Stop Toxic PFAS Exposure: Don’t Let Them Turf Our Cincinnati Parks

Cincinnati City Council

Used and Discarded Synthetic Turf

Have you recently heard about Cincinnati environmental lawyer, Rob Bilott, who took on DuPont's per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution and won?

How about the mounting evidence from scientific studies that have been published showing the various threats PFAS present to human health, such as this one from the University of Cincinnati showing elevated levels of PFAS in blood serum of Cincinnatians?

If you haven’t heard about these stories, it’s not surprising. Often, the deliberate avoidance of professional community engagement, which would center voices of the people most impacted, is what enables polluters to protect profit while simultaneously contaminating human bodies and the environment. Such is the case with the Cincinnati Park Board’s evasion of community engagement on the toxic turf dog park slated for Burnet Woods.

The good news, however, is that right now Cincinnati City Council Members and Mayor Pureval have an opportunity to join first movers like the city of Boston, the state of Minnesota, and the European Union who are working to shift this paradigm of power-abuse in order to put human health and the environment first when it comes to PFAS. If you don’t know about PFAS generally, you can learn more about the effects of PFAS on human health here.
Because of the facts provided above, as well as many others regarding the dangers of PFAS, in signing this petition I call upon Cincinnati City Council and Mayor Pureval to seize this moment, to protect residents of Greater Cincinnati, and to hold accountable other public officials under their purview who will not do the same, by promulgating the following into City code:

1. Robust and professional community engagement, in compliance with the letter and spirit of City Ordinance 358, shall be conducted on any city business that involves the consideration of installation of synthetic turf. Any current considerations of projects involving synthetic turf shall cease and desist until such community engagement is conducted.

2. Prior to installation, any manufacturers and installers of synthetic turf with whom the City is engaging shall provide a signed, binding affidavit attesting that the product is free of PFAS and all detectable flouroalkyl substances.

3. Installers of any synthetic turf on city property shall, prior to installation, submit a sample, from the same product to be installed, to the City for testing at a City-approved laboratory, and at the expense of the installer. No installation of any synthetic turf shall commence until the results of said testing have been reviewed by City and made publicly available for a minimum of 30 days.

4. City departments that are proposing use of synthetic turf on city property, and that have complied with the above three requirements, shall submit to Council and the Mayor, and make public, an
environmental impact statement (EIS) showing proper and thorough consideration of alternative
materials and designs for the intended amenity, as well as the empirical case as to why synthetic turf is
the best option environmentally, fiscally, and functionally.
Sponsored by
Cincinnati, OH

To: Cincinnati City Council
From: [Your Name]

Please protect our city's greenspaces and public lands from being plasticized and degraded by environmentally destructive and health damaging PFAS "forever chemicals" by encoding protections into city ordinance and holding city officials accountable for their decision-making in use of these toxic materials.