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County Bans Hazardous Coal-Tar Paving Products

Products linked to carcinogens found in sediment at Gunners Lake, Lake Whetstone

County Bans Hazardous Coal-Tar Paving Products

Montgomery County has banned the use of pavement products containing coal tar, spurred by the discovery of carcinogens in the sediment at Gunners Lake and Lake Whetstone.

The bill was unanimously adopted Tuesday.  The measure was introduced by Councilman Craig Rice (D-Dist. 2), who lives in Germantown.

that the use of such products can contribute to elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAH in the environment. Council records cited general studies that linked sediments “spiked” with coal-tar-based sealcoats to delayed growth and mortality in frogs and salamanders.

During a public hearing in July, Bob Hoyt, Director of the Department of Environmental Protection, said PAHs were found in sediment from Lake  Whetstone in Montgomery Village and Gunners Lake in Germantown.

In a written transcript of his testimony, Hoyt said the PAH levels did not “present immediate human health risks” but went on to say the PAH levels still presented “environmental problems” and increased the cost of managing the sediment after dredging.

Under the bill, violators could face a $1,000 fine for each offense.

Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, Nancy Navarro and Hans Riemer were co-sponsors of the bill.

The full text of the bill is available online

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