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Revealed Podcast:

Listen to Hannah Marcley interview Anne LeHuray on PCTC'S FOIA experience for her podcast about open record laws (FIOA and the state equivalents).

Information Quality Act Requests for Correction (RfC) Filed by PCTC

Comments Filed by in Response to Federal Register Requests for Comment

Comments Submitted to EPA Region 5 and State Agencies Involved in the Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the other Collaborators in the “Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project” received an EPA grant to run the program. They are not being paid to determine whether coal tar sealants should be replaced with asphalt sealants. Apparently, that determination has already made by someone or a group of people at EPA Region 5 whose identities are unknown. What those people at the EPA relied upon in arriving at their determination is also unknown. What is known is that neither the PCTC nor any other trade organization or stakeholder representing the RTS industry had an opportunity to present its position to the EPA. There was no hearing, no solicitation of comments, and no draft proposal. Just a determination that coal tar sealants should be replaced and a group of willing Project Collaborators who have agreed to accept tax dollars to pursue this agenda. With the usual avenues for comment and interaction with government agencies thus closed, PCTC submits comments to the Project organizers and the public at large. Read details in the cover letter that summarizes the comments and the full comment document.

Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

The U.S. FDA recognizes coal tar as “generally recognized as safe and effective” (GRASE) for use as an over-the-counter topical medication for skin conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, or psoriasis. This is the link to the relevant section of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations: 21CFR358.

More information about coal tar pharmaceuticals is located on the Science & Health page of this web site.

Environmental Benefits of Pavement Maintenance Treatments

Information about Coal Tar & Refined Tar-Based Sealcoat

Post Publication Peer Reviews (PPPR) at

Crane, J. L. (2014a). Source Apportionment and Distribution of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Risk Considerations, and Management Implications for Urban Stormwater Pond Sediments in Minnesota, USA. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol, 66, 176-200. doi:10.1007/s00244-013-9963-8

Kienzler, A., Mahler, B. J., Van Metre, P. C., Schweigert, N., Devaux, A., & Bony, S. (2015). Exposure to runoff from coal-tar-sealed pavement induces genotoxicity and impairment of DNA repair capacity in the RTL-W1 fish liver cell line. Science of The Total Environment, 520(0), 73-80. doi:

Mahler, B. J., Ingersoll, C. G., Van Metre, P. C., Kunz, J. L., & Little, E. E. (2015). Acute Toxicity of Runoff from Sealcoated Pavement to Ceriodaphnia dubia and Pimephales promelas. Environmental Science & Technology. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b00933

Mahler, B. J., P. Van Metre, T. J. Bashara, J. T. Wilson, and D. A. Johns, 2005, Parking Lot Sealcoat: An Unrecognized Source of Urban Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: Environmental Science & Technology, v. 39, p. 5560 – 5566.

Mahler, B. J., Van Metre, P., Wilson, J. T., Musgrove, M., Burbank, T. L., Ennis, T. E., & Bashara, T. J. (2010). Coal-tar-based parking lot sealcoat: an unrecognized source of PAH to settled house dust. Environmental Science & Technology, 44, 894 – 900. doi:10.1021/es902533r

Scoggins, M., McClintock, N. L., Gosselink, L., & Bryer, P. (2007). Occurrence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons below coal-tar-sealed parking lots and effects on stream benthic macroinvertebrate communities. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 26(4), 694-707. doi:10.1899/06-109.1

Van Metre, P., Mahler, B., & Wilson, J. (2009). PAHs underfoot: contaminated dust from sealcoated pavements is widespread in the United States. Environ Sci Technol, 43, 20-25.

Van Metre, P., & Mahler, B. J. (2010). Contribution of PAHs from coal–tar pavement sealcoat and other sources to 40 U.S. lakes. Science of the Total Environment, 409, 334 – 344. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.08.014

Van Metre, P. C., & Mahler, B. J. (2014). PAH Concentrations in Lake Sediment Decline Following Ban on Coal-Tar-Based Pavement Sealants in Austin, Texas. Environmental Science & Technology. doi:10.1021/es405691q

Van Metre, P., Majewski, M. S., Mahler, B., Foreman, W. T., Braun, C. L., Wilson, J. T., & Burbank, T. L. (2012a). Volatilization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from coal-tar-sealed pavement. Chemosphere, 88(1), 1 – 7. doi:doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.12.072

Van Metre, P. C., Majewski, M. S., Mahler, B. J., Foreman, W. T., Braun, C. L., Wilson, J. T., & Burbank, T. L. (2012b). PAH volatilization following application of coal-tar-based pavement sealant. Atmospheric Environment, 51, 108-115. doi:doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.01.036

Watts, A. W., Ballestero, T. P., Roseen, R. M., & Houle, J. P. (2010). Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Stormwater Runoff from Sealcoated Pavements. Environmental Science & Technology, 44, 8849 – 8854. doi: 10.1021/es102059r

Williams, E. S., Mahler, B. J., & Van Metre, P. (2013). Cancer Risk from Incidental Ingestion Exposures to PAHs Associated with Coal-Tar-Sealed Pavement. Environmental Science & Technology, 47, 1101 – 1109.

Witter, A. E., Nguyen, M. H., Baidar, S., & Sak, P. B. (2014). Coal-tar-based sealcoated pavement: A major PAH source to urban stream sediments. Environmental Pollution, 185(0), 59-68. doi:

PCTC Columns in Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction Magazine


Articles in the Trade Press

Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction Magazine

Stormwater Magazine

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