Frequent Questions

Exemptions for forklift batteries

A manufacturing facility uses a forklift as a piece of equipment to assist in production.  A lead acid battery is used as a means to power the forklift.  Are there any exemptions that might apply in this situation, allowing the lead in the battery to be excluded from threshold calculations under TRI?

The use of products containing toxic chemicals for the purpose of maintaining motor vehicles operated by the facility is exempt from threshold determinations and release and other waste management reporting under EPCRA §313. This would include batteries, as long as the battery is used to maintain the vehicle operated by the facility. In order to be considered a motor vehicle, the equipment cannot be stationary. Motor vehicles include forklifts, as well as cars, trucks, some cranes, locomotive engines, and aircraft. This exemption only applies to the otherwise use of the batteries, not to manufacturing or processing.


Alternatively, if the battery is completely sealed while present at the facility, it would be considered an article, thus making it exempt from EPCRA §313. This exemption can be considered in both otherwise use and processing situations but cannot be used to exempt a chemical from the manufacturing threshold. If lead is released from the batteries under normal processing conditions at the facility, as might occur during maintenance of the battery, the release would negate the article exemption.


If the battery in the forklift is not exempt, either by way of the motor vehicle or article exemption, then the reportable toxic chemicals present in the battery must be considered in the facility’s threshold calculations.


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