The Pavement Coatings Technology Council (PCTC) got a full house at its "Sealcoating: Regulatory Challenges & Industry Initiatives" seminar at National Pavement Expo in Nashville, and that's only right because the industry is under more intense scrutiny than ever and because contractors need to understand the issues affecting their livelihood. And by the end of the session PCTC had achieved the near-impossible: A panel of three experts was able to provide some clarity on the muddled topic of the environmental impact of refined coal tar sealers.
Face it, when talk turns to chemistry and terms such as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (more commonly known as PAHs) eyes tend to glaze over and minds wander to what's for dinner. But PCTC's presenters - Mike Juba, Koppers; Bob DeMott, DABT Environ; and Kirk O'Reilly, JD Exponent - did a great job of simplifying the various complex scientific studies, making the dense written reports clear and understandable. Those in attendance should have walked out with a much better understanding of the issues facing the sealcoating industry, why the industry thinks much of the science thus far has been flawed, and what studies are planned or ongoing to determine from an unbiased scientific standpoint what impact, if any, refined coal tar sealers have on the environment.
In addition PCTC produced a top-notch video, "Why Sealcoat: Best Management Practices to Extend Pavement Life," which each attendee received. This video is an excellent explanation of the benefits of the sealcoating process and a step-by-step explanation of the proper application procedures. (It contains some promotion for refined coal tar-based sealers but the sealcoating information is right on.)
As the sealcoating season ramps up a link to this video should be included in every promotional e-mail contractors send out and in each proposal presented. You can find the video and a link to it on our website, www.pavementonline.com. (Click on Video Network on the left, then search under the Education tab.) You can also download it from the PCTC site (www.pavementcouncil.org) where there's a link under Contractor's Corner.
By the way, you can also view the video on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/PavementMagazine. When you visit make sure to indicate you "like" us to get regular updates and to be able to take advantage of special offers.