Bill S2439-2011

Provides for a public health study by the department of health on the installation of synthetic turf

Provides for a public health study by the department of health on the installation of crumb rubber in synthetic turf.

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  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO HEALTH
  • Jan 21, 2011: REFERRED TO HEALTH

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2439

TITLE OF BILL: An act to direct the department of health to conduct a comprehensive public health study; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof

PURPOSE: The bill requires an assessment of the public health and environmental impacts of the use of synthetic turf in indoor and outdoor settings.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill would require a comprehensive assessment of the potential adverse impacts of synthetic turf on public health and the environment by the Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation with a report back to the Governor and the Legislature.

EXISTING LAW: None.

JUSTIFICATION: Increasingly, synthetic turf is being installed in many locations in New York State, including parks, athletic fields, indoor facilities and other settings where natural grass was previously grown. In recent years, crumb rubber fill is being used as a component of synthetic turf and mulch. The crumb rubber is a result of processing waste tires, which contain numerous components, some which are known to be hazardous. These contaminants can include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, vanadium, zinc and acetone. Health effects associated with these contaminants include birth defects, cancer, nervous system damage, and immune system suppression.

In 2004, the Legislature passed the historic Waste Tire Management Act, which provided for the collection and recycling/reuse of millions of waste tires stockpiled in New York State. While various options for waste tire use are essential to reduce significant stockpiles of waste tires, these uses should not threaten or compromise public health or the environment.

Limited testing of synthetic turf has occurred, identifying levels of concern of lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and other contaminants. However, more information is necessary to make informed decisions on the appropriate uses of this material. In the interest of preventing adverse health impacts and contamination to natural resources, the Legislature finds that a comprehensive investigation on the potential threats associated with the use of synthetic turf is warranted. Therefore, DOH is mandated, in cooperation with DEC, to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the exposure and contamination potential of synthetic turf, including routes of exposure through installation, maintenance, removal and disposal of synthetic turf and its alternatives including natural turf. The DOH report would be required to be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

S.6531-B, 2008; A.9503-B, 2008, S.7124 of 2010 Referred to Health

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately, with provisions.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2439 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 21, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ALESI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to direct the department of health to conduct a comprehensive public health study; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature finds that increas- ingly, synthetic turf is being installed in many locations in New York state, including parks, athletic fields and other settings where natural grass was previously grown. In recent years, crumb rubber fill is being used as a component of synthetic turf and mulch. Crumb rubber is the result of processing waste tires, which contain numerous components, some of which are known to be hazardous to people and the environment. The hazardous components include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, vana- dium, zinc and acetone. Health effects associated with these components, at dangerous levels, include birth defects, cancer, nervous system damage and immune system suppression. While various options for waste tire use are essential to reducing the significant stockpiles of waste tires, such uses should not threaten or compromise public health. The legislature finds that more information is necessary to make an informed decision on the appropriate uses of synthetic turf containing crumb rubber. In the interest of preventing adverse health impacts and contamination to natural resources, the legislature finds that a compre- hensive public health study on the potential threats associated with the use of synthetic turf is warranted. Therefore, the legislature finds that it is consistent with public policy to require such comprehensive public health study to be undertak- en immediately. S 2. Public health study of the use of synthetic turf. 1. The state department of health, in cooperation with the department of environ-
mental conservation, shall immediately undertake a review of all avail- able data relating to the potential health risks and effects of synthet- ic turf, with particular attention to the crumb rubber content of such synthetic turf, including the installation, maintenance, removal and disposal of synthetic turf, and including comparisons with other alter- natives including natural turf with modern drainage and other components. 2. The commissioner of health, or his or her designee, shall: a. Solicit input from environmental and public health specialists, and other stakeholders in an open, public process; b. Examine various routes of exposure and the health and environmental impact of these pathways including, but not limited to, small fill particle inhalation, volatility, leaching to groundwater, dermal absorp- tion, and persistence in the environment of original and degradation by-products; c. Prepare a report to the governor and the legislature which includes research and studies conducted on synthetic turf which were the source of the report findings and recommendations for appropriate and inappro- priate use of synthetic turf, crumb rubber and waste tires. Such report shall be filed within six months of the effective date of this act, unless the commissioner of health requests in writing, an extension of time; and d. Conduct an outreach program to inform local governments, private organizations, schools and the public regarding the findings of such report. If necessary, information on safe alternatives to synthetic turf in settings where this material is a potential or actual health risk should be disseminated to the public. 3. All other departments or agencies of the state or subdivisions thereof, and local governments shall, at the request of the commissioner of health, provide expertise, assistance, and data that will enable the commissioner to carry out his or her powers and duties. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately; (a) provided, however, that this act shall continue in full force and effect for six months from such effective date, or until the department of health reports to the governor and the legislature as required by section two of this act, whichever date is later, when upon such date the provisions of this act shall be deemed repealed; and (b) provided that the commissioner of health shall notify the legisla- tive bill drafting commission upon filing the report required in section two of this act in order that the commission may maintain an accurate and timely effective data base of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in furtherance of effectuating the provisions of section 44 of the legislative law and section 70-b of the public offi- cers law.

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