Tesla + Green Roof + Coal Tar, Does Not = Sustainability

Site of 2017 Emerging Contaminants Conference Surrounded by…Toxins!

Any facility that claims to be “sustainable,” but uses coal tar sealers on their parking lots is an insult to the word and to the professionals who work hard to make these projects healthier for the occupants and the planet.

You know, I don’t point out every occurrence of coal tar sealer that I come across. I figure a lot of people haven’t learned what a problem this is or maintenance staff are just continuing to do business as usual.
Yes they have charging stations for Teslas.

And they have a vegetated green roof.

And in the rooms they have those little signs about saving water by reusing towels.

Their website even has its own sustainability page!

 But when I pay good money to stay at a 4 star hotel which claims to be “sustainable,” but the facility is floating in and surrounding by a sea of toxic coal tar sealer, well then I’m going to speak up. 
Also, the hotel never even responded to my concerns voiced nearly 2 months ago.
What hotel? It is the “I Hotel and Conference Center” in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. The only 4 star hotel in the area near the University of Illinois campus. According to their website this facility is a joint project between a developer and the University of Illinois!

Coal Tar is a Black Eye on Green Building

This isn’t the first time that I’ve encountered this. A few years ago a cancer survivor called me. She was living in a certified US Green Building Council building. All was good until the owners coated their parking lot with coal tar. So yes, they probably had paint made out of bee pollen and free range goat’s milk, but the parking lot was coated with pounds of known human carcinogens. As it cures and wears, the product is mobile in the air and on the souls of shoes! I wrote about it here.

Green Washing or Green Blindness?

When I come across facilities like this I wonder: green washing or green blindness? Are they trying to hide their nasty practices or just think that sustainability is defined by a few add on trinkets? I would guess the latter.

Emerging Contaminants Conference!

Yes the conference had speakers talking about pollution from coal tar sealers…at this location! Now I don’t have an issue with the organizers; you have to have the meeting somewhere and Illinois is full of coal tar. Some even say it is “ground zero” for coal tar sealer use in the United States. But a leading state university in a state that has considered banning this material for several years, should have someone smart enough to know not to use coal tar sealcoat.

Shouldn’t they?