Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Crumb Rubber Still in Use at Richard Montgomery High School

Crumb rubber was added as needed to the Richard Montgomery High School artificial turf football field yesterday, despite the Montgomery County Council's vote to not use crumb rubber "going forward." 


  1. Is Crumb rubber harmful to the environment? YES.

    Crumb rubber is comprised of cut-up recycled tires. According to the Coastal Marine Resource Center Policy Project 2008 paper “The Effects of Crumb Rubber on Water Quality,” a study from the Canadian government found that “all rainbow trout exposed to water containing scrap tires for 60 days died within 24 hours.” As the crumb rubber disintegrates over time (fields are generally replaced every 8-10 years), it can prove even more toxic than when it is first put down. In a study examining 3 tires with varying degrees of wear immersed in water, “the water from both the new and used tire...contain[ed] toxic lethate and proved fatal to rainbow trout. The water from the used tired was more toxic...and remained toxic for 24 days longer...”

    The study goes on to explain that one of the most important factor in determining the likelihood and danger of water and marine life contamination is the “proximity to water sources” and that this proximity “play[s] a large role in the physical transport of crumb rubber pellets and the effect contaminants have on water quality.” This points to the direct, negative relationship between how close the artificial turf field is to the nearest water source, and calls into serious question the proximity of Leo Santaballa field to Lake Marmota and the entire watershed of the Great Falls community (2).


    1. I totally understand what you're getting at with the crumb rubber being harmful to rainbow trout and marine life as well as the surrounding watersheds - I'm right there with you. That being said, I was curious to know if you found any published data on the long-term effects on the people who play on these fields. Certainly rainbow trout and local marine ecosystems are second when we're talking about our children, right? It's more than just the fields at RMHS, but those at the Germantown Soccerplex that I'm sure we all frequent on the weekends also contain crumb rubber.

      I'm hoping that data comes out that can help us figure out the link between crumb rubber and human health - it'd certainly help us fight this fight. Maybe this reputable data already exists, I might just be unaware.

    2. @11:30 PM - Who cares? No one in Montgomery County. We have plenty of children and we can just make more. You must be from some other part of the country if you think children's health is a priority in Montgomery County. How wrong you are. We don't even let students have access to drinking water at lunch time.

      You need to look for the articles on the soccer coach and her list of 19 goalies that have gotten cancer. She's concerned and has taken the issue to the national news.

  2. It’s budget season in Montgomery County and the Parks Department submitted its annual operating budget request to the County Executive in January. Our operating budget pays for our staff, supplies and materials, and equipment needed to maintain and operate the parks.

    On March 16, 2015, the County Executive released his recommended budget and it was $4 million less than what we asked for.

    We had requested $5 million more than last year to account for known commitments like the cost of operating new parks that we have built, increases in and employee salaries and benefits, and inflationary pressures on supplies, materials, and contracts.

    Plus, we asked for a few new resources to improve service in many park programs where we need to respond to emerging needs and reduce backlogs in park maintenance.

    Our requested budget was 5% higher than last year, but 3% of that was just to keep up and 2% was to improve services and reduce backlogs.

    The County Executive recommended just a 1% increase for us, which would result in a significantly reduced services budget for next year.

    Many Departments in County Government fared much better than parks.

    If we do not get the County Council to fund our requested budget, many park programs will be adversely impacted. They include:

    · Providing active urban parks
    · Maintaining athletic fields
    · Maintaining trails
    · General park maintenance
    · Advancing sustainability initiatives
    · Protecting natural resources
    · Programming and interpreting historic sites
    · Providing additional community gardens
    · Raising funds through our Parks Foundation
    · Providing safe and secure parks through the Park Police
    · Managing the County’s white-tail deer population

    I am asking that people interested in our parks consider testifying in support of the Parks budget at the County Council public hearings held on April 14, 15, and 16, 2015. If you are willing, you must call 240-777-7803 to sign up to testify at the Council Office Building in Rockville. The public hearing on 14th starts at 7:00pm, and the hearings on the 15th and 16th are at 1:30pm and 7:00pm.


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