Yes, sorry to say it is true! Put in its simpliest terms: we import what should be hazardous waste to spread all over our nation to make our driving surfaces look prettier and last longer. What year is this?
Years ago, industry petitioned the EPA so coal tar could get an exemption from hazardous waste rules because if they didn’t, they said our landfills would fill up coal tar. Now some 20 years later, the basis for that argument, as well as the production of coke byproducts (coal tar) have moved offshore.
In 2003 about 2/3 of US supplies were imported and the foremost use is in the production of aluminum. With increased environmental scrutiny, the percentage imported is expected to increase. Details are available in this industry report (page 19):
http://www.coalonline.info/site/coalonline/content/browser/81369/Carbon-products-and-organic-chemicals-from-coal# (see excerpt below).
This point was illustrated by the sealant industry’s coal tar shortage in 2006. The supply ran low here in the US of A because of factory problems outside our borders!
So just where is it coming from? Best I can tell Mexico, China and India. We can all debate the merits of a global economy, but importing 3rd world toxic waste to the US? Aren’t we smarter than that?