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Eliminating Tire Piles at Border Focus of Coalition

Washington, DC— The Rubber Manufacturers Association joined a coalition to assist in reducing tire piles and developing a scrap tire recycling infrastructure along the U.S./Mexico border.

The project is being initiated by the Border Environmental Cooperative Commission (BECC), a group that works to develop solutions to environmental problems in a 62-mile region on either side of the U.S./Mexico border.

A newly formed Ad Hoc committee will investigate and recommend a comprehensive solution to deal with millions of scrap tires located in the six Mexican states that border the United States. Recent work on the scrap tire situation in this area has focused on human health issues, but this new committee will address scrap tire management and economic development.

“The situation on the Mexican side of the border is very similar to the situation the U.S. faced in 1985, before scrap tire legislation and regulations were enacted,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA senior technical director. “Our proposal to improve the current situation in Mexico is to develop more comprehensive regulations and create low to medium-tech market opportunities to grow a scrap tire after-market infrastructure.”

RMA’s efforts to create scrap tire markets in Mexico will have a positive effect on the scrap tire situations in the four states that border Mexico - Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. A majority of RMA tire manufacturer members operate in Mexico.

Other groups involved with this initiative include EPA Regions 6 & 9 (which includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana), the North American Development Bank, the Texas Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Environmental Quality of New Mexico and the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

Blumenthal spoke to the Mexican border state department of health, economic development and solid waste officials, as well as municipal elected officials to raise awareness about this issue. From the U.S. side, Blumenthal has presented to Texas regulatory agency personnel, Department of Health and the North American Development Bank.

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