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April 9, 2024

EPA Publishes ANPRM Regarding Lead Wheel Weights

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on April 3, 2024, an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding lead for wheel-balancing weights (lead wheel weights). 89 Fed. Reg. 22972. EPA requests comments and information to assist in the potential development of regulations for the manufacture (including importing), processing (including recycling), and distribution in commerce of lead for lead wheel weights under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). To inform this consideration, EPA states that it is requesting comment and information from all stakeholders on the use and exposure to lead from the manufacture (including importing), processing (including recycling), distribution in commerce, use, and disposal of lead wheel weights, as well as information on their substitutes, to help determine if there is unreasonable risk to human health and the environment associated with this use. EPA notes that the ANPRM is relevant to a petition for a writ of mandamus filed in August 2023 by the Ecology Center, Center for Environmental Health, United Parents Against Lead & Other Environmental Hazards, and Sierra Club in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit requesting the court to direct EPA to conduct a rulemaking regulating lead wheel weights under TSCA. As reported in our March 21, 2024, blog item, on March 13, 2024, EPA published notice of a proposed settlement agreement that would resolve all claims in the case by establishing deadlines for EPA to take final action. Under the proposed settlement agreement, EPA will:

  • Publish an ANPRM concerning lead wheel weights; and
  • By December 31, 2024, either sign a proposed rule regulating lead wheel weights pursuant to 15 U.S.C. Section 2605(a) and sign a final rule or otherwise take final action on the proposed rule by September 30, 2025, or sign a determination not to proceed with a rulemaking regulating lead wheel weights.

Comments on the proposed settlement agreement are due April 12, 2024. Comments on the ANPRM are due May 3, 2024.