EPA Decision Preservers Scrap Tire Markets

Rulemaking Safeguards 20 Years of RMA Advocacy and Environmental Success

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.February 23, 2011 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a rulemaking that will preserve scrap tire markets and ensure the continued success of scrap tire management advocacy by the Rubber Manufacturers Association over the past 20 years.

The rule allows annually generated scrap tires that are removed from vehicles to be used as fuel by an industrial facility. Cement kilns, pulp and paper mills and electric utilities are the major users of tire derived fuel (TDF).

In its proposed rule, EPA recommended that annually generated tires be processed to remove the metal before being considered a fuel under the Clean Air Act. However, that provision would have merely increased the energy consumption, air emissions and costs associated with delivering tire derived fuels to industrial customers without any environmental benefit.

RMA recognizes that EPA is still requiring processing of whole tires removed from historical scrap tire stockpiles. RMA continues to encourage EPA to consider a more expansive definition of processing to allow these whole tires to be combusted as tire derived fuel. RMA continues to evaluate the final rule for additional insights and impacts on the tire industry.

“EPA clearly listened to the arguments advocated by RMA and other key stakeholders to deliver a rule that ensures continued improvement in scrap tire management efforts in the U.S.,” said Charles A. Cannon, RMA president and CEO. “While we are still analyzing several aspects of this final rule, the big picture is that this is a victory for the environment and for RMA’s scrap tire advocacy efforts.

RMA efforts were instrumental in the outcome of this EPA rulemaking. The association recognized early in this process that to protect tire derived fuel markets, a coordinated, common sense approach was necessary.

RMA spearheaded efforts to promote the use of scrap tires as tire derived fuel, stressed the importance of this key market to the health of the overall all scrap tire marketplace and highlight the dire environmental consequences should scrap tire stockpiles again be allowed to grow. RMA coordinated outreach, education and advocacy to the EPA, the Administration and the states about the critical role tire derived fuel plays in managing scrap tires, economizing fuel resources and protecting the environment.

When RMA began its scrap tire efforts in 1990, about 11 percent of scrap tires went to end use markets, and one billion scrap tires were in stockpiles across the country. Today, fewer than 100 million tires remain in stockpiles and over 80 percent of scrap tires are utilized in end use markets. Tire derived fuel markets consume just over 50 percent of the scrap tires generated annually.

“Scrap tire markets are mature and stable; scrap tires are recognized as a valuable commodity and are used in a number of applications, including tire derived fuel,” Cannon said. “RMA is extremely proud of these accomplishments, thanks to sound state regulations, sustainable, cost-effective markets and steady industry efforts.”

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that make tires in the U.S.

RMA Testifies Against Maryland “Tire Efficiency” Measure

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 7, 2007 - Maryland legislators should forgo consideration of state “tire efficiency” standards on tire makers and support a national consumer education program on tire rolling resistance, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association in testimony today before a House committee.

“The tire industry is committed to working with policymakers to provide information and education about tire manufacturing processes, tire performance characteristics, scrap tire market development and tire maintenance,” said Tracey Norberg, RMA vice president and deputy general counsel. “RMA appreciates the opportunity to discuss HB 608 and to inform the committee about policy developments in the area of tire energy efficiency over the past four years.”

The proposed legislation would create a consumer information program and rating system for tire rolling resistance and it would require minimum efficiency standards for all tires.

Norberg explained that attempts to emphasize tire fuel efficiency over other tire performance traits would have tradeoffs. She noted the relationship among tire rolling resistance, traction and tread wear and said that tire manufacturers would not compromise on safety.

Norberg also indicated that mandates for low rolling resistance tires would exacerbate scrap tire management issues. A 2006 RMA Scrap Tire Market Report illustrated the vast improvement in scrap tire management since 1990 that has reduced scrap tire stockpiles from 1 billion to fewer than 200 million tires and has helped markets for scrap tires soar from an 11 percent recovery rate to nearly 87 percent.

While California enacted tire efficiency legislation in 2003, Norberg said that the state has yet to promulgate regulations for either consumer information or performance standards. Also, tire testing by California regulators is not yet complete. RMA was able to secure some safeguards to the California legislation to forbid state performance standards if tire safety, tire longevity or the state’s scrap tire situation would be negatively affected.

RMA told Maryland lawmakers that an April 2006 National Academy of Sciences report recommended consumer information on tire rolling resistance in addition to improved consumer tire maintenance to help motorists optimize their fuel economy without limiting tire choices.

“A national program would obviate the need for states to develop their own consumer education programs and facilitate nationwide distribution of tire efficiency consumer information,” Norberg said. “A single, nationwide program would allow citizens in all states to make more informed tire purchasing decisions and avoid duplicative and potentially conflicting state requirements that would confuse consumers.”

Norberg concluded, “RMA recommends that Maryland forgo HB 608 in favor of a national program to address this issue. I am happy to keep this Committee and any appropriate regulatory agencies up to date on relevant developments on this issue.”

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.