The Oak Bluffs planning board took final comments Thursday night on the proposed turf field project at the regional high school and will deliberate and potentially vote at a meeting next Wednesday.

Representatives for the regional high school made a final presentation Thursday, with Steven LaRosa from the engineering firm Weston and Sampson speaking on behalf of the school.

“You really have gone to great lengths to evaluate what the components are of your turf field and what the potential effects would be,” he said.

Mr. LaRosa cited Tetra Tech materials testing done by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission during its review, and a conclusion that the proposed turf field would propose no significant PFAS risk.

“Weston and Sampson agrees with Tetra Tech’s conclusions,” he said. 
Phase one of the project has been before the planning board since February for a special permit as the proposed turf field is located in the Oak Bluffs water resource protection overlay district. Opponents of the project have pushed for a grass field as a preferable alternative, arguing that water contamination from PFAS in the turf field is a significant risk.

Mr. LaRosa conceded that trace amounts of PFAS have been found in materials for the turf field, but argued they don’t exceed baseline levels present in the environment.

“Unfortunately these compounds are ubiquitous,” he said.

Weston and Sampson toxicologist Marie Rudiman further argued that the presence of a chemical does not necessarily pose a threat.

“The basic principle of toxicology is that the mere presence of a chemical does not constitute a health risk,” she said.

The planning board decided to continue the hearing in advance of its regularly scheduled meeting to next Wednesday at 5 p.m., when they plan to deliberate and potentially vote on the special permit.

“I would prefer not to wait until the next scheduled meeting,” board chairman Ewell Hopkins said.