The Pavement Coatings Technology Council (PCTC) spent much of 2012 presenting scientific research in defense of refined coal tar (RFT) sealers to officials in various states, defending the material from unwarranted regulation.
“It’s been a productive year,” Executive Director Anne LeHuray said. “There have been a number of challenges at local and state levels and as an organization we have been working with several different government agencies to make sure they understand the science behind use of sealcoat.”
She said that partially because of PCTC support and the involvement of local PCTC members and customers, governments have reconsidered claims that sealers harm the environment. In Montgomery County, MD, the local government did institute a ban without any evidence that RFT is related to even a single instance of environmental pollution.
Briefing the FAA
LeHuray said PCTC meetings with the Federal Aviation Administration were particularly important because the industry often relies on FAA specs P-630 (without additive) and P-631 (with additive) for various bids, and because airports require adherence to the specs for sealcoating of runways and taxiways. “We found that while many FAA technical people had a vague awareness of the issue it really hasn’t become more than a local issue,” she says. “We had an open discussion with the FAA and found them interested and receptive. They gave no indication the FAA is considering any changes to its sealcoating specifications or requirements.”
PCTC also had its scientific research on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, giving the PCTC argument added weight when presented to officials. “It’s been clear all along that the data regarding PAHs used by the U.S.G.S. to implicate refined coal tar sealer in waterway pollution was not accurate and we have been arguing that and demonstrating it for years,” she said. “Now that our results have been reviewed by other scientists and published in scientific literature it has much more impact.”