The proposed Minnesota ban on lead wheel weights for all vehicles within the state, including passenger and commercial vehicles, has passed a final vote in both the state house and state senate and is awaiting the signature of Gov. Mark Dayton.
The Minnesota bills (SB 2192 and HB 2542) were first introduced in early March and also include regulations on Mercury thermometers.
“It is important for the Minnesota market to understand that there are non-lead options like zinc and steel available to them now,” said Gregory Parker, marketing manager for the Perfect Equipment brand of wheel weights for Wegmann automotive USA Inc.
“Sometimes new regulations can cause panic and confusion in the market as businesses scramble to make the change but the key to a successful transition is to test all the available options, speak to various suppliers to understand their differences and then make a decision that is right for your company.”
If passed, Minnesota will become the seventh state ban lead wheel weights, joining the states of California, Illinois, Maine, New York, Vermont, and Washington.
According to Parker, with Minnesota included, the lead regulated states will combine to make up roughly 26% of all registered vehicles in the United States. Minnesota already has a state mandate in effect for state-owned fleet vehicles to utilize only non-lead wheel balance weights.
Also included in the proposed bill is language that requires shop owners and technicians to ensure that their used wheel weight inventories are recycled. Businesses can work with their wheel weight suppliers or local scrap yards to make sure this is done properly.
“Most of the major wheel weight suppliers feature a recycle return program that allows you to return your unsorted used weights,” said Parker.
“All modern wheel weight materials are recyclable and being able to return the weights unsorted makes it easy for the customer. Properly recycling your used inventories, regardless of their material type, is the right thing to do for the environment.”
For more information contact Parker (615) 916-3791.
For more on wheel weight legislation see:
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.