Stop the Permitting of an Artificial Turf Field Whose Rubber Contains Dangerous Chemicals

Stop the Permitting of an Artificial Turf Field Whose Rubber Contains Dangerous Chemicals

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Dave Bernstein started this petition to Residents of Wayland Massachusetts

Because I learned that its rubber infill would contain dangerous chemicals, I opposed the design and construction of an artificial turf field in the Loker Conservation Area, for which last month’s Town Meeting Article 25 sought a two-thirds approval to spend $3.6 million.  I had asked the Recreation Commission to explain the “virgin crumb rubber” they planned to use; the Recreation Director responded that it was ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, and pointed me at a likely supplier. The laboratory analysis sent to me by this supplier showed that EPDM rubber contains several dangerous chemicals: phthalates known to cause cancer and birth defects. Fortunately, Article 25 failed to gain majority support, much less the necessary two-thirds “quantum of vote”. Unfortunately, the Recreation Commission is continuing its effort to construct an artificial turf field at Loker; for example, they are currently seeking a permit for this project from the Zoning Board of Appeals, evidently on the assumption that they will somehow be able to raise the necessary funds.

Referring to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), Wayland Bylaw 198-203.1 states:

"The applicant shall show to the satisfaction of the special permit granting authority that the use, building, or structure for which application is made shall not be against the public interest, shall not derogate from the character of the neighborhood in which such use, building, or structure is to occur and shall not be detrimental or offensive because of noise, vibration, smoke, gas, fumes, odor, dust or other objectionable features and that such use, building, or structure shall not otherwise be injurious to the inhabitants of the Town or their property or dangerous to the public health or safety. When not so satisfied, the special permit granting authority shall deny the application."

The ZBA is meeting next Tuesday July 13 to consider permitting the artificial turf field at Loker, applied for by Wayland's Town Administrator:

https://www.wayland.ma.us/sites/g/files/vyhlif4016/f/agendas/7-13-2021_agenda_revised.pdf

Wayland’s Board of Health has not yet considered the laboratory analysis showing that EPDM rubber contains several dangerous chemicals, and is not scheduled to meet before the ZBA meets. The Board of Selectmen should direct the Town Administrator to withdraw the Loker artificial turf field application until the Board of Health can review the laboratory analysis and recommend any restrictions necessary to prevent dangerous chemicals in the Loker artificial turf field's EPDM rubber infill from contaminating Wayland's water supply, creating yet another ticking time that threatens our health and finances. 

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