What Is New York States Famous Issue with Railroad Ties?
Do you have old railroad ties around your house? Maybe they are being used for landscaping? Maybe they are on the border of a garden or doing something greater like holding back dirt in a retaining wall.
The railroad ties listed above may or may not be coated with creosote, it just depends on where you got them and how old they are.
What is creosote? Why is it so smelly?
If you have ever smelt creosote, then it is not something that you quickly forget. It is a strong smell that gets stuck in your nasal passages. Bold, burntish and super hard to explain. According to the dictionary, creosote is a brownish oily liquid consisting chiefly of aromatic hydrocarbons obtained by distillation of coal tar and used especially as a wood preservative. That is why New York State doesn't like railroad ties of a certain age, because they were famously coated in that stinky stuff.
So, what is the problem with the railroad ties and New York State?
In 2008, New York (according to the Department of Environmental Conservation) said no more to this 'alleged protective coating' on railroad ties. So, any railroad ties, used for the actual railroad or for landscaping purposes or for any other purpose for that matter could no longer have that coating on them. Creosote can no longer be used in any form in New York State.
In fact, if you want to dispose of any products that contain this creosote, you have to do it at a NYS DEC approved landfill, you just can throw these things out with the trash. If you do, you're looking at some serous fines.