RMA challenges EPA's new tire manufacturer emissions regulations

July 16, 2002

Although somewhat satisfied with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new hazardous air pollutant emission reduction ruling issued for rubber tire manufacturing facilities, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) is filing a petition for its review today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

"We hope to resolve our concerns through the legal challenge while achieving EPA's environmental goals," says Tracey Norberg, the RMA's vice president, environmental and resource recovery.

The RMA worked with the EPA for six years on the regulation, which is designed to eliminate more than 1,000 tons (or 52%) of tire plant emissions annually, the RMA says.

It limits emissions of hazardous air pollutants from tire production, tire cord production and puncture sealant operations. Tiremakers would be able to comply by using pollution reduction and prevention measures.

However, the RMA is questioning the basis for the tire production standard.

Tire makers are concerned that some of the new standards are so stringent that pollution control equipment may be insufficient to achieve compliance with the rule, Norberg says. Without modification of the new regulation, tire makers may need to reformulate many of the solvents they use.

The RMA also is concerned about the types of emission sources that the EPA has included in the rule. These and other issues will be addressed as part of the legal challenge.

"Effective environmental regulation achieves a balance between the importance of perserving and protecting our air, water and other natural resources and the importance of preserving jobs and economic growth," Norberg says. "EPA has worked hard to achieve that balance, but we feel that some additional modifications will create a better rule for all concerned parties."