ACT NO. 149
Mercury management; mercury-containing thermostats
This act establishes a program under which manufacturers are required to collect out-of-service mercury-containing thermostats. Under the program, the original equipment manufacturer of a mercury-containing thermostat shall be required to submit either individually or collectively to the agency of natural resources (ANR) a plan for the collection of mercury-containing thermostats. The plan shall: include an education and outreach program; comply with ANRs universal waste rules; ensure that collection containers are provided to all thermostat wholesalers; ensure that collection systems are provided to all collection points; establish financial incentives with a minimum of $5.00 for the return of mercury-containing thermostats by wholesalers, contractors, and homeowners; and include mechanisms to protect against the fraudulent return of thermostats. The plan shall be implemented no later than April 1, 2009, and manufacturers shall be required to report on the efficacy of the plan in 2010.
By April 1, 2009, a thermostat wholesaler shall not sell, offer for sale, or distribute thermostats unless the wholesaler acts as a collection point for mercury-containing thermostats. By April 1, 2009, a thermostat retailer shall not sell, offer for sale, or distribute thermostats unless the retailer participates in a program to educate consumers on the collection program for mercury-containing thermostats. Beginning April 1, 2009, a manufacturer that fails to submit a plan for the collection of mercury-containing thermostats shall be prohibited from offering any thermostat for sale in the state, and a wholesaler or retailer shall be prohibited from selling a thermostat of such a manufacturer. In addition, the act requires contractors to deliver to collection sites any mercury-containing thermostats removed from a building.
Within 60 days of receipt of complete application from a manufacturer, ANR shall approve or deny the manufacturers collection plan. ANR shall establish a process under which proposed plans are available for public review and comment. ANR shall maintain and post a list of registered collection points for mercury-containing thermostats. ANR shall conduct education and outreach to promote the collection of discarded mercury-containing thermostats. ANR also shall report to the general assembly regarding the efficacy of the collection program. By July 1, 2010, ANR shall estimate the number of out-of service thermostats generated in Vermont on an annual basis. Beginning July 1, 2011, should collection efforts fail to result in the collection of at least 65 percent of out-of-service mercury-containing thermostats in the state, ANR shall require modifications to manufacturers collection plans.
In addition, the act requires the mercury advisory committee to report to the general assembly regarding whether the jurisdiction of the committee should be expanded to include review of additional toxic substances.
Effective Date: July 1, 2008.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street