The Tire Industry Association is happy with a recent Environmental Protection Agency decision to not classify scrap tires as solid waste under the Clean Air Act.

TIA worked with numerous other associations to lobby Congress to ensure that the EPA scrutinized the industry's position that scrap tires should continue to be used as an alternative fuel source for cement kilns, paper mills and other power generators.

Had scrap tires been classified as solid waste, those facilities would have needed permits to burn the tires under section 129 of the Clean Air Act instead of section 112. According to the TIA, permitting would have been expensive, and many of the current consumers of scrap tire would have discontinued their programs.

That would likely have devastated the scrap tire recycling market, causing soaring costs to tire dealers and creating a negative impact on the environment, TIA pointed out.

"TIA was glad to be an active participant in these efforts. I wasn't optimistic, but TIA is very happy to see the outcome," said TIA Director of Government and Business Relations Paul Fiore.

"This is a victory for tire recyclers, our members, and the industry as a whole. The utilization of tire-derived fuel is an excellent way to keep scrap tires from stockpiles and landfills, and it provides other industries with a cost-effective, 'green' alternative to other fuels, such as petroleum. It also, in turn, lessens our nation's dependency on imported oil, which, as we are seeing, is becoming more and more expensive," said TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield.