Read the full article by Maia Coleman (Vineyard Gazette)

“A long-awaited toxicology report became a new point of tension at a Martha’s Vineyard Commission hearing Thursday, as scientists assessed the regional high school’s proposed athletic field renovation for health risks and environmental impact.

The hearing, which drew over 100 participants, marked the third in an ongoing series of public hearings devoted to the $7 million field renovation, which is under review by the commission as a development of regional impact (DRI). The project, which has sown divisions in the community, calls for five natural grass fields and one synthetic turf field, among other facility improvements.

Previous hearings aired testimony from proponents and opponents, passionate on all sides.

On Thursday, commissioners turned their attention to a question at the core of the project’s review — the toxicity of synthetic fields. In a highly technical three-hour discussion, commissioners heard testimony from at least three toxicology experts brought on by the MVC, the high school and the Field Fund, a primary opponent of the project.

Ron Myrick from the independent consulting firm Tetra Tech kicked off the conversation with the results of a toxicology report analyzing the chemicals used to make the synthetic turf and their potential risks to human health and the environment.

The tests were ordered by the commission and conducted independently by Tetra Tech, with a peer review and recommendation completed by the firm Horsely Witten. The high school paid for the $51,000 report.

Mr. Myrick said test results showed small amounts of per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which can be harmful to humans but are present in most soils…”