Congressional Hearing on Thursday Regarding Lead LawTuesday, September 8, 2009 | 4:53 PM
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Federal lawmakers have scheduled a hearing for Thursday, Sept. 10, to receive an update on the status of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) that essentially banned the sale of kids' dirtbikes and ATVs, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
The AMA is urging all concerned motorcyclists and ATVers to contact their federal lawmakers to exempt motorcycles and ATVs from the law, which took effect in February. The law stopped the sale of dirt bikes and ATVs designed for children age 12 and under, although the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) subsequently issued a stay of enforcement of the measure until May 2011.
Under the law, all youth products containing lead must now have less than 300 parts per million by weight. The CPSC has interpreted the law to apply to various components of youth-model motorcycles and ATVs, including the engine, brakes, suspension, battery and other mechanical parts. Even though the lead levels in these parts are small, they are still above the minimum threshold.
The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold Thursday's hearing, titled: "Consumer Product Safety Commission Oversight: Current Issues and a Vision for the Future." CPSC Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum will be the only testifier.
This hearing is the first one sponsored by this subcommittee since the CPSIA passed 13 months ago. It is important that motorcyclists and ATV riders let Congress know that they are concerned about the lead-content requirements of the CPSIA, and that they want youth-model off-highway vehicles excluded from those requirements.
Riders should contact their U.S. representatives and let them know how the CPSIA has created a severe and unwarranted disruption to families who ride together responsibly, and a deleterious effect on youth amateur racing. Because the fastest way to permanently address this issue is through legislation, riders should urge their representatives to support H.R. 1587, introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-At Large-Mont.), to exempt youth-sized motorcycles and ATVs from the CPSIA.
You can find contact information for your elected officials at AmericanMotorcyclist.com. From the homepage, click on "Rights," then "Issues & Legislation," and enter your zip code in the "Find your Officials" box. Additionally, a prewritten e-mail is available for you to send to your representative immediately by following the "Take Action" option and entering your information.
ATV riders can do the same by going through the Rapid Response Center on ATVAonline.com.
It is particularly important to contact members of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. They are U.S. Reps.:
- Bobby Rush (D-Chicago-Tinley Park, Ill.), chairman
- Jan Schakowsky (D-Chicago-Des Plaines, Ill.) vice chairwoman
- George Radanovich (R-Oakdale-Kerman, Calif.), ranking minority member
- Mary Bono Mack (R-Hemet-Blythe, Calif.)
- Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento, Calif.)
- Henry Waxman (D-Agoura Hills-Westlake Village, Calif.) (ex officio)
- Diana DeGette (D-Denver, Colo.)
- Kathy Castor (D-Tampa, Fla.)
- Cliff Stearns (R-Ocala, Fla.)
- John Barrow (D-Springfield-Crawfordville, Ga.)
- Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-Marietta-Rome, Ga.)
- Bruce Braley (D-Cedar Falls-Dubuque, Iowa)
- Ed Whitfield (R-Fulton-Casey, Ky.)
- Steve Scalise (R-Hammond-Mandeville, La.)
- John Sarbanes, M.D. (D-Baltimore City-Annapolis, Md.)
- John Dingell (D-Detroit, Mich.) (ex officio)
- Bart Stupak (D-U.P.-Alpena, Mich.)
- Lee Terry (R-Omaha, Neb.)
- G. K. Butterfield (D-Roanoke Rapids-New Bern, N.C.)
- Sue Wilkins Myrick (R-Gastonia-Matthews, N.C.)
- Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Plainfield-Asbury Park, N.J.)
- Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn-Queens, N.Y.)
- Zachary Space (D-Athens-Millersburg, Ohio)
- Betty Sutton (D-Lorain-Akron, Ohio)
- John Sullivan (R-Bartlesville-Bixby, Okla.)
- Tim Murphy (R-Pittsburgh-Greensburg, Pa.)
- Joseph R. Pitts (R-Columbia-West Chester, Pa.)
- Bart Gordon (D-Robertson-Marshall, Tenn.)
- Joe Barton (R-Ennis-Crockett, Texas) (ex officio)
- Charles Gonzalez (D-San Antonio-Kirby, Texas)
- Gene Green (D-Cloverleaf, Texas)
- Jim Matheson (D-St. George-Vernal, Utah)
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations.