BCI welcomes California agency decision on lead batteries

by John Shepherd
BCI executive VP Roger Miksad: 'Outcome is the right one.'
Battery industry leaders in the US have welcomed an announcement that lead batteries are no longer under evaluation by California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

Lead batteries were among a variety of consumer products studied by the DTSC under its ‘Safer Consumer Products Program’, potentially leading to the batteries being listed as ‘priority products’ – and forcing firms who sell them in California to evaluate whether "safer alternatives” could be found.

However, in its final priority product work plan for 2021-2023, the DTSC confirmed lead batteries are no longer under evaluation. Listing the batteries as priority products "is not likely to further enhance protection to human health”, the DTSC said.

'Already well-regulated'

Battery Council International (BCI) – the North American trade association representing the lead-based battery manufacturing, supply, recycling and distribution companies – said DTSC’s decision "sends an important signal to the energy marketplace, encouraging continued investment in a technology that is essential to achieve the state’s ambitious clean energy goals”.

BCI executive VP, Roger Miksad, said: "This outcome is the right one and recognises that lead batteries are critical to meeting America’s energy storage needs and are already well-regulated.”

"The industry’s highly-successful closed-loop recycling system and investment in new technologies and innovations also means that lead batteries hold the promise of delivering safe, sustainable energy storage in the future,” Miksad said.

The DTSC's announcement came as the California Energy Commission confirmed it was continuing research into energy storage technologies that are "crucial to California’s transition to a carbon-free electrical system”.