City may ban coal tar-based sealersSealers contaminate stormwater with carcinogenic chemical
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
The Rosemount City Council conducted a first reading Monday of an ordinance that will regulate the use of coal tar-based sealing products.
If the ordinance is approved after a second reading it will mean residents and businesses won’t be able to use the sealants on their driveways.
The ordinance aims to stop the use of the sealants in Rosemount to protect the city’s stormwater ponds and wetlands. Those caught using the sealants will be charged with a misdemeanor
City engineer and public works director Andy Brotzler said the issue came up last year when a resident expressed concerns about the sealers being used on the private streets within Crosscroft Community.
The resident attended a utility commission meeting last April in which he provided test results obtained from Dakota County of a sample of runoff from the streets in Crosscroft. The results indicated the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the chemical accumulates in the sediments of stormwater ponds. PAHs can be harmful to human health and are classified as carcinogenic by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Brotzler said emulsion-based products are safer for the environment and are easily accessible.
In some cases, Brotzler said, city’s have had to dispose of sediment as hazardous waste, which is costly.
Council member Jeff Weisensel questioned whether the council could more harshly punish offenders because of the high potential cost.
Staff answered that they thought a misdemeanor charge was adequate.
Rosemount is not alone in restricting use of the products. According to the MPCA many cities have passed similar ordinances.
A second reading will be conducted at the April 17 council meeting.