ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) made available the final draft version of its Independent Secretariat Report, “Hazardous Trade? An Examination of US-Generated Spent Lead-Acid Battery Exports and Secondary Lead Recycling in Mexico, the United States and Canada” for public comment. CEC is taking comments on the report until December 21, 2012. This represents the last opportunity to provide input to this landmark study before it is finalized and the report’s recommendations formally transmitted to the governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico.
“We know Mexican plants emit 20 times more lead than comparable American recyclers, but we don’t know how this is affecting workers, families, and children living in local communities.”
“The CEC is uniquely positioned to draw a line in the sand on the exportation of SLABs to Mexico. We are pleased with the changes CEC made since the discussion draft was released in early October and we encourage the Commission to take a more aggressive stand against SLAB exports based on its research. The evidence included in the CEC report only bolsters our argument that SLAB exports present a significant danger to the Mexican environment and health of its people,” said SLAB Watchdog Director Diane Cullo.
The CEC report reinforces what SLAB Watchdog and other stakeholders have been saying for nearly three years: there is practically no legal or regulatory oversight in place to ensure the safe operations of Mexico’s battery recycling industry. Moreover, the lack of a full accounting of how many SLABs are exported from the U.S., where they end up once they cross the border or how workers are impacted severely limits options for addressing this issue in a manner that is expected from an organization of CEC’s stature.
“The inability of the CEC to unearth reliable emissions data from Mexican government sources, and the industry’s reticence to provide such data, make any comprehensive recommendations impossible to implement,” Cullo said. “We know Mexican plants emit 20 times more lead than comparable American recyclers, but we don’t know how this is affecting workers, families, and children living in local communities.”
“The absence of reliable data should compel CEC to call for an immediate ban on the export of battery waste to Mexican recyclers until a comprehensive audit can be undertaken,” Cullo concluded.
SLAB Watchdog will release additional information on the report as it nears completion. Interested media are encouraged to contact SLAB Watchdog’s Director, Diane Cullo, at email@example.com for more information and comment.
SLAB Watchdog is committed to the safe and domestic recycling of spent lead-acid batteries (SLABs) and operates off of four basic principles: (1) Recycling of SLABs must occur in the United States by facilities that utilize the most advanced technologies that minimize environmental damage; (2) Transportation of SLABs must comply with federal regulations regarding the loading and bracing of SLABs to avoid damage and toxic spills; (3) Collection facilities should only use battery brokers who sign a memorandum of agreement committing to use domestic recyclers; (4) Federal, state and local governments must establish protocol to ensure that all SLABs generated by their vehicle fleets are recycled at domestic facilities.