The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 7116. Mercury-containing thermostats
(a) Manufacturer responsibility. Each thermostat manufacturer that has offered for final sale, sold at final sale, or has distributed mercury-containing thermostats in Vermont shall, individually or collectively:
(1) Not later than October 1, 2008 submit a plan to the Agency for approval that describes a collection and financial incentive program for mercury thermostats. The program contained in this plan shall ensure that the following take place:
(A) That an effective education and outreach program shall be developed and shall be directed toward wholesalers, retailers, contractors, and homeowners. There shall be no cost to thermostat wholesalers or thermostat retailers for education and outreach materials.
(B) That handling and recycling of mercury-containing thermostats are accomplished in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of the universal waste rules adopted by the Secretary.
(C) That containers for mercury-containing thermostat collection are provided to all thermostat wholesalers. The cost to thermostat wholesalers shall be limited to an initial, reasonable one-time fee per container as specified in the plan.
(D) That collection systems are provided to all collection points registered pursuant to subdivision (d)(3) of this section. Collection systems can include individual product mail back or multiple collection containers. The cost to registered collection points shall be limited to an initial, reasonable one-time fee per container as specified in the plan.
(E) That a financial incentive is established with a minimum value of $5.00 for the return of each mercury-containing thermostat to a thermostat wholesaler by a contractor or service technician. The financial incentive shall be in the form of cash or coupons that are redeemable by the contractor or service technician.
(F) That a financial incentive is established with a minimum value of $5.00 to homeowners or nonprofessionals for the return of each mercury-containing thermostat to a collection point registered with the Agency. The financial incentive shall be in the form of cash or in the form of a coupon that can be redeemed for cash from the manufacturer or can be redeemed for a credit toward purchase of general merchandise in the retail location where the thermostat was returned.
(G) Mechanisms to protect against the fraudulent return of thermostats are established.
(2) No later than April 1, 2009, implement a mercury thermostat collection plan approved by the Secretary under subdivision (d)(1) of this section.
(b) Thermostat wholesaler and thermostat retailer responsibilities.
(1) By April 1, 2009, a thermostat wholesaler shall not offer for final sale, sell at final sale, or distribute thermostats unless the wholesaler:
(A) acts as a collection site for thermostats that contain mercury; and
(B) promotes and utilizes the collection containers provided by thermostat manufacturers to facilitate a contractor collection program as established by subsection (a) of this section, and all other tasks as needed to establish and maintain a cost-effective manufacturer collection and financial incentive program.
(2) By April 1, 2009, a thermostat retailer shall not offer for final sale, sell, or distribute thermostats in the State unless the thermostat retailer participates in an education and outreach program to educate consumers on the collection program for mercury thermostats.
(c) Sales prohibition. Beginning April 1, 2009, the following sales prohibitions shall apply to manufacturers, thermostat wholesalers, and thermostat retailers:
(1) A manufacturer not in compliance with this section is prohibited from offering any thermostat for final sale in the State, selling any thermostat at final sale in the State, or distributing any thermostat in the State. A manufacturer not in compliance with this section shall provide the necessary support to thermostat wholesalers and thermostat retailers to ensure the manufacturer's thermostats are not offered for final sale, sold at final sale, or distributed in this State.
(2) A thermostat wholesaler or thermostat retailer shall not offer for final sale, sell at final sale, or distribute in this State any thermostat of a manufacturer that is not in compliance with this section.
(d) Agency responsibilities.
(1) Agency review. Within 60 days of receipt of a complete application from a manufacturer, the Agency shall review and may grant, deny, or approve with modifications a manufacturer plan required by subdivision (a)(1) of this section. The Agency shall not approve a plan unless all elements of subdivision (a)(1) are adequately addressed. In reviewing a plan, the Agency may consider consistency of the plan with collection and financial incentive requirements in other states and consider consistency between manufacturer collection programs. In reviewing plans, the Agency shall ensure that education and outreach programs are uniform and consistent to ensure ease of implementation by thermostat wholesalers and thermostat retailers.
(2) Public review. The Agency shall establish a process under which a plan submitted by a manufacturer is, prior to plan approval, available for public review and comment for 30 days. The Agency shall consult with interested persons, including representatives from thermostat manufacturers, environmental groups, thermostat wholesalers, thermostat retailers, service contractors, municipalities, and solid waste districts.
(3) Registered collection points. The Agency shall maintain and post on the Agency of Natural Resources' website a list of municipalities, solid waste districts, and thermostat retailers who wish to register as collection points for mercury thermostats.
(4) Education and outreach. In conjunction with the educational and outreach programs implemented by manufacturers, the Agency shall conduct an education and outreach program directed toward wholesalers, retailers, contractors, and homeowners to promote the collection of discarded mercury-containing thermostats.
(e) Rate of collection. By July 1, 2010, the Agency shall estimate the number of out-of-service thermostats generated in Vermont on an annual basis, in consultation with interested persons, including representatives from thermostat manufacturers, thermostat wholesalers, thermostat retailers, service contractors, environmental groups, municipalities, and solid waste districts. Beginning July 1, 2011, should collection efforts fail to result in the collection and recycling of at least 65 percent of the out-of-service mercury-containing thermostats in the State, the Agency shall, in consultation with interested persons, require modifications to manufacturers' collection plans in an attempt to improve collection rates in accordance with these goals. (Added 2007, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2011, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 51, eff. May 14, 2012.)