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Stricter lead recycling rules said ahead

Keywords: Tags  SLAB Watchdog, Diane Cullo, Johnson Controls, JCI, ASTM, lead recycling standards, RSR, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — The lead recycling industry’s rejection of proposed voluntary standards could lead to stricter government regulations, SLAB Watchdog has warned, while Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) said that creating new standards would have placed additional burdens on companies already obeying the rules.

Secondary lead industry stakeholders, in a 63-to-16 vote at a meeting in Washington, voted down a proposal by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to develop new standards for lead recycling (, Dec. 11).

Diane Cullo, director of Alexandria, Va.-based non-governmental organization SLAB Watchdog, told AMM that the meeting was overwhelmingly attended by employees from lead battery recyclers taking advantage of the "one-person, one-vote" rule.

"The battery industry stacked the deck in that meeting," she said. "Had this vote been approved to move forward, the ASTM rules change and it becomes ‘one company, one vote.’ "

Cullo described the vote as short-sighted, claiming it was unlikely that standards would have been developed that the industry couldn’t meet.

"Without voluntary standards, the federal government needs to regulate, which is a much more stringent process than the ASTM proposal," she said.

However, "the effort to create a new recycling standard would fail to impact illicit players and their practices, but would put significant additional costs and burdens on companies already working within the existing standards and rules," a spokeswoman for Milwaukee-based JCI said in an e-mail Wednesday.

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