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New York enacts scrap tire program with RMA's help

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The state of New York has enacted a law to clean up millions of scrap tires.

According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the law, which also encourages viable markets for the 20 million additional tires discarded in New York every year, was many years in the making. New York has 40 to 50 million stockpiled scrap tires -- the nation's second highest amount after Texas.

"New York desperately needed an effective scrap tire program to clean up millions of old tires, which pose a safety and environmental problem," says Michael Blumenthal, RMA senior technical director. "This new law is a significant step toward addressing New York's scrap tire problem."

RMA has been involved in the development of scrap tire legislation in New York since 1998. Earlier this year, organization representatives testified before the New York Legislature urging the state to adopt a scrap tire program that included a dedicated fee, stockpile abatement and development of viable scrap tire markets for fuel, civil engineering projects and products such as playground coverings.

The new law creates a dedicated fee to fund scrap tire clean-up efforts across the state and to help establish markets for scrap tires. A $2.50 fee will be collected at the point of purchase for all new tires sold.

An additional $2.50 per-tire fee (including the spare tire) will be assessed on purchasers of new vehicles bought in the state.

The new fees take effect on October 1 and are expected to raise $28 million through March 31, 2004. Beginning April 1, 2004, the fees are expected to generate $56 million annually.

Only part of those funds will be directed to a new scrap tire fund. Through March 31, 2004, $8.125 million will be put into the fund; beginning Apr. 1, 2004, $16.25 million will be available annually for scrap tire activities.

"We are disappointed that New York is going to use a significant portion of the tire fee to spend for purposes other than scrap tire cleanup and market development," Blumenthal adds.

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