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The coal industry is having a tough week. Yesterday, the environmental and human toll of mountaintop removal coal mining was the subject of a Senate hearing. Today, the DC government announced a $2,500 fine to anyone using coal tar in pavement projects. 

Staring Jul. 1, DC will no longer issue construction permits for roadway and driveway builds involving coal tar. It will also be illegal to sell the stuff. Coal tar has been used as a pavement sealer for many years but comes with some nasty environmental side effects. The District Department of the Environment says the ban seeks to prevent toxic chemicals from being carried along with rainwater into the Anacostia and Potomac rivers and Chesapeake Bay.