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GNB BACKS REGULATION TO HALT BATTERY INCINERATION; SAYS LEAD, OTHER MATERIALS MUST BE RECYCLED

 GNB BACKS REGULATION TO HALT BATTERY INCINERATION;
 SAYS LEAD, OTHER MATERIALS MUST BE RECYCLED
 ATLANTA, July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- GNB Incorporated said burning old car batteries in municipal incinerators risks the public health too much to be continued, and disposes of material that can easily be recycled.
 GNB, a manufacturer and recycler of lead acid batteries, agrees with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that the Environmental Protection Agency should reinstate its 1989 ban on burning lead acid batteries in municipal incinerators.
 The controversy over burning lead acid batteries arose earlier this week when a federal appeals court ruled that the EPA must review its 1990 decision allowing spent automotive batteries to be burned in municipal incinerators. EPA had banned the burning of batteries in these facilities in 1989, but the President's Council on Competitiveness forced EPA to drop the ban without specifying the reasons. The NRDC filed a lawsuit in 1991, and court ruled with the council, saying EPA either must change the law or provide better reasons why it should not be changed.
 "Lead acid batteries are fully recyclable, with the reclaimed materials being used in new batteries," said Graham Spurling, president and chief executive officer of GNB. "Batteries must be recycled under controlled conditions rather than destroyed in a way that could harm people and waste reusable materials."
 Spurling said many municipal incinerators do not adequately filter lead particles from stack emissions, making people vulnerable to exposure to excessive amounts of the toxic material. Burning a significant number of lead acid batteries also creates a larger problem through disposal of contaminated residues. Finally, burning spent batteries destroys the lead and plastic that could be reclaimed and used for new batteries.
 "We need laws requiring that all spent lead acid batteries be recycled," Spurling said. Currently, 40 states have recycling laws for lead acid batteries.
 Excessive exposure to lead can cause developmental problems in children and debilitating illness in adults.
 Recycling centers that meet state and federal requirements provide strict environmental controls that capture excess lead and prevent it from escaping into air, water or soil. The centers also reclaim lead from recycling residue. Controls include baghouses and scrubbers that filter and clean stack emissions, air monitors that test the amount of lead in the air near lead processing facilities, and wells that test for lead in groundwater.
 Federal EPA standards limit lead in air to a quarterly average of 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air, and the water lead limit is .05 parts per million.
 Operating under a program called Total Battery Management, GNB manufactures, markets and distributes consumer, commercial and industrial lead acid batteries. The company also collects and recycles spent batteries, using the reclaimed materials to make new batteries.
 GNB owns and manages the largest lead reclamation operation of any battery manufacturer in the world. In this process, the company annually recycles components of 16 million batteries and returns 320 million pounds of lead and 27 million pounds of plastic to battery manufacturing.
 The average new GNB battery contains 70 percent recycled lead and 80 percent recycled plastic.
 -0- 7/17/92
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: GNB Incorporated is a battery manufacturing and recycling company based in St. Paul, Minn. It is a leading manufacturer of batteries for use in cars, boats, trucks, off-road and construction equipment, farm implements, golf cars, recreation vehicles, motorcycles and a broad range of industrial applications. GNB manufactures batteries under the names of Champion(R), Stowaway(R), Action Pack(TM), Super Crank(R), National(R) and others. GNB is a Pacific Dunlop company. (Champion(R) is a registered trademark of the Champion Spark Plug Company.)/
 /CONTACT: Jeannine F. Addams of Tarkenton & Addams, 404-231-1132, for GNB Incorporated/ CO: GNB Incorporated ST: Georgia IN: SU:


BR-EA -- AT005 -- 0212 07/17/92 11:28 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 17, 1992
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