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Gillibrand backs extension for clunker scrapyards

A crane lifts a flattened car from a

A crane lifts a flattened car from a stack of similar vehicles to a shredder at Gershow Recycling Corp. in Medford, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009. Many of the scrapped vehicles are part of the "cash for clunkers" program. Photo Credit: AP

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Tuesday said she supports a proposed rule to extend by 90 days a six-month deadline that scrapyards have to dispose of the thousands of old cars traded in during last summer's Cash for Clunkers new-car rebate program.

Scrapyards pleaded for extra time after they found themselves inundated with more than 700,000 used vehicles that were turned in under the popular $3 billion program authorized by Congress last August.

On Nov. 23, the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a new rule to give  scrapyard operators more time.

In a letter Tuesday to the agency's acting deputy administrator, Ronald Medford, Gillibrand said, "To me, it is clear that this deadline creates an artificial capacity and manpower shortage for scrapyards that can be easily remedied by a 90-day extension."

Gillibrand said the unexpected influx of old cars had scrapyards overflowing with vehicles as they face lower demand and lower prices for used parts. "These scrapyards simply need more time to process these old cars," she wrote.

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