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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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S.17

Introduced by   Senator Ayer of Addison District, Senator Giard of Addison District and Senator Lyons of Chittenden District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Conservation; solid waste; electronic waste

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to establish statewide requirements for the collection and recycling of electronic devices that contain hazardous substances.

AN ACT RELATING TO THE DISPOSAL OF ELECTRONIC WASTE

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

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. chapter 165 is added to read:

CHAPTER 165.  MANAGEMENT OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES

§ 7201.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS

The general assembly finds and declares that:

(1)  Televisions and computers are omnipresent in modern society, and the number of obsolete, worn-out, or otherwise used televisions and computers surely will increase.

(2)  Used televisions, computers, laptop computers, and computer monitors contain lead, mercury, and other hazardous substances that pose a threat to human health and the environment if improperly disposed of at the end of the useful life of these products.

(3)  Cathode ray tubes currently found in most discarded televisions and computer monitors are estimated to be the largest source of lead in the state’s municipal solid waste stream, and, consequently, discarded cathode ray tubes pose significant problems for disposal.

(4)  The raw material values of the materials contained within electronic products generally do not cover the cost of collection, transportation, and preparation for current reclamation processes.

(5)  The repair and recycling of televisions and computers protect public health and the environment by reducing the potential for the release of heavy metals and mercury from landfills into the environment, provide jobs, and conserve valuable landfill space.

(6)  The responsibility for the sound environmental management and product stewardship of end-of-life products should be shared among the consumer, the manufacturer, the retailer, and state and local government waste management agencies.

(7)  It is in the administrative and economic interest of the citizens of Vermont and all northeastern states to support a national or regional system to coordinate electronics device end-of-life management.

(8)  The general assembly finds that the establishment of a system to provide for the collection and recycling of electronic devices in Vermont is consistent with the state’s duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens; maintain and enhance the quality of the environment; conserve natural resources; prevent pollution of air, water, and land; and stimulate economic growth.

(9)  Therefore, it is the goal of the state to promote environmental stewardship by producers, processors, and consumers and to ensure that all covered electronic devices and their components are recycled.

§ 7202.  DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this chapter:

(1)  “Agency” means the agency of natural resources.

(2)  “Cathode ray tube” means a vacuum tube or picture tube used to convert an electronic signal into a visual image.

(3)  “Computer” means an electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other high-speed data processing device performing logical, arithmetic, or storage functions, and may include both a computer central processing unit and a monitor, but such term does not include an automated typewriter or a typesetter, a portable hand-held calculator, or a portable digital assistant.

(4)  “Consumer” means a person who purchases a covered electronic device.

(5)  “Covered electronic device” means a desktop or personal computer, computer monitor, portable computer, desktop printer, cathode‑ray‑tube‑based television, or noncathode-ray-tube-based television.  “Covered electronic device” does not include the following:

(A)  A covered electronic device that is a part of a motor vehicle or any component part of a motor vehicle assembled by or for a vehicle manufacturer or franchised dealer, including replacement parts for use in a motor vehicle.

(B)  A covered electronic device that is functionally or physically a part of a larger piece of equipment designed and intended for use in an industrial, commercial, or medical setting, including diagnostic, monitoring, or control equipment.

(C)  A covered electronic device that is contained within a clothes washer, clothes dryer, refrigerator, freezer, microwave oven, conventional oven or range, dishwasher, room air conditioner, dehumidifier, or air purifier.

(D)  Telephones of any type unless they contain a display area greater than four inches measured diagonally.

(6)  “Covered electronic recycler” is a person that is approved by the agency of natural resources for compensation.

(7)  “District” means a solid waste management district.

(8)  “Manufacturer” means any person who, as of July 1, 2008:

(A)  Manufactures covered electronic devices under its own brand for sale in the state;

(B)  Manufactures covered electronic devices for sale in the state without affixing a brand;

(C)  Resells in this state covered electronic devices produced by other suppliers under its own brand or label;

(D)  Imports or exports covered electronic devices into the United States that are sold in this state.  However, if a company from which an importer purchases the merchandise has a presence or assets in the United States, that company shall be deemed to be the manufacturer; or

(E)  Manufactures covered electronic devices, supplies them to any person within a distribution network that includes wholesalers or retailers in the state, and benefits from the sale in the state of those covered electronic devices.

(9)  “Manufacturer’s brands” means a manufacturer’s name, brand name, or brand label, and all manufacturer’s names, brand names, and brand labels for which the manufacturer has legal responsibility, including those names, brand names, and brand labels of companies that have been acquired by the manufacturer.

(10)  “Monitor” means the separate visual display component of a computer, whether sold separately or together with a computer processing unit or computer box, and includes a cathode ray tube, liquid crystal display, gas plasma, digital light processing, or other image projection technology greater than four inches when measured diagonally and includes its case, interior wires and circuitry, cable to the central processing unit, and power cord.

(11)  “Person” means any individual, partnership, firm, joint stock company, corporation, association, trust, estate, or other legal entity.

(12)  “Portable computer” means a computer and video display that can be carried as one unit by an individual.

(13)  “Purchase” means the taking, by sale, of title or of the right to use in exchange for consideration.

(14)  “Recycling” means any process in accordance with environmental standards established by the agency by which a covered electronic device that would otherwise become solid waste is collected, separated, and processed to be returned to use in the form of raw materials or products.

(15)  “Registrant” means a manufacturer of covered electronic devices that is in full compliance with this chapter.

(16)  “Retailer” means a person who owns or operates a business that sells new covered electronic devices in this state by any means to a consumer, whether or not the retailer has a physical presence in this state.

(17)  “Secretary” means the secretary of natural resources.

(18)  “Sell” or “sale” means any transfer for consideration of title, including, but not limited to, transactions conducted through sales outlets, mail order, catalogs, the internet, or other means.  “Sell” or “sale” does not include leasing.

(19)  “Solid waste management district” means a solid waste management district formed pursuant to section 2202a and chapter 121 of Title 24, or by charter adopted by the general assembly.

(20)  “State recycling rate” means the ratio of the weight of total overall returns of covered electronic devices in the state to the weight of total overall sales of covered electronic devices in the state during the previous calendar year.

(21)  “Television” means the stand-alone display system containing a cathode ray tube or any other type of display primarily intended to receive video programming via broadcast, having a viewable area greater than four inches when measured diagonally, able to adhere to standards of consumer video formats such as PAL, SECAM, NTSC, and HDTV, and having the capability of selecting different broadcast channels and support sound capability.

(22)  “Video display” means an output surface having a viewable area greater than four inches when measured diagonally that displays moving graphical images or a visual representation or image sequence or picture, showing a number of quickly changing images on a screen in fast succession to create the illusion of motion, including, if applicable, a device that is an integral part of the display (and cannot be easily removed from the display by the consumer) that produces the moving image on the screen.  Displays typically use a cathode ray tube, liquid crystal display, gas plasma, digital light processing, or other image projection technology.

§ 7203.  SALE OF COVERED ELECTRONIC DEVICES

(a)  Effective July 1, 2008, a manufacturer that fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter is prohibited from offering a covered electronic device for sale in Vermont.  The agency of natural resources shall maintain a list of all manufacturers of covered electronic devices that are in full compliance with the requirements of this chapter.  The agency shall make the list available to the public on an internet website.

(b)  Retailers or other persons are prohibited from offering for sale in Vermont a new covered electronic device from a manufacturer that fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter.  Retailers or other persons selling covered electronic devices shall consult the list of manufacturers compiled by the agency under subsection (a) of this section prior to selling covered electronic devices in the state.  A retailer or other person selling covered electronic devices shall be considered to be in compliance with this subsection if, on the date the retailer orders a covered electronic device, the manufacturer of that device is listed by the agency of natural resources as being in compliance with this chapter.

§ 7204.  CONSUMER INFORMATION; LABELING OF COVERED

              ELECTRONIC DEVICES

A manufacturer or retailer may not sell or offer for sale a covered electronic device in Vermont unless it is labeled with the manufacturer’s brand, and the brand is permanently affixed and readily visible. 

§ 7205.  MANUFACTURER REPORTING

A manufacturer of covered electronic devices shall report annually to the agency of natural resources by January 15 with the total weight of covered electronic devices sold in the state in the previous calendar year.  In lieu of providing the total weight of the covered electronic devices sold in the state in the previous calendar year, a manufacturer may request that the agency of natural resources calculate the total weight of covered electronic devices sold in the state by using prorated national sales data based on the population of the state.

§ 7206.  RETAILER NOTICE REQUIREMENTS

(a)  A retailer of covered electronic devices in Vermont must post in a plainly visible place information provided by the agency of natural resources that clearly describes where and how to recycle covered electronic devices and opportunities for the collection or return of a device.  The information shall include a toll-free telephone number and website where a consumer can obtain additional information.

(b)  A retailer shall ensure that the information required under subsection (a) of this section is included in the information instruction or packaging of a covered electronic device or in additional material accompanying the sale of the device.

§ 7207.  DISPOSAL BAN

Effective July 1, 2008, no person shall dispose of a covered electronic device or component or subassembly of a covered electronic device in a solid waste disposal facility in Vermont.

§ 7208.  COVERED ELECTRONIC DEVICE REGISTRATION AND DISPOSAL FEE

(a)  A manufacturer of covered electronic devices shall register with the agency of natural resources annually and shall pay a registration fee set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 2822.

(b)  In addition to the fee required by subsection (a) of this section, a manufacturer of a covered electronic device sold or offered for sale in Vermont shall pay an annual fee to the agency of natural resources based on the manufacturer’s sales in the state.  The fee shall be calculated by multiplying the state recycling rate by the weight of the manufacturer’s covered electronic devices sold in the state during the previous calendar year multiplied by $0.50 per pound.

(c)  In lieu of paying the fee required by subsection (b) of this section, a manufacturer, individually or as part of a group of manufacturers, may submit to the agency of natural resources a plan to collect, transport, and recycle covered electronic devices.  The agency of natural resources shall waive the fee required by subsection (b) of this section upon approval of a submitted plan.  An individual manufacturer submitting a plan under this subsection must collect, transport, and recycle a quantity of covered electronic devices equal to the weight of sales of the manufacturer’s covered electronic devices in the state during the previous calendar year multiplied by the state recycling rate.  A group of manufacturers jointly submitting a plan under this subsection shall collect, transport, and recycle the sum of the obligations of each participating individual manufacturer.

(d)  A plan submitted under subsection (c) of this section shall be filed with a manufacturer’s annual registration under subsection (a) of this section.  The plan shall include, at a minimum, the following:

(1)  Methods that the manufacturer will use to collect the covered electronic devices including the name and locations of all collection and consolidation points;

(2)  An estimate of the amount of covered electronic devices that will be collected annually;

(3)  The processes and methods that will be used to recycle recovered covered electronic devices, including a description of the disassembly; physical recovery operation, including crushing, shredding, grinding, and glass-to-glass recycling; other operations that will be used; and the name and location of all facilities that will be utilized to perform the processes and methods set forth under this subdivision;

(4)  Documentation of audits of each processor used in the plan and compliance with processing standards established under section 7212 of this title and applicable rules adopted by the agency;

(5)  A description of the accounting and reporting systems that will be employed to track progress toward fulfilling the plan’s obligation;

(6)  Means that will be utilized to publicize the collection opportunities;

(7)  The intention of the registrant to fulfill its obligation through operation of its own program, either individually or in partnership with other manufacturers; and

(8)  The total weight of covered electronic devices collected, transported, and recycled the previous calendar year.

(e)  If a manufacturer fails to comply with all the conditions and terms of an approved plan as set forth in subsection (d) of this section and the rules adopted under section 7214 of this title, it will be required to pay:

(1)  A fee to the agency of natural resources to cover the cost of collecting, transporting, and recycling the unmet portion of the obligation.  The payment shall be calculated by multiplying the weight of the outstanding portion in pounds by $0.50; and

(2)  A penalty in the form of a payment equal to the cost of collecting, transporting, and recycling 10 percent of the manufacturer’s total obligation.

(f)  A manufacturer that collects, transports, and recycles covered electronic devices in excess of its obligation may sell credits to another registered manufacturer or apply that excess to the recycling obligation of the manufacturer in the following year.

§ 7209.  REIMBURSEMENT FOR COLLECTION, TRANSPORTATION,

              AND RECYCLING

(a)  For covered electronic devices collected for recycling on and after

July 1, 2008, the agency shall pay approved persons for the collection, transportation, and recycling of covered electronic devices upon receipt of a completed and verified invoice submitted to the agency in the form and manner determined by the agency.  The agency shall list on its website all persons approved to collect, transport, and recycle covered electronic devices.

(b)  In order to receive payment, proof will be required that:

(1)  The covered electronic device was collected from a resident of the state after July 1, 2008;

(2)  The collection, transportation, and recycling of the device was conducted in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws; and

(3)  No fees or costs were charged to the consumer from which the covered electronic device was collected.

(c)  The agency of natural resources shall engage in a competitive bidding process for the collection, transportation, and recycling of covered electronic devices.  As part of any contract awarded under this subdivision, the agency shall prohibit the collection of fees or costs from consumers for the collection, transportation, or recycling of covered electronic devices.

§ 7210.  RECOVERY AND RECYCLING; STATEWIDE

              PLAN

(a)  The agency of natural resources shall adopt by rule a statewide management plan for covered electronic devices.  The agency shall update the plan every three years.  The plan shall:

(1)  Establish per-capita collection and recycling goals for covered electronic devices; and

(2)  Identify any necessary state actions to expand collection opportunities for covered electronic devices in order to achieve the per-capita collection and recycling goals. 

§ 7211.  SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT DISTRICT COVERED

              ELECTRONIC DEVICE RECOVERY PLANS

(a)  By July 1, 2007, each solid waste management district in Vermont shall develop and implement a covered electronic device recovery plan as part of its solid waste implementation plan.

(b)  Solid waste management districts shall compensate persons listed as approved by the agency of natural resources for the collection and recycling of covered electronic devices for the reasonable costs associated with these activities.  A reimbursement schedule shall be annually established by the agency of natural resources for this purpose.

(c)  Solid waste management districts shall receive annual payments from the covered electronic device disposal fee fund for the following activities necessary to the development and implementation of the covered electronic device recovery program required by this section:

(1)  Administration of the covered electronic device recovery program;

(2)  Public education and outreach;

(3)  Collection and transportation of covered electronic devices; and

(4)  Recycling of covered electronic devices.

(d)  The agency shall adopt by rule standards for the management of covered electronic devices by solid waste districts. 

§ 7212.  ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS

(a)  A manufacturer, a retailer, a state agency, a municipality, or other person shall recycle covered electronic devices collected in the state in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and shall not export covered electronic devices for disposal in a manner that poses significant risk to public health or the environment.

(b)  The agency shall establish by rule performance standards for collectors, transporters, and recyclers to be eligible to receive funds from the reimbursement under sections 7209 and 7211 of this title.  At a minimum, such rules shall require compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Guidance on Environmentally Sound Management of Electronic Devices.

(c)  The agency shall maintain a website listing all entities and organizations that, as determined by the agency, meet the performance standards established under subsection (b) of this section.

§ 7213.  ENFORCEMENT

The attorney general and the agency are authorized to initiate independent action to enforce any provision of this law, including failure by the manufacturer to remit the fee to the agency.  Money awarded by the court shall be used to offset enforcement expenses.  Money in excess of the enforcement expenses shall be deposited with the agency.

§ 7214.  REGULATORY AUTHORITY

The agency may adopt rules and regulations for the purpose of administering this chapter.

§ 7215.  COVERED ELECTRONIC DEVICE RECOVERY AND

              RECYCLING FUND

A fund to be known as the covered electronic device recovery and recycling fund is created in the state treasury to be expended by the secretary of natural resources in accordance with the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32, except that interest earned on the fund shall be retained in the fund.  The fund shall consist of covered electronic device disposal fees collected under the provisions of this chapter and any monies appropriated by the general assembly to or received by the secretary of natural resources from any other source, public or private, for the implementation of this chapter.

§ 7216.  MULTISTATE IMPLEMENTATION

The agency is authorized to participate in the establishment and implementation of a regional, multistate organization or compact to assist in carrying out the requirements of this chapter.


§ 7217.  ANNUAL REPORT

(a)  Beginning January 15, 2009, the agency of natural resources shall report annually to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy regarding the implementation and success of statewide efforts during the preceding year to recover covered electronic devices.  The report shall include:

(1)  A list of all solid waste management districts that have successfully developed and implemented a covered electronic device recovery plan as part of their solid waste implementation plans;

(2)  The amount of payments the agency has made to solid waste districts implementing covered electronic device recovery plans and the purpose of those payments;

(3)  The total amount of covered electronic devices sold in Vermont in the previous year;

(4)  The total amount of covered electronic devices collected in Vermont in the previous year;

(5)  A summary of progress toward achieving the collection and recycling goals established under section 7210 of this title;

(6)  A listing of all collection sites operating in the state in the prior calendar year, the persons that operate the sites, and the amount of covered electronic devices collected at each site;

(7)  An evaluation of the effectiveness of education and outreach activities by the agency; and

(8)  An evaluation of the existing collection and processing infrastructure.

(b)  The agency shall post the report required by subsection (a) of this section on its website.

§ 7218.  APPEALS

Appeals of any act or decision of the secretary under this subchapter shall be made in accordance with chapter 220 of this title.

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 8003(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The secretary may take action under this chapter to enforce the following statutes:

* * *

(18)  10 V.S.A. chapter 164, relating to comprehensive mercury management;

(19)  10 V.S.A. chapter 165, relating to management of electronic devices.

Sec. 8.  10 V.S.A. § 8503(a) is amended to read:

(a)  This chapter shall govern all appeals of an act or decision of the secretary, excluding enforcement actions under chapters 201 and 211 of this title and rulemaking, under the following authorities and under the rules adopted under those authorities:

(1)  The following provisions of this title:

* * *

(O)  chapter 165 (management of electronic devices).

Sec. 9.  APPROPRIATIONS

The sum of $200,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the agency of natural resources for deposit in the covered electronic device recovery and recycling fund for use in accordance with the purposes of the fund.

Sec. 10.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Unless otherwise specified, this act shall take effect 90 days after the date of enactment.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us