By Miles Moore, Senior Washington Reporter
Sacramento, California -- The California Senate Environmental Quality Committee has approved a bill amending a state rule requiring auto service providers check tyre pressures on every car they service, but it removed the limits on penalties for violating the rule, a provision that tyre dealers supported.
All the committee retained was the language mandating the use of tyre pressure gauges accurate within a range of plus or minus 2 psi, according to Terry Leveille, chief lobbyist for the California Tire Dealers Association.
The California Air Resources Board promulgated its tyre pressure rule Sept. 2, 2010.
Designed expressly for greenhouse gas reduction, the CARB regulation requires an estimated 40,000 auto service providers in California to check and if necessary adjust the pressure on the tyres of every vehicle they service or repair up to 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight, except motorcycles and off-road vehicles.
The rule allows for fines of up to $1,000 per violation, but SB 211-introduced Feb. 8 by Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-37th District-would have limited penalties to no more than $20 for the first violation and $50 for each subsequent violation, as well as setting tyre gauge tolerances to plus or minus 2 psi.
However, at the May 2 Environmental Quality hearing on the bill, Chairman Joe Simitian, D-11th District, said he would not support SB 211 as written, according to Leveille.
â€œHe said that the Air Resources Board hadn't clarified its position on penalties, and that he expected them to use common sense,â€ Leveille said. â€œOur argument was that we should make sure it's a civil penalty, not a criminal one.â€
Finally, Sen. Simitian said he was willing to revisit the issue next January, but wasn't willing to approve penalty limits just now, Leveille said.
SB 211 now goes back to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further consideration.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)