Creosote (coal tar) has been used by railroads to preserve wooden ties in railroad beds. The creosote can leech into the soil over time where it will remain unless disturbed.
The rails-to-trails conservatory acknowledges that creosote is a potential issue in the construction of recreational trails.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged that creosote is a probable carcinogen in both humans and animals
The proposed route of the WOW trail along the railroad right of way will disturb soil directly next to the tracks and adjacent to the beach.