The Pavement Coatings Technology Council (PCTC) has developed a three-pronged strategy to deal with issues affecting the sealcoating industry, such as these recurrent attacks on refined coal tar sealer. Executive Director Anne LeHuray says two steps are proactive and the third is reactive, but all play equally important roles in PCTC's efforts to educate the public while protecting the sealcoating industry.
"We're not looking to say refined coal tar sealer is something it isn't, but we also won't allow other people to use scare tactics to tell people it's something it isn't," she says.
The first part of the strategy is PCTC's efforts to reach out to government entities concerned about issues related to sealcoating. This outreach includes the federal level, with the various agencies that might have an interest in PAHs, including the U.S. Geological Survey and the EPA.
Second, PCTC is conducting or sponsoring its own research to address product-related issues. "The Austin 'dust study' has only recently been released, and plans are already underway to address that," LeHuray says. "But in the meanwhile the follow-up study that refutes the Austin Barton Creek results is expected to be released in March. We are also looking at studies of PAHs in urbanized areas."
Third, PCTC is reacting to these challenges as they arise. "Part of the reason we changed our name from Pavement Coatings Technology Center to Council is because we realized there's a need for our industry to be out there educating and responding to concerns, whether it's at the federal, state, local, or provincial level," she says.
"Whenever we hear there is an interest by a city or community or state legislature we contact them and offer to provide information and assistance and to answer any questions. PCTC has and will continue to send members to meetings anywhere in North America to explain this complex issue and work to educate anyone who is interested in the facts about refined coal tar sealant."
For specifics on the recent "dust study," its impact on the sealcoating industry, and PCTC's comments on the study's validity see "Defending Refined Coal Tar-based Sealer" in the March/April issue of Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction. And check out the "Editorial" in the issue to see where the magazine stands.