November 2005

Batteries purchased in Missouri carry a 50 cent fee

Jefferson City, MO— Beginning October 1, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will receive a 50-cent battery fee from every lead-acid battery greater than 6-volts purchased in Missouri. Batteries purchased for agricultural use are exempt from the fee. The money raised from the fee will help support the state’s hazardous waste cleanup efforts.

The department is responsible for investigating and directing cleanups of uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites. Much of the work is performed by the department’s Superfund program and is focused on pollution that occurred many years ago, such as groundwater and soil pollution from old mining sites, landfills and industrial sites.

Although federal money pays for a large part of the Superfund program’s cost, some costs must be paid by the state. Previously, fees charged to hazardous waste generators and hazardous waste management facilities paid these costs. Over the years, the amount of hazardous waste generated and the number of companies that produce hazardous waste has decreased, reducing the amount of money collected. The battery fee will supplement the fees paid by hazardous waste generators and hazardous waste management facilities.

The 50-cent lead-acid battery fee pays for costs associated with the state’s oversight of Superfund cleanups. As a first choice, the polluter pays for the cost of their cleanup. However, many times the responsible parties can not be identified or located, making the federal and state governments responsible for the cost of the cleanups. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency pays for 90 percent of the cleanup costs. The state is responsible for the remaining 10 percent. The 2005 General Assembly decided the best option to fund the state share of these cleanups is through a specific general revenue appropriation once the cleanup is finished.

The battery fee was included as part of Senate Bill 225 that went into effect August 28. SB 225 reinstates, renews and extends fees for environmental services that benefit the citizens and businesses of Missouri. This bill would provide direction and funding for Missouri’s management of scrap tires, solid wastes, hazardous wastes and dry cleaners contamination.


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