Representatives of the coal tar sealant industry failed yesterday in their attempt to overturn a coal tar sealant ban passed by the Suffolk County Legislature. In June members of the coal tar sealant industry petitioned outgoing Republican County Executive Steve Levy to veto the ban. As was reported in an earlier story, industry claimed there was no pollution problem in Suffolk County solely on the basis that no one had looked. This was speculated in spite of the USGS’s findings that coal tar sealants are a problem on Long Island, just not in Suffolk County.
The other claim was that the ban would hurt their business, which is in direct conflict with what owners of sealant businesses have stated before. One had said, “Bans won’t hurt our business in the long term.”
The ban implementation date was moved to January 1, 2012. In a letter dated yesterday Executive Levy said he wanted to give industry more time to work through existing stock of sealants prior to the start of the ban. We applaud Mr. Levy’s decision that upholds the ban as well as the originator of the legislation, Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer William J. Lindsay. It marks the second most populated jurisdiction in the nation to pass a ban of coal tar sealant products!