SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Tire Dealers Association (CTDA) is opposing a proposed California Assembly bill that would add $1.50 to the state's $1.75-per-tire used tire fee to pay for municipal storm sewer systems.
Introduced Feb. 17, California Assembly Bill 1180 would direct that the entire $1.50 would go to the state's Stormwater Permit Compliance Fund, which the bill would establish.
AB 1180 — "California Tire Recycling Act" — would appropriate money continuously for competitive grants for projects and programs for storm sewer requirements to prevent or remediate zinc pollution caused by tires, the bill states.
CTDA Executive Director Dave Redfern wrote to Assembly Appropriations Committee Chairman Gonzalez Fletcher in advance of a May 10 hearing on AB 1180 to voice the association's opposition.
The CTDA opposes AB 1180 for two reasons, Mr. Redfern said. First, numerous studies show that zinc oxide is not the main pollutant in storm water runoff.
"Until the state pinpoints the key sources of storm water pollution, it is inappropriate to levy a $1.50 tire fee on the small amount of zinc found in tire dust," he said.
Second, the tax is regressive, hurting the poor who depends on their cars for transportation, according to Mr. Redfern.
"New tire prices and added fees are significant enough to keep some families from replacing their worn and dangerous tires," he said.
"Tire dust is simply not the primary cause of storm water pollution and is not worth the added cost to car owners of limited means who need safe and reliable new tires."
The proposal to amend the tire fee comes a year after a California state senator had proposed a bill that would have severely restricted the use of zinc or zinc oxide in tires. That bill later was revised to exclude any mention of zinc or tires.