Important Notice on Changes to Regulations in the United States for Spent Lead-Acid Batteries

Effective July 7th, 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) will be revising its regulations for spent lead-acid batteries (SLABs) to include export notification and consent requirements when being sent for recovery or recycling. With the introduction of these requirements, Canadian authorities will need to provide consent to the movement of SLABs coming into Canada from the U.S. before the shipments take place.

The U.S. EPA is encouraging all U.S. exporters of SLABs to submit their notices as soon as possible, to avoid any possible delays. The U.S. EPA also issued a statement and recommendations for all US exporters currently shipping SLABs to Canada for recovery or recycling. Environment Canada is encouraging all Canadian SLABs importers to inform their clients of the upcoming changes in U.S. regulations, to minimize the impacts on shipments of these recyclable materials with the introduction of the new regulations.

In Canada, SLABs meet the definition of a hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material and are thus controlled under the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR). Under the EIHWHRMR, any person that proposes to export, import or convey in transit a hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material must submit a notice to Environment Canada in writing within 12 months before the export, import or transit. The notification shall serve as an application for a permit. No person shall import, export or convey in transit a hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material before receiving a permit from Environment Canada.

Lead-acid batteries are wet-celled batteries, which contain liquid, and can be recharged for many uses. These batteries are typically found in cars and other automobiles.

There is a growing recognition in Canada and at the international level of the need to better manage batteries, including SLABs, and of their possible impact to the environment and human health.  For further information on battery recycling in Canada please visit Battery Recycling in Canada 2009 Update.