Environmentalist, Health Groups Petition EPA to Ban Lead Weights

July 15, 2009 - EPA has published a Federal Register Notice ackowledging receipt of our petition to ban lead wheel weights and has opened a 15 day comments period. Comments are due by July 30, 2009. During this comment period anyone can submit comments in support of the the lead wheel weight ban. In addition, EPA has requested additional information on several specific subjects(see below).

To file electronic comments go to: http://www.regulations.gov
Then enter EPA Docket Number: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2009-0467 in the search box.
Follow directions for submitting comments or documents into the official docket.

Comments by mail:
Document Control Office (7407M)
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT)
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
Washington, DC 20460-0001

Download complete Federal Register Notice

In particular, EPA seeks information on the following:

  • Quantitative information, data and/ or case examples (e.g., recent scientific and technical studies, including analytical data results, analyses of environmental impacts, and statistical analyses) associated with the potential environmental releases to the air, surface water, ground water, and soil (particularly regarding potential releases within 1 mile of roadways, and potential releases to particularly sensitive environments or human and ecological populations) from lead wheel balancing weights and the following alternatives to lead tire weights: Steel tire weights; zinc alloy wheel balancing weights; plastic metal composite wheel balancing weights; and tin wheel balancing weights.
  • Quantitative information and data (scientific and technical studies, including analytical data results, analysis of environmental impacts, statistical analyses, etc.) associated with releases of lead to the air, surface water, ground water, and soil within 1 mile of roadways from wheel balancing weights and all other sources.
  • Information on whether the following list of potential exposure routes associated with releases from lead (and other alternative material) wheel balancing weights is complete or accurate, and whether other possible exposure routes associated with such releases should be considered: Dust in and near roadways; dust from roadways migrating to residential front yards, being tracked into houses and inhaled and/or ingested by children; wheel balancing weights and/or particles swept up by municipal street cleaners being incinerated, leading to increased levels of lead in air; wheel balancing weights and/or particles swept up by municipal street cleaners and landfilled, leading to increased levels of lead in ground water; vapors from home smelting of used wheel balancing weights obtained from gas stations and small tire retailers; wheel balancing weights left on cars that may be collected and burned in electric arc furnaces, releasing lead vapor and particulate matter to the air; releases associated with auto shredder activities (e.g., residues released to air or water); and releases from roadways to streams resulting in potential exposures to aquatic and terrestrial species.
  • Quantitative or anecdotal information on the current availability and suitability of lead-free wheel balancing weights as alternatives, in both original equipment and aftermarket settings, particularly any comparisons between lead-free and lead wheel balancing weights in terms of price, ease of installation, durability, and other attributes of performance and suitability.

 

Environmentalist, Health Groups Petition EPA to Ban Lead Weights

May 28, 2009 - The Ecology Center, Sierra Club and broad coalition of groups have filed a formal petition asking EPA to ban the use of lead wheel weights in the U.S. starting in January 1, 2011. If the petition is accepted, EPA will open up a comment period during which comments in support of the petition may be filed with EPA. Read Press Release

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2009 TSCA Peition Documents:

On May 17, 2005 the Ecology Center filed a previous citizens petition under the federal Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) asking EPA to develop rules which would ban the sale of lead wheel weights in the U.S. The petition, which received support from the Governor of Maine; state officials in Minnesota and Wisconsin; and the Steel Manufacturers Association, could have led to the establishment of a national lead wheel weight phase-out timeline. However, on August 8, 2005 EPA rejected the petition citing inadequate information on exposure and risk associated with lead wheel weights. The previous petition and supporting documents are listed below.

         
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