Adopted Legislation Most Frequent Topics Thermometer sales14 School use 6 Novelties 5 Thermostat sales 5 Labeling 5
Presentations May 23 – 25, 2005 Portland, Maine
Phasing Out Mercury Switch Thermostats John James Maine DEP May 23, 2005 John.firstname.lastname@example.org (207) 287-7866
The Problem n Annual consumption of Hg in thermostats is about 20 tons [2001 data] n Thermostats in use in U.S. represent a Hg reservoir of at least 200 tons. n Each year, thermostats containing 10 to 15 tons of mercury are taken out of service. n A small fraction of this mercury [<5%] is known to be recycled
Estimated Annual Consumption of Mercury in Products Total annual consumption = 280 tons
Estimated Mercury Reservoirs in Products Total =1968 tons
n Electronic thermostats: –Do not have mercury switches –Readily available in the marketplace –Equal or superior in performance to mercury switch thermostats –Programmable, allowing energy savings from timed setback –Generally more reliable, longer service life than mercury switch thermostats The Alternative
The Solution n Legislation is the only way to ensure a rapid end to the sale of mercury switch thermostats because: 1.Honeywell enjoys monopoly profits from its round dial, mercury switch thermostat 2.Honeywell is invested in the mercury switch technology; unlikely to change on its own 3.Contractor resistance/homeowner preference
n Connecticut effective July 1, 2004 n Rhode Island effective July 1, 2005 n California, Maine, Oregon, and Vermont effective January 1, 2006 n Michigan effective January 1, 2010 States that have banned the sale of mercury switch thermostats
Options for banning the sale of mercury switch thermostats n Product specific ban targeting thermostats only, e.g.: “Effective ____, a person may not sell or offer to sell a mercury-added thermostat.” n Generic ban targeting all mercury switches, e.g.: “Effective ____, a person may not sell or offer to sell a mercury switch individually or as a product component.” n Generic ban targeting products based on Hg amount: “Effective ____, a person may not sell or offer to sell a product containing more than one gram of mercury.”
Is exemption language needed? n Most states with thermostat bans authorize exemptions if the manufacturer shows: 1.Hg thermostats provide a net benefit to public health or the environment; and 2.A collection system is in place to ensure the thermostats do not end up the trash. n Manufacturers have been denied exemptions in Connecticut (Nov 2003) and Maine (Aug 2004). n Maine Board of Environmental Protection unanimously upheld the exemption denial in a deliberate, 27-page decision (May 2005).
Thermostats for the blind n Maine law provides: After January 1, 2006, a person may not sell … a mercury-added thermostat except for a thermostat used by a blind or visually impaired person. n This language has proven unnecessary. n Affordable, non-mercury thermostats adapted or adaptable for use by the blind are readily available. n Affordable, non-mercury thermostats adapted or adaptable for use by the blind are readily available.
Thermostat take-back in Maine n Manufacturer run TRC collection program captured about 1000 thermostats in 2004, 5% of estimated number available for collection. n To improve collection numbers, Maine’s thermostat take-back law was amended to require thermostat wholesalers to participate in the TRC program [see PL 2003, c. 640, eff. July 30, 2004] n About 70 wholesalers are subject to this requirement and have been provided with collection bins.
Possible amendment to Maine’s thermostat take-back law n We are considering amending Maine law to read: A manufacturer of thermostats that contain mercury or a manufacturer of thermostats that may replace thermostats that contain mercury shall … provide incentives for and sufficient information to purchasers and consumers of the thermostats for the purchasers or consumers to ensure that mercury in thermostats being removed from service is reused, recycled recycled or otherwise [kept out of solid waste or wastewater]. A manufacturer that has complied with this subsection is not liable for improper disposal by purchasers or consumers of thermostats. Manufacturer collection programs conducted in accordance with universal waste rules adopted by the department meet the requirements of this subsection provided the programs capture a substantial percentage of the waste mercury thermostats available for collection, as determined by the department in consultation with the Mercury Products Advisory Committee. n Rationale: Manufacturers argue that the current language requires only that they make a program available; they are under no obligation to help ensure the service is used.
References / Resources n North American HVAC Thermostat and Temperature Control Markets, Frost & Sullivan (May, 2000) n A Review of Thermostat Energy Efficiency and Pricing, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production (May 2003) n Eco Manufacturing, LLC v. Honeywell International, S. D. Ind., June 2003 n A Plan to Improve the Collection of Mercury Thermostats, Maine Department of Environment (January 2004) n Findings of Fact and Order re: Appeal of Department Decision Denying Request for Exemption from the Prohibition on Sale of Mercury Thermostats, Maine Board of Environmental Protection (May 2004)
Presentations May 23 – 25, 2005 Portland, Maine
Implementing Connecticut’s Mercury Products Law Breaking New Ground Tom Metzner Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection email@example.com Mercury Conference Portland, Maine May 22, 2005
Mercury Reduction and Education Act Based on regional model developed by NEWMOA states Signed into law June 2002 Sections 22a-612 to 22a-625 of the Connecticut general statutes http://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/pub/Chap446m.htm http://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/pub/Chap446m.htm
Major Provisions Notification Product Phase out Labeling Collection Plan Dental Best Management Practices Specific Product Bans
Notification - Requirements Manufacturers of products containing mercury must notify the state or regional clearinghouse: Amount of mercury in a single product Purpose of mercury in the product Total mercury used in the product
Notification - Implementation Forms submitted to Interstate Clearinghouse for review and approval Challenges Tracking down non-notifiers Incomplete information Dealing with Confidential Business Information submissions Products that change frequently (e.g. cars)
Product Phase out – Requirements No mercury product with more than 1 gram (fabricated product) or 250 ppm (formulated product) may be offered for sale or distribution after July 1, 2004 No mercury product with more than 100 mg or 50 ppm may be offered for sale or distribution after July 1, 2006
Product Phase out - Implementation Exemption applications reviewed through IMERC (ME, RI, IL, CT) When considering an exemption : Is there a feasible alternative? Reasonable cost? Is the product necessary to protect human health or safety? Research alternatives using the internet, interview manufacturers, generators, Maine report on alternatives to mercury products
Product Phase out - Implementation Phase-out exemptions granted for: Flame sensors Certain mercury reagents Anti lock sensors (replacement only) Certain wetted relays (replacement parts only)
Product Phase out - Implementation Phase-out exemptions denied for: Thermostats Pressure switches Certain mercury reagents Float switches Considering other requests for specialty switches Granting exemption for component versus product
Labeling - Requirements Labeling of component, product and either the package or care and use manual Labels on packaging shall be clearly visible prior to sale and inform purchaser that product contains mercury and shall be disposed of properly If purchaser is unable to view the product before the sale, then the seller must inform them of mercury content.
Labeling Requirements (cont.) Specific requirements/alternatives for auto manufacturers, button cell batteries, fluorescent light manufacturers and medical equipment Manufacturers do not need to submit a plan unless it is a proposed alternative Person who sells mercury lamps to property manager must inform them in writing of mercury content and proper management. Law allows for an alternative if compliance not feasible and alternative is equally effective
Labeling - Implementation Review alternative plans with IMERC Some CT specific alternatives To grant an alternative: Not feasible to label as required Alternative must be equally effective in providing presale notification Granted CT alternative for watches (no product or packaging labeling for high end watches)
Collection Plans - Requirements Manufacturer needs to submit a plan for the reasonable collection of their product Cost of the plan shall not be borne by state or local government Plan must be evaluated every two years Exemptions for products consumed in use, lamp manufacturers, film, component is not feasibly removable by the purchaser or Commissioner deems not feasible
Collection Plans - Implementation Few collection plans submitted – reviewed through IMERC Collection plans approved for: HID headlamps Watch batteries Exemption denied for projector lamps, button cell batteries Exemption granted for lanterns, flashlights
Dental Best Management Practices Requirements The Department shall develop best management practices Dental Schools need to submit plans to follow best management practices
Dental Best Management Practices Implementation Department developed BMPs for amalgam – Including installation of separators Worked with Connecticut State Dental Association to develop BMPs. Dentists submitted self certification forms indicating they are following the BMPS 70% of certification forms returned to date Received plans from all state dental schools including vocational schools – all plans approved
Specific Product Bans - Requirements Ban on sale of: Novelties Dairy manometers Fever thermometers
Specific Product Bans - Implementation Monitor stores for sales – No reports of violations of fever thermometer or dairy manometer sales ban. Attorney General threatened to sue Kellogg’s over Spiderman novelty. DEP Commissioner, Enviro group, AG did press release in December 2004 on stores selling novelties (Button cell batteries).
Specific Product Bans – Implementation (cont) Develop enforcement strategy for violators. Resolve issue of “zero-added mercury battery”. Continue to monitor sales of novelties.
Implementation Challenges Being first with phase-out deadlines – no precedent to rely upon. Understanding complex products using mercury and alternatives. No definition of “feasible” (phase out, labeling and collection plans) Lack of awareness of law among manufacturers.
Implementation Successes Amalgam separators in place. Many mercury products no longer offered for sale in Connecticut. Manufacturers accelerating R&D in search for mercury-free alternatives. Increased awareness of mercury content of products and need to recycle by general public.
Onward and Upward Establish enforcement protocol in coordination with IMERC. Next level of product phase out set for July 06, exemption applications due July 1, 05. Follow up with dentists who have not certified. Letter to notifiers subject to phase out to inform them of requirements. Review collection plan evaluations.