Firestone Racing news 2010-03-25

EPA Honors Bridgestone Americas "Get The Lead Out" Program For Its Positive Environmental Impact; Lead reduction program and Bridgestone Retail Operations' Michael Welly recognized at Environmental Protection Agency event WASHINGTON, D.C. (March...

EPA Honors Bridgestone Americas "Get The Lead Out" Program For Its Positive Environmental Impact; Lead reduction program and Bridgestone Retail Operations' Michael Welly recognized at Environmental Protection Agency event

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 25, 2010) - Two members of the Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) family of companies recently earned recognition for positive environmental impact from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) program.

Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC (BSRO) and Firestone Racing received recognition for its "Get The Lead Out" program, a joint initiative designed to reduce the amount lead in the environment. Additionally, BSRO's Michael Welly, Environmental Compliance Specialist, was also honored for his role in the company's lead reduction efforts with EPA's NPEP Partner of the Year award.

"BSRO is thrilled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chose to recognize Michael Welly with the Partner of the Year award," said Larry Magee, Chairman, CEO & President, BSRO. "Michael personifies BSRO's commitment to the environment, and his recognition is a further testament to the successful efforts of the entire team."

Wheel weights, traditionally made of lead, are small clips applied onto a vehicle's wheels to help the wheels balance properly and run smoothly. The weights can fall off and may get thrown onto the edges of roadways, possibly contaminating soil or water if they are made of lead or another environmentally harmful material.

In late 2007, BSRO, which operates nearly 2,200 automotive service store locations, including Firestone Complete Auto Care(tm), Tires Plus(tm), ExpertTire(tm) and Wheel Works(tm), became the first major automotive service provider to announce the move away from the use of lead wheel weights. Since that time, the company has removed nearly 3.5 million pounds of lead from the stream of commerce.

Welly was recognized for his leadership role in the "Get The Lead Out" program, including helping BSRO enhance its lead recycling program, improving waste management procedures and educating the company's retail stores on the proper handling and recycling of lead weights.

In June 2008, Firestone Racing switched to using the 3M Wheel Weight System, a non-lead product that uses an adhesive to stick to wheels. Since 2002, Firestone has served as the official tire of the IndyCar(r) Series, Firestone Indy Lights and the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race(r).

"We're thrilled to be recognized for our 'Get The Lead Out' program," said Al Speyer, Executive Director of Bridgestone Americas Motorsports. "Though a wheel weight may be small, our program demonstrates what a difference we can make when we all work towards one goal: protecting the environment one wheel weight at a time."

Both Firestone Racing and BSRO also helped the EPA launch the agency's National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative in Aug. 2008, expanding upon BSAM's commitment to improving the environment by eliminating the use of lead wheel weights.

-source: firestone racing

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