ST. PAUL, Minn.A Minnesota law that bans the installation, sale and distribution of lead- and mercury-based wheel balance weights passed a final vote in the state's house and senate and was signed into law on May 16 by Gov. Mark Dayton.
With the law's enactment, Minnesota becomes the seventh state to pass a law banning lead wheel balance weights.
The others are California, Maine, New York, Vermont, Washington and Illinois, which was the last state to enact a ban, in 2012.
With Minnesota included, the states regulating lead wheel weights will combine to make up roughly 26 percent of all registered vehicles in the U.S., according to Wegmann Automotive USA Inc., maker of Perfect Equipment-brand wheel weights.
Minnesota already has a state mandate for state-owned fleet vehicles to use non-lead wheel weights.
The Minnesota law will have a Jan. 1, 2016, compliance date to allow businesses time to deplete their current lead weight inventories and test alternatives. It also would require that all lead and mercury weights removed from vehicles be recycled properly.