Tar Heel Town Tackles Toxic Sealant

In July 2010, Boone, North Carolina was affected by a fish kill from fresh, washed-off sealant applied before a rain storm.  Nearly 100 fish were killed from this event (the industry claims only 12).  The Upper Watauga Riverkeepers mobilized, produced a video, and asked local officials to ban the material.  Unfortunately, the Town’s lawyers were uncertain of the rights of individual communities to ban anything in the State of North Carolina.  Apparently it is within the State’s jurisdiction, but not a municipality’s.

So on February 15, 2011 the Town of Boone enacted an ordinance to control the use of all sealants with the most stringent being on coal tar.  Highlights of the restrictions are:

  • All sealant applications require a permit from the Town.
  • No sealant applied if more than a 10% chance of rain in the next 48 hours.
  • No CTS applied if more than a 20% chance of rain 7 full days after application completion.
  • On CTS applications, filter media required for drainage inlets.
  • On CTS applications near floodplains, filter media required on downgradient perimeter.
Good luck Boone and congrats to the Upper Watauga Riverkeepers!

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