On November 17, 2005 the City of Austin's City Council voted unanimously to ban the sale and use of coal tar containing pavement sealants in the city and its ETJ (Extra Territorial Jurisdiction). See ordinance.
In 2003, City of Austin scientists identified coal tar-based pavement sealants as a significant source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in Austin area stream sediments. Since that time the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the City have conducted additional research that corroborates this finding, concluding that coal tar sealants contribute the majority of stream PAH loading in the Austin area.
The City also conducted a series of biological studies documenting coal tar sealant toxicity and stream degradation from PAHs in this form. There are alternatives to coal tar-based sealants. Visit the frequently asked questions to learn more