EPA’s Toxic Substances Rules ‘Discourage Recycling’


by | Feb 5, 2014

electronicsThe EPA’s reporting requirements for manufacturing byproducts sent for recycling are “burdensome, unnecessary and actually discourage recycling,” according to the electronics industry.

Speaking on behalf of more than 2,000 US electronics manufacturers that are members of IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries, Dr. Brent Grazman told Congress yesterday that IPC members are strong advocates of scientifically based regulations that improve environmental conditions, protect human health and stimulate the economy. On those grounds, he said, the industry has concerns about the way EPA has implemented Section 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Grazman is vice president, quality, of St. Louis-based Viasystems, and he spoke before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, which is considering an overhaul of TSCA.

Under the EPA’s interpretation of TSCA, byproducts are considered to be new chemicals if sent for recycling, creating a compliance burden for substances that are already regulated under other statutes. “As a nation, we recognize ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ as goals. But the EPA is undercutting those goals with regulations that discourage the beneficial recycling and reuse of valuable metals in manufacturing byproducts,” Grazman said.

He urged Congress to exempt all byproducts from Section 8, including those sent for recycling.

In December, consumer brands including Seventh Generation, Patagonia. Stonyfield Farm and about 25 other members of the Companies for Safer Chemicals sent a letter to Congress that said the TSCA is a barrier to industry innovation and doesn’t protect employee or consumer health.

Photo Credit: old electronics via Shutterstock

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