EPA Chief cites the e-Waste Problem as one of the US’s 6 Global Environmental Priorities

For Immediate Release

Basel Action Network
Contact: 

Jim Puckett, Executive Director,
jpuckett@ban.org

EPA Chief cites the e-Waste Problem as one of the US’s 6 Global Environmental Priorities

Guanajuato, Mexico - EPA
Chief Administrator Lisa Jackson declared yesterday that preventing
e-waste and its irresponsible management was one of the US Environmental
Protection Agency’s top six newly announced global priorities.  The
other five priorities were reducing carbon emissions, improving air
quality, improving water quality, reducing toxics exposures and building
stronger institutional frameworks.  Her comments came at yesterday
evening’s public reception to launch the 17th Session of the Commission
on Environmental Cooperation, a body created with the North American
Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to mitigate environmental impacts of trade
between Canada, Mexico and the United States.

 
“We
applaud the EPA and Lisa Jackson on her recognition that the toxic
threat of e-waste is one of the most serious environmental concerns of
our time,” said Jim Puckett, Executive Director of the Basel Action
Network, who attended the session. “The amounts of e-waste we are
creating is staggering, and then the practice of sweeping the
techno-trash out the back door to developing countries is shameful.” 
 
According
to BAN, the first order of business is to pass legislation banning the
export of this new form of toxic waste.  Secondly, the environmentalists
call for all manufacturers to set a date for becoming toxic free and
refusing to ever again use toxic inputs.
 
Jackson’s
announcement comes on the heels of a formal recognition by the EPA of
the e-Stewards® Certification for electronics recyclers.  E-Stewards is
the only certification for e-waste recyclers that is consistent with
international law and forbids the most egregious current practices of
electronics recyclers such as exporting toxic e-waste to developing
countries, using prison labor, and dumping toxics in municipal
landfills.  The e-Stewards Certification is also the only such program
with the backing of over 70 environmental organizations and major
companies like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Samsung.
 
“We
are excited and relieved that, eight years from the time BAN first
showed the world pictures of the devastation in China from US e-waste
exports, it is beginning to look like we as a nation are finally
resolved to take responsibility and solve this crisis,” observes
Puckett.
 
e-Stewards Certification:
www.e-stewards.org
Basel Action Network:
www.ban.org
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