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Coal Tar Ban

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

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.


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





Why is Coal Tar Banned?


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.

Alternatives to Coal Tar


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. 


Coal Tar Free Paving Products

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.



Contact Information

Black Diamond GemSeal

Latex-ite Airport Grade Driveway Sealer

Home Depot

Latex-ite Optimum Driveway 

Home Depot

Latex-ite 4.75-Gal. Color 
Grade Blacktop Driveway 

Home Depot

BLACK JACK Blacktop 
Driveway Sealer


BLACK JACK Blacktop 
Driveway Filler and Sealer


Paveshield Pavement Depot of Maryland


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.