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Coal Tar Pavement Products Ban

Anne Arundel County Council Bill 104-15, effective December 27, 2015 prohibits the sale and/or use of coal tar paving products in the county for public and private use. 

Coal tar sealant is a black liquid sprayed or painted on many asphalt parking lots, residential driveways, and playgrounds to protect and enhance the appearance of the underlying asphalt.  Federal, state and local agencies have identified coal-tar-based pavement sealant as a major source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination and a potential concern for human health and aquatic life.  Exposure to PAHs has been linked to an increased risk of lung, skin, bladder, and respiratory cancers. 

Storm water run-off from coal tar sealant pavement also poses a risk to aquatic life.  As vehicles drive over pavement sealant the friction from the tires abrades the sealant into small particles. These particles are carried by rain and snowmelt down storm drains and into rivers and streams. The particles can also be blown into the soil by wind, evaporated into the air, or carried into homes on the soles of shoes.

Coal Tar Image

Graphic credit: USGS

Contractors or property owners found to be in violation of the coal tar pavement products ban will be required to remediate the surface and may be  fined up to $1,000 for the first violation; $5,000 for the second violation; and $10,000 for the third or any subsequent violation.

Coal Tar Free Alternative Products List*

  • Black Jack Blacktop Driveway Sealer
  • Black Jack Blacktop Driveway Filler and Sealer
  • Henry PM2000 Premium Driveway Sealer/Filler
  • Henry HE532 Driveway Sealer
  • Henry HE130 Driveway Sealer
  • Henry Elastromeric Emulsion Crack Filler
  • Jennite Asphalt Emulsion Crack Filler
  • Gemseal Black Diamond
  • Gemseal Guarian AE
  • Gilsonite Asphalt Driver Sealant
  • Latex-ite Airport Grade Driveway Sealer
  • Latex-ite Optimum Driveway Re-Surfacer
  • Latex-ite 4.75 Gal Color Grade Blacktop Filler/Sealer
  • Neyra PaveShield
  • Seal Master MasterSeal Pavement Sealer

*This list does not include all coal tar free products available and it is not an endorsement for any product or its use.  The County encourages residents to be fully informed of all aspects of any product used in and around the home.

Helpful Hints:

  • Use asphalt-based latex sealants that are less toxic.
  • Construct driveways and parking lots with pervious pavement or concrete that does not require sealers.
  • When buying a pavement product or sealer ask for the Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to verify the product does not contain coal tar.

More Information: