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  • Draft Informal Regulations

    DTSC is seeking comments on draft informal regulations for the California Brake Pad Law.  The comment period has been extended to September 5, 2014.  Comments may be submitted to the department via e-mail at brakepad@dtsc.ca.gov or via mail to:

    Department of Toxic Substances Control
    Attn: Comments on Draft Informal Regulations for The Brake Friction Materials Law
    P.O. Box 806, Mail Station/Code: SPWP/MS 12A
    Sacramento, California  95812-0806

  • Workshop to Discuss a California Only Exemption Mark
    A workshop will be held on Wednesday, August 20 from 7:30-9:00 am PDT (10:30 am - noon EDT) to discuss the issues and possible alternatives for identifying brake friction materials and/or brake pads that are exempt under the California Brake Pad Law.  Register for the meeting using this link.

 

Limiting Copper in Brake Pads

Seeking comments on informal draft regulations for the California Brake Pad Law

The department is seeking comments on draft informal regulations to help implement the Brake Friction Material Law (Health and Safety Code sections 25250.50 et.seq.) that became effective in 2014.  The comment period has been extended until September 5, 2014Comments may be submitted via e-mail at brakepad@dtsc.ca.gov or via mail at:

Department of Toxic Substances Control
Attn: Comments on Draft Informal Regulations for the Brake Friction Material Law
P.O. Box 806, Mail Station/Code: SPWP/MS 12A
Sacramento, California 95812-0806

The audio for the July 24 workshop and video for the August 4 workshop will be made available on our Documents & Fact Sheets Web page later this week.  Unfortunately due to technical difficulties, the audio for July 30 and August 6 workshops are not available.

Workshop to Discuss a California Only Exemption Mark

DTSC is hosting a workshop to discuss the issues and possible alternatives for identifying brake friction material and brake pads that are exempt under the California Brake Pad Law.  The meeting will be conducted via webinar and is scheduled for Wednesday, August 20 from 7:30-9:00 am PDT (10:30 am - 12:00 pm EDT).  Interested parties may register for the event using this link.   A copy of the agenda and some handouts are available on our Documents & Fact Sheets Web page.

Brake Pad Legislation

On September 27, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill (SB) 346 which will prohibit the sale of automobile brake pads sold in California containing more than trace amounts of copper, certain heavy metals, and asbestos. The purpose of this law is to reduce the amount of copper and other toxic substances released from brakes from entering California’s streams, rivers, and marine environment. This new law bans brake pads containing more than trace amounts of heavy metals and asbestos in 2014 and then also bans brake pads containing more than 5 percent copper in 2021.  By 2025, the law reduces the amount of copper allowed to almost zero. Copper is toxic to many aquatic organisms and limiting the copper content of brakes is essential to comply with a federal Clean Water Act mandate, including copper water quality standards and copper total maximum daily loads in California’s urban watersheds.

The law requires that manufacturers comply with laboratory testing and certify with a mark their products comply with the restrictions set for brake pads.  >DTSC, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Brake Materials Environmental Task Force have developed the criteria for testing and marking brake pads that meet the restrictions listed below. Washington State passed a similar law earlier in 2010 and adopted regulations on October 19, 2012.  Sn_16">ince DTSC has not promulgated regulations regarding the testing protocol, marking or the certification agency requirements, the material presented on this web page should be considered for informational purposes only.

Restriction Date
SAE Environmental Marking
Description of Associated Action
On or After January 1, 2014
A

Prohibit the sale of any motor vehicle brake friction materials exceeding the following concentrations: 
     - Cadmium exceeding 0.01% by weight.
     - Chromium (VI) salts exceeding 0.1% by weight.
     - Lead exceeding 0.1% by weight.
     - Mercury exceeding 0.1% by weight.
     - Asbestiform fibers exceeding 0.1% by weight.

On or After January 1, 2021
B
Prohibit the sale of any vehicle brake friction material containing greater than 5% copper by weight in the state. This symbol also indicates the material meets the requirements listed for the "A" environmental marking.
On or After January 1, 2025
N
Prohibit the sale of any vehicle brake friction material containing greater than 0.5% copper by weight in the state. This symbol also indicates the material meets the requirements listed for the "A" environmental marking.

The law requires brake friction material manufacturers to certify and mark that their products meet the prohibitions listed above by the restriction date.

What do you need to do now?

Starting in 2014, you will be able to see marking on the product to show that the material meets cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury or asbestos restrictions.  The manufacturer is required by law to have their brake friction material certified by a testing certification agency (a.k.a., registrar).  To date, the only registrar identified by the industry is NSF International.  A list of certified brake friction material formulations can be viewed here.

Questions?

For questions regarding the California Brake Pad law, please contact either Evelia Rodriguez (evelia.rodriguez@dtsc.ca.gov, 916-327-6104) or Suzanne Davis (suzanne.davis@dtsc.ca.gov, 916-327-4206).

For questions regarding the Washington State Better Brakes law, please contact Ian Wesley (iwes461@ecy.wa.gov, 360-407-6747).