APRIL 2011

Rule preserves scrap tire markets

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a rulemaking that will preserve scrap tire markets and ensure the success of scrap tire management advocacy by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).

The rule allows annually generated scrap tires that are removed from vehicles to be used as fuel by an industrial facility. Cement kilns, pulp and paper mills and electric utilities are the major users of tire derived fuel.

In its proposed rule, EPA recommended that annually generated tires be processed to remove the metal before being considered a fuel under the Clean Air Act. However, that provision would have merely increased the energy consumption, air emissions and costs associated with delivering tire derived fuels to industrial customers without any environmental benefit.

RMA recognizes that EPA is still requiring processing of whole tires removed from historical scrap tire stockpiles. RMA continues to encourage EPA to consider a more expansive definition of processing to allow these whole tires to be combusted as tire derived fuel. RMA continues to evaluate the final rule for additional insights and impacts on the tire industry.