Coal Tar Sealant Ordinance

driveway-sealing**Coal Tar Sealers Now Prohibited**
A Commercial Sealant Applicators Annual Permit and License Required For Work Within West Bloomfield

In March of 2017, the Environmental Commission along with the Township Supervisor was alerted to the public and environmental health hazards associated with the widespread use of coal tar sealants.  The Township drafted a Coal Tar Sealant Ordinance to protect the residents and the environment of West Bloomfield Township.

Coal tar based sealant products are commonly applied to parking lots and driveways to improve aesthetics and to increase longevity of the asphalt paved surfaces.  These sealants typically consist of 20−35% coal tar pitch.  Coal tar sealants contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are identified as toxic, mutagenic, teratogenic (causing birth defects), and/or probable human carcinogens. 

PAHs from coal tar sealants are released into the environment through volatilization into the air and as dust when the sealant breaks up over time.  The dust particles affix to sediments as they are moved toward lakes, streams, wetlands and storm basins during rain events.   Studies conducted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center have concluded that coal tar based sealants are an important source of PAHs to suburban waterways.  Also, studies show 50-75% of all PAHs found in sediments within the Great Lakes region come from coal tar sealants. 

The  ordinance is structured similarly to our fertilizer control ordinance, whereby the township will require commercial applicators to obtain a license prior to operating in the township.  The ordinance strictly prohibits the use of coal-tar sealants by commercial applicators as well as by residential and commercial property owners.  It is important to note that alternative asphalt sealant products exist at similar prices. 

The ordinance license procedure and enforcement will commence in 2018 and will be accompanied by a public education campaign.  A fee schedule for the ordinance is forthcoming.  

Ordinance No.C- (forthcoming in August)
Sealants to avoid
MPCA Coal Tar-based Sealcoat Environmental Concerns Flyer
Risks of Coal Tar-Based Seal Coat Flyer
Huron River Watershed Council

Requests of Home Owners
When looking to hire a Sealant Applicator to perform maintenance on your asphalt driveways and parking lots, please, only hire Applicators who have first obtained a West Bloomfield Sealant Applicators License.  Choose Sealant Applicators that will provide you with sealants that meet the ordinance.  Each licensed Sealant Applicator will have a black sticker prominently displayed on their vehicle for easy identification.

Instructions for Obtaining a Commercial Sealant Applicators Annual Permit and License

Beginning January 1, 2018 no person shall apply a coal tar or other high PAH Content sealant product on asphalt paved surfaces within the township.

• No commercial applicator, residential or commercial developer, or other similar individual or organization shall direct any employee, independent contractor, volunteer, or other person to apply or sell any coal tar or other high PAH content sealant product to any driveway, parking lot, or other surface within the township.

• A license must be applied for at the township clerk’s office.  Be sure to have your product name, MSDS sheet and CAS numbers ready when applying.

• A license issued under this article shall be valid until expiration, suspension, or revocation.

• A notarized, sworn statement signed by an owner or duly authorized representative of a commercial applicator indicating that the applicator will comply with the requirements of the Ordinance of the Township throughout the registration period.

• All commercial sealer product applicators shall be licensed in good standing by the Township before applying sealants on any paved surfaces in the township.

• The penalty for a first violation, of this article III, shall be the payment of two hundred dollars ($200.00), and the penalty for a second and each subsequent violation within any two (2) year period shall be the payment of five hundred dollars ($500.00).

• Any person or business found to have violated a provision of this Article III, of the chapter 14.5, shall be responsible for a municipal civil infraction.

• Each provision violated, and each day on which a violation is found to have occurred, shall constitute a separate offense.

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated; together we can reduce the negative impacts of PAH to our residents and the environment.