Why That Trout May Taste. . . Tangy

When you think “Environmental Protection Agency” (EPA) and “auto industry,” tailpipe emissions probably come to mind.

When you think “Environmental Protection Agency” (EPA) and “auto industry,” tailpipe emissions probably come to mind.

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But it is interesting to note that last week the EPA, the auto industry (in the form of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association; Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association; Brake Manufacturers Council; Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association; Auto Care Association; Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; Association of Global Automakers, Inc.; and the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association) and the states signed an agreement to reduce the use of. . .

. . .copper.

In brake pads.

Turns out that copper dust generated during braking is released into the environment.

A non-trivial amount.

In California, for example, it is calculated that 1.3-million pounds of copper was released into the environment.

And a consequence is that the copper (as well as mercury, lead, cadmium, asbestiform fibers, and chromium-6 salts, that are also in the pads) end up in streams, rivers and lakes, and as you can well imagine, that’s not helpful to fish.

The agreement calls for the amount of copper in pads to be reduced to less than 5% by 2021 and to 0.5% by 2025.