Current State of Brake Pad Copper Legislation – UnderhoodService
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Current State of Brake Pad Copper Legislation

The California Brake Pad Law (Passed)Reformulation Bill
Limits on the copper content of brake friction materials are essential for California cities, counties and industries to comply with federal Clean Water Act mandates. California would need to pay billions for noncompliance to the Federal government if this was not enacted.

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California
SB 346: The California Brake Pad Law (Passed)Reformulation Bill
Limits on the copper content of brake friction materials are essential for California cities, counties and industries to comply with federal Clean Water Act mandates. California would need to pay billions for noncompliance to the Federal government if this was not enacted.
January 2014: CA can’t sell brake friction materials that have any of the following in over .1% by weight: Cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury or asbestiform fibers.
 
Jan. 1, 2021: Brake friction materials sold in California to contain no more than 5% copper by weight.
 
Dec. 31, 2023: Shops and jobbers can sell brake friction materials until then that aren’t compliant in order to deplete inventory.
 
Jan. 1, 2025: Brake friction materials sold in California to contain no more than 0.5% copper by weight.
Violations/Penalties:
By a vehicle manufacturer, a vehicle brake friction materials manufacturer, a distributer or a retailer shall be subject to a civil fine of up to $10,000 per violation.
Washington
RCW 70.285 Better Brakes Law (Passed)
 
January 2013: Brake manufacturers report the use of copper, nickel, zinc and antimony in brake friction materials to Ecology.
 
January 2014:  Sale of pads containing more than trace amounts of asbestos, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury banned. 
Exemption: Pads manufactured before 2015 can clear inventory until 2025.
 
January 2015: All brakes made after this date must be certified and marked to indicate that they do not contain asbestos, lead, mercury, cadmium, or chromium (VI).
 
December 2015: By this date Ecology must review available information to determine if brake friction materials containing less than .5% copper are available. If available, Ecology is directed to convene a group of experts to determine how best to move forward with a ban on materials containing more than .5% copper by weight.
 
January 2021: Brakes made after this date may not contain more than 5% copper by weight. Exemption: Pads manufactured before 2021 can clear inventory until 2031.
 
January 2025: Unmarked brakes made before 2015 may no longer be sold in Washington State.
 
Violations/Penalties (from the law): 
“A brake friction material distributor or retailer that violates this chapter is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each violation.
 “Before a penalty, Ecology must give a warning letter and offer assistance to achieve compliance.
“A brake friction material manufacturer that knowingly violates this chapter shall recall the brake friction material and reimburse the brake friction distributor, retailer or any other purchaser for the material and any applicable shipping and handling charges for returning the material. A brake friction material manufacturer that violates this chapter is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each violation. 
“Vehicle distributors or retailers selling used vehicles with noncompliant pads are not in violation unless they knowingly install noncompliant pads.”
Rhode Island
Rhode Island House Bill 7997 
An Act Relating To Motor And Other Vehicles Brake Friction Material (Would Provide For The Use Of Motor Vehicle Brake Friction Material Which Does Not Contain Copper Or Its Compounds)
(Under Review)
 
Current Status: Currently being reviewed by an advisory committee until December 1, 2015,  to review risk assessments and scientific studies regarding alternative brake friction material and determine if the material may be available.
New York
SB405 (Under Review)
Limits the use of certain substances in brake friction material.
 
Status: Introduced to Senate and referred to Transportation.
What this law would do: 
January 2016:No manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or distributor may sell or offer for sale brake friction material in New York state containing any of the following constituents in an amount exceeding 0.1% by weight: Asbestiform fibers, cadmium and its compounds, chromium, lead and its compounds, mercury and its compounds.
 
Beginning January 2023: “No manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or distributor may sell or offer for sale brake friction material in New York state containing more than 5% copper."
Oregon
SB945 (Under Review)
What the law would do:
“Prohibits manufacturers from selling or offering for sale, and other specified persons from knowingly selling or offering for sale, brake friction material or motor vehicles or trailers with brake friction material containing specific amounts of certain fibers or elements that are hazardous when released into state waterways.”
 
Status:
May 10, 2011: Referred to General Government and Consumer Protection.
 
June 30, 2011:  In committee upon adjournment.
Status: Currently waiting on that committee and the House.
Hawaii 
SB1319 (Under Review)
Introduced Jan. 24, 2013 and was put under review by various committees and agencies.
 
• Requires all motor vehicles to be equipped with a road pollution filter as a condition precedent to the issuance of a certificate of inspection.
 
• Requires drivers to have their vehicle inspected annually to make sure the filters are in place.  filters placed behind the wheel to remove brake dust and rubber using just the air blowing in the wheel wells. The filter looks like it is made of normal filter materials and mounted in a flat plastic cage. They make the claim that it can trap particles as small as 2.5 microns.   
Violations/Penalties
“An excessive pollution emissions charge of $125 shall be assessed.” 

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