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NO. 151. AN ACT RELATING TO MANUFACTURER RESPONSIBILITY TO ESTABLISH COLLECTION SYSTEMS FOR WASTE MERCURY-ADDED CONSUMER PRODUCTS.

(S.181)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 6607(c) is amended to read:

(c) For purposes of their transportation, the following, in waste or usable form, shall not be considered hazardous wastes, but shall be handled as solid waste: mercury-added consumer products, pesticides, paint (whether water based or oil based), paint thinner, paint remover, stains and varnishes. This exclusion shall not apply with respect to hazardous wastes that are regulated under federal law.

Sec. 2. 10 V.S.A. § 6621d is added to read:

§ 6621d. MERCURY-ADDED CONSUMER PRODUCTS

(a) Labeling. A manufacturer or wholesaler may not sell at retail in this state, to a retailer in this state, or for use in this state, and a retailer may not knowingly sell, any of the following items at retail if they contain mercury, unless the item is labeled. The label must clearly inform the purchaser or consumer that mercury is present in the item and that the item may not be disposed of or placed in a waste stream destined for disposal until the mercury is removed and reused, recycled, or otherwise managed to ensure that it does not become part of solid waste or wastewater. Primary responsibility for affixing labels required under this section shall be on the manufacturer, and not on the wholesaler or retailer. Items to be labeled are:

(1) A thermostat or thermometer.

(2) A switch, individually or as part of another product.

(3) A medical or scientific instrument.

(4) An electric relay or other electrical device.

(5) A lamp.

(6) A battery, sold to the public, other than a button battery.

(b) Source separation. Except as otherwise provided by this section, every person who discards solid waste within the state shall separate labeled mercury-added consumer products from that solid waste. Any contractor who replaces or removes labeled mercury-added consumer products shall assure the proper separation and disposal of any discarded mercury-added consumer product.

(c) Collection. After proper separation of labeled mercury-added consumer products, each person who discards that waste either shall:

(1) set that waste in a designated area for collection by a hauler; or

(2) deliver that waste to a facility that is legally authorized and permitted to accept that waste.

(d) Collection program.

(1) By December 1, 1998, every solid waste implementation plan of every solid waste management district or municipality having such a plan shall be amended to provide for:

(A) an informational effort to advise the public about labeled mercury-added products; and

(B) a collection program for the collection of mercury-added products identified in subsection (a) of this section.

(2) These amended plans shall be implemented by each solid waste management district or municipality by June 1, 1999. Components of these amended plans that are related to subdivisions (1)(A) and (B) of this subsection shall not be required to receive approval from the agency of natural resources.

(e) Support.

(1) The agency of natural resources and the health department shall assist the municipalities and solid waste management districts in developing, designing and disseminating information for the public about labeled mercury-added products, the requirements of the law regarding the source separation of waste mercury-added products, and the collection programs that are available to the public, including any manufacturer-based reverse distribution system. A component of this information program shall be directed specifically at large public and private institutions that use and discard substantial numbers of waste mercury-added products, and at any other large users of those products.

(2) Support for information dissemination regarding labeled mercury-addedproducts and for the collection program for labeled mercury-added products shall be from disposal fees, or other revenues collected by the solid waste management district or municipality, and may include a manufacturer-based reverse distribution system.

(f) Rulemaking. By December 1, 1998, rules adopted to implement this section shall establish standards for affixing of labels, in compliance with federal law, either to the product or to the package.

(g) Penalties. No household shall be subject to the provisions of section 6612 of this title for noncompliance with subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

Sec. 3. 10 V.S.A. § 6621a(a)(7) is added to read:

(a) In accordance with the following schedule, no person shall knowingly dispose of the following solid waste in landfills:

* * *

(7) Labeled mercury-added consumer products.

Sec. 4. 10 V.S.A. § 6621e is added to read:

§ 6621e. ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON MERCURY POLLUTION

(a) There is created an advisory committee on mercury pollution, to consist of one member of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker; one member of the senate, appointed by the committee on committees; the secretary of natural resources, or the secretary's designee; and the following persons, as appointed by the governor: one representative of an industry that manufactures consumer products that contain mercury; one public health specialist; one representative of the Abenaki Self-Help Assn., Inc.; one toxicologist; and one scientist who is knowledgeable on matters relating to mercury contamination. The advisory committee shall advise the general assembly, the executive branch, and the general public on matters relating to the prevention and cleanup of mercury pollution, and the latest science on remediation of mercury pollution.

(b) By January 15 of each year, beginning in 1999, the advisory committee will report to the general assembly regarding:

(1) The extent of mercury contamination in the soil, waters and air of Vermont.

(2) The extent of any health risk from mercury contamination in Vermont,especially to pregnant women, children, the Abenaki Self-Help Assn., Inc. and other communities that use fish as a major source of food.

(3) Methods available for minimizing risk of further contamination or increased health risk to the Vermont public.

(4) Potential costs of minimizing further risk and recommendations of how to raise the funds necessary to reduce contamination and minimize risk of mercury-related health problems in Vermont.

(5) The effectiveness of the established programs, including manufacturer-based reverse distribution systems for in-state collection, subsequent transportation and subsequent recycling of mercury from waste mercury-added products and recommendations for altering the programs to make them more effective.

(6) Coordination needed with other states to effectively address mercury issues.

(7) Ways to reduce the extent to which solid waste produced within the state is incinerated at incinerators, regardless of location, that fail to use the best available technology in scrubbing and filtering emissions from the incinerator stack.

Sec. 5. 10 V.S.A. § 6605g is added to read:

§ 6605g. INCINERATION EMISSIONS

(a) Findings. The general assembly finds that given the regional nature of weather patterns, the incineration of solid waste, whether from incinerators located inside the state or outside its borders, causes negative effects on the health and welfare of the people of the state, and on the state's natural resources. Accordingly, it is in the public interest to require the use of the best required technology in incinerators, wherever located, if they are to receive solid waste from the state of Vermont, pursuant to new contracts or contract renewal for the disposal of solid waste.

(b) Best required technology requirement. To the extent consistent with federal law, no person shall enter a new contract or renew an existing contract for the incineration of solid waste produced within the state's borders, at an incinerator, regardless of location, that fails to use the best technology currently required by federal law of any solid waste incinerator in the country, in reducing hazardous emissions from the incinerator.

Approved: April 29, 1998