Coal tar pavement sealants are now prohibited in Montgomery County

Planning on sealing your drive way or parking lot?

Make sure you are using a sealant that does not contain coal tar. As of December 18, 2012, the use of pavement sealants containing coal tar is prohibited in Montgomery County.

Use of a coal-tar based sealant can subject the applicator and the property owner to a fine of up to $1,000. Download the coal tar informational flyer in English or Spanish.

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Which Pavement Sealant Products Should I Use?
Before using a pavement sealant, check to make sure it does not contain:

Photo by Justin McInnis/ U.S. Geological Survey
Coal tar
Refined coal tar
Coal tar pitch
There are numerous approved alternatives to coal tar based sealants, such as:

Asphalt-based sealants
Latex sealants
We are developing a list of alternative sealants.

For do-it-yourselfers, local home improvement stores carry asphalt-based or latex sealants.

For those hiring a contractor to perform the job, make sure you specify a product without coal tar. Ask to see the ingredient list of the product they are using. View a list of pavement sealant products that do not contain coal tar.

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Why is Coal Tar Banned?
Coal tar, a byproduct of coal processing, contains high levels of chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Photo by Pete Van Metre/ U.S. Geological Survey
Some PAHs are known human carcinogens.
Studies have shown that when coal tar-based sealants are applied on parking lots and driveways, PAHs can be released into nearby surface waters. They can accumulate to levels in sediments potentially harmful to aquatic wildlife.
The presence of PAHs in sediments can potentially increase costs to the County government, businesses, and homeowner’s associations charged with maintaining stormwater management facilities.
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Help Make the Ban on Coal Tar a Success
You can help spread the word about the ban by sharing our informational flyer with your employees, building or property managers, homeowners’ association and neighbors.

Download a flyer on the coal tar ban in English or Spanish.

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Coal Tar Alternatives
Latex-ite Ultra Shield
Driveway Treatment Home Depot
Latex-ite Airport Grade
Driveway Sealer Home Depot
Latex-ite Optimum Driveway
Re-Surfacer Home Depot
Latex-ite 4.75-Gal. Color
Grade Blacktop Driveway
Filler/Sealer Home Depot
Driveway Sealer Lowes
Driveway Filler and Sealer Lowes
This list is provided only as a resource. Montgomery County does not endorse or make any recommendations regarding these products, or the companies that sell or use them.

Do you know of additional alternatives? Email us at If you are a company that provides alternatives to coal tar sealants, provide us with information about your products, as well as contact information for your company. We will list your information here.