Industry Seeks, Gains Delay of Sealant Ban

Reminiscent of a horror movie when you thought it was over and the monster was dead, in comes the industry making their patented breaks with science and logic and has gained some traction in at least one jurisdiction.  As was reported on this site in earlier this year, Winfield, Kansas became the first community in Kansas to pass a ban. 

Now Winfield becomes the first to put a ban on hold after passing a resolution at the City Commission meeting tonight.  The mayor of the community, Taggard Wall, told Coal Tar Free America that this action was taken because of the “uncertainty” in the science.  He admits though that coal tar sealant is probably a harmful product.  We trust that with a little more light shone on whatever “new” information the City received, the ban will stand in the future.

Winfield Mayor Taggard Wall

More specifically, Winfield puts the ban on hold until December 31, 2012. 

In a similar zombie-like maneuver, the industry is seeking a veto of the Suffolk County, NY ban passed by their legislature earlier in June.  The industry continues their “argument from ignorance” approach to this issue.  It goes something like this: since no one has shown there is a problem from coal tar sealants in Suffolk County, then there is no problem.  I think we covered this fallacy in philosophy 101: just because no one has empirically proven God’s existence, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist.

Preferred is an “argument from reasonableness.”  Is it reasonable that if coal tar sealant is responsible for measurable and significant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in lakes across the country, that it might be a problem in any coal tar-using community?  I would say “yes.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has the authority to veto the ban passed by the legislature, but only has until July 7 to act. 

However Long Island environmental groups have urged Levy to sign the ban into law.  They include the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, Group for the East End and Concerned Citizens for the Environment, hailed the ban as a crucial step to protect rivers, bays and estuaries.

“Coal tar is a poison to our marine system and economic health,” Maureen Dolan Murphy of Citizens Campaign told Newsday. “Not banning this product has already resulted in lost jobs. . . . These jobs include those who make a living in marine trades, the fishing industry and recreational uses of our waters.”

Share this post