Used Battery Dumping Probed

December 5, 2012

The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is seeking public comment on a report dealing with spent lead-acid battery exports and recycling within the three North American Free Trade Agreement member states. Authored by the CEC, a preliminary version of the study found that “important gaps” in Mexico’s regulatory framework as well as a lack of proper documentation of the trade paralleled a surge in U. S. exports of used lead-acid batteries to Mexico between 2004 and 2011.

In announcing the release of the draft report, the CEC said concerns exist that a big leap in U. S. exports of spent lead-acid battery to recyclers located south of the border, which were estimated to have shot up in volume from 449 to 526 percent during the seven-year period examined, represented “an effort to avoid the cost of stricter environmental and health protection laws prevalent in the United States.”

As a consequence, the CEC warned that the trade could be resulting in a heightened “danger of lead exposure to workers and communities near certain recycling operations in Mexico, while undermining the competitiveness of the US-based lead recycling industry.”

The public can view the CEC’s draft report until December 21 of this year at: www.cec.org/slabs.

Interested persons are urged to send comments on the document to Eduardo Viadas, CEC Secretariat, at eviadas@cec.org

In a statement, the CEC said it expected a final report on the used lead-acid battery export/recycling issue to be presented to the organization’s Council for further action sometime in early 2013.

The CEC is the environmental side commission that grew out of the negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Based in Montreal, the organization’s staff do cutting-edge research, engage in fact-finding investigations and present reports to the top environmental officials of Mexico, the United States and Canada, who are all represented on the CEC Council.

According to the CEC, the trinational body “brings together governments, civil society and businesses to develop innovative North American solutions to global environmental challenges.”

Frontera NorteSur: on-line, U.S. -Mexico border news Center for Latin American and Border Studies New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico

For a free electronic subscription: e-mail fnsnews@nmsu.edu

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