Coal Tar Ban


Coal tar Pavement Sealants are 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.


Image of a scientist spraying coal tar sealant during a test.


What Products are Included in the Ban?

Before using a pavement sealant, check to make sure it does not contain:

  • Coal tar

  • Refined coal tar

  • Coal tar pitch

  • RT-12


Help Make the Ban on Coal Tar a Success!

Download the coal tar informational flyer in English or Spanish (en español) .

You can help spread the word about the ban by sharing our informational flyer with your local paving contractor, employees, building or property managers, homeowners association and neighbors.


Reporting Violations

If you believe that a company or property has paved with a coal tar product after December 18, 2012, please report it to Montgomery County 311


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

  • 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.


Photo of a paving contractor spraying a coal tar sealant.


There are numerous approved alternatives to coal tar based sealants, such as:

  • Asphalt-based sealants
  • 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. 

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



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.