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CAWA and AAIA sponsored SB 346 approved by California legislature

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 23:00

A revised SB 346 advanced past the senate today, to finally move to the governor for consideration. SB 346, which was first introduced into the California Legislature by Senator Kehoe (D-San Diego) in early 2009, supported by CAWA and the AAIA and supported by Sustainable Conservation (SusCon) sought to limit copper content in brake friction materials and included a small fee per axle pad sold.

Since that time, negotiations with stakeholders and Senator Kehoe's office have concluded fruitfully on the bill which resulted in successfully addressing industry's key concerns and subsequent removal of industry opposition.

Key among CAWA and AAIA concerns was the removal of the brake pad fee and retailer and installer collection points. "CAWA and AAIA worked with an industry wide coalition that included the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), both domestic and international vehicle manufacturer alliances, friction material manufacturers, the retailers' association and the repair industry," stated Rodney K. Pierini, CAWA President & CEO.

"The resulting bill was the result of a strong commitment by the environmental community water agencies, vehicle manufacturers and the aftermarket to work through our differences and develop a workable process for reducing copper in brake pads that ensures consumer safety and minimizes the economic impact on small businesses," Pierini added.

The amended legislation which is supported by all industry groups, now requires a two-step reduction in friction material copper content to no more than five percent after 2021 and no more than five tenths of one percent after 2025; exempts friction materials for use on vehicles manufactured prior to the above compliance dates - otherwise known as a legacy vehicle exemption; creates an advisory board to review applications for and a process to follow for vehicles manufactured after the compliance dates that will not be able to meet the deadlines - otherwise referred to as an "offramp" and gives regulators discretion in the enforcement of the bill's provisions if there is evidence that any violation was inadvertent.

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