SOURCE: Lehigh Technologies

January 24, 2008 12:40 ET

Lehigh Technologies Applauds Proposal by Congress to Promote Recycled Rubber Industry

TIRE Act Provides Tax Incentives for Fleets Using Recycled Content Tires

NAPLES, FL--(Marketwire - January 24, 2008) - Lehigh Technologies, a leading manufacturer of engineered rubber powder, today announced its support for the Tire Investment, Recovery and Extension Act of 2008, or TIRE Act of 2008. Introduced to the House of Representatives by a bi-partisan group of members, the bill is designed to act as a catalyst in the development of a nationwide recycled rubber industry. As part of the proposal, the bill would provide a $3/tire tax incentive for purchasers of large volumes of tires made from recycled rubber. Led by Representatives Henry "Hank" Johnson and Joe Knollenberg, additional original cosponsors of the bill include: Rep. Joe Crowley, Rep. Diane Watson, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Yvette Clarke, Rep. Steve Kagen, Rep. Linda Sanchez, and Rep. Keith Ellison.

Given that tires account for the majority of rubber consumed annually, spurring the use of recycled rubber in the production of tires is an important catalyst in creating a recycled rubber industry in the U.S. Rubber is one of the most ubiquitous industrial materials used in manufacturing, yet only a fraction of rubber is currently being recycled. Developing a large scale rubber recycling industry, like those for steel, plastic, aluminum and many other materials, would not only represent the creation of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in market value, but it would conserve oil, contribute to the country's energy independence and significantly reduce America's direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. It would also help find a home for the approximately 300 million tires scrapped every year, most of which are today either being burned or buried.

"Incorporating recycled content in the manufacture of new tires has been proven to be an effective alternative to the use of petrochemicals and a means of conserving oil, without compromising vehicle safety," stated Dennis Gormley, Chief Executive Officer of Lehigh Technologies. "We work closely with the tire industry, and our customers are first and foremost focused on the performance, safety and quality of their products, but they also are increasingly concerned about their environmental stewardship. This proposed legislation is critical in that it will help ensure that a market for recycled content tires will be available for those tire companies willing to take the lead in developing and promoting truly 'green' tires. Given the President's call for economic stimulus and the TIRE Act's focus on catalyzing an industry, this proposal by Representatives Johnson and Knollenberg could not be more timely."

Key findings mentioned in the TIRE Act include:

--  The majority of rubber used by industry in the U.S. is synthetic
    rubber that is derived from petroleum.
--  The tire industry is the largest consumer of rubber in the U.S., using
    over 3 billion pounds of rubber annually to produce over 250 million tires.
--  Recycled rubber from scrap tires can be used in the production of new
    tires at loadings exceeding 10% of the weight of rubber in the tire if the
    particle size of the recycled rubber is extremely fine (80 mesh/177 microns
    or finer) and the particles are free from impurities such as steel and
    fiber.
--  On average, the U.S. can save a gallon of oil for every tire produced
    incorporating 10% recycled rubber.
--  On average, for every pound of recycled rubber used as an alternative
    to synthetic rubber, the U.S. will prevent a pound of carbon dioxide from
    being released into the atmosphere.
    

To learn more about the TIRE Act of 2008, please contact the office of Representative Hank Johnson at (202) 225-1605.

About Lehigh Technologies, Inc.

Lehigh Technologies provides engineered ultra-fine rubber powder that delivers enhanced performance, as well as manufacturing cost savings and environmental benefits, at a price point that is affordable and sustainable for low-to-high volume applications. Unlike crumb rubber recyclers and other suppliers in the past, Lehigh produces engineered performance fillers, modifiers and additives enabling manufacturers across a variety of industries to easily include rubber powder as a strategic ingredient into their manufacturing process without compromising the integrity of their products. Headquartered in Naples, Florida, the company is privately held and backed by major private equity investors. For more information, please visit www.lehightechnologies.com.

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