NEW YORK Secondary lead
industry stakeholders have voted against a proposal to draft
new standards for lead battery recycling, a move that drew
criticism from RSR Corp.
The vote took place last week at
a meeting organized by the American Society for Testing and
Materials (ASTM), which proposed that new standards be drafted.
More than 100 people attended the meeting, an ASTM spokesman
told AMM, noting that this included representatives
from Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc.; Exide Technologies,
Milton, Ga.; Gopher Resource LLC, Eagan, Minn.; and
The motion to organize activity
within the ASTM aimed at developing new standards was defeated
in a 16-to-63 vote, with three abstentions.
The general feedback was that
"the status quoa combination of regulation and industry
practiceworked well for the majority of the industry,"
the ASTM spokesman said.
However, RSR was "shocked that
the U.S. battery companies and some U.S. smelting companies
voted to kill the process and to allow the export of scrap
batteries to countries that have lower (health, safety and
environment) standards than the United States to go on
unabated," president and chief executive officer Bob Finn told
"RSR voted to continue the ASTM
process because we believe a level playing field is necessary,"
he said via e-mail. "The recent Commission on Environmental
Cooperation (CEC) report on scrap battery exports to Mexico
went into great detail exposing just how unequal the playing
field really is when evaluating the environmental standards
battery companies follow in the United States compared to what
they follow in Mexico. The ASTM standard could have helped
level this playing field."
RSR last week said that the CEC
report confirmed "serious problems" with the practice of
exporting junk auto batteries to Mexico (
amm.com, Dec. 3).
The ASTM wont proceed
further with the standards proposal, the spokesman said.
"Re-engagement would be possible if conditions change such that
those opposed felt there was an opportunity for standards
development work," he said.