The Commonwealth of Massachusetts joins the growing list of governmental bodies that have enacted some legislation regarding the application of coal tar pavement sealants. In general, it requires new development affecting wetlands must certify that any future pavement maintenance activity exclude the use of coal tar sealants. This action recognizes the negative impacts of PAHs from coal tar sealant on aquatic ecosystems. It covers not just areas adjacent to wetlands and stream buffers, but also those parking surfaces that may be hydraulically connected through storm drains. Future reporting is also mandatory.
Not only are there rules at the state level, but over half of communities within Massachusetts have enacted more stringent wetland regulations. Just how they address the issue of pavement sealants is uncertain. One community though, Sudbury, prohibits the use of coal tar sealants on any new development that would require a general stormwater permit. This now brings the number of states or territories that have some municipal or state regulations of coal tar sealants to ten!