This letter is a response to the full page ad in Sound and Town by Fields for Kids that says a synthetic turf field at the Mamaroneck High School is a project that “everyone can get behind.”
I wish I could, but I object to information in this FFK ad campaign regarding complete costs and the environment. It is startling to me that the “long awaited” DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) report on synthetic fields is touted as dismissing all doubts about environmental impact. However:
This DEC report states, as early as the Executive Summary on page 2, that “The study included a field sampling component for potential surface and groundwater impacts. This work has not been fully completed at the time of this report.” And thus “findings… should not be considered as conclusive.”
Regarding heat, on page 3 the DEC report states: “The results of the temperatures survey show significantly higher surface temperatures for synthetic turf fields as compared to the measurements obtained on nearby grass and sand surfaces.”
The DEC report then says “prolonged contact with the hotter surfaces may have the potential to create discomfort, cause thermal injury and contribute to heat-related illnesses. Awareness of the potential for heat illness… needs to be raised among users and managers of athletic fields, athletic staff, coaches and parents.” (page 3)
Who will inform our community of this health risk before the field is contracted? Who will continue to monitor and post the risk? We have been told that there will be no lead or rubber crumb, but no products have been reviewed with the public that fit these criteria and the budget. How can one review the impact on the environment and health of our kids and complete a SEQRA report without complete information?
This is just one of my objections. I believe our community should be given up-to-date and complete information on the financial, health and environmental impact of this project. For more information on synthetic fields, access www.synturf.org by Guive Mirfendereski, PhD, JD. The site offers other articles, costs and surveys from across the country.