Proposed changes to lead-acid battery shipments in the US have been opposed by RSR Corporation, a secondary lead smelting business with facilities across the USA. RSR claims it will “undermine the level of control” over battery transportation. This opposition comes despite the Battery Council International (BCI) describing the alterations as "favorable."
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is changing transportation laws for hazardous materials, including lead-acid batteries, to remove the need for permits. The proposed changes would negate the need to obtain a permit for a single run to multiple sites collecting used batteries.
Previously, the lead-acid battery recycling industry regularly made use of so called 'milk-run' shipping after obtaining a permit from the Department of Transportation. A single truck would collect used batteries from multiple locations and brings them to a secondary lead smelter for recycling. These trucks can concurrently deliver new batteries to retail locations while collecting the used batteries.
However, now lead recycling and shipping companies can conduct such runs without the permit. The Department of Transport has lifted this requirement to reduce administration.
Robert Finn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dallas-based RSR, said in a letter to the PHMSA: "Revising this provision is unwise, unwarranted and could lead to increased incidents involving the transportation of used lead-acid batteries."