View of an automotive mechanic installing brake pads on a car.

Approved EO 4 Specification: Brake Pads

Brake Pads
Covered Products 

Brake pads that are purchased for installation on state-owned or leased light-duty vehicles. 



To reduce the amount of copper that accumulates in our waterways and negatively impacts aquatic resources. When a driver uses a vehicle’s brakes, material from the brake pad turns to dust and lands on the ground. This dust is comprised of the materials in the brake pads, which can include copper. When it rains this material then flows into water bodies. By having affected entities purchase and use brake pads that are lower in copper it will lessen the amount of copper that enters our water bodies. 


Standard Setting and Certification Programs

LeafMark Rating System - In 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, Brake Manufacturers Council, Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association, Auto Care Association, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Association of Global Automakers, Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, and the Environmental Council of the States entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that created the LeafMark rating system that denotes the amount of copper and other heavy metals in brake pads. There are three tiers to the system, A, B, and N, that are based upon the amount of copper and other substances in the brake pads. A is the minimum rating a brake pad must achieve and N brake pads have the lowest concentration of copper in them. In addition, over time manufacturers must meet the more stringent ratings, with brake pads sold by 2021 being B rated and those sold by 2025 being N rated. 



Affected entities shall to the maximum extent practicable: 

  • Purchase and use brake pads that achieve at least a B rating on the LeafMark rating system. 

Affected entities are encouraged: 

  • To purchase brake pads that meet the highest rating of the LeafMark system available. 



All packaging materials shall be made from reusable or recycled materials. All paper-based packaging shall contain 30 percent postconsumer fiber by fiber weight. No foil or mylar packaging or excessive inner packing shall be used 

In accordance with Environmental Conservation Law section 37-0205, packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium has been included as an element during manufacture or distribution in such a way that the sum of the concentrations levels of such lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium exceed the following concentration level: 100 parts per million by weight (0.01%).