The US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) is urging congressional leadership to continue working on tire policy and related transportation sustainability initiatives. While the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes several provisions that would advance scrap tire markets and improve the resiliency of the nation’s infrastructure, USTMA has identified six specific policy proposals—ranging from tax incentives to additional research dollars and procurement commitments—that will strengthen the American tire manufacturing industry and help the country develop roadways with the future in mind.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to truly transform the country’s infrastructure by focusing on our shared priorities. The tire industry is ready to lead, with innovative technologies that not only improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles but also enhance the performance and durability of our roadways. By embracing these new technologies, we can create highly resilient infrastructure capable of carrying our nation well into the future, while bolstering the American tire manufacturing industry and propelling the United States as a leader in tire technology research.
The six policy areas identified in the letter to Congressional leadership by USTMA and its members, representing 12 of the world’s largest tire manufacturers, include:
Investments for the research and integration of rubber modified asphalt (RMA) to advance infrastructure projects. RMA is a mixture of ground tire rubber with asphalt that provides proven economic, environmental, and performance benefits in building better roads and highways.
Research investments for tire derived aggregate (TDA) in stormwater infiltration galleries. Tire derived aggregate is made from recycled scrap tires and used as a cost-effective infill material in stormwater infiltration galleries. Stormwater infiltration galleries that utilize TDA allow for cost savings when compared to traditional mined minerals, such as gravel, since the lightweight recycled material costs less to transport.
Research investments for stormwater runoff and roadway runoff mitigation efforts. USTMA is encouraging additional research to assess stormwater runoff from roadways to increase the state of knowledge on constituents in roadway runoff, the potential impact of roadway runoff on the environment, and effective strategies to treat roadway runoff. Stormwater basins, bioswales, street sweeping, and public awareness campaigns are proven ways to reduce pollutants from the roadway.
Incentives for the use and manufacturing of retreaded tires. Each retreaded tire reduces energy consumption, CO2 emissions, raw material usage, and tire disposal challenges and creates local job opportunities. Despite these advantages, retreading of commercial tires has steadily decreased over the last 25 years, due primarily to cheap foreign alternatives, which are 65% less likely to be retreaded because of their design and construction.
Incentives for the use of low rolling resistance tires for public and private use. A 1-2% increase in the fuel economy of passenger and light truck vehicles through the use of low rolling resistance tires would save about 1 billion to 2 billion gallons of fuel per year of the 130 billion gallons consumed by all consumer vehicles.
Federal fleet management policy that ensures 100% of tires in the federal fleet enter circular and sustainable scrap tire markets.