A Democratic filibuster in the Missouri state senate has stalled efforts to renew a 50-cent scrap tire fee that will expire on Jan. 1, 2004.
The fee renewal was part of a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) omnibus regulatory reform measure, Senate Bill 36.
The bill would have extended the 50-cent fee collected on new tires until January 2009.
Senate Democrats filibustered the measure because environmentalists opposed the business-backed regulatory reforms in the legislation, according to Dave Overfelt, government affairs consultant for the Missouri Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association. Republicans included rollbacks on many environmental rule and regulations in the bill on behalf of businesses, he said.
Currently, the state only has small tire piles of 20,000 tires or less, said Mr. Overfelt, who noted that the state's tire dealers have chosen to remain neutral on the failure of the fee extension.
In total, 2.9 million scrap tires remain in piles, and the state has developed markets for recycled rubber products, primarily for tire-derived fuel, said Dan Fester, chief of the DNR's waste tire unit.
Mr. Fester said he hopes the fee, instituted in 1990, will be renewed in next year's legislative session because generally, other states that have allowed scrap tire fees to expire have experienced ``a resurgence in illegal dumping,'' and he fears Missouri may follow that trend.
Missouri's fee generated $2 million annually.