Plymouth Common Council Passes Ordinance Banning Coal Tar Sealants
On December 10th, 2019 the Plymouth Common Council passed an ordinance banning the use of coal tar-based pavements and other sealants containing more than 0.1% polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
PAHs are toxic to wildlife and can cause cancer and other health problems in humans. Studies have found that coal tar sealants are the largest source of PAHs to urban areas where they are used. PAH contamination can impose significant costs to the City, businesses and others in charge of maintaining stormwater management facilities.
In order to improve and protect public health and water quality, the City of Plymouth has prohibited the use of sealants that contain high levels of PAHs. Some communities in Wisconsin that have taken similar action have included Sheboygan, Port Washington, Greenfield, Brown Deer, Elm Grove, Franklin, Glendale, Milwaukee, West Allis, Whitefish Bay, and Shorewood.
Violators of the ban are subject to a fine of not less than $200 and no more than $500. Commercial finds are subject to forfeiture of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000. Each violation and each day that a violation occurs or continues, constitutes a separate offense. Sealants containing no, or less than 0.1% PAHs may still be used. This includes asphalt-emulsion, latex, and acrylic products.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services Link for PAHs – https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/chemical/pah.htm
EPA Link to PAHs & Stormwater – https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-02/documents/pah_-coal-tar_sealcoat-swpoll.pdf