ARA Home > Automotive Recycling Magazine > January-February 2016 >2016 ARA Midyear Board Meeting, Hill Day and State Legislative Summit
2016 ARA Midyear Board Meeting, Hill Day and State Legislative Summit
Events You Can Not Afford to Miss!
The new year is well underway but the echo of the automotive recycling profession’s legislative victory of late 2015 can still be heard within the halls of Congress and within the offices of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). Now more than ever is the time for the voices of professional automotive recyclers to be heard by our nation’s policymakers. Join your colleagues in our nation’s Capital this April to urge prompt and fair implementation of the new statutory provision requiring automakers to provide access to part numbers, names and descriptions of those parts subject to recall campaigns.  

Your participation in the upcoming ARA 2016 Hill Day is critical to build on the momentum cultivated within the 114th Congress and with the current NHTSA Administrator. Hundreds of meetings as well as a multitude of communications have occurred with policymakers to educate them on the professional automotive recycling profession and its critical need for parts data. Now we need your real life, on-the-ground stories to keep our issues in the forefront of the congressional and regulatory agendas.

It is indeed the right time for you to clear your schedules so that you can come to Washington in April. Your participation is critical, especially as you consider the following points:

• Policymakers continue to demand answers and solutions from the automakers and parts suppliers on the ever increasing number of recall campaigns. Many are dissatisfied with the recent voluntary agreement reached between automakers and NHTSA on recall remedy approaches and will likely pursue legislative/regulatory options to increase automaker accountability and overall remedy rates. ARA must build on its success of last year and work to make the new access to parts data mandate effective and more widely applicable. It is within this context that professional automotive recyclers must continue to urge manufacturers to recognize that their systemic and widespread recall campaigns affect the entire automotive parts supply chain and that the inventories of professional automotive recycling facilities must be included in all attempts to successfully manage a recall campaign. ARA Hill Day presents the perfect opportunity for you to take this message to Capitol Hill.

• The regulatory agencies continue to propose rules that if adopted would place unfair burdens on businesses like professional automotive recyclers facilities. ARA members need to share their “on-the-ground” stories on issues related to stormwater permitting and to urge policymakers to support stormwater policies implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that have been developed with industry involvement. Congress needs to hear your voice object to the time and resources being wasted fighting the erroneous legal claims of those who are challenging policies using politics rather than established scientific methods.

• Conversely, policymakers who oversee agencies and programs dealing with workplace safety and management of materials that impact the environment need to hear from you. Agencies might very well increase their regulatory efforts before a potential party switch in 2016 and congressional members on the committees responsible for agency oversight must be reminded by you – the professional automotive recycler – of the benefits of recycled OEM parts.  Your education of and ongoing conversations with these members will allow them to better oversee efforts in agencies including EPA, DOT and DOE on automotive parts supply chain issues.

• The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) Advisory Board met in February 2016 and the industry is well represented by the two professional automotive recyclers on the Board. But they need your voice to reinforce to other Board members that the system is not doing a good job of tracking end of life vehicles and that the process needs improvement – they need your voice to talk with Members of Congress to urge them to ensure changes so that a law that they passed is effectively enforced.

The Benefits of Participation

ARA has long hosted its annual Hill Day and many of you over the years have made it a priority event to attend to help open doors to your elected representatives and to learn in more detail how the Congress and the Agencies work on our issues. For example, because of his ongoing annual participation in Hill Days and his continued visits to his congressional delegation both at home in Iowa and on Capitol Hill, ARA President Mike Swift was able to tell the recycler’s story in his voice during high level meetings with legislators and automakers during the throes of legislative negotiations this fall in late 2015. According to Mike, coming to Washington on a regular basis and meeting with your Senators and Representatives teaches you how to represent the concerns of individual recyclers and industry all of which better positions ARA to win legislative victories.

Likewise, ARA CAR Committee Chair Shannon Nordstrom continued building his relationship with Senator John Thune (R-SD) by hosting the Senator at his facility in South Dakota and then following up in meetings with the Senator and his staff during ARA Hill Day in Washington, DC. It is indeed a proud moment for the industry when a U.S. Senator greets a constituent automotive recycler as warmly and knowledgeably as Senator Thune did with Shannon and as professionally as his staff did with ARA staff.

Participation in these meetings by representatives of ARA State Affiliate Chapters including both staff and state association leadership also is critical to help policymakers see the face of professional automotive recyclers and to remind them of the issues facing constituents. If you represent a state that has yet to attend these value-packed meetings, please think seriously about making 2016 the year you attend ARA Hill Day and Legislative Summit. We need your voice and we promise you that you won’t regret it!

You have all heard the saying numerous times that “all politics are local” and it is indeed very true. As a constituent, it is you who has the real power in a face-to-face meeting to educate your Congressman and Senators on your issues, concerns, successes and challenges. Yes, your ARA staff works hard to open doors for our issues to be considered, but only you can walk through those doors and make the connections with your policymaker that deliver long-lasting results. It is your voice that provides the narrative for the professional automotive recycler’s story – a story that can only be told by you. So don’t delay. Register today, if you haven’t already, for this value-packed set of meetings. 

Betsy Beckwith is a contributor to Automotive Recycling magazine.

ARA Hill Days & Legislative Summit

Sunday, April 17, 2016   Evening on Own
12:00p – 1p        Board Lunch (Board Members only) Studio 1
(Level 3)
1:30a – 4:30p     Board Meeting (Open) Studio 2 (Level 3)
3:00p – 3:30p     Break Studio Foyer

Monday, April 18, 2016   Breakfast on Own
9:00a – 12:00p     Legislative Summit Studio 2 (Level 3)
12:00p – 1:00p     Lunch Studio 2 (Level 3)
1:15p – 4p           Legislative Summit Studio 2 (Level 3)
4p – 5p                Legislative Briefing Studio 2 (Level 3)
5:15p – 6:30p      Reception Root Cellar @ W Hotel

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
8a – 9a              Continental Breakfast & Speaker (TBD) Studio 1 (Level 3)
9a – 4p              Hill Visits
Noon – 1:15p     Lunch on Capitol Hill (Speaker TBD)
Rayburn House
5:30p or Later     Flight Departures from Washington Reagan (DCA)

Click to download the full January-February 2016 issue in PDF format

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