Colorado Governor Signs Waste Tire Legislation

RMA-Supported Measure to Address Rocky Mountain State’s Tire Stockpiles

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., – June 6, 2014 – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed long-awaited legislation to finally address the Rocky Mountain state’s nation-leading waste tire stockpiles.  More than 60 million tires currently sit in two mammoth piles, known as monofills that pose a potential environmental risk should either pile catch fire.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which has worked for seven years to enact a waste tire measure in Colorado, applauded today’s action.

“Colorado needs this legislation to end the stockpiling of waste tires, clean up the monofills and help establish new markets for discarded tires,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president.

RMA has led efforts across the country to enact environmentally sound and economically efficient waste tire legislation and regulations.  RMA is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.

Nearly 25 years ago, more than 1 billion tires were stockpiled while only 11% of waste tires were consumed in an end use market.  Today, only 100 million waste tires are left in piles across the nation and more than 80% of annually generated waste tires are sent to an end use market.

“Colorado has taken a critical first step toward eliminating the stigma of having the highest inventory of stockpiled waste tires in the nation,” Blumenthal said.

The bipartisan legislation, championed by Reps. Max Tyler and Don Coram, will eventually shut down and cleanup the tire monofills; end an inefficient taxpayer subsidy payment to end users of waste tires and; cut the state’s tire fee on new tire purchases from $1.50 to $0.55.

“Experience has proven that state waste tire management problems can be solved with enforcement, active cleanup efforts and the expansion of waste tire markets,” Blumenthal said.  “By closing the tire monofills and eliminating taxpayer subsidies, Colorado can work toward developing more diverse and higher-value markets for waste tires.”

Blumenthal praised the state lawmakers for their efforts to enact the legislation.  “Representative Tyler and Representative Coram worked very hard to secure the needed support for this legislation and RMA has been proud to assist them in this effort.  We now look forward to working with the Legislature and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to effectively implement this law.”

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org. 

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.”

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

RMA Celebrates 20 Years of Scrap Tire Leadership, Success

Industry Has Helped Reduce Stockpiles, Spur Markets, Improve Environment

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.September 30, 2010 - Twenty years ago, the U.S. was littered with more than one billion stockpiled scrap tires and only 11 percent of the annually generated scrap tires were sent to an end use market. The tire manufacturing industry was contending with a nascent scrap tire industry and a Congress that wanted results.

Rather than going from bad to worse, scrap tire management underwent a radical turnaround. Today, only 100 million stockpiled scrap tires remain and the number continues to shrink. While only one viable market for scrap tires existed in 1990, today several markets exist that consume nearly 85 percent of annually generated scrap tires. These markets have made scrap tires into a valuable commodity and have improved the environment.

A significant factor in this transformation from environmental problem to environmental success story was a tire manufacturer-led initiative. In 1990, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) created the Scrap Tire Management Council (STMC), an organization focused on developing end use markets for scrap tires and assisting in the abatement of stockpiled tires. Although the functions of the STMC were later absorbed by RMA, the mission, commitment and effort did not change.

“RMA and its tire manufacturer members recognized a serious environmental issue and invested significant resources, time and effort to make positive changes,” said Charles Cannon, RMA president and CEO. “At a time when many things could have gone terribly wrong for the industry, tire manufacturers stepped up and did the right thing at the right time. Having achieved major success over the past two decades, RMA and our members have not relented and continue to work with a broad spectrum of scrap tire industry stakeholders and regulators to ensure that these successes are not reversed,” Cannon added.

Since 1990, RMA’s scrap tire efforts have been spearheaded by Michael Blumenthal, who began as the Scrap Tire Management Council’s executive director and is now a vice president at RMA.

Blumenthal identified a key shortcoming of the scrap tire industry: a lack of information. “One of the first efforts we undertook was to collect, develop and distribute timely and pertinent information to the scrap tire industry,” Blumenthal said. “Between 1990 and 1996 reports and documents on virtually every facet of the industry were published. Information collection and distribution remains a critical practice to this day.”

Another challenge was market development. In 1990, only one viable market for scrap tires existed – tire-derived fuel (TDF). The scrap tire industry was trying to develop other markets, but the technology and market opportunities did not materialize until 1994. In the early 1990’s Congress was actively considering scrap tire legislation, and enacted a mandate to use ground rubber in federally-funded asphalt pavement projects. The result of that mandate was a disaster and taught a powerful lesson to the emerging scrap tire industry.

“The scrap tire industry was under pressure to develop non-TDF markets at a time when the industry was not prepared for such an effort,” Blumenthal said. “One of the very expensive lessons that had to be learned by government agencies was that the scrap tire industry has always been a demand-pull industry. Subsidizing the supply of processed scrap tires when the demand for it doesn’t exist causes over-supply, falling prices and failing businesses. The Congressional mandate for road construction caused more problems than it solved,” Blumenthal noted.

“Today the scrap tire industry new challenges from a wide array of sources. As scrap tire-derived products move into new markets, new questions and issues have arisen,” Blumenthal said. “The recession has hit states hard financially and many have been diverting scrap tire funds to finance other state programs. We continue to fight these diversions so that progress to date is not reversed. Additionally, we are currently fighting a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed regulation that would effectively ruin the tire derived fuel market, which still accounts for 50 percent of the market for scrap tires. This could lead to more stockpiles and greater risk of environmentally dangerous tire pile fires.”

Blumenthal added, “Our determination and resolve remain steadfast, as does our commitment to the industry and the environment. As the quote goes, it ain’t over till its over. I believe that’s a very good way to describe our approach to scrap tires management.”

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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 Says New EPA Report Again Demonstrates Tire Rubber As Environmentally Sound

No Adverse Human, Ecological Health Effects

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.December 10, 2009 - A study released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found no cause for human health or environmental concerns with the use of tire rubber used in construction of athletic fields and playgrounds.

While the EPA study was limited in its scope, it adds to a growing list of scientific data showing that ground rubber from waste tires does not pose any adverse health or ecological risks.

“Today’s report by EPA is not a surprise,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president. “Many studies and tests have shown over many years that the use of recycled tire rubber in consumer applications such as playground and athletic fields are not only safe by have several significant safety benefits.”

Last year, RMA sponsored a review of available literature on the potential health and environmental effects of tire rubber, which is produced from scrap tires.

The RMA-sponsored report evaluated the health and ecological risks associated with the use of recycled tire rubber in consumer applications, particularly playgrounds and athletic fields. A thorough review of available literature was conducted including studies from both advocates and opponents to the use of recycled tire materials. An examination of the weight of evidence across all of the available studies was conducted to enable a comprehensive assessment of potential risk.

The use of recycled tire rubber is widely used as an infill material for synthetic sports fields and as a floor cover for playgrounds. Both applications take advantage of the exceptional cushioning characteristics of tire rubber and provide increased safety relative to other materials. Athletic fields and playground cover are two of the fastest growing and largest end uses for recycled ground tire rubber. Approximately 13 million scrap tires are used in these applications annually.

“Although EPA stated that hope to conduct further review of available scientific literature, we remain confident that any additional research will show that playgrounds and athletic fields and other consumer products made from tire rubber are environmentally sound,” Blumenthal said.

RMA’s report, Review of the Human Health & Ecological Safety of Exposure to Recycled Tire Rubber found at Playgrounds and Synthetic Turf Fields, is available for download at www.rma.orgClick here to review the report.

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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.

More Old Tires Put to New Uses; Scrap Tire Piles Receding

Industry Report Shows Continued Environmental Progress

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

Washington, DCJune 22, 2009 - Think those old tires you replaced get tossed into some landfill? Think again. Nearly 90 percent of tires that are replaced and thrown away every year are put to a new productive use. The reuse rate of scrap tires tops most recovered waste materials including glass bottles, paper and aluminum cans.

The ninth report on scrap tire markets issued by the Rubber Manufacturers Association since 1994 shows continued progress in scrap tire management practices across the nation resulting in significant reduction of scrap tire stockpiles and continued progress in putting waste tires to new uses.

“Scrap tire management in the U.S. is a huge environmental success story,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president. “Markets for scrap tires are growing and old piles of scrap tires are shrinking.”

In 2007, 89.3% percent of the scrap tires generated in the U.S. by weight were consumed in end-use markets. The total volume of scrap tires consumed in end-use markets in the U.S. reached approximately 4105.8 thousand tons of tires – the largest amount ever since RMA began tabulating scrap tire statistics.
RMA estimates that about 4595.7 thousand tons of tires were generated in the U.S. in 2007. By comparison, in 2005, about 82 percent of tires were consumed by weight. In 1990, only eleven percent of tires were consumed on a per tire basis.

The percentage of scrap tires consumed by markets increased 13.5 percent, while the volume of tires utilized increased by about 489.7 thousand tons. The market percentage is affected not only by the volume of scrap tires consumed but also by the volume of scrap tires generated. The scrap tire generation rate has steadily increased along with the population in the United States, which tempers the increase in market percentage. This has been a consistent trend since RMA began to chronicle scrap tire markets in 1990.

Scrap tires were consumed by a variety of scrap tire markets, including tire-derived fuel, civil engineering and ground rubber applications. Other smaller markets and legal landfilling consume the remaining annually-generated tires, which indicates that new stockpile production should be negligible.

Key Scrap Tire Markets:

Tire-Derived Fuel (TDF) – Scrap tires are used as a cleaner and more economical alternative to coal as fuel in cement kilns, pulp and paper mills and industrial and utility boilers. TDF accounted for about 2484.4 thousand tons of scrap tires in the U.S. in 2007, or about 54 percent of the total scrap tires generated. Due to increasing fuel prices and improvements in the quality and reliable delivery of TDF, this market is anticipated to experience strong demand for the next two years

Ground Rubber – This market consumed 789.1 thousand tons of scrap tires, or about 17 percent of the volume of scrap tires generated. Ground rubber applications include new rubber products, playground and other sports surfacing and rubber-modified asphalt. The sports surfacing market remained the most dynamic segment in the ground rubber market during this period. The ground rubber market is expected to experience modest growth in the next two years.

Civil Engineering – This market consumed 561.6 thousand tons of tires in 2007, about 12 percent of the total tires to market and consisted of tire shreds used in road and landfill construction, septic tank leach fields and other construction applications. Tires add beneficial properties in these applications, such as vibration and sound control, lightweight fill to prevent erosion and landslides and facilitate drainage in leachate systems. This market experienced a continued decrease since from its peak in 2003, due to competition from TDF markets.
At the end of 2007, about 128 million scrap tires remained in stockpiles in the United States, a reduction of over 87 percent since 1990.

“The success of cleaning scrap tires is due to state efforts to abate stockpiled tires, develop sustainable scrap tire markets and enforce existing scrap tire laws and regulations,” Blumenthal said.

The remaining stockpiles are concentrated in seven states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Texas. These states contain over 85 percent of the scrap tires remaining in stockpiles. Of these states, Alabama, Michigan and New York have ongoing abatement programs. Texas completed an abatement effort in 2007. RMA continues to work with legislators and regulators in these states to develop and implement effective scrap tire programs to address these stockpiles.

The RMA publication, “Scrap Tire Markets in the U.S.; 9th Biennial Report,” is available free for download at www.rma.org.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 80 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products.

RMA URGES TURFGRASS GROUP TO CORRECT INACCURATE CRUMB RUBBER INFORMATION

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

2009 Turfgrass Letter

WASHINGTON, D.C.April 21, 2009 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association has sent a letter to Turfgrass Producers International urging the group to correct a number of inaccuracies it posted on its web site concerning the use of crumb rubber in artificial turf applications.

“Your web site also raises many health concerns about scrap tire generated ground rubber. You may not be aware of numerous scientific reports and studies that have examined such concerns and have concluded that scrap tire generated ground rubber poses no threat to human health.,” explained Michael Blumenthal, vice president.

RMA has offered to provide the group with information so that consumers are not misled to the belief that scrap tire derived products pose any consumer health risk. RMA will monitor the group’s site.

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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.

RMA to Coordinate and Participate in Industrial Byproducts Workshop in San Diego

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 31, 2009 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), in coordination with the Industrial Resources Council, is conducting a one day workshop on the use of industrial byproducts in highway construction in San Diego, on April 20.

“RMA has always sought to work with other stakeholders in an effort to provide the most timely information that will allow us to expand markets for scrap tires,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president. “This workshop will provide a venue where new market opportunities can be explored.”

The workshop is being sponsored by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the City/County of San Diego and the San Diego Environmental Services Department. The workshop is being coordinated by the Industrial Resource Council (IRC), and will feature presentations on scrap tires and construction and demolition debris.

“The focus of the workshop is to educate the highway community, state and county officials on the engineering and economic benefits of using industrial byproducts in a highway construction,” Blumenthal said. “Our goal is to provide a one-stop learning experience where highway and construction officials can learn about these materials.

Additionally, the program will include a Federal Highway Administration presentation on their Green Highway Partnership and a presentation on the flow of used tires from California into Mexico.

The workshop will be held at the auditorium at the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department, 9601 Ridgehaven Court, San Diego, CA 92123-1636 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

To register for the event, visit www.rma.org/scrap_tires/conferences_and_events.

The IRC is comprised of organizations representing industrial byproducts. Currently the members of the IRC are: the American Coal Ash Association; the Construction Materials Recycling Association; the Foundry Industry Recycling Starts Today (FIRST); the National Council for Air & Stream Improvement (NCASI); the National Slag Association (NSA) and Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).

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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.

Proposed State Tire Fee Hike Won’t Clean Up Scrap Tires

45 Million Scrap Tires Litter Centennial State – Worst In Nation

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 5, 2009 - Buying a set of four tires will cost Colorado consumers an additional $13 if lawmakers approve a proposed increase in the state tire fee to $3.25 per tire.

State tire fees are typically used to pay for the cleanup of discarded tires and creation of markets for scrap tires. Unfortunately, Colorado diverts 80 percent of the current tire fee to other purposes and has not been active in either stockpile abatement or developing markets for the 4.5 million scrap tires the State generates each year.

A state-by-state survey of scrap tire management progress conducted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) shows Colorado has the most stockpiled tires of any state with 45 million tires, creating a health, safety, fire and environmental hazard.

“Colorado’s pro-environment reputation is challenged by the state’s abysmal record in managing waste tires,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president.

If the $1.75 per-tire fee hike is enacted, Colorado consumers will pay the state $13 for every set of four tires purchased. The total take for the state will amount to more than $14 million annually but none of those funds would be used to clean up the largest scrap tire pile in the U.S. – some 40 million tires in El Paso County.

Last week, the Colorado Senate approved SB09-31 18-15 to raise the state tire fee by $1.75 and use the funds for economic development. The House may address the measure shortly.

Nationwide, states have been vigorously cleaning up stockpiled waste tires and working to foster the creation of productive markets that reuse tires. In 1990, more than one billion tires were stockpiled nationwide and only 11 percent of scrap tires were reused.

Today, about 125 million tires remain stockpiled and more than 85 percent of annually generated scrap tires are reused. Colorado is home to more than one third of all the stockpiled scrap tires in the country.

The tire industry, led by RMA, has been working for nearly two decades to promote market-based solutions to using scrap tires and reasonable regulations to clean up piles of scrap tires. RMA supports fees on new tires to fund scrap tire management goals. The group opposes efforts to use such revenue for non-scrap tire purposes.

“It makes sense to impose fees on tires if the funds are used to address scrap tire issues,” Blumenthal said. “But when these revenues are hijacked for other purposes, a state may suffer far worse environmental consequences and cleanup costs if a major tire stockpile catches fire. In too many states, this failure to act has caused significant environmental harm and cost the state tens of millions of dollars in clean up costs.”

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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.

New Report Confirms Ground Rubber as Environmentally Sound

No Adverse Human, Ecological Health Effects

Download Full Report

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.August 19, 2008 - Athletic fields and playgrounds constructed with ground rubber made from scrap tires pose no adverse human or ecological health effects, according to a comprehensive report commissioned by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), a tire industry trade group.

The report evaluated the health and ecological risks associated with the use of recycled tire rubber in consumer applications, particularly playgrounds and athletic fields. A thorough review of available literature was conducted including studies from both advocates and opponents to the use of recycled tire materials. An examination of the weight of evidence across all of the available studies was conducted to enable a comprehensive assessment of potential risk.

“We believe this report will add to the growing body of evidence showing that the use of scrap tire rubber in these applications is not only safe, but has several major safety benefits,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president. “This report has reviewed the worldwide wealth of knowledge on this topic and we are hopeful that it will contribute to correcting any misperceptions about tire rubber in the environment.”

The use of recycled tire rubber is widely used as an infill material for synthetic sports fields and as a floor cover for playgrounds. Both applications take advantage of the exceptional cushioning characteristics of tire rubber and provide increased safety relative to other materials.

Athletic fields and playground cover are two of the fastest growing and largest end uses for recycled ground tire rubber. Approximately 13 million scrap tires are used in these applications annually.

The report, Review of the Human Health & Ecological Safety of Exposure to Recycled Tire Rubber found at Playgrounds and Synthetic Turf Fields, is available for download at www.rma.org.

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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.

PA Measure Aims to Eliminate Scrap Tire Stockpiles

Dedicated Funding Source Key to Cleanup Action

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.August 23, 2007 - A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania lawmakers are seeking to eliminate scrap tire stockpiles across the state with legislation that provides $15 million in cleanup funds over five years.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association strongly supports the effort. The group conservatively estimates that Pennsylvania has nearly eight million tires in stockpiles and is one of seven states that have more than 85 percent of the nation’s stockpiled scrap tires.

“Pennsylvania lawmakers are on the right track with this legislation,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA senior technical director. “A consistent funding stream has not been available for some time, which has hampered more extensive scrap tire clean up activities.”

RMA, which represents tire manufacturers, is a strong advocate for effective scrap tire management programs and activities. The group collects information on scrap tire market activity and cleanup efforts and issues a report every two years.

The legislation, SB 1050, was introduced by state Senator Lisa Baker (R-Dallas) with 11 co-sponsors, including Senate Minority Leader Robert Mellow (D). The measure would provide a $3 million annual appropriation for five years from the state’s Recycling Fund to the Used Tire Pile Remediation Restricted Account (UTRRA).

The legislation would provide a consistent and dedicated source of funding for scrap tire stockpile abatement. Additionally, it would require the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to provide the Legislature with an annual progress report on stockpile abatement activities.

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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.