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lead recycling

“Life threatening” violations found at lead recycler Gopher Resources US plant

Wed, 07/14/2021 - 08:26 -- Paul Crompton
Gopher Resources recycling plant in Tampa Florida, US

Lead recycling firm Gopher Resources was in breach of 14 violations of the air pollution permits and regulations at its Tampa, US, plant.

Florida regulator the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) confirmed the breaches following its investigation of violations first reported by the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.

The violations include “life threatening” levels of SO2 and CO in employee workspaces, removal of exhaust hoods designed to capture noxious fumes, hazardous-liquid leaks, lead-laced dust blanketing the plant floor.

The violation covered poor operation, maintenance and design of the fugitive capture and ventilation systems; poor operation and maintenances of the Process and Hygiene Baghouse Shaker Systems; violations associated with SO2 emissions from the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). 

For a list of the Tampa Bay Times allegations click here.

The EPC launched its inquiry into Gopher Resource in April after the Times highlighted dangerous conditions inside the plant in March.

The release of the report is a first step that could result in fines or sanctions. 

In June, a former worker at the site filed a law suit against Gopher Resources, reported the Times.

Gopher responds to accusations

Gopher Resources told BEST: "Gopher has consistently stated that it will cooperate with all local, state, and federal agencies that regulate its operations in its ongoing effort to improve the overall safety and environmental performance of its plant. As the EPC report acknowledges, well before EPC began its inspection, Gopher took concrete actions to address the historical claims that the EPC report attempts to validate.  

"Although the EPC report identifies a number of conditions that it labels as "potential” air violations, the EPC report confirms that Gopher has been and remains in compliance with applicable Clean Air Act emission limitations. In fact, Gopher’s lead emissions are very low— more than 50% below the emission limits set by EPA that we are required to meet. Gopher’s positive performance with respect to emissions reflects the substantial and continuing investment Gopher has made in plant improvements.  

"Gopher has a long-standing, strong, working relationship with EPC and continues to welcome its input on changes and improvements that would make Gopher’s performance even better. EPC has conducted more than 100 inspections of the Gopher facility, and we were pleased to work with EPC on this latest one. Gopher is reviewing EPC's detailed report and will continue to work with EPC to implement any needed changes in our systems, processes and results.  

'With respect to workplace conditions, we continue to cooperate with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and we look forward to any recommendations they may make to help enhance our current efforts to protect our employees. We remain confident in our workplace safety program, which has led to a sustained and consistent decrease in average blood lead levels since 2006."

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Aqua Metals hails three-month ingot production record

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 14:09 -- John Shepherd
Aqua Metals hails three-month ingot production record

US lead-acid battery recycler Aqua Metals has announced record ingot production figures for three months of this year at its AquaRefining plant in Nevada.

The company said it had achieved “sequential production records” of AquaRefined lead as well as lead metal bullion in March, April and May. 

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RSR Technologies wins Miksiewicz award

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 12:51 -- John Shepherd
RSR Technologies wins Miksiewicz award

US lead-acid battery recycler RSR Technologies has won the Sally Miksiewicz Innovation Award for R&D leading to production of its new Supersoft-Hycycle alloy.

The award was presented to the company at Battery Council International’s (BCI) annual convention in New Orleans.

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Camel to expand lead recycling

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 09:40 -- Xuan Zhong
Camel to expand lead recycling

Chinese battery maker the Camel Group has announced plans to boost investment in lead-acid recycling over the next three years.

The company said in a Shanghai Stock Exchange announcement it is set to spend CNY1.5 billion ($234 million) on building three recycling and production sites— one in the eastern Anhui Province and the others in the northeast and southwest of the country.

 

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China urged to ‘scrap substandard secondary lead plants’

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 11:16 -- John Shepherd
China urged to ‘scrap substandard secondary lead plants’

Authorities in China are being urged to shut down “substandard” secondary lead production facilities as part of moves to boost the recycling of lead-acid batteries.

China’s lead consumption largely depends on the use of secondary lead, the chairman of the China Industrial Alliance of Renewable Energy, Li Shilong, told the Shanghai Metals Market Lead Zinc Summit in Guangxi Province.

 

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Aqua Metals admits ‘significant’ delay as losses mount

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 10:28 -- John Shepherd
Aqua Metals admits ‘significant’ delay as losses mount

The head of US lead-acid battery recycling start-up Aqua Metals has admitted the firm is “significantly behind schedule” in its production plans.

Chairman and CEO Dr Stephen Clarke (pictured) said earlier this year that Aqua Metals, which wants to commercialise a water-based recycling process, was preparing for “explosive growth” in 2018.

 

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Exide India ‘plans new smelter investment’

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:00 -- News Editor
Exide India ‘plans new smelter investment’

Indian lead-acid battery maker Exide Industries has reportedly submitted plans to set up a third lead smelter at its plant in Haldia, West Bengal.

Exide is asking India’s national government for permission to install the smelter amid soaring lead prices, the Mumbai-based English language daily DNA reported.

 

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Aqua Metals’ Q2 revenues show progress?

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 09:31 -- News Editor
Aqua Metals’ Q2 revenues show progress?

Aqua Metals, the US start-up which develops green lead recycling technology called AquaRefining™, says its total revenues for the second quarter of 2017 were just $603,000.

If the company’s own forecasts are to be believed, it is going to have to “go nuclear” to achieve the ‘explosive growth’  (US$100M-$120M) revenue predicted by Dr Stephen Clarke, the chairman and CEO of Aqua Metals, in a recent statement.

 
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BCI and China BIA form lead-acid battery partnership

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 12:53 -- Laura Varriale
BCI and CBIA partner to represent the lead indiustry together

The US Battery Council International (BCI) association and the China Battery Industry Association (CBIA) have teamed up to jointly represent the interests of the lead-acid industry.

“Because BCI and CBIA’s members comprise 70% of the lead-acid battery manufacturing companies in the world, this partnership will create a unified voice for the industry and allow both associations to better serve their members,” said Mark Thorsby, executive vice-president of BCI.

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