Lead-acid batteries are more widely used than we sometimes realize. They power electric cars, industrial equipment like forklifts, and serve as backup power sources for cell towers. They’re practical because they’re rechargeable and cost-effective. But because these batteries generally consist of lead-based plates that sit in a bath of sulfuric acid and water — aka electrolyte — they can be hazardous if not handled with caution. From the point lead-acid batteries are brought into a facility to the time damaged ones are disposed of, they fall under the stipulations of environmental compliance regulations and reporting for hazardous materials. And the regulatory reach is much wider than even some EHS professionals realize. Who knew?
What are the environmental regulations for batteries?
They can be extensive. For a facility, the sulfuric acid contents in lead-acid batteries can be considered Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) if they hit the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ) of 1,000 pounds. In that case, batteries fall under compliance reporting guidelines including the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and a State Emergency Response Commission (SERC). Now you know.
Spend some time with this eBook and it will tell you how, and why, regulatory reporting requirements apply to lead-acid batteries. So, eBook… or expert guidance manual?
Get a live, in-depth look at Encamp. See how Encamp can help you and your company simplify your compliance.
1. Because lead-acid batteries are considered a mixture, the amount of sulfuric acid must be aggregated across all batteries and other sources of sulfuric acid on-site to determine threshold quantities.
2. For Tier II reporting, lead-acid batteries (or their components) fall under the same EPCRA Section 311 and 312 Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reporting Requirements as other chemicals.
3. Per the EPA, lead-acid batteries can be reported either as mixtures or components for Tier II reporting. States individually issue guidance on how they expect lead-acid batteries to be reported.
Compliance and Tier II reporting for lead-acid batteries can be just as confusing as it is for hazardous chemicals in general. If not more so. That’s why Encamp offers the eBook, Lead-Acid Batteries – A Detailed and Interactive Guide, to help you determine when regulations and reporting apply for the lead-acid batteries at your facility. The eBook’s interactive links also take you to other Encamp resources if you need more info. And it’s all free, as is the knowledge you acquire. View the eBook here.