David Weinberg Discusses California’s Proposed Legislation Impacting Lead Industry
David B. Weinberg, chair of Wiley Rein’s Environment and Safety Practice, was quoted in a Platts article about proposed environmental legislation and activism in California that will impact the lead-acid battery industry.
According to Mr. Weinberg—who recently spoke at the Battery Council International Convention in San Antonio, Texas—environmental activism is the “biggest challenge” for the lead industry right now. Mr. Weinberg cited a pending bill in California, which would implement a 75% tax on the payments a lead-battery retailer received for returning used batteries to the manufacturer; he said it “ignores the fact that lead is 99% recyclable” and would adversely affect the lead industry’s business structure. He predicted the bill is unlikely to pass.
Mr. Weinberg said the Battery Council International (BCI), which is negotiating for alternative legislation in California, also wants to convince California’s Department of Toxic Substances that the chemicals facing stricter standards should be limited to those that directly exposed consumers to toxicity. “Lead batteries don’t do that,” Mr. Weinberg said, affirming the consumer safety of the product.
Mr. Weinberg also noted that lead is being criticized on a national scale by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “We’ve got to tell our story,” Mr. Weinberg said, especially highlighting lead’s high recyclability rate and the fact that lead recycling centers did not harm neighboring communities.
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