Thursday, February 05, 2009

Followup to the turf study post last week

As a result of this post last week on Milone &Macbroom's recently released turf study, I got a call from John Milone, a Cheshire resident. I appreciated the call and he elaborated on two issues:

1) When M&M does work on a ballfield, their fees are the same for a natural grass field as they are for an artificial turf field.

2) M&M's turf study was not performed in relation to Cheshire's proposed turf field.

My thoughts:

On the first point (we didn't discuss this, but) I seem to recall M&M doing work for the town on Bartlem Park. My point is that even if a field is natural turf... ballfields have engineering work done on them.

On the second point, I know that M&M does work up and down the east coast (though mostly in the Northeast). So while they're located in Cheshire... and Cheshire happens to be discussing a turf field... from a business perspective, a turf field at CHS is relatively insignificant. So I think the facts that:

a) M&M is located in Cheshire
b) Cheshire is considering a turf field
c) M&M did a turf study

are coincidental. In other words, if M&M was located in Ohio they still would've done the study.

I took John at his word. I thought he was quite sincere.

Having said all that... last July, I voted against accepting the money for the turf field. And I do have concerns about costs, health and environmental issues. But the turf field has been driven by one or two Council members... not by Town staff and not by M&M.

So I want to be clear that when I take issue with particular people involved with the turf, my concerns are with the Council members who have driven it.

Tim White

p.s. For the record, John Milone and I have met and spoken briefly a few times. But that's about it... and frankly I don't recall what we ever discussed. Probably stuff about the town or the state, but nothing about any issues facing the Town Council as far as I recall. Also, I ran for state Representative in 2006. I have no idea if he donated money to me. He may have, but I didnt' pay attention to that stuff then and I certainly wouldn't remember now... though the records are all on the web for anyone who's interested in researching it.


Anonymous said...

I seem to recall one of the articles in the paper as saying that EHHI has criticized M & M's turf study. One reason was that they used samples that were too small.
Everyone knows Cheshire's turf study committee is fake. They're going to go with M & M's report and ignore anything EHHI says. The CDC has said there's an increased risk of MRSA from turf burns, but I suppose our turf committee will ignore this too.
Sickening, huh.

Anonymous said...

I am sure if they were located in "Ohio", it would not have made as big news as it did in CT.
I wonder if a certain councilman turf suggested to the TM that it would be a good time to get a study done???

tim white said...

Everyone knows Cheshire's turf study committee is fake.

I hope so because it is a hoax... unless "substantiating" your goals means it's real.

They're going to go with M & M's report and ignore anything EHHI says.

Councilman Turf has his own agenda. But I read today that Gov. Rell is playing The Heavy now... even approved bonding is getting eliminated and / or delayed indefinitely. I took that to mean Crusher's slush fund is getting cancelled.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if M&M is based in Alaska and if they can see Russia. The point is that this is a business and there is a tendency for businesses to enhance benefits and minimize or exclude probems areas from their study scope or results. I think you can trust this study as much as you would trust that friendly, smiling used car salesman to provide all the information, good and bad, about that car he was showing you.

Remember M&M did not come out and state to the press that turf fields are safe and that the public had nothing to worry about. Instead, they skirted these issues with wording that a good litigation lawyer would use. No matter what they say, most people don't believe this is a safe material for the users, is less expensive than real turf to maintain, or provides that much more use when one considers precluding weather that affect usage for both turf and the real stuff and when they don't recommend its use during those hot summer days.

Let's wait for them to publicly announce that the turf is perfectly safe and that we don't have to worry about any injuries or lawsuits and that they will assume all the liability. So, accept the money and accept the liability.

Anonymous said...

We are in a terrible recession and we are talking about putting in artificial turf?
What is wrong with these people?
400 people are losing their state jobs, thousands of others are losing jobs. The real estate market is a bust.
And we are talking about turf??
Perhaps we should really think about pay to play so they can take care of the grass fields we have. If we get turf, the pay to play should definitely be done.

Anonymous said...

Email the councilors (Tim has most of their email addresses on the front page of the blog) and email Governor Rell and tell her to take back the $525,000.

If the council won't request another use for the funds (it came from a discretionary fund), then let the governor take it back for something more necessary.

Flood them with emails and let them know what you think!

Anonymous said...

What was the Mayor of Amity Island in Jaws? Don't worry the Pool is safe, the turf is safe even the peanut butter is safe..dig in!!!

MJR: Posted

Dueling responses to consultant's turf report
By Frank Luongo
Posted: 02/06/2009 10:17:45 AM EST

Editor's Note: This is the second of two stories on the firm's report. The first story focused on background and content.

The response to the year-long study by Milone and MacBroom, Inc. (MMI), an environmental consulting firm based in Cheshire, of the synthetic rubber crumb on three different artificial-turf playing fields in Connecticut only pointed to the need for further on-site study, according to Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI), a public policy study and advocacy group based in North Haven.

EHHI President Nancy Alderman said in an e-mail that the MMI study of air and water samples, which did not find volatile chemicals leaching and out-gassing from the fields at levels of toxicity that would be injurious to human health and the environment, was looking for only two such chemicals, whereas there are "dozens of harmful chemicals in rubber tires," from which turf crumb is manufactured.

Not so says MMI Senior Vice President Vince McDermott in an e-mail message that sets down an interlinear response to 12-item EHHI critique.

He says that one of the chemicals studies has subsets of several other chemicals and that, in any event, MMI was testing only for those chemical compounds referred to in the
summer 2007 report of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), which set the stage for the soon-to-be launched four- year-long state study of turf fields by four state agencies, including CAES.

Complicating the matter further is a reminder received by e-mail from EHHI Public Toxicologist David Brown, a Westport resident, that tires from many different countries provide the recycled material for the turf crumb.

"Any study of artificial turf needs to address the fact that many differing multiple chemicals will have different exposures in different parts of the same field. Thus multiple testing places must occur on the same field," Brown said.

The MMI report makes reference to 20 air samples "around and above" two fields and eight water samples from three fields.

Another potentially complicating factor, which neither the original CAES study, nor the MMI report covers, is the impact of wear and tear on the crumb.

The Connecticut Post, a sister paper of the Westport News, reported in a story on Jan. 30 that a research technician said during a tour of the CAES facility that the laboratory would "age" the synthetic rubber material to study how it might behave chemically in the future.

Alderman raised technical questions about the protocols followed by MMI and McDermott said that his company relied on methodological testing standards set by the three federal agencies: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

But Alderman said that the MMI testing methods must be addressed and questions answered as the state embarks on its own tests. "We all want to be sure that Connecticut gets accurate results," she said.

She expressed concern that the MMI report does not seem to have been peer reviewed, to which, she said, "good science is always subjected."

McDermott countered that the MMI study was not published in a scientific journal and, for that reason, peer review was not conducted. But he said the several certified and licensed professional laboratories and individuals who analyzed the testing had, in effect, done the work of a peer review.

Alderman said there was still good reason for further analysis of the MMI study. "What one looks for -- and how one looks for it -- is the key to getting accurate results."

tim white said...

It doesn't matter if M&M is based in Alaska and if they can see Russia.


The point is that this is a business and there is a tendency for businesses to enhance benefits and minimize or exclude probems areas from their study scope or results.

I see your point.

Bottom line to me for Cheshire though is that all the studies of which I've heard are inconclusive, leaning one way or the other.

So I stand in the same place. Due to costs, health and environmental uncertainties - I'm not interested in it.

Anonymous said...

As a former football player who had the oppurtunity to play on field turf in college as well as the dirt patch this town calls its football stadium I would recommend people on this blog and in this town look at the issue from a much simpler perspective.

As far as health of the athlete goes, there is no surface to date that allows the athlete this much safety while performing in there respective sport. The rubber material versus the dirt playing surface is comparable to an individual working on concrete versus the same person going to work on carpet.

The difference in impact on your joints is drastic. Field turf has a very low risk of "burning" the skin and exposing cuts compared to old carpet turf and especially to the dirt field that exists there. Field turf does not allow rocks to be exposed in wet conditions, does not freeze in cold conditions, and does not dry out in hot conditions.

And as far as maintenance goes, there are no lines to painted, no grass to be cut, no fertilizer to be put down, no overseeding, aerating, nothing. It is supposed to be regroomed once a year which involves a rake towed behind a tractor running over the field quick.

If it was me I would coat this whole town in this stuff. I wish there a was a product with this little maintenace to go down on the roads. Talk about saving money we could get rid of the famous four guys, one shovel, plenty of coffee, drive around with the plow down with no snow on the road, town maintenace department

Anonymous said...

"As a former football player"

That's your opinion, but you are no expert.

As a taxpayer, I see no need for this expense and the many negative aspects of this product. As with the pool some could only focus on the good and were not willing to see look at anything negative especially the real costs.