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Statement of Battery Council International Upon Passage of AB 2153 (C. Garcia)

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Tuesday, September 6, 2016

“Dynamic Legislation to clean up contaminated lead recycling sites passes Legislature with support from battery industry”

SACRAMENTO, CA--  In the closing hours of the legislative session last night, the California State Legislature passed important legislation to provide major funding for the clean-up of contaminated lead recycling sites and polluted neighborhoods in California. AB 2153, authored by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), establishes a dedicated funding source to clean up sites that pose a serious public health risk due to soil contaminated in the process of recycling used lead batteries, including the Exide facility in the City of Vernon.
“The Battery Council International (representing lead acid battery manufacturers from throughout California and across the nation) is proud to have been able to collaborate on the significant legislative effort which culminated in the passage of AB 2153 last night,” said Mark Thorsby, Executive Vice President of the Battery Council International.
“We believe our efforts to support this important legislation demonstrates the industry’s commitment to the comprehensive stewardship of our products.  We are proud of our partnership with community leaders, environmental groups, and elected officials to address this issue.  Lead batteries are the most recycled consumer product in the world with almost 100% recycled and reused, and lead acid batteries are the key to the new “stop-start” automotive technology that is bringing dramatic reductions in engine emissions. We believe this bill is an important component in creating the comprehensive environmental policies that make California a leader in green-technology,” Thorsby added.  
Among a variety of important policies established in the bill, AB 2153 accomplishes the following:

  1. Generates tens of millions of dollars over the next several years to fund the clean up of lead recycling sites as well as pollution and lead soil contamination in our communities.
  2. Provides this funding in a way designed to expedite the clean-up of the sites and aid the residents and families affected by the contamination.
  3. Greatly improves the existing lead acid battery recycling program by incentivizing safe recycling and protecting battery consumers.
“I want to congratulate and recognize the many legislators who understood the urgent need to address this issue,” Thorsby stated. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to collaborate with state and local government, as well as the environmental justice community and all other concerned citizens and groups, to assist in addressing this important issue in a collaborative and non-confrontational manner.”

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