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NY Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand advocate for lithium-ion battery federal legislation

Published April 24, 2023

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — N.Y. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said during a news conference Sunday that they support federal legislation to regulate lithium-ion battery safety standards in the wake of increasing fires caused by the devices.

One such bill was introduced last month by U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) — The Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act — would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish a consumer product safety standard for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in personal mobility devices, such as e-bikes and e-scooters, to protect against the risk of fires.

N.Y. Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh accompanied Schumer and Gillibrand at the news conference as did the family of a Queens 8-year-old girl who was killed last fall in a fire started by a lithium-ion battery.

"Without federal legislation, and so many of these batteries come from across state lines or made overseas or made in China, we will not have a complete and strong solution," Schumer said.

Kavanagh said on Sunday that New York City has experienced 63 fires and five deaths caused by lithium-ion batteries this year.

Last week the City Council introduced two bills to address lithium-ion battery safety, including establishing a battery exchange program. That came a month after Mayor Eric Adams signed into law a lithium-ion battery safety package that included prohibiting the sale of e-bikes — and other powered mobility devices like e-scooters and batteries — that don't meet recognized certification like UL. Adams also said the city will create a fire marshal task force focused on identifying violators of the fire code.

On Monday, the City Council's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure discussed establishing a task force to study building e-bike charging stations for food delivery workers.

Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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