The American Trucking Associations and the Tire Industry Association have submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency, urging the agency to reconsider its proposed rulemaking on Identification of Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials That Are Solid Waste.

The TIA says the rulemaking has the potential to identify scrap tires as solid waste, which would require industrial users of tire-derived fuel to operate as commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators. If the definition of non-hazardous solid waste was changed, certain facilities currently burning used tires or used oil as ingredients in combustion or boiler units would have to meet new emission standards under the Clean Air Act, ATA said.

"ATA does not want to turn back the hands of time and undo the progress our industry has made in recycling these items, nor do we wish to see the rates we pay for legal disposal of tires and oil skyrocket," said Glen Kedzie, vice president and environmental counsel at ATA.

ATA said the proposed regulation could potentially increase the nation's freight bill, limit the number of disposal facilities accepting such materials, and invite midnight dumping and other alternative disposal practices that harm the environment.

The TIA made similar arguments.

"Restricting the TDF applications will change the economic balance for all tire material and could potentially create the situation we faced in previous years, where many more tires were disposed of in landfills," said Dick Gust, past president of TIA and current president of national account sales for Liberty Tire Recycling. "While the industry is working very hard to secure more high-end markets for tire-derived material like mulch or crumb rubber that can be used in a variety of valuable products, tire-derived fuel remains a very valuable and beneficial market for consuming the millions of tires that are generated on an annual basis."