Earlier today the City of Roseville, Minnesota (pop. 33,660) passed a ban of coal tar containing pavement products. It becomes the tenth city in Minnesota to pass a ban. The City Council was told that under new rules, which limit the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in pond sediment, 2 of the last 3 projects were landfilled at an additional expense to the City.
The problem of coal tar pavement sealants was personally brought before the Roseville City Council by State Representative Bev Scalze in January 2011. In 2009, she sponsored the statewide legislation that led to an end to the use of this product by Minnesota state agencies and set up a funding mechanism to assist communities with the cleanup of ponds contaminated with PAHs from coal tar sealants. Scalze said that there are many cities that are going to have to deal with this in the future.
With a high concentration of chain commercial stores, the City will need to work with the chain stores themselves to effectively enforce the ban. Penalties for violators are stiff, $1,000 plus court costs and maybe 90 days in jail to boot. Retail sales of coal tar sealants are still allowed with the certification that the material will not be used within the City of Roseville.
The number of US citizens under a coal tar sealant ban now stands at just over 10.3 million people.