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CPSC to vote on lead ban enforcement

State attorneys may still prosecute lead ban violators

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Apr. 29, 2009
The Consumer Product Safety Commission will officially decide on May 1 whether to delay enforcement of the ban on youth motorcycles and ATVs containing lead.

The American Motorcyclist Association reports CPSC Acting Chair Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas Moore will vote on whether it should stay enforcement of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act’s provisions banning the sale of youth-model off-highway vehicles. Commission filings indicate a stay could last as long as two years.

“Even if the CPSC commissioners do approve a stay, the vote won’t solve the bigger problem,” says Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. “Youth-model motorcycles and ATVs should be exempt from the law, and Congress needs to act to make that happen. We will continue to work with our partners in the industry and our friends in Congress to make certain that it does.”

Earlier this month, Nord and Moore both voted against a petition to exclude youth vehicles from the CPSIA, explaining the law prevents them from issuing any such exemptions. Nord issued a statement on April 3 suggesting a stay of enforcement to give lawmakers and the powersports industry time to amend the legislation. Moore later issued a statement also supporting a delay in enforcement.

“The effect of denying the petition is to make Section 101(e) of the CPSIA, which limits the commission’s authority to stay enforcement during rulemaking, no longer applicable,” said Nord in her statement. “Therefore, during the pendency of a stay of enforcement, ATVs and motorized bikes appropriately sized for children 12 and younger can again be available and the Commission will not seek penalties for violation of Section 101 and related provisions of the CPSIA against those who sell them. I hope that the state attorneys general will follow the lead of the agency on this matter.”

Nord’s statement brings up a problem with the proposed stay of enforcement. Even if the CPSC decides not to issue penalties on dealers who sell youth vehicles or parts containing lead, state attorneys general may still choose to prosecute violators.

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