CT on Track to Introduce 1st Consensus-Based EPR Bill for Rechargeable and Single-Use Batteries
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Posted by: Rachel Rose Belew
Bill Unveiled by Battery Trade Groups at PSI-Facilitated Battery Dialogue Meeting
Hartford, Conn.—Connecticut is poised to debut the nation's first consensus-based extended producer responsibility (EPR) bill for both rechargeable and single-use (primary) batteries. Unveiled on June 11th at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's (CT DEEP) national battery stewardship dialogue meeting in Hartford, the model bill - drafted by a consortium of battery trade groups and now at the center of negotiations with state lawmakers from around the country - is a landmark demonstration of collaboration between industry and government. It also represents the first time that both the rechargeable and single-use battery industries have come to an agreement on a legislative approach to post-consumer battery management.
"We are very pleased the battery manufacturers are working together," said Robert Klee, commissioner of CT DEEP. "This is a pivotal moment as Connecticut moves forward, in partnership with the manufacturers, recyclers, and other stakeholders, to create a battery stewardship bill for the 2015 legislative session."
The two-day-long dialogue meeting attracted over 130 people, including representatives of 23 state and local government agencies, and was designed and facilitated by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). PSI's government members, including those from Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, California, and Washington, were instrumental in laying the technical foundation and providing the political fuel for the meeting.
"The Connecticut DEEP dialogue meeting is a classic example of how strong government teamwork and a clear intent to introduce producer responsibility legislation can breed a collaborative result with manufacturers and other stakeholders," says Scott Cassel, chief executive officer and founder of PSI. "The proposed trade organization model is a big step forward toward developing a model bill that will meet the needs of a wide stakeholder group."
The Connecticut battery meeting, Vermont's recently passed battery law, an active bill in California, and other state bills on the horizon were credited for providing the impetus for the proposed model.
In 2010, PSI worked extensively with the battery industry and other stakeholders to prepare a Battery Stewardship Briefing Document in preparation for discussions that took place at the PSI National Product Stewardship Forum in Boston. That report was updated and served as the basis for last week's meeting that sought to develop joint strategies for maximizing the collection and recycling of single use and rechargeable batteries while minimizing cost.
"With the potential for patchwork battery stewardship legislation to crop up around the country, we knew that the time was now to come to the table alongside our industry and government colleagues and put forth a single, streamlined model EPR bill," says Carl Smith, chief executive officer and president of Call2Recycle, North America's largest consumer battery recycling program. "By offering a comprehensive solution for all batteries, consumers benefit with less confusion."
Read the supporting press release here.
"This ground-breaking initiative, led by Energizer, Duracell and Panasonic, exemplifies our commitment to addressing the environmental and business challenges of battery recycling," said Marc Boolish, president of the Corporation for Battery Recycling, an industry nonprofit whose long-term vision is to lead and shape a national program that maximizes reuse of spent battery materials with a goal of zero waste. "The battery industry looks forward to working with all stakeholders."
While the model battery EPR bill is intended for adoption in states nationwide, Connecticut will be the first to introduce it during the 2015 legislative session, and lawmakers have until August to refine the bill's language and tailor its provisions.
About the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI)
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) is a national, membership-based nonprofit committed to reducing the health, safety, and environmental impacts of consumer products across their lifecycle with a strong focus on sustainable end-of-life management. Headquartered in Boston, Mass., we take a unique product stewardship approach to solving waste management problems by encouraging product design changes and mediating stakeholder dialogues. With 47 state environmental agency members, along with hundreds of local government members from coast-to-coast, and 95 corporate, business, academic, non-U.S. government, and organizational partners, we work to design, implement, evaluate, strengthen, and promote both legislative and voluntary product stewardship initiatives across North America. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/ProductStewardship. Follow us on Twitter @ProductSteward.