AUSTIN, Texas—An executive of the Rubber Manufacturers Association said he expects passage of a Texas Senate bill setting strict guidelines for the sale and handling of used tires.
Texas Senate Bill 459 was the subject of a March 27 hearing before the Texas Senate Commerce Committee.
Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president of public affairs, testified at the hearing that the bill's safety provisions were no more than common sense.
"Simply put, if you're in the business of selling tires, you should know not to sell tires that match the conditions listed in this legislation," Zielinski said. "Requiring used tire sellers to be appropriately accountable when they return used tires back to road service is a simple, reasonable attempt to protect consumers."
Sponsored by Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-29th District (El Paso), S.B. 459 essentially contains the language of the model scrap tire bill written by the RMA, as well as further language setting forth requirements for the transportation and handling of used tires.
Dick Gust, director of government affairs for Liberty Tire Recycling, praised the tire handling portion of the bill at the Texas hearing.
Responsible tire generators ensure they are registered with their state governments as generators, Gust said. They also store scrap tires securely to prevent unauthorized access and deal only with licensed haulers.
"Unfortunately, this is not always being done today," Gust said. He quoted a story relating that officials from the Marshal's office in Dallas visited 25 tire stores in the area, and found each had at least violation of scrap tire regulations.
While most tire generators charge customers a recycling fee for leaving their old tires, some merely pocket the money and don't use it to protect the tires, according to Gust.
"Responsible dealers should value this legislation, because it levels their playing field by requiring all generators to secure the tires and use the services of a licensed transporter," he said.
SB 459 would forbid the sale of any used passenger or light truck tire that:
* Has a tread depth of less than 1/16 inch;
* Has visible chunking, bumps, knots or bulges indicating a belt or ply separation;
* Has exposed tire cords or belts;
* Has a repair in the shoulder, sidewall, bead area or belt edge area;
* Has a puncture that is larger than 1/4 inch, or a puncture that isn't properly repaired;
* Does not have a clear Department of Transportation identification number;
* Is subject to a safety recall; or
* Otherwise does not meet federal safety standards.