Shorewood may become the next Minnesota city to ban the use and sale of certain driveway sealants. Its City Council is expected to vote Monday on an ordinance that would prohibit coal tar-based sealants used to recondition asphalt driveways, parking lots and other surfaces. The sealant contains hazardous chemicals that can run off hard surfaces and accumulate in storm water ponds, creeks, wetlands and other waters.
Exposure to the chemicals at certain concentrations can be harmful to fish, birds and other wildlife, and potentially to humans. The ordinance would not apply to asphalt-based sealants that are a safer alternative and are increasingly used by commercial firms.
A 2009 Minnesota law restricted state agencies from buying the coal tar-based products, but it did not apply to cities.
Minneapolis, White Bear Lake, Edina, Eden Prairie and 21 other cities have banned the product, making them eligible to apply for grants to help clean up already-contaminated sediment in storm ponds.