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ABRI Member Bulletin ~ 5 October 2021

Members Bulletin – Informing policy development and upcoming government consultation

  1. Presentation from VIC EPA information session on lead acid batteries under the new regulatory framework (3-4pm, 30 September)
  2. Vic EPA – consultation on future ULAB regulation happening now
  3. ABRI contribution into development of Australia’s Battery Stewardship Scheme – B-Cycle
  4. Simplified pathway to register for Cwlth Dept of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE)-ABRI roundtable on priority issues for management of batteries at end of life and throughout the supply chain (10.30am-12pm, 13 October)
  5. ABRI members meeting – Save the Date – 1 December 2021 – enhancing member services and setting future strategic direction
  6. NTC consultation on policy papers for the ECOSOC (UN) Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods – Submissions due 26 October
  7. NSW EPA consultation for solar and battery recycling funding program – 7 October
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1. PRESENTATION FROM VIC EPA INFORMATION SESSION ON LEAD ACID BATTERIES UNDER THE NEW REGULATORY FRAMEWORK (3-4PM, 30 SEPTEMBER)

The Vic EPA explained at its session on 30 September the:

  1. overarching environmental regulatory framework and where lead and lead compounds (especially ULAB) are classified within this framework;
  2. the Interim Regulatory Approach for lead acid batteries developed to maintain current business practice for ULAB while the EPA works with industry to examine the regulatory framework for ULAB; and
  3. next steps for examining the regulatory framework as applied to ULAB including a possible General Designation.

The Vic EPA has advised that if you wish to discuss your duties and responsibilities during the Interim Regulatory Approach, please contact: 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842) or email contact@epa.vic.gov.au.

Further information on the next steps to prepare the General Designation is in the following article.

 

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2. VIC EPA CONSULTATION ON FUTURE ULAB REGULATION IS UNDER TIGHT TIMEFRAMES

At the consultation session on 30 September, Vic EPA indicated that it was exploring a General Designation for the regulation of ULAB. A General Designation sets out the framework that applies to managing waste under the circumstances covered by the designation. For example, this could be the rules around managing ULAB.

Subject to approvals, a General Designation will take 8-12 months to develop, much of this timeframe involves delivery of government and administrative  approval processes. The Vic EPA is working towards completing consultation with industry on the framework for the General Designation by end 2021.

This means that the Vic EPA will seek to test and measure new approaches and duties to ULAB with industry as soon as possible. The presentation in item 1 above highlights some of the information that EPA is seeking from industry. This can be communicated directly to the EPA, especially where commercial-in-confidence, or through ABRI. If you would like assistance from ABRI in working with the Vic EPA, please reach out to the ABRI CEO, Katharine Hole via email.

In considering the approach to managing ULAB, it is critical that it meet industry expectation while maintaining the protection of the environment and human health.

For further information regarding the General Designation, please contact James Pardy, Senior Policy Officer – james.pardy@delwp.vic.gov.au.

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3. ABRI CONTRIBUTION INTO DEVELOPMENT OF AUSTRALIA'S BATTERY STEWARDSHIP SCHEME - B-CYCLE

ABRI is looking to establish an ABRI members working group to coordinate battery recycling industry input into the development of B-Cycle – Australia’s battery stewardship scheme. ABRI is represented on the Battery Stewardship Council Board by ABRI President, Ben Pritchard, and Vice President, Andrew McKenzie.

Please email the ABRI Secretariat, if you are interested in being part of an ABRI working group to contribute ABRI’s expertise on development of the Scheme. The ABRI Secretariat will align meetings with BSC consultation on the development of B-Cycle.

Reflecting the dedicated work program currently underway, the latest BSC consultation paper on the proposed Performance Measurement Framework for B-Cycle is now available. This focuses on a range of possible environmental, social and economic data for monitoring the scheme and supporting transparency.

 

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4. SIMPLIFIED PATHWAY TO REGISTER FOR CWLTH DEPT OF AGRICULTURE, WATER AND ENVIRONMENT (DAWE)-ABRI ROUNDTABLE ON PRIORITY ISSUES FOR MANAGEMENT OF BATTERIES AT END OF LIFE AND THROUGHOUT THE SUPPLY CHAIN

Apologies for difficulty in registering for the above workshop in the previous members bulletin. For an easier pathway to register for this workshop, please send the ABRI Secretariat an email at secretariat@batteryrecycling.org.au to register your interest and arrange for a meeting invite to be sent to you.

As part of its electronic stewardship work program, the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) and ABRI are co-hosting a stakeholder roundtable on issues surrounding management for batteries, at end of life and throughout the supply chain. The informal roundtable discussion will be on 13 October from 10.30am to 12.00pm.

Safe and sustainable management of the battery component of electronic products is important. The establishment of Australia’s Battery Stewardship Scheme will go towards supporting battery recycling.

However, as more and more products use portable lithium batteries as an energy source, the sustainable management of batteries in a safe way is becoming an area of focus for governments.

The roundtable discussion will include participants from governments, researchers, non-government organisations, industry members and consumer. The discussion is intended  to capture views about safe and sustainable management of batteries throughout the battery and products using batteries lifecycle. This includes identifying stewardship solutions  to support the better environmental management of Australia’s electrical and electronic equipment. 

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5. ABRI MEMBERS MEETING - SAVE THE DATE - 1 DECEMBER 2021 - ENHANCING MEMBER SERVICES AND SETTING FUTURE STRATEGIC DIRECTION

The ABRI Executive Committee is keen to engage with members to seek your input on opportunities for enhancing member services and collaborating on setting ABRI’s strategy direction. Further information will be forthcoming and in the interim can you please save the date.

While to face-to-face would be the preferred method to catch up, it is likely that the session will be virtual and involve break out groups to enable networking and detailed discussions.

 

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6. NTC CONSULTATION ON POLICY PAPERS FOR THE ECOSOC (UN) SUB-COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON THE TRANSPORT OF DANGEROUS GOODS

The National Transport Commission (NTC) is seeking industry input on papers to be discussed at the November-December 2021 meeting of the ECOSOC (UN) Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. The agenda and supporting papers can be found here and a link to a summary of the papers provided by the National Transport Commission is available at UN59 TDG summary – for consultation.

Of particular interest to the battery recycling industry are agenda items on:

  • Electric storage systems (agenda item 4) including focus on: testing of lithium ion batteries; hazard based system for classification of lithium batteries; transport provisions – proposed amendments to package instruction LP903; and damaged or defective lithium ion batteries; sodium ion batteries
  • Guiding principles for the Model Regulations (agenda item 9)
  • Issues relating to the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (agenda item 10)
  • Unified interpretations of the Model Regulations (agenda item 11)
  • Dangerous goods safety training and capacity building (agenda item 13).

The Sub-Committee process is a key decision making stage in amending the UN Model Regulations. Hence it is important for industry to advise the NTC on impacts and workability of proposed amendments.

Amendments made to the UN Model Regulations as a result of decisions made by the Sub-Committee are generally adopted into the ADG Code, as a matter of course, in the next update following each release of the UN Model Regulations.

The Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DIRDAC) represents Australia at the biannual meetings of the Sub-Committee and provides Australia’s official position on papers discussed at the meetings.  In forming the official Australian position, DIRDAC consult with a number of stakeholders, including the NTC.

Action required

ABRI will most likely provide a submission. However, you may also wish to make a submission. To do so, review the summary of papers and if you have comments on any particular paper, please complete the last two columns of the summary and return to me by COB Tuesday 26 October 2021.  Please note, you are not asked to comment on all papers, only those that you feel you can provide valuable input. Where possible, please provide evidence to support your comments.

 

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7. NSW EPA CONSULTATION FOR SOLAR AND BATTERY RECYCLING FUNDING PROGRAM - 7 OCTOBER

The NSW EPA is holding an information webinar on the Circular Solar Phase 2 grant program on Thursday 7 October at 11:30am. This includes funding for battery recycling. Please click here to register your interest.

This webinar will provide information for potential applicants. Topics to be covered include:

  • Program priorities and objectives
  • Funding amounts
  • Eligible activities
  • Selection criteria
  • Grant timelines
  • Q&A

The full Circular Solar grant program details can be found on the NSW EPA website.

 

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