NY City Council to hold Public Hearing Monday, Feb. 9th Regarding Banning use of Artificial Turf and Additional Testing on Rubber Mats

The Parks & Recreation Committee of the New York City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, February 9, at 10 AM in the Council Chambers at City Hall around eliminating use of artificial turf in NYC parks and fields (already in ‘play’ in over 90 locations!) and requiring temperature testing (and possibly banning) of “safety surface” (you know, those rubber mats that kids have burned their feet on…) before further usage. Both are being considered for use at Washington Square Park in Phase 2 of the Park’s redesign.

Meeting details and link to actual resolutions:

Details: Int 739 – By Council Members Baez, James, Gioia, Mark-Viverito, Gonzalez, Palma and Arroyo –

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to prohibiting the use of certain synthetic turf on surfaces used for recreational purposes.

Int 896 – By Council Members de Blasio, Lappin, Barron, Brewer, Gerson, Gonzalez and James –

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring signage warning of heat dangers of playground mats.

Int 918 – By Council Member Stewart –

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the surface areas of playgrounds and playing fields.

Res 1782 – By Council Member Mark-Viverito – Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to amend Section 399-dd of the General Business Law to allow municipalities to enact local laws regarding playground equipment and the
Department of Parks and Recreation to require a temperature test for all equipment installed in parks and playgrounds, including safety surfacing, and to prohibit such materials from being installed that pose a health or burn danger to exposed skin.

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  1. The public school system in Montgomery County, MD (MCPS) is planning to replace all 25 high school football fields with artificial turf from FieldTurfTarkett, which recently opened an office in Betheda, MD (in the county). So far the school system has replaced 1 field and have convinced or bullied the Board of Education and to date the County Council that this is best for our county. Any attempt to provide facts to residents and parents has been met with nasty attacks and it is almost impossible to get the facts out. I appreciate that the NYC City Council actually has the guts to debate this issue. You are very lucky that you live in a democracy. I wish I could say the same for Montgomery County, MD. Here it is a cronyist government.

  2. A lot of the temperature problems come from fly by night companies that don’t have proper testing on their products. Most of the problems could be alleviated by the purchasing party asking for testing results, and not always going with the low ball bidder. These surfaces are safe, provided that they are installed correctly with the right binders. It makes me frustrated that a good product is getting a bad name from horrible installers.

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