Speculation comes from the online newsletter, Environmental Newsstand, that the United States EPA may use the future renewal of a community’s MS4 Permit as a means of requiring a coal tar sealant ban. We have heard it from a few sources that is the same means that the State of Michigan was going to implement their statewide ban before the entire legislation was challenged in court. According to the publication, there are nationwide 185 impaired water bodies due to the main constituent of concern, PAHs or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
For those of you unfamiliar with MS4 permits, here’s a general definition from the EPA:
Storm water traveling over land eventually drains into a system of conveyances. This system is referred to as a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). By definition an MS4 is a system of conveyances that include catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, pipes, tunnels, or storm drains that discharges into waters of the United States. An MS4 moves water away from an area to a local water body. The EPA is now requiring certain urbanized municipalities to address storm water quality.
While a draft of the District of Columbia permit is available online, it is a little unclear this is merely a reflection of actions already taken or prototype method of compliance for EPA to test out.
The language of the permit is:
The Permittee shall implement the District’s ban on coal tar pavement products, including conducting outreach and enforcement activities.
This is a subscription-based service, so a link to the full article is not possible. However free access is advertised for a few downloads if you sign up with a credit card.