Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

The City of Industry, California has fined lead-acid batteries recycler, Quemetco, $600,000, and required it to reduce operations after it was found to have violated the county’s emissions regulations.


The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), which monitors emissions for the city, had found the batteries recycler guilty of violating emission regulations during inspections conducted between 2017 and 2019, AQMD announced in a statement. The violations included:

  • – Emissions of lead, arsenic, and 1,3 butadiene that exceeded the city’s approved emissions limits
  • – Not minimizing dust emissions
  • – Not maintaining negative pressure within its plant premises


Jill Whynot, chief operating officer at The South Coast AQMD further stated that Quemetco had violated Orange County’s Rule 1420.1 that governs large batteries recyclers that process more than 50,000 tons (45,359mt) of lead every year. 


Under this rule, Quemetco is also required to reduce its operations to “prevent the release of harmful emissions,” according to Whynot. 


The South Coast AQMD is Orange County’s air pollution monitoring agency and covers major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernandino, and Riverside counties.


Quemetco’s plant recycles used car batteries in The City of Industry in the Los Angeles county. According to its website, the company recycles around 10 million batteries per year and produces around 108,862mt of recycled lead annually.

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