How Laws are Made in Minnesota, Parts 1, 2 and 3

Emails obtained through a Minnesota-version of the a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request tell the story of how the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency pushed through a statewide ban on refined coal tar-based pavement sealers (RTS) using a mix bad science, unnecessarily burdensome regulation, misspent taxpayer dollars, and politicians led by federal and state employees with misguided policy preferences. In a multi-part series published in Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction magazine, the emails tell the tale. Part 1 was published in March 2014 issue. Part 2 in May 2014. Part 3 was published in June 2014.

EPA’s Reliance On Outdated Studies Results in Challenge of Two Publications Regarding Refined Coal Tar-Based Sealants issued a press release today. The text follows:

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, April 23, 2014 – submitted a Request for Correction (RfC) of information to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Data Quality Act (DQA). The RfC challenges the EPA’s reliance on outdated papers that offer theories about the alleged impact of refined coal tar-based sealants (RTS) on the environment. All of the studies cited by the EPA were published years ago by staff affiliated with the US Geological Survey (USGS) or the City of Austin. Most of the conclusions proffered in these publications have been called into question by more recent peer reviewed articles and comments published in well-respected scientific journals. Up to now, the more recent literature concerning RTS has been overlooked by the EPA. The RfC is available on EPA’s Information Quality web site. publishes "A Contractor’s Letter to Customers Regarding Refined Coal Tar Sealers" is a website that conveys information for and about asphalt professionals. Recently, a letter was published on from Atlanta contractor Gerry Signs, President of Asphalt Enterprises, Inc. The letter relates Mr. Signs decades of experience with both tar-based and asphalt-based sealers. Quite rightly, Mr. Signs points out that activists plan to follow their campaign against tar-based sealer by similarly targeting asphalt-based products. This exact sentiment has been expressed at different times in the presence of PCTC by, among others, the "Coal Tar Free America" blogger (whose day job is as an employee of the City of Austin, TX) and an employee of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Read the letter here: A Contractor’s Letter to Customers Regarding Refined Coal Tar Sealers

The Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project: Comments and Recommendations of the Pavement Coatings Technology Counci sent a letter to the organizations involved in the Great Lakes Coal Tar Sealcoat PAH Reduction Project ("Project"). Read the full letter here and the detailed comments and recommendations here.