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Insight into N.Y.'s bill banning lead wheel weights

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Insight into N.Y.'s bill banning lead wheel weights

In 2009, New York Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal ran across an article about lead wheel weights and the environmental movement against them. Other states were very active in trying to ban them, and she wanted New York to be “at the forefront” of the movement.

Thanks in part to her efforts, New York is on the verge of becoming the second largest state, next to California, to ban lead wheel weights. On Wednesday, June 23, her bill passed the Assembly by a vote of 79-20.

(For more information on the bill itself, click on “N.Y. takes a big step toward banning lead weights.”)

“I am very confident it will pass in the Senate as well,” says Rosenthal, who represents the Upper West Side and parts of Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan, also known as the 67th Assembly District.

Lead wheel weights are bad not only for the environment, but also workers who are exposed to them, she says. In addition, families of automotive service workers can be exposed to the lead second hand.

Her bill is “a simple solution” to the problem, especially because there are alternatives to lead wheel weights in the aftermarket.

Rosenthal says 8687-B will have to go through the Senate’s Rules Committee before it reaches the floor for a vote.

With the help of Senator Bill Perkins, she plans to spend the next couple days “beating the drums” so the bill can reach Governor David Paterson for his signature before the legislature closes its session. If it fails to pass before the session closes, she will have to start over when the next session convenes.

Vermont, Maine, Washington and California already have enacted bills prohibiting the use of lead wheel weights. In addition to New York, Iowa, Rhode Island and Illinois have either pending legislation or bills waiting to be signed into law.

“It’s useless to resist progress,” says Rosenthal.

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