IRVINE, CA – The University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) announced plans to replace lead wheel weights from the tires in its fleet. The university is following in the footsteps of fellow California government fleet, Contra Costa County, recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts to voluntarily remove more than 2,000 lbs. of lead from its fleet by 2012.

"We here at UC Irvine have been anticipating switching over to non-lead wheel balancing materials for some time. I feel that now is the time," said Gene Allen, manager of Fleet Services for UC Irvine. "We only mount and balance a portion of what Contra Costa County does in a year, but every little bit will help. So UC Irvine will be switching ASAP."

Other schools in the University of California system, such as University of California, Davis, will also join in the UC's green efforts.

An estimated 1.6 million lbs. of lead are lost annually in the United States when wheel weights fall off during normal driving conditions (e.g., hitting a pot hole). The National Partnership for Environmental Priorities encourages public and private organizations to form partnerships with the EPA to reduce the use or release of toxic.

More information on the EPA's National Partnership for Environmental Priorities Program is available at www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/minimize/partnership.htmn.

Originally posted on Green Fleet Magazine

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