Photo: Evan Lockridge
A proposed Minnesota ban on lead wheel weights for all vehicles within the state, including passenger and commercial vehicles, has passed a final vote in both the state house and senate and is awaiting the signature of Gov. Mark Dayton.
The bills, SB 2192 and HB 2542, were first introduced in early March and also include regulations on Mercury thermometers, according to Truckinginfo.com/Heavy Duty Trucking magazine sister website and publication Modern Tire Dealer magazine.
If singed into law Minnesota will become the seventh state ban lead wheel weights, joining the states of California, Illinois, Maine, New York, Vermont, and Washington. The ban would begin on Jan. 1, 2016.
“It is important for the Minnesota market to understand that there are non-lead options like zinc and steel available to them now,” said Gregory Parker, marketing manager for the Perfect Equipment brand of wheel weights for Wegmann automotive USA.
According to Parker, with Minnesota included, the lead regulated states will combine to make up roughly 26% of all registered vehicles in the United States. Minnesota already has a state mandate in effect for state-owned fleet vehicles to utilize only non-lead wheel balance weights.
Also included in the proposed bill is language that requires shop owners and technicians to ensure that their used wheel weight inventories are recycled. Businesses can work with their wheel weight suppliers or local scrap yards to make sure this is done properly.
“Most of the major wheel weight suppliers feature a recycle return program that allows you to return your unsorted used weights,” said Parker.
Read more about what's going on with the battle over lead wheel weights, including alternatives to them, in this feature from Heavy Duty Trucking magazine.