Activists Seek More Stringent E-Waste Export Law

Date: January 15, 2010

Source: News Room

Environmentalists are seeking new legislation banning the export of hazardous electronic waste (e-waste) in response to an EPA rule that is considered to narrow for it only applies to the export of spent-lead acid batteries (SLABs) instead of focusing on a broader list of hazardous wastes. EPA recently modified rules for hazardous waste exports to bring them into agreement with those applying to countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Behind this effort is the Basel Action Network (BAN), which monitors the international movement of hazardous materials, and the Electronics Takeback Coalition. Both groups are pushing for a new bill banning e-waste exports, since legislation prohibiting e-waste exports that is currently pending in the House, H.R. 2595, has become "watered down" with too many exemptions. That bill is currently stalled having lost environmentalists' support.

BAN says EPA's rule falls short of the legally-binding OECD Council decision because it avoids regulation of scores of substances on OECD's "amber list," that are far more significant than lead acid batteries. These other wastes include sewage sludge, solid waste incinerator ash, asbestos and dioxin waste.

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