Mar 20 - US EPA Considers Revising E-waste Export Rule

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The US EPA is considering revising their export provision for Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) rule to require exporters to submit annual reports.

Cathode ray tubes are found in televisions and computer monitors and are among the most hazardous part of electronic waste. Unscrupulous recyclers have been taking advantage of the lax CRT export rules. US EPA is finally stepping up the reporting requirement to obtain additional information in order to better ensure their proper management.

The proposed revision would require any company exporting cathode ray tubes to give the agency notice of the shipment. Currently, exporters only notify US EPA about planned exports. However, there is currently no requirement to subsequently report the quantity of CRTs that were actually exported during the time period specified in the notice.

US EPA estimates that the cost of record keeping and reporting would be $7,300 to $11,500 per year for cathode ray tube exporters. US EPA is collecting comments on the proposal.

While this small step will help to document the flow of e-waste exports to other countries, the strongest solution can be found in the federal bill currently in both houses of Congress. The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (RERA) would restrict the export of toxic e-waste (including that coming from the federal government) to developing countries. California also has their own e-waste export bill with AB 960 by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal. The measure will help reduce the amount of e-waste exported overseas from California by mandating that recyclers reform their exporting practices in order to receive payments.

 

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