Act No. 36 (S.34). Conservation and development; solid waste; mercury management; mercury lamps
This act requires a manufacturer of mercury-containing lamps to implement, on or before July 1, 2012, a plan to collect mercury-containing lamps for disposal. If a manufacturer fails to implement an agency of natural resources-(ANR) approved collection plan on or before July 1, 2012, the manufacturer and retailers shall be prohibited from selling mercury-containing lamps in the state, except that a retailer may sell inventory acquired before July 1, 2012 or before expiration or revocation of a collection plan. The act allows a stewardship organization with membership that represents at least 45 percent of the market share of mercury-containing lamps sold in the state to assume the responsibilities, obligations, and liabilities of multiple manufacturers of mercury-containing lamps if the organization does not create unreasonable barriers to participation and maintains a website listing all manufacturers and brands covered by the organization's approved plan. The act requires a manufacturer or stewardship organization to report to ANR annually regarding implementation of an approved collection plan and to have the collection plan audited once every five years to determine the effectiveness of the plan. In addition, the act requires a manufacturer or stewardship organization to pay an annual fee of $2,000.00 for operation under an approved collection.
In order to be approved by ANR, a collection plan submitted by a manufacturer or a stewardship organization must provide free collection of mercury-containing lamps from any person who presents to an approved collection facility: any number of compact fluorescent mercury-containing lamps or 10 or fewer mercury containing lamps that are not compact fluorescent lamps. All municipal collection locations and all retailers that sell mercury-containing lamps must be allowed to opt to be a collection facility under a plan. At a minimum, a collection plan shall provide not less than two collection facilities in each county. The collection plan shall include an education and outreach program regarding the availability and location of free collection and special handling considerations for mercury-containing lamps. An approved collection plan shall have a term not to exceed five years.
The act requires ANR to approve or deny a collection plan submitted by a manufacturer or stewardship organization. ANR may also require amendment of a collection plan. ANR shall establish a public input process for approval of a new or amended collection plan. The act requires ANR to approve or deny a registration of a stewardship organization. ANR may adopt special handling requirements for mercury-containing lamps and shall post all approved manufacturers and manufacturers' brands for the agency's website.
In addition, beginning January 1, 2013, a mercury-containing lamp sold in Vermont shall satisfy the mercury-content standards for lamps set by California. ANR may adopt rules to implement the mercury-containing lamp collection requirements, and such rules may include exemptions from the mercury-content standards. The act also authorizes ANR or a retailer to request from a manufacturer a certification that the manufacturer's lamps satisfy the mercury-content standards.
The act also reenacts statutory operational standards for automobile salvage yards until ANR adopts operational standards by rule.
Effective Date: May 19, 2011