Substitute House Bill No. 6625

Public Act No. 99-228

An Act Concerning Products Containing Mercury and the Universal Waste Rule.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (a) For purposes of this section: "Retailer" means a person who engages in the sale to the general public of items for which a label is required under the regulations adopted under this section; "wholesaler" means a person who engages in the sale of any such item to a retailer; and "manufacturer" means a person who manufactures any such item and sells such item to a retailer or wholesaler.

(b) After the adoption of the regulations authorized by subsection (c) of this section, a manufacturer or wholesaler may not sell for use in this state, and a retailer may not sell, any of the items for which a label is required under the regulations adopted under this section unless the item is labeled to clearly inform the purchaser or consumer that mercury is present in the item and that the item must be properly disposed of or recycled.

(c) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall cooperate with any effort to adopt a proposed label for products containing mercury which effort is undertaken by the New England Governors' Conference and the eastern Canadian premiers who adopted a mercury action plan in June, 1998. If such group agrees to a proposed label, the commissioner, in regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, shall require such label to be affixed to any product sold in this state which the commissioner deems necessary, other than any medication. The purpose of such regulations shall be to facilitate the recycling of such products and to reduce the presence of mercury in the solid waste stream. If said group does not agree to a proposed label on or before January 1, 2001, the commissioner shall propose to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment a plan for the labeling of products containing mercury.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (a) Each manufacturer of electric lamps containing mercury sold in this state, in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, shall provide to any distributor of such lamps written information stating that mercury is contained in such lamps and a description of the laws of this state governing management of spent lamps containing mercury. Each such manufacturer shall provide such information either on each such lamp containing mercury, or in or on the packaging of each such lamp containing mercury, or in a sufficient amount of printed material provided to retailers to allow retailers to make such information available to any consumer purchasing any such lamp containing mercury. Each such manufacturer shall provide to each municipality in this state information regarding the appropriate management of spent lamps containing mercury.

(b) On or before January 1, 2001, the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority shall report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment regarding any changes which said authority has detected in the amount of mercury-containing products in the waste stream over the previous two years.

Sec. 3. (NEW) On or before July 1, 1999, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall publish notice of intent to adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to implement the set of waste management standards for thermostats containing mercury, batteries and pesticides which standards are provided in 40 CFR 273, et seq., as an alternative to regulating such wastes as otherwise provided under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (42 USC 6901 et seq.). The commissioner shall petition the United States Environmental Protection Agency under 40 CFR 273.80, et seq., to include fluorescent lamps in such alternative program of regulation. Such regulations shall further provide for and facilitate the storage of electronic equipment for recycling and the recycling of electronic equipment.

Sec. 4. On or before February 1, 2000, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall provide a report to the Governor and the General Assembly regarding measures to reduce the overall amount of mercury-containing wastes from facilities under the control of the state or municipal governments and household, commercial and industrial sources through source reduction, segregation and safe waste management, including recycling. Such report shall include, but not be limited to, recommendations on the feasibility or effectiveness of (1) measures to eliminate or reduce the use of mercury in medical and consumer products; (2) manufacturer take-back programs for mercury-containing products; (3) the elimination of the use of mercury in science education programs; (4) encouraging the recycling and safe management of existing stocks of elemental mercury; (5) curtailing the sale of elemental mercury to the general public and public education regarding the risks involved with the use of elemental mercury; and (6) implementing a state-wide collection of spent fluorescent lamps, elemental mercury, thermostats, switches, thermometers, button cell batteries and other mercury-containing items from households.

Sec. 5. This act shall take effect from its passage, except that section 2 shall take effect January 1, 2000.

Approved June 29, 1999

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