Press Release: SF Greens, Parents, Coaches tell CalRecycle No More Cash for Trash (Toxic Waste Tires)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 31, 2014
Coalition to Protect Golden Gate Park
http://www.protectggp.org

Contacts:
Mike Murphy
Active member, San Francisco Green Party
Director, Coalition to Protect Golden Gate Park
@MMSFOceanBeach
415.823.9743
info@protectggp.org
&nbsp
Kathleen McCowin
representing, Soccer Parents and Coaches for Grass Fields in Golden Gate Park
(650)862-4703
 

San Francisco Green Party and Soccer Parents and Coaches call on CalRecycle to stop offering Cash for Trash (Waste Tire Crumb).

SAN FRANCISCO–In a letter supported by petitioners from around the globe, the San Francisco Green Party and Soccer Parents and Coaches for Grass Fields in Golden Gate Park called upon CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen to stop offering incentive grants for the use of waste tire products on playgrounds and playfields.

 

Citing recent anecdotal evidence (a cancer cluster in soccer goalies in Washington state) of the “imminent health threat” posed by toxic chemicals in SBR (waste tire) products and movement on the part of members of Congress and elected officials of other states calling for thorough independent study of the material, the letter calls for CalRecycle to stop paying grant incentives for the use of tire derived products on playfields and playgrounds.

 

Mike Murphy, Director of the Coalition to Protect Golden Gate Park and writing on behalf of the San Francisco Green Party indicated that “cash for trash business decisions” were made by San Francisco Rec and Park in which CalRecycle grant money took precedence over the public’s concerns. In two cases, material was moved from the original grant location to others in order to preserve grant funding from CalRecycle, suggesting a lack of independent judgement on the part of Rec and Park management. Murphy called RPD decisions “unconscionable”, writing that “not one family should suffer the pain and heartbreak of a loved one’s sickness due to chronic exposure to waste tire material because appointed officials want to pad their operating budgets.”

 

Kathleen McCowin, President of Soccer Parents and Coaches for Grass Fields in Golden Gate Park, also signed on to the letter. McCowin has called prior testing of SBR waste tire infill “predicative”, and signed on as a “soccer mom” who “is worried about her daughter, Liz, playing on…toxic turf fields”.

 

Letter to CalRecycle Director Carol Mortensen

Caroll Mortensen, Director: CalRecycle
Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)
1001 I Street–P.O. Box 4025
Sacramento, CA  95812-4025
Caroll.Mortensen@calrecycle.ca.gov
(916) 322-4025
 
Director Mortensen:
 
CalRecycle’s Tire Derived Product Incentive Program is described as follows:

Tire Incentive Program
: The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) administers tire grant programs to provide opportunities to divert waste tires from landfill disposal, prevent illegal tire dumping, and promote markets for recycled-content tire products. The Tire Incentive Program (TIP) provides a reimbursement (as an incentive payment program) to eligible businesses that use (recycled) crumb rubber in eligible products or substitute crumb rubber for virgin rubber, plastic, or other raw materials in products. The program’s goal is to increase demand for crumb rubber and promote higher value products. (CalRecycle Website)

 

CalRecycle offers cash incentives to use SBR (waste tire) products on fields of play and play surfaces. Recent coverage by NBC Nightly News has brought national attention to the toxicity of this material.

 

A cancer cluster of soccer goalies in Washington state was cited as compelling anecdotal evidence to support claims that tire crumb is hazardous to human health. As a result, members of Congress and officials in other states are calling for more thorough investigation into the imminent health threat these materials pose.

 

Cash for trash business decisions are made by state and municipal authorities and others due to grant incentives from CalRecycle. This is clearly the case in San Francisco where San Francisco Rec and Park has twice found new field locations for incentivized tire crumb when construction at original grant locations lagged (2007/8, 2010/11).

 

This is unconscionable. Not one family should suffer the pain and heartbreak of a loved one’s sickness due to chronic exposure to waste tire material because appointed officials want to pad their operating budgets.

 

Please delist from the grant program projects in which direct human contact with toxic tire derived product waste is common. We don’t need or want environmental toxins in places where we play.

 

Thanks for your consideration.

 

Mike Murphy

on behalf of: San Francisco Green Party

Director, Coalition to Protect Golden Gate Park

 

Kathleen McCowin

President, Soccer Parents and Coaches for Grass Fields in Golden Gate Park

nb. Hard copy mailed.

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