WASHINGTON—Both the Texas and Florida legislatures are poised for further action this week on bills promoted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association setting strict guidelines for the sale and handling of used tires.
Texas SB 459, the more sweeping of the bills, is before the full Texas Senate and could reach a vote imminently, according to an RMA spokesman. Because there is opposition to SB 459, the bill cannot be passed under suspension but must be debated on the floor, he said.
While the bill has been amended somewhat since its April 3 passage in the Texas Senate Committee on Transportation, essentially it forbids the sale of any used tire that is visibly damaged or improperly repaired, is subject to a safety recall, or has a tread depth of less than 1/16 inch.
SB 459 also establishes regulations for the storage and transport of used tires, including a requirement that registered tire haulers post a bond of at least $100,000 with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The RMA and Liberty Tire Recycling support SB 459 as common-sense safety and environmental regulation. However, the Texas Tire Dealers Association and the Texas Automotive Recyclers Association say the bill's provisions are so expensive it could put their members out of business.
HB 3783, a bill identical to the original version of SB 459, has been introduced in the Texas House of Representatives and will be the subject of an April 16 committee meeting.
Meanwhile, the RMA has written the Florida Senate Appropriations Committee, asking the committee to waive jurisdiction on Florida SB 1588. The bill, which contains the safety but not the storage or transport provisions of the Texas legislation, has already passed two other committees unanimously. If Appropriations waives jurisdiction, SB 1588 can proceed to the full Senate.
The Florida House Appropriations Committee has already waived jurisdiction on HB 485, the House version of the used tire bill, the RMA spokesman said. A subcommittee of the Florida House Regulatory Affairs Committee has already approved the House bill, and the full committee could vote on the legislation the week of April 15, he said.