anything wrong, on its merit ... and you're getting ready to ban it? Not a good idea," said Mike Lehman, president of Total Asphalt, a distributor of Coal Tar Based sealant, during the public hearing on the bill Tuesday.

In 2011, elevated levels of PAH were discovered in sediment in Lake Whetstone in Montgomery Village, and nearby in Gunner's lake.

Of the four people who testified at the hearings only Bob Hoyt, director of Montgomery County's Department of Environmental Protection, spoke in support of the measure.

"PAH in the sendiments that we are finding are not at the levels that present an immediate human health risk, but they do present environmental problems and substantially increase the cost of managing the sediment after it's dredged," said Hoyt.

The proposed ban could also have an impact on the possible future construction of a large gas station and Costco store in Wheaton. The bill will go before the council's transportation and environment committee July 26.

NPR

This Weekend, Investigate The 'Edges' Of Fred Moten's Musical Poetry

In honor of National Poetry Month, our latest Weekend Read is Fred Moten's collection The Little Edges. Poet Douglas Kearney says Moten's power is in his attention to music, both in text and subject.
NPR

In This Museum, Visitors Can Eat The Exhibits

The Southern Museum of Food and Beverage in New Orleans chronicles the eats and drinks of the Southern states. And it may be one of the only museums where visitors can imbibe while viewing exhibits.
NPR

Staten Island Candidates Avoid Talk Of Eric Garner Case

In the New York Congressional district where an an unarmed black man died at the hands of police last year, neither candidate for a special congressional election is using the death to score points.
NPR

As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

The notion of receiving nutrition advice from artificial intelligence on your wrist may seem like science fiction. But health developers are betting this kind of behavior will become the norm.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.