DALLAS--(report on the international transshipment of junk lead acid batteries, Bob Finn, CEO of RSR Corporation released the following statement:)--Following today’s release by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) of its
“This report confirms there are serious problems with the export of scrap lead acid batteries from the United States to Mexican secondary lead smelters. RSR concurs with the CEC’s main recommendation that the bar must be raised, and that battery recyclers across North America must meet standards equivalent to those in the U.S. The CEC joins a growing list of well-respected organizations that have called into question this practice given the Mexican government’s weak regulatory oversight of its battery recycling industry. The report confirms that secondary lead smelters in Mexico do not conform to the same environmental and occupational standards as American recyclers, and until they do, American jobs will be lost and Mexican communities will continue to be harmed.
Domestic recyclers are working to comply with increasingly stringent EPA and OSHA standards. In a slowed economy and in an industry where margins are extremely thin, this capital investment places many domestic recyclers at a competitive disadvantage with foreign facilities that have less stringent, and in many instances, no requirement to improve levels of environmental and workplace safety.
Given this disparity, and a commensurate lack of scrap battery supply in the U.S., it comes as no surprise that already this year, two domestic recyclers have indicated they will close their facilities and layoff their workers. It is no coincidence that this happened as exports surged to 20 percent of the domestic market.
As operators of the most environmentally advanced lead acid battery recycling facilities in the world, we know it is possible to provide safe, good paying jobs for our workforce while protecting the environment. While these protections may cost more, it is the right thing to do. However, unless we establish a level playing field between the United States and Mexico we will continue to see domestic facilities close, jobs lost, and foreign communities harmed.
A level playing field will improve the environmental and workplace conditions for foreign recyclers, and protect American industry and American jobs from being exported abroad.
We hope this report will compel others in our industry, environmental activists and the federal government to come together and develop a comprehensive solution to the transshipment of junk batteries.”
About RSR Corporation
RSR Corporation is a privately held secondary lead smelting company that operates lead acid battery recycling facilities in California, Indiana, and New York. RSR uses state-of-the-art Wet Electrostatic Precipitator (WESP) technology and a highly trained workforce to ensure the lead acid batteries we recycle into refined lead do not harm the environment, employees, or the communities in which we work.