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BIR 2024

Securing the auto recycling industry for future success

Emil Nusbaum, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs for the Automotive Recyclers Association, tells us about the role he has played and continues to play within the ARA in helping to set up the auto recycling industry for future success.


Securing the auto recycling industry for future success p
Emil Nusbaum

I have been fortunate in my career to work in many areas of the automotive industry and in ways that allow me to focus on the intersection of policy, privacy, law, emerging technology, and the entirety of product lifecycle. Throughout my tenure as Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs for the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), I have tackled a diverse set of issues on behalf of the professional automotive recycling industry, and I have helped to set up the automotive recycling industry for future success.

I am most excited by the emergence of electric vehicles and the work ARA has done to become a leader in the reuse, repurposing, and recycling of total loss/end-of-life batteries. Working together, ARA’s government affairs team has organized a strategic vision on behalf of the automotive recycling industry that communicates how automotive recyclers are the most logical party to accelerate the collection, transportation, processing, reuse, and recycling of electric vehicle batteries. Currently, high transportation costs are the greatest hurdle to reusing and recycling total loss/end-of-life electric vehicle batteries. Because total loss/end-of-life batteries are already at automotive recycling facilities, automotive recyclers are in an ideal position to be the primary parties responsible for the analysis, sorting, and classification of recovered EV Batteries. ARA has been successfully advocating this vision to legislators, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Securing the auto recycling industry for future success lIn addition to the extensive work ARA has done concerning electric vehicles, ARA has played a key role in helping to combat catalytic converter theft. Over the last two years, ARA has tracked approximately 180 pieces of legislation across 38 states. ARA has taken an active role in developing effective catalytic converter anti-theft bills and has been working cooperatively with law enforcement, regulators, stakeholders within the broader mobility ecosystem, and law enforcement organizations. Along with helping to strengthen state scrap acquisition laws, ARA has exposed a dramatic need for vehicle owners to be able to purchase EPA Compliant Used OEM Catalytic Converters from automotive recyclers.

ARA currently sits on the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators’ Subcommittee on Catalytic Converter Theft. While serving on this subcommittee, which comprises members of law enforcement, OEMs, prosecutors, new car dealers, and the Environmental Protection Agency, ARA has been able to lend its expertise to the drafting of six policy points for effective catalytic converter anti-theft legislation. These six points have served as the model for many of the state catalytic converter anti-theft bills written over the last two years. ARA stands committed to working alongside law enforcement to help prevent catalytic converter theft.

These are only two matters that ARA has focused on over the past two years. ARA is also working on the safe handling and dismantling of electric vehicles, vehicle data access, stormwater permitting, tire recycling, e-titling, fire prevention, and metal shredder aggregate regulations.

One reason I am well-equipped to serve ARA’s members in a highly effective manner is that I am a licensed attorney. My legal training gives me a strong skillset in analysis, writing, research, and strategy. I have the ability to communicate complex ideas, and I frequently provide government officials with substantive and detailed policy language and white papers that promote ARA member interests. Besides my legal training, my past professional experiences working with the National Vehicle Service and National Salvage Vehicle Reporting Program have given me invaluable insight into the entire mobility ecosystem. I also draw upon lessons learned in past experiences on Capitol Hill to best advocate for ARA’s members.

The automotive recycling industry is a one-of-a-kind industry, and that makes my job dynamic and fulfilling. Working on behalf of the automotive recycling industry has been an honor, and I cannot wait to see what is ahead.