In a dramatic decision, the Austin Independent School District (AISD) has announced plans to cleanup legacy coal tar sealant pollution from its playgrounds and parking lots. In all likelihood, this is the first time any district in North America has taken this action. It has been estimated that nearly 10,000 schools across the US have this same problem. According to a story by the Oak Hill Gazette, AISD will begin removing the remnants of sealants during the summer break in classes. The Gazette has been the lone media outlet in Austin to follow this story for more than two years.
“Coal tar needs to be banned, and we feel strongly that we need to do our part,” said Curt Shaw of AISD. About half of the district’s 130 schools have coal tar on the parking lots or playgrounds. Cleanup will begin with 6 elementary schools that have coal tar on the playgrounds and move on to parking lots.
The problem of coal tar pollution at schools has been covered on this site previously:
- Our Babies Are Exposed to Tar at Unsafe Levels at School
- Austin School District Nears Landmark Decision on Coal Tar Sealants
- Michigan School Wrestles With Coal Tar Sealant Issue