TIA, EPA to work together on wheel weight disposal education

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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has told the Tire Industry Association (TIA) that it will help finance a joint education program about proper lead wheel weight disposal.

"The EPA is looking for funding," TIA Director of Government Affairs Becky MacDicken told today.

MacDicken says TIA hopes the EPA will pick up most of the tab.

TIA officials met with representatives from the EPA this past Tuesday.

"We gave them the results from our (lead wheel weight disposal) survey. Overall, we found that half of our membership is not recycling the proper way. So we want to do more education and outreach."

Meanwhile, a Berkley, Calif.-based group called The Ecology Center has petitioned the EPA to come up with an official rule concerning the use of lead wheel weights.

"They're basically asking for a ban," says MacDicken. The EPA has 90 days to decide.

If the EPA enacted a ban, "there could end up being a black market for lead wheel weights."

In March, an EPA spokesperson told that a ban on weights "was too premature" since the government was still trying to determine if lead weights pose a real ecological threat.

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