Code of the District of Columbia

§ 10–171.03. Assessment of synthetic materials.

(a)(1) The Department of Energy and the Environment and the Department of Health shall conduct a study assessing the safety of all synthetic materials currently used in construction at District public recreational spaces. The study shall identify whether a synthetic material:

(A) Contains known carcinogens or other toxins, and whether the synthetic material poses a health risk if it is ingested, inhaled, or comes into contact with a person's skin or eyes;

(B) Meets ASTM International standards for shock-attenuation, where the synthetic material is used for surfacing; or

(C) Can, under normal weather conditions as determined by DGS, exhibit ambient or surface temperatures that cause burns, dehydration, heat stroke, or heat exhaustion.

(2) The Mayor shall transmit the results of the study to the Council within one year after April 11, 2019.

(b) Within 30 days after the Mayor transmits the study to the Council, DGS shall:

(1) Prohibit all District employees, contractors, and subcontractors from using a synthetic material in a construction project at a public recreational space if the synthetic material:

(A) Poses a serious health risk when it is ingested, inhaled, or comes in contact with a person's skin or eyes; or

(B) Scores a g-max test value that is greater than or equal to the standard for shock-attenuation set by ASTM International, when the synthetic material is maintained in accordance with manufacturer standards;

(2) Issue notice to all contractors or subcontractors bidding on or holding a construction project contract with the District of those synthetic materials banned pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection; and

(3) Publish on the DGS website:

(A) A list of all synthetic materials approved for use, including the following information for each synthetic material:

(i) Manufacturer material product sheets or similar documentation;

(ii) The concentration of any known toxins, including lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, tin, and zinc;

(iii) An assessment of the risk to human health posed by the synthetic material, including:

(I) Through eye or skin contact, ingestion, or inhalation; and

(II) Any known carcinogenic properties;

(iv) Data on the synthetic material's flammability;

(v) Maintenance or other service requirements to ensure quality control of the synthetic material;

(vi) Any other hazards posed by the synthetic material under regular use; and

(vii) Any precautions needed for the synthetic material; and

(B) A list of all synthetic materials that DGS has prohibited for use pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, that shall include the basis upon which DGS has prohibited the synthetic material, including any test results, studies, or other documentation used by DGS to make its determination.

(c) Neither DGS nor any contractor or subcontractor holding a contract with the District shall be permitted to use a synthetic material in a construction project unless it has been approved for use pursuant to subsection (b)(3)(A) of this section.

(d) Within 180 days after the Mayor transmits the study to the Council required in subsection (a) of this section, DGS shall transmit to the Council:

(1) A list of all public recreational spaces that are composed, in whole or in part, of synthetic materials prohibited pursuant to subsection (b)(1) of this section, including a description of the health or safety risk posed by the synthetic material in use at the public recreational space; and

(2) A remediation plan for the removal of the synthetic material from each public recreational space, including the anticipated period of time that the public recreational space will be closed to public use, if any.

(e)(1) DGS shall conduct lead testing of all public playground surfaces composed, in whole or in part, of synthetic materials every 3 years using testing practices recommended by ASTM International or a similar testing standards organization.

(2) If lead testing of a public playground surface conducted pursuant to this subsection identifies lead in excess of published threshold levels, DGS shall close the affected playground surface to the public within 24 hours of receiving the test results. DGS shall not reopen the affected playground surface until the lead is remediated and a subsequent test determines that the level of lead present is below published threshold levels.

(3) Within 10 business days of receiving a lead test result resulting in the closure of a playground surface under this section, DGS shall publish notice on the DGS website and post conspicuous signage at the playground surface that clearly communicates the reason for the closure of the space, any planned remediation efforts, and contact information for a DGS employee responsible for addressing questions about the remediation.

(4) Within 20 business days of receiving a lead test result resulting in the closure of a playground surface under this section, DGS shall coordinate with other relevant agencies to conduct a community meeting to explain the lead testing procedure, the test results, the remediation process, any potential health risks caused by the elevated lead levels, which resulted in the closure, and the anticipated date that the closed playground surface will reopen.

(f) Within 8 months of [insert applicability date], DGS shall publish on the DGS website the warranty and certificate of compliance with regulatory standards for all existing public synthetic fields and playgrounds that contain synthetic materials installed within the previous 5 years shall continue to publish on the DGS website the warranty and certificate of compliance with regulatory standards for all newly installed public synthetic fields and playgrounds.

(g) Within 10 months after [insert applicability date], the Mayor shall transmit to the Council a report that details the result of an analysis of all materials currently available on the market for use in public field and playground surfaces to ensure the District is using the safest and most durable materials for public recreational spaces. The report shall include:

(1) A list of all currently available synthetic materials and non-synthetic materials on the market deemed safe for use by DGS in public recreational spaces;

(2) An analysis of the synthetic materials and non-synthetic materials identified in paragraph (1) of this subsection that identifies whether the material contains any known environmental health hazards or poses a health risk if the material is ingested, inhaled, or comes into contact with a person's skin or eyes;

(3) A comparison of the synthetic materials and non-synthetic materials identified in paragraph (1) of this subsection that includes the advantages and disadvantages associated with each material, including cost, durability, maintenance requirements, and accessibility; and

(4) Comparative lead test results for installed synthetic and non-synthetic public field and playground surfaces to determine the expected level of naturally occurring lead solely based on environmental factors as they exist in the District.

(h) Prior to the replacement of any public field and playground surface, DGS shall, in coordination with other relevant agencies, conduct community outreach and engagement to:

(1) Explain the available options for replacement;

(2) Obtain input on the materials to be used; and

(3) Explain the factors impacting the decision.