Crumb rubber moratorium resolution heading to Westfield City Council

The Natural Resources committee talks about the concerns about the crumb rubber during a previous meeting. (Photo by Greg Fitzpatrick/The Westfield News)

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The Westfield City Council is expected to vote on a moratorium on the use of crumb rubber on city property next week, after the Council’s Natural Resources Committee voted to recommend the city adopt a resolution regarding the material yesterday.

The Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously to bring the resolution to city council during their next meeting July 6. If successful, the resolution would place a three-year resolution on “the construction or installation of certain synthetic turf” on city-owned property, particularly on synthetic turf with crumb rubber infill.

“The city should not condone use of questionable material on city properties, so this would be a good precedence and set a good example,” ward one councilor and committee member Mary Ann Babinski said.

The resolution would provide the city with a three-year moratorium on the material, but would also allow them to re-evaluate it as additional information and evidence comes to fruition. In particular, from the drafted resolution provided during yesterday’s meeting: “[A] moratorium will allow for the current research on certain synthetic turf to be completed and allow for scientists and public health professionals to analyze the risks, if any, of using certain synthetic turf.”

“If they say it’s dangerous we can make it a ban, if it isn’t, you can remove it or let it expire,” Babinski said.

Babinski said that she consulted with the city’s law and health departments on the crafting of it, and their suggestions were included within the draft.

According to Babinski, Westfield would not be the first municipality in Massachusetts to adopt such a moratorium, if it’s successful. At least two other municipalities, Littleton and Concord, adopted similar resolutions, she said.

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