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Electronics Official Tells Congress EPA Toxic Rules Discourage Recycling

Article-Electronics Official Tells Congress EPA Toxic Rules Discourage Recycling

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A representative of electronics manufacturers told Congress that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) reporting requirements related to recycling negatively impact that process.

Brent Grazman, speaking for more than 2,000 U.S. electronics makers who are members of Bannockburn, Ill.-based IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries, said the industry is concerned that the way that the way the EPA has implemented Section 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is "burdensome, unnecessary and actually discourage recycling.”

Grazman, vice president, quality, of St. Louis-based Viasystems, spoke before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, which is considering an overhaul of TSCA, according to a news release.

"It is critical that Congress reform TSCA in a way that directs the EPA to prioritize its regulation of chemicals," Grazman said. "Substances that exhibit the greatest hazards, and those that pose the greatest exposure to consumers, should be given priority for review, testing and, as necessary, regulation."

But the EPA's handling of manufacturing byproducts doesn’t reflect sound priorities, he said. Under the EPA's interpretation of TSCA, byproducts are considered to be new chemicals if sent for recycling, creating a significant compliance burden for substances that are already regulated under other statutes.

Grazman said IPC members are strong advocates of scientifically based regulations that improve environmental conditions, protect human health and stimulate the economy.

"As a nation, we recognize ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ as goals. But the EPA is undercutting those goals with regulations that discourage the beneficial recycling and reuse of valuable metals in manufacturing byproducts," Grazman said. "We encourage Congress to directly exempt all byproducts from Section 8, including those that are sent for recycling."

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