Weekly Legislative Update - March 2, 2020

TIA Opposes Multiple Crumb Rubber Bills
 
In Maryland, TIA is currently facing three harmful tire bills dealing with recycling and crumb rubber. The first is HB 1547 which had a hearing on 2/19 in the House Economic Matters committee. TIA submitted comments. This bill deals with Synthetic Turf and Turf Infill - Producer Responsibility. The bill would create a chain of custody and make it extremely difficult to recycling older fields. The legislation is unnecessary and burdensome. We are pleased to report that this bill died in committee on a 5-15 vote. 

The next harmful bill in Maryland is HB 1032 which had a hearing on 2/26 in the House Environment and Transportation. This bill deals with Solid Waste Management - Refuse Disposal Systems - Incinerators, Scrap Tires, and Local Authority. This bill could potentially shut down some recycling markets in the state making it impossible to responsibly recycle tires. TIA testified in opposition to the bill and submitted comments. 

The other bill in Maryland is HB 1098 which will have a hearing on 3/10 in the House Appropriations committee. This bill deals with the use of Public Funds - Playground and Athletic Field Surfaces - Authorizations, Preferences, and Prohibitions. Essentially the bill wants to cut off state funding for synthetic fields. TIA plans to testify in opposition to the bill and submit comments. 

In Rhode Island, HB 7615, Establishes the Rhode Island Community Resiliency and Preservation Act, and includes a provision that states: "With respect to recreational use, the acquisition of artificial turf for athletic fields shall be prohibited." TIA opposes this legislation and plans to testify and submit testimony. 
 
In Connecticut, HB 5300 has been introduced and hearing was held today, which is an Act Establishing A Moratorium On The Installation Of Recycled Tire Rubber At Municipal And Public School Playgrounds. TIA submitted testimony and had representation at the hearing to testify. 
In New York, A09907 was recently introduced which establishes a moratorium on the installation of synthetic turf pending a comprehensive environmental and public health study; relates to environmental impact assessments of the use of synthetic turf; and provides for the repeal of certain provisions upon expiration thereof. TIA opposes the legislation and will submit testimony and rally local members. 

 

TIA opposes the bills listed above for the following reasons:
Recycled rubber has a positive environmental impact: Recycling rubber means that millions of used tires are no longer left in landfills, lakes, abandoned lots, and along the side of the road.
  • More than 12,000 synthetic turf sports fields across the country use crumb rubber infill from recycled tires, keeping 110 million tires out of landfills each year.
  • Recycling four tires reduces CO2 emissions by around 323 pounds-which is the same amount of CO2 in 18 gallons of gasoline.
  • One full-size synthetic turf sports field saves between 500,000 and 1 million gallons of water each year.
  • Synthetic turf eliminates the need to use harmful pesticides and fertilizers. When pesticides and fertilizers are used to maintain grass fields, they can contaminate local water systems due to runoff.
Recycled rubber is a scientifically proven safe material, and its shock-absorbency and durability make it accessible for all people.
  • Recycled rubber is safe. More than 110 technical studies on the various applications of recycled rubber have concluded that there is no health risk.
  • Recycled rubber serves as a protective and risk-absorbent layer on playgrounds and synthetic turf fields, helping to protect all users, including children and athletes, from surface impact injuries.
-   A 2004 NCAA study comparing injury rates between grass and synthetic turf found that the injury rate on synthetic turf was 3.5% compared to 4.4% on grass.
-   A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Program for Playground Safety found that shredded rubber performed best in cushioning surface impact injuries.
  • Recycled rubber surfaces can be designed to be widely usable, accessible, and ADA-compliant-a feature that grass and other infill materials lack.
Recycled rubber infill is a better-value product for communities and consumers.
  • Recycled rubber is a highly durable material that can withstand extreme weather and wear and tear.
  • Synthetic turf fields, more than 90% of which use crumb rubber infill, require less maintenance and have longer lifespans than their grass counterparts.
  • Synthetic turf fields can be rented to local sports teams and other organizations while not in use by the school, bringing in additional funds for schools.

OTR Conference PAC Board Winners Announced
 
TIA raised funds at the OTR conference through several events including the TirePAC board, where donors purchased squares on the board for $25 each, giving them the chance to win $500, $100 or $50. The remaining money went to the fund. 
 
The PAC board winners this year were: Mike Wolfe, who donated his $500 winnings to the TirePAC, Mike Berra ($250) and Thomas Sector ($100) who also donated his winnings back.
 
The association also raised money through the sale of mulligans and other activities during the conference golf tournament.

TIA's next fundraiser to benefit our government affairs efforts with be at the TopGolf Las Vegas on Sunday, Nov. 1 from 2-5 p.m., prior to the start of the Global Tire Expo (GTE)/SEMA Show. The is event is one of several activities TIA will hold this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the association.

Save the Date!
 
TIA would like you to save the date for our 2020 lobby day and international environmental summit. 

The lobby day will take place on May 6th with the international environmental summit to take place the following day on May 7th. 

Both events will take place in Washington, D.C. 

More details are RSVP instructions to follow. But for now, mark your calendar!