Legislation in CT would halt Tire Crumb playgrounds.
CT. House Bill 6998 would “prohibit the installation of ground cover that contains shredded or ground rubber recycled from motor vehicle tires in municipal and public school playgrounds.” If passed the ban would be effective July 1, but would not apply retroactively to contracts entered into prior to July.
State Rep. Diana Urban (D-Stonington) introduced the bill which was referred to the Joint Committee on Children. At a Feb. 21 public hearing 28 speakers were heard: 23 in favor, 4 opposed, 1 neutral.
Opposing the bill was Fred Balsamo, executive director CT Association of Athletic Directors. “Bill 6998 is a reaction to much propaganda and hype rather than fact” and it presents a threat to tire crumb (TC) “athletic fields and tracks down the road.”
Bill supporters included citizen Susan Kullis who said, “It is madness to say that nothing has been proven yet, so we will continue to allow its use.”
The legislative committee voted by a one vote margin to approve the bill. All Republicans on the committee voted against it.
Bill supporter Nancy Alderman told CSN she was pleased it passed committee, “but having Republicans vote in a block does not bode it well for getting it through the whole session”. Reflecting on the vote she noted: “Because the Republicans voted in a block it is hard to believe that the individual legislators came to their own conclusions after serious considerations of the facts. Because there was one more Democrat than Republican on the committee the bill passed.” Alderman is President, Environment and Human Health, Inc. of New Haven.