BCI welcomes new Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs, Susan Bernard. We sat down with Susan to learn more about her thoughts on the industry.
How did you get involved in the industry?
I got involved in the battery industry through my work at Wiley Rein, which represents the lead, lithium and other rechargeable battery industries on regulatory and legislative matters. After joining Wiley, I was quickly introduced to BCI and both the lead and lithium battery industries have been a main focal point of my work for the past six years as a regulatory analyst at the law firm. I was privileged to work with, and be mentored by, Roger Miksad, David Weinberg, and other leaders in the battery industry and that is from where my passion grew.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry from a regulatory and legislative perspective?
One thing I love about the battery industry in general is that it is always evolving and it is always essential. On the environmental side of the regulatory and legislative landscape, the forthcoming revisions to OSHA’s lead standard and EPA’s revisions to its air lead standards (i.e., NAAQS and NESHAP certainly have the potential to bring about major changes for our industry. Specific to the lithium battery industry, we’ve seen a major uptick in state legislative efforts to enact battery product stewardship responsibilities as well as a major increase in the scale of federal money allocated towards the research and development of the nascent collection and recycling infrastructure in the U.S.
What do you feel are the most pressing issues the industry is facing?
On a non-regulatory front, the changing market dynamics and entry of newer chemistries into mature markets (e.g., industrial and uninterrupted power supplies) has been, and will continue to be, an important issue on which to represent the industry. There are also exciting opportunities to expand the industry into new and emerging markets such as energy storage and others.
What do you value about BCI?
The successful history of the association and its impeccable service to its members. In my role at Wiley Rein, I was fortunate to work with several of BCI’s member-led committees and have seen first-hand just how much work is done on behalf of the members by the committees and staff. I am very much looking forward to having the opportunity to work more closely with the BCI Board of Directors, the committees, membership, and staff.
Susan’s professional career has focused on topics such as environmental, transportation, and product safety regulations and legislation. She has a background in environmental science, biology, and compliance and received her bachelors from Davis & Elkins College and her Paralegal certificate with a focus in business law from Anne Arundel Community College.
Susan monitors, analyzes, and engages federal and state legislators and agency staff on proposed domestic and international legislative and regulatory developments affecting various segments of the environmental, transportation, and product safety industries, including lead batteries, rechargeable batteries and the electronics containing them.