After a series of private meetings with the Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB), the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) has agreed to lift a controversial tire manifest rule it imposed on retreaders last year.
The rule required California retreaders to document the transport of 10 or more waste or used tires and fined haulers without copies of manifests and trip logs up to $25,000 a day per violation. The CIWMB will change the rule so that retreaders can file a daily trip log on one piece of paper instead of multiple forms, which is what California retreaders did prior to the manifest rule, according to TRIB Managing Director Harvey Brodsky.
``We got exactly what we were looking for,'' Mr. Brodsky told Tire Business. ``We can live with this.''
Mr. Brodsky said the change is a ``done deal'' and probably will go into effect later this year, perhaps even by September. Only retreaders will be exempt from the manifest system, he noted.
``It could happen in July. That would be very optimistic,'' Mr. Brodsky said of the rule change. ``But the government is the government. It's like turning around an aircraft carrier. They don't care about time, they're not in the private sector.''
Besides TRIB, California's two tire dealer associations also were actively involved in lobbying against the rule since it went into effect last July.
``There may be in the state of California 10 to 15 people who are bad guys. And for that, every tire dealer in California, large, small, in between and medium is filling out paperwork like a maniac?'' asked Ed Cohn, executive director of the California Tire Dealers Association-South.
Ejnar Fink-Jensen, executive director of the California Tire Dealers Association-North, noted the manifest system has been extremely difficult to manage and only a few retreaders were able to manifest their tire haulings electronically. At a meeting with the CIWMB in February, he said, the associations suggested the board spend an additional $250,000 to help major haulers transfer data electronically.
``So the conclusion (from that meeting) was that we have to spend more time and money on a problem that is less than 1 percent of waste tires,'' Mr. Fink-Jensen said.
Also since that February meeting, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger informed Steve Jones, one of the strongest proponents of the manifest system on the waste board, that his term would not be renewed, Mr. Fink-Jensen said.
The CIWMB acknowledged the manifest rule had created a ``backlog of 60,000 forms'' since it couldn't convince many retreaders to file their manifests electronically.
Retreaders weren't interested in filing electronically because none of their computer programs was ``in sync'' with the state of California's, according to Mr. Brodsky. The cost of upgrading software to be compatible with the state's programs was too expensive.
``(The board) was overwhelmed,'' he said. ``They finally came to their senses.''
Mr. Brodsky said TRIB kept lobbying the board and threatening to appeal to the media and the governor's office if the rule stayed in place. Finally, ``they realized they made a bad mistake.''