SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Aug. 5, 2003)—The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) has denied the retread industry's request for a reprieve for California retreaders affected by the board's new waste tire manifest rule.
Harvey Brodsky, managing director of the Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB), and other industry representatives met with officials from the board to ask for the exemption. The rule requires strict documentation of the transport of 10 or more waste or used tires. If haulers don't possess copies of manifests and trip logs, they can face fines of up to $25,000 a day per violation, TRIB said. The rule is aimed at curbing illegal tire storage and disposal, but Mr. Brodsky said retreaders don't contribute to that problem and shouldn't be included.
“We don't cause waste tires to be left on the highway,” he told Tire Business.
In a letter dated July 21, the board informed TRIB that it “cannot offer any specific exemption to the Manifest System due to statutory and regulatory requirements.” Previous exemptions to the manifest system were removed to make the new manifest system more encompassing, the letter stated.
The board further advised retreaders to consider doing the following to reduce their paperwork burden:
c Decertify vehicles hauling fewer than 10 tire casings at any time so that they are not subjected to the waste tire manifest requirements; and/or
c Participate in an Electronic Data Transfer (EDT) program with the CIWMB to eliminate hard copy manifests and allow the use of their existing receipts.
Mr. Brodsky pointed out that many small retreaders do not have the capability to participate in EDT and he advised retreaders to follow the dictates of the law, which went into effect July 1. He said staff members at the board gave him informal assurance that enforcement would not be strict in the beginning, but he said retreaders may be better off following the law, considering the hefty fines.
“That can put a guy out of business overnight,” he said.
Since the state board turned down the industry's request for relief, TRIB is working with attorneys—financed by an unnamed California retreader—to try to get the law changed. Mr. Brodsky said the attorneys have found some points they say can be argued to the board and have them change the law without pursuing a case through the courts.
“They're going to try to do this without going to court,” he said, though he added if that avenue also fails, a resolution through the courts on an example case would be the next step.
The attorneys working with TRIB declined to discuss those points.
Robert Huebert, owner of Lee's Service Inc. in Reedley, Calif., said his single-store dealership is complying with the manifest rule despite the fact it's taking a lot of time for the delivery guys. He noted it was a two-step process of making sure the manifests add up on the trip log, which someone back at the office needs to review before the documents are mailed to Sacramento.
The rule also is costing Lee's Service because the hefty paperwork causes its deliverymen to make one less trip during the day, Mr. Huebert said.
Glen Green, owner of Burgess Tire Inc. in Willits, Calif., which does business as Glen's Commercial Tire, said complying with the manifest rule is costing him $1,500 per month to implement. He said much of that is in overtime and for filling out 20-40 forms per day to send back to Sacramento.
Mr. Green, the retreader who first informed the Tire Industry Association and TRIB about California's new waste tire regulation, said the best way to fix illegal tire dumping is paying people to recycle tires, much like aluminum cans. He expressed frustration over the board's refusal to exempt retreaders.
“(The CIWMB) tried to cram this thing down our throat,” he said. “All it does is create more jobs in Sacramento. It doesn't create more jobs for us.”