The Council of State Governments (CSG) unanimously passed a resolution in December 2017 supporting the use of science-based evidence when considering crumb rubber products such as synthetic turf. The resolution also called on the federal government to prioritize completing its pending federal study.
Why this matters: Reactions from some state and local governments to the debate surrounding the use of crumb rubber include passed and proposed bans on synthetic turf and other recycled rubber products.
Science-Based Evidence Is Key
Minnesota State Senator – and ISRI Member - Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) offered the resolution to bring attention to the debate and the reports alleging a connection to cancer in young athletes. Supported by ISRI, Senator Miller presented his resolution before the CSG Energy and Environment Committee with remarks highlighting that
- More than 90 peer-reviewed scientific studies demonstrating there is no increased health risk to athletes playing on artificial turf, and
- Completing the federal study is imperative so that fellow state and local lawmakers can review the science and consider facts before jumping to conclusions.
CSG Influences State Policymakers
Following its endorsement in December 2017, the CSG Executive Committee endorsed the Resolution on Utilizing Science-Based Evidence. It will remain in effect for three years and will be available to all policymakers seeking more information on what other states are doing on crumb rubber and synthetic turf.
Go Deeper: For more information visit RecycledRubberFacts.org or contact Danielle Waterfield for the latest on state legislation impacting crumb rubber and synthetic turf.
States and local governments continue to send mixed signals on synthetic turf surfaces, despite studies that thus far indicate no significant health risks to athletes.
- The District of Columbia enacted a synthetic turf moratorium in their 2018 budget.
- New Hampshire, Maryland, and Virginia introduced moratoria legislation for the 2018 sessions
- The Council of State Governments (CSG) approved a resolution noting that scientific evidence should be paramount when assessing recycled rubber play surfaces (see CSG Adopts Crumb Rubber Resolution).
- Hawaii and Maryland have both introduced legislation authorizing synthetic turf installations at public schools.
- New Jersey bills provide an exemption from the Highlands and Water Protection and Planning Act for synthetic turf fields.
Bottom line: ISRI members need to be involved with their policymakers on the federal, state, and local levels to ensure the industry can continue to operate without excessive statutory and regulatory burdens.
Go deeper: If you would like to find out what changes could impact your company, visit ISRI's State Policy page or contact Danielle Waterfield if you have any questions about the system or legislation impacting your state. ISRI has also added live legislative and regulatory reports to the State Resources and Tracking pages to make keeping up-to-date in your state easier, and will be adding more resources in the coming year.