Big Day for Coal Tar Sealant Legislation in 4 States; Minnesota Quietly Passes Nation’s Second Statewide Coal Tar Sealer Ban

In case you missed it, May 23, 2013 was most likely the busiest day in the history of coal tar sealant legislation.  At least 3 states took action on bills and a fourth may have committed to study it further.


Yesterday the Governor of Minnesota signed into law the Omnibus Legacy Bill that including a statewide ban of coal tar pavement sealants!  While the signing didn’t take place with great fanfare, this nonetheless marks a great day for the people of Minnesota and the culmination of years of work by many people.  Previous local efforts in the state only covered less than 20% of the population.  Instead of piecemeal review by smaller jurisdictions, this effort will effectively end the sale and application of coal tar sealants for all Minnesotans by the end of 2013.  This all means less future contamination and expense throughout the State.  Congratulations to the main sponsor of the bill: Rep. Rick Hansen!

If you’d like to read more about this bill and its sponsor, then see these previous posts from Coal Tar Free America:

New York

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal

The State of New York’s Assembly, under the sponsorship of Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, passed a bill (A00630)  to ban the sale and use of coal tar sealants yesterday by a wide margin (98 to 32).  This is a similar margin that a bill like it passed last year. (see Rosenthal Coal Tar Bill Overwhelmingly Passes New York Assembly).  Assemblymember Rosenthal secured the endorsement of the NY City Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The real challenge here is if this bill can get out of the Senate Environment committee.  The chair, Mark Grisanti, appears to be sitting on it.  If you want to send him a note, his email is:


Maine’s bill of coal tar sealcoat was vigorously debated on the floor of their House of Representatives yesterday.  In spite of awesome testimony by the bill’s sponsor and a group of 5 from the Environment and Natural Resources Joint Committee and some worn out warnings from misinformed legislators (e.g., “the cure is worse than the disease”), the effort to move the ban narrowly failed with a 66 to 76 vote.  The testimonies of the legislators were so good I plan on posting snippets on this site later.  I suppose the Senate could take it up as a minority report as well.

The Maine bill, LD 1212, has been covered in the following posts:

Indiana discussed a legislative request for a study the prevalence of coal tar sealers in the Hoosier State.  Unfortunately Representative David Niezgodski’s effort to get this study was unsuccessful.  Representative Niezgodski said he was “disappointed, but not deterred” from bringing future legislation forward there.

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