Edmonds City Council committee Tuesday to discuss extending crumb rubber ban


    The Edmonds City Council’s Parks, Planning and Public Works Committee during its Tuesday night, Feb. 13, meeting will discuss a proposed resolution to extend for a second time the city’s moratorium on using tire crumb rubber on publicly-owned athletic fields — this time until July 15, 2018.

    According to the proposed resolution, extending the ban is due to “the ongoing nature” of health and safety research being conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    A report on that research is expected in mid-2018 and it’s possible “that the city council will want to extend the prohibition again depending on the status of these ongoing research efforts and the findings that they might generate,” the draft resolution says.

    Following months of public testimony and discussion among councilmembers about crumb rubber’s possible health and environmental impacts, the city council in December 2015 first approved an ordinance that placed a moratorium on the turf installation with a scheduled sunset date of July 11, 2017. The council voted in April 2017 to extend that ban until Feb. 28, 2018, awaiting the results of pending federal research.

    Also on the agenda for the three council committee meetings Tuesday night:

    Parks, Planning, and Public Works Committee (Jury Meeting Room)
    – Briefing on the city-wide pavement rating report
    – Presentation of an Interlocal Agreement with the Edmonds School District to fund overlay of 236th Street from 94th Avenue to 92nd Avenue
    – Report on bids for the 238th Street Southwest Walkway (Edmonds Way to Highway 99)
    – Report on bids for the Northstream pipe abandonment and culvert rehabilitation project, located off Highway 524 and 11th Place North.
    – Report on bids for the Five Corners Reservoir Re-Coating Project

    Finance Committee (Council Chamber)
    – Preliminary December 2017 quarterly financial report
    – Capital asset policy
    – Draft Finance Committee 2018 Work Plan
    – 2018 carryforward budget amendments

    Public Safety and Personnel Committee (Police Training Room)
    – Special Event Parking Discussion
    – Amendment to allow boards/commissions remote participation

    The city council committee meetings are open to the public but are not public hearings and no public comment is taken.

    You can see the complete Feb. 13 city council agenda here.

    13 Replies to “Edmonds City Council committee Tuesday to discuss extending crumb rubber ban”

    1. “The on going nature” means there is no science behind this but we hope there will be. The fact is, people in Edmonds create used tires (it’s not like we’re not driving cars) and turf fields are a great way to recycle them. Banning tires altogether would at least be an honest approach. The city is actually entertaining a resolution to not recycle.

      It’s pseudo-environmentalism when the planet needs real environmentalism. Look at the thumbs down I got when I pointed out that superfluous dogs are doing a lot of environmental damage:


      1. Yes. But crumb rubber leaches less than fertilizer. The only feild that has no environmental impact is no field. The comments in the old article had some good links.


      2. Donald,
        I do not have a strait forward answer to your question, however, here is info from Delaware River Keepers that touches on the issue: “As rubber degrades it can leach toxic substances which can contaminate soil, plants and aquatic ecosystems. Study has concluded that the use of tires in artificial turf has the potential to pollute our environment with PAHs, phenols and zinc and that runoff from an artificial turf field draining to a local creek can pose “a positive risk of toxic effects on biota in the water phase and in the sediment.” https://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/sites/default/files/resources/PressReleases/Fact_Sheet_Artificial_Synthetic_Turf.pdf

        The Seattle Times and My Edmonds News both reported on storm water runoff killing local salmon and tire dust is specifically mentioned:

        In reply to Mr. Richardson’s response of “crumb rubber leaches less than fertilizer”: In this situation that is a misleading comparison. If artificial turf is the choice, then CORK is a viable infill option that will mitigate the leaching concerns, as well as the health concerns of many parents. Seattle Parks and Rec and Seattle Public Schools have both committed to alternatives other than crumb rubber, and are choosing to use cork. South Kitsap High School, Vashon Island School District, Anacortes High School, Mercer Island High School, Lakewood High School, and more… all using cork. https://www.parentmap.com/article/artificial-turf-crumbs-cancer-risk


        1. Tires that are just put into dumps or burned pollute too. Even alternative ways of recycling tires, such as making asphalt out of them, creates more leaching concerns. Revalcanizing tires for use in rubber for shoes and other new products creates a lot of byproduct that is still thrown away. Ironically, play fields are the least damaging way to recycle tires. Fertilizing and mowing real grass is horrible for the soil, air and water. Cork is great, but tires exist- even if we don’t recycle them.


          1. Lest not forget, there’s no connection between recycled play fields and cancer. That was the impetus behind this hysteria.
            Now the environment is actaully being invoked to oppose recycling. That’s a moving target.


          1. Simply, price. All the alternative infills are all more expensive than crumb rubber. When the current info says crumb rubber is safe, it’s hard to justify the added expense. It means doing without elsewhere.

            From the Bellevue School District spring 2017:
            Why not use a cork infill?
            Cork infill is a relatively new and untested product. In Washington state, three large playing fields have a cork infill. These fields have been installed for approximately one year. Around the country there are 25-30 fields with cork infill, many having been in place for less than three years.


          2. I read a while back that the coconut fields didnt pan out so well. They didn’t last long and broke down into dust that weren’t good to breath. I didn’t know that cork wasn’t tested, I’ve heard some good stuff about cork…. but then there’s all those tires just sitting there that could be used.


    2. Until we have a good sampling of air quality and maintenance cost on the cork fill in the Northwest, we need to stop saying it is a viable solution to a perceived problem. We do not know if the cork produces mold cultures that might have a larger impact with some of the athletes/general population using the synthetic fields. Unfortunately, that information might be years away from becoming a reality at the current pace things move.


    3. The seldom-saluted elephant in the room of SBR discussion is what happens to the remainder of the tires that we all ‘consume’ through wear while driving. With millions of vehicles on the road, any concerning exposure must logically be orders of magnitude greater from this direction.

      This source is not limited to playfields, does not stop after the game is over, constantly discharges into all storm water, and consists pretty much of nothing but particles small enough to be deeply inhaled.

      Then there are all the PAHs, benzene, and other carcinogens released from the gasoline we pump into our vehicles, not to mention the asbestos we freely distribute when we step on the brakes. However, I don’t see the family car vilified much here.

      Life is guaranteed to be risk-filled and, without omniscience, nothing can be proven to be 100% safe, not cork, not coconut, not SBR.


    4. I had occasion to watch a youth soccer game at a field in Livermore, California, at which the turf was crumb rubber. Anything that smells that bad can’t be good for our kids to play on. It might not be quite as noxious in our moist and cooler environment, but I certainly don’t care to find out. Plant some grass.


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