If House Bill 6486, a bill to manage discarded tires, passes into law in Connecticut, more roads in the state will be surfaced with asphalt that contains small pieces of used tires.
More roads surfaced with rubberized asphalt mean more pollution in the waters of Long Island Sound. That harms water quality and aquaculture and fishing industries in the Sound.
Connecticut residents are rightfully proud and happy about the improvements over the last two decades to the water quality of the Sound.
Building upon that progress, in 2021, Gov. Ned Lamont robustly supported the Long Island Sound Blue Plan, noting that it provides a framework to protect “what is cherished about the Sound — its many human uses and underlying ecosystem.”
HB 6486 works directly against the protective framework and the good governance of the Long Island Sound Blue Plan.
On May 24, Rep. Joe Gresko (D, Stratford) celebrated the passage of HB 6486 by the Connecticut House of Representatives. Gresko praised an expansion of the use of recycled tires on road surfaces, saying “the use of tire-derived asphalt is common in the rest of our country, especially out west.”
Out west, as it happens, environmental researchers and communities have painfully discovered that particles from tires and road surfaces containing recycled tires are polluting waters and killing fish.
Tires are toxic. Recycled tires are toxic. Recycled toxics do not become safe simply because they are shredded and spread.
Waste tires should never be used as fuel, on playgrounds or athletic fields, or to cover Connecticut road surfaces.
Patricia Taylor is from Milford.