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NO. 29. AN ACT RELATING TO PLASTIC MAPLE SYRUP EQUIPMENT AND CONTAINERS.

(H.538)

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

Sec. 1. 6 V.S.A. 491 is amended to read:

491. ADULTERATION; FILTRATION

(a) No person shall manufacture, package, sell, offer for sale, deliver or in any way possess any maple product which is adulterated within the meaning of 18 V.S.A. 4059.

(b) Maple syrup which is produced, packaged, handled or sold in this state shall not be bleached or lightened in color by artificial means except by simple filtration through cloth or paper, through a filter press or through food grade diatomaceous earth with a filter press to remove suspended solids. The commissioner may by *[regulation]* rule approve other methods of filtration. The commissioner is authorized to approve specific applications of new technologies for time limited experimental usage.

Sec. 2. 6 V.S.A. 494 is amended to read:

494. CONTAINERS AND EQUIPMENT; RULES; MANUFACTURER

CERTIFICATION REQUIRED IF PLASTIC RESIN USED

(a) Applicability. This section shall apply to all containers and equipment which come into contact with maple sap, maple syrup or maple products, hereinafter referred to for the purposes of this section as "maple products," to all replacement parts of such containers and equipment, and to all containers or equipment returned to the manufacturer for repair or refurbishing, whether made or assembled in whole or in part in Vermont after January 1, 1998, or sold or conveyed when new in Vermont after January 1, 1998.

*[(a)]*(b) Containers and equipment used for packaging maple products shall be clean and sanitary at the time of packing.

*[(b)]*(c) Maple syrup containers offered for sale within the state of Vermont shall be of a size determined by the commissioner to be correct to hold the liquid volume stated on the container when filled with syrup at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Maple syrup containers shall be clean and free of rust, and shall not include any substance which may damage the color or flavor of maple syrup.

*[(c)]*(d) Rule authority. The commissioner may *[promulgate such regulations as he deems necessary]* *[to regulate maple products containers]* regulate by rule the types and uses of cleaning and sanitizing agents and processes, and the types and uses of equipment which come into contact with maple products, including the collection, conveying, processing, manufacture or storage of maple products. The commissioner shall work with interested persons and entities to develop and promulgate these rules.

(e) Plastic resin. New containers and new equipment which are purchased, sold, offered for sale, conveyed or used in Vermont after January 1, 1998 and made from plastic resin, shall be:

(1) suitable for their intended use;

(2) constructed from materials that will not allow the migration of deleterious substances or impart colors, odors or tastes to maple sap or products; and

(3) designed and constructed so that when used, such equipment and containers shall not permit the adulteration of maple sap or products with lubricants, fuel, metal fragments, contaminated water, or any other contaminants.

(f) Statutory certification. Containers and equipment which come into contact with maple products shall as a matter of law be certified for use in collecting, conveying, processing, manufacturing or storing maple products, provided such containers or equipment are made from materials that are suitable for collecting, conveying or storing potable water.

(g) Duty to acquire certification. Any person who sells or conveys ownership of containers or new equipment which are made from plastic resin shall acquire a certification from the manufacturer that the containers or equipment are designed and constructed in such a manner and of such materials as to comply with this section and applicable rules. The certification shall be in writing and shall be made available to a prospective purchaser, owner or the commissioner upon request.

(h) Manufacturer certification. After January 1, 1998, all manufacturers of new containers or new equipment made from plastic and which come into contact with maple products shall provide the written certification required for each type of container orequipment. A certification shall be presumed valid until the design or formulation of the equipment or container changes, at which time a new certification shall be required. It shall be acceptable for a manufacturer to provide a single certification listing all of the applicable products.

(i) Penalty. Any person who violates this section or any applicable rule may be assessed an administrative penalty under section 15 of this title.

Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

Approved: May 15, 1997