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TRIB battles 'draconian' California tire policy

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The Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) will meet with officials from the California Waste Management Board (CWMB) tomorrow in an effort to reverse legislation that may subject retreaders to fines of up to $25,000 per day if they are found in violation of the state's new policy covering the transportation of used tires.

"As of July 1, 2003, if you're a retreader who goes out to pick up tires, your driver has to fill out a trip log denoting stops" and other things, according to TRIB Managing Director Harvey Brodsky.

Drivers picking up tires must fill out a California Uniform Waste and Used Tire Manifest. "The person who gives you the tires must fill out the bottom part" of the manifest.

That doesn't always happen, says Brodksy, which opens the door to problems.

"While you are driving your truck to pick up tires, you're considered a 'Waste Tire Hauler'" by the State of California. "They don't have a classification for retreaders.

"At the end of the day, as you're unloading tires at your retread shop, you're now (classified as) a 'Waste End Use Facility' and all tires on your truck have to be re-manifested at your retread plant."

Retreaders should not be required to fill out waste tire manifests because "those tires on the truck do not belong to retreaders," argues Brodsky. "They are just in his care."

But if retreaders are found "in violation," they may be forced to pay up to $25,000 per offense -- per day!

"A violation could (simply) entail not filling paperwork out properly" or may stem from the refusal of the facility sending out used tires to be retreaded to fill out the proper forms. "It's ridiculous! Only a bureaucrat with absolutely nothing else to do could come up with such a system."

When he meets with CWMB officials tomorrow, Brodsky says he will ask for "a moratorium" on the law. "But more importantly, we'd like to see them exempt retreaders" from it.

He also is going to ask the State of California to issue "or let TRIB issue" a wallet-sized plastic identification card to each retreader in the state that will bear the retreader's name and DOT number, "so if a retreader is stopped by the State Highway Patrol, he can show that ID and they will let him go."

The California Highway Patrol has the power to enforce the state's new hauling standards and levy fines on the spot, says Brodsky.

If a possible compromise or resolution "is a win for us, I will sign off on it."

Another point of contention is that "we as an industry association were never notified by CWMB. And a lot of retreaders weren't notified. There was a time period when this could have been questioned" before it became law, "but nobody knew about it!"

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