Court overturns clean air standards WASHINGTON—A federal appeals court has overturned sweeping Clean Air Act regulations the Environmental Protection Agency issued in 1997, to initial applause from the tire and rubber industry.
The EPA's revised air quality standards for ozone and particulate matter weren't backed by sufficient scientific evidence, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled May 14.
The court ruled the standards unconstitutional and remanded them to the EPA for rewriting. The agency said it planned to appeal.
President Clinton, in a statement, said he was ``deeply disappointed'' by the ruling, but representatives from the International Tire and Rubber Association, the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said they were pleased with the court's decision.
The ITRA had testified extensively against both EPA standards when they were first proposed, said the group's director of government relations, Roy Littlefield.
Titan makes offer to Natchez strikers
NATCHEZ, Miss.—During informal talks in St. Louis in April, Titan International Inc. offered to rehire about 150 members of United Steelworkers of America Local 303, which has been on strike at the company's specialty tire plant in Natchez since Sept. 15.
About 46 union employees who worked for Titan or Fidelity Tire Manufacturing Co., which previously operated the plant, currently are working there.
Local 303 President Leo Bradley said his men don't like the offer because they don't want to give up the seniority they earned under Fidelity.
Without an agreement in place, Titan will begin hiring workers from a pool of about 3,000 applications it received last year. The company said it doesn't want to see that happen because many of the striking union employees are outstanding workers.
Titan management said union members should have the chance to vote on the company's proposal—which they said includes increased wages and benefits—before union leaders reject it.
Gadsden workers approve offer
GADSDEN, Ala.—Members of Steelworkers Local 12, facing mass layoffs at Goodyear's Gadsden tire plant, approved a retirement package offer from the company May 20 that will guarantee full benefits, including medical insurance, to workers with more than 25 years of service.
The vote closes a controversy stemming from Goodyear's decision earlier this year to cease tire production in Gadsden. The company will keep a rubber mixing operation in place, but the work force will be trimmed to about 200 from 1,800.
With the agreement in place, the union will drop a grievance it filed against Goodyear.
Goodyear said the package goes beyond its contractual obligations, but believes it was the proper thing to do, a company spokesman said.
Part of the debate between the two sides was whether standard layoff or plant-closure procedures should be followed in doling out benefits. Goodyear insisted the plant-closing precedures didn't apply because of the continuing mixing operation.
Hercules vindicated in patent lawsuit
FINDLAY, Ohio—A federal appeals court has upheld a decision by the U.S. District Court in Akron that Hercules Rubber Co.'s ``Power Trac'' precured tread design did not infringe on the design patent for Goodyear's G362 tread design, as Goodyear alleged in a suit filed in 1995.
Goodyear had appealed the lower court's decision. The appeals court made its ruling last November but the announcement was delayed until it was learned that Goodyear plans no further appeals.