LANSING, Mich. (Oct. 6, 2011)—Both the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau and the Retread Tire Association are protesting a bill introduced Oct. 5 by Michigan Rep. Douglas A. Geiss (D-22nd Dist.) that would levy a $5 fee on every retread tire sold in the state.
Money collected from the fee, according to the language of Michigan House Bill 5037, is to go into the state's Environmental Protection Fund for the express purpose of cleaning up waste tire rubber on roadsides.
House Bill 5037 has been attached to a larger environmental protection bill before the Michigan legislature, according to David Stevens, TRIB managing director.
“The irony is that the University of Michigan Transportation Center did a study for NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) that examined 1,500 pieces of rubber on the road,” Stevens said. “That study basically exonerated the retread manufacturing process.”
Stevens said he has spoken to Rep. Geiss' office about the bill. So has Harvey Brodsky, RTA managing director. In a letter to Rep. Geiss, Brodsky said there is overwhelming evidence that retreads are not to blame for tire debris on highways. Brodsky also cited the NHTSA/University of Michigan study.
“To blame retreads for tire debris on our highways, in Michigan and elsewhere, is the same as blaming a vehicle for an accident caused by a drunk driver,” Brodsky wrote.