The council voted Tuesday to prohibit the installation of the infill after residents voiced concern over the material’s potential negative impacts.

Share story

Following residents’ outcry, the Edmonds City Council voted to temporarily ban the installation of synthetic turf made from recycled tires, or crumb rubber, on the city’s athletic fields.

The vote follows months of protests and public testimonies from concerned parents and neighbors who say fields with crumb-rubber infill are hazardous and can lead to health problems.

The council passed the ordinance Tuesday on a unanimous vote, prohibiting the installation of the material for 18 months.

The turf debate came to life in the summer when the city and Edmonds School District leaders discussed plans for a new field-installation project at the former Woodway High School. That project went forward with crumb-rubber infill, despite residents’ concerns.

Council members say Tuesday’s action was not timed for upcoming field projects but rather a proactive measure to provide time to review research on the material’s potential negative impacts.

Once the ban expires, City Councilman Mike Nelson said council members hope to have adequate information to determine if a permanent or extended ban is necessary.

He said he believes Edmonds is the first city in the nation to pass such an ordinance.