A Medway youth soccer player's sock collects particles of crumb rubber from the Medway High School synthetic turf field. The ant-size pellets act as artificial dirt for the artificial grass and they become ubiquitous in the lives of families whose kids play on artificial fields – getting into athletic bags, inside shoes, and ultimately in every mom's laundry room.

Toxic turf? Momentum grows against synthetic turf

Increasingly, Bay State towns – like many places nationwide – are debating costly plans to build new, or refurbish old, artificial turf fields, and sports enthusiasts who love the vivid-green fields for their durability and easy maintenance are bracing for new opposition from parents of budding soccer, lacrosse and football players about the safety of crumb rubber pellets. Continue Reading

A UTLX tank car passes westbound through Rochelle Railroad Park in Rochelle, Illinois on May 29, 2005.

New rules for ‘oil trains’ fall short of recommendations

The Department of Transportation announced today a long-awaited set of new regulations for trains carrying petroleum crude oil, ethanol, and other flammable liquids in the United States. But the rules, the first of which go into effect this October, fall short – significantly short, in some cases – of calls for greater safety measures by environmental and watchdog groups, as well as other agencies within the government. They also, in some cases, fail to address design flaws in train components linked to spills and leaks in major accidents as well as hundreds of minor incidents reviewed by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and WGBH-News. Continue Reading