State lawmakers this month advanced a bill that would enact a statewide ban on the use of coal tar-based sealant products commonly used for driveways and parking lots.
At issue is the chemcials found in the sealcoats, including concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are considered toxic to aquatic life and lawmakers say are cancer-linked.
The bill now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk for his consideration before it becomes law. The measure has been sought for the last decade by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and environmental advocates.
“We know that coal tar is bad for our health and our environment, and it’s high time that we follow the lead of other cities and states that have already taken action to limit its use," Rosenthal said. "Along with a broad coalition of environmental organizations and advocates, I have been fighting for 10 long years to see this bill become law, and I will continue to push until it is finally signed."
If given final approval by Cuomo, the measure would bar the sale of coal tar-based sealants in one year. The use of those products would be prohibited within two years.
"Coal tar sealants have caused more toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, PAHs, to be found in homes and urban lakes and other waterways," said Liz Moran, the environmental policy director at the New York Public Interest Research Group. "With alternatives readily available on the market, and already in widespread use, coal tar sealants should no longer be used in New York."