NAFTA group to investigate health risks from lead battery shipments
NEW YORK (Scrap Monster): North American environmental group would launch an investigation into environmental and health risks associated with the transportation of used lead-acid automotive batteries across the borders of the US, Canada and Mexico.
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), which focuses on environmental issues related to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), said it would investigate whether the geographical location of lead-recycling facilities, which recycle spent lead-acid batteries into lead metal for use in new batteries, is based in part on the differing costs to comply with environmental and health regulations.
CEC, comprising officials from the US, Canada and Mexico, said transborder shipments of used batteries, as well as the environmental health effects on residents living adjacent to certain recycling facilities, is on the rise. The group noted its investigation would focus on the movement of spent batteries as well as on secondary lead smelter operations.
According to the CEC statement, NAFTA partners formed the group and oversee the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a side-accord that addresses "environmental challenges posed by free trade."
NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Canada. In terms of combined GDP of its members, as of 2010 the trade bloc is the largest in the world.
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