Establishes a program to provide information to consumers concerning household hazardous products; such information to be available at the point of retail sale by labels and pamphlets; provides such information should disclose hazards and inform people of environmentally safer alternatives; provides for the establishment of a hazardous product list by the department of environmental conservation.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to retail shelf labeling of household hazardous products and related consumer information
PURPOSE: To inform consumers about which household products are hazardous; and to provide information about safe disposal of such products and environmentally safer alternatives. Such information shall be provided at the point of retail selection.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The household hazardous waste shelf labeling law would require all retailers to place hazardous waste stickers or labels on the shelf displaying any products that contain hazardous chemicals. The labels would alert consumers that such products contain hazardous substances. The law would also require the Department of Environmental Conservation to prepare pamphlets that describe how to safely dispose of such household products and information about environmentally safer alternatives. Retailers would then be required to display such pamphlets in the vicinity of the household hazardous products.
The bill requires the Department to promulgate a list of hazardous chemicals which if contained in a household product at a concentration at or above one percent shall cause the product to be subject to the shelf labeling law. The bill also provides for the Department to establish an exemption procedure for a product that falls within a product category but that does not contain hazardous ingredients. The product manufacturer shall be responsible for obtaining the exemption.
JUSTIFICATION: Many products that are used routinely by consumers in their households contain the same toxic, explosive, and corrosive chemicals also found in high volume, commercial and industrial by-products and wastes. Federal and state laws require industrial and commercial generators of hazardous substances and wastes to track the hazardous chemicals they use and to dispose of them at specially equipped landfills and incinerators. But similar regulations and safeguards are not applied to hazardous wastes generated by households.
Products commonly used in households that contain hazardous substances include pesticides, fertilizers, paint thinners, cleaning fluids, drain openers, and various automotive chemicals. One study found that the average U.S. household may have from three to ten gallons of unwanted, leftover hazardous chemicals stored unsafely at their residence. Additionally, there are few sound disposal methods currently available for even the most aware consumer. Consequently, most, if not all, of those hazardous wastes end up buried in a landfill or flowing through municipal sewage treatment plants that
are not equipped to remove or detoxify them. Current disposal practices pose dangers as home fire hazards and as occupational hazards to sanitation workers. Moreover, household hazardous wastes are suspected of contaminating groundwater through leaking landfills, and surface waters through discharges from poorly equipped sewage treatment plants. The remediation of such contamination is often very costly to the community and the State.
Around the nation, local and state governments have responded by spending heavily on collective drives to keep household users from simply pouring leftover products down the drain or tossing them into the trash can. Such drives are costly and not necessarily effective because they are typically held irregularly and infrequently. Furthermore, questions surrounding municipal liability for such programs have caused many communities to cancel or forego household hazardous waste collection days.
The reduction of the use of household hazardous products is a more economical and efficient approach than collection drives. Voluntary choices by informed consumers will substantially reduce the generation of household hazardous wastes and prevent improper disposal. Information indicating that a household product is hazardous shall be readily displayed by retailers on product shelves through the use of shelf labels. Information about disposal and environmentally safer alternatives shall be contained in brochures to be displayed nearby. By providing adequate consumer information at the point of retail selection, the amount of household hazardous wastes entering the waste stream and contaminating the environment will be significantly reduced. This is because most citizens will voluntarily choose to protect the environment and not pollute it.
A similar law has existed in the State of Vermont since 1990.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: There will be a cost to the State for program administration and for informational pamphlets.
PRIOR LEGISLATION: 1999/00 A.6862 S.2799; 2001/02 A.850 - S.4080; 2003/04 A.1952/S.643; 2005/06 A.6526 - S.1059 2009/10 A.6431 - Referred to Environmental Conservation; S.2066 Referred to Environmental Conservation
EFFECTIVE DATE: One year from date of enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3130 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 9, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. HUNTLEY, ADAMS, DIAZ, SAVINO, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to retail shelf labeling of household hazardous products and related consumer information THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Article 37 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new title 4 to read as follows: TITLE IV HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS; CONSUMER INFORMATION SECTION 37-0401. HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS; CONSUMER INFORMATION. S 37-0401. HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS; CONSUMER INFORMATION. 1. TO THE EXTENT FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL, IN CONSUL- TATION WITH NEW YORK RETAILERS AND PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS, ESTABLISH A PROGRAM TO: A. PROVIDE INFORMATION TO RETAILERS WITH RESPECT TO THE HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS SPECIFIED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION AND ENVIRON- MENTALLY SAFER ALTERNATIVES TO THOSE PRODUCTS; B. PROVIDE LABELS FOR RETAIL USE WITH RESPECT TO THE HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS; C. PROVIDE PAMPHLETS FOR CONSUMERS, TO BE MADE AVAILABLE BY RETAILERS AT THE POINT OF SALE, DESCRIBING THE TOXICITY OF THESE HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS, SAFER DISPOSAL METHODS, AND ALTERNATIVE PRODUCTS WHICH ARE ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFER; AND D. REQUIRE THAT RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS DISPLAY THESE LABELS AND PAMPHLETS ON SHELVES, OR IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS, WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION. 2. "HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS" FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION ARE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02471-01-1 S. 3130 2
A. AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCTS INCLUDING MOTOR OIL, TRANSMISSION FLUID, ENGINE LUBRICANTS AND CLEANERS, OIL, AND TRANSMISSION FLUID ADDITIVES, GASOLINE ADDITIVES, GAS LINE FREEZE-UP PRODUCTS, ANTIFREEZE, AND WINDSHIELD WIPER SOLUTIONS; B. SHOE POLISHES, FLOOR WAXES, CAR WAXES, FURNITURE POLISHES, SPRAY DUST CLEANERS, FURNITURE STAINS AND WOOD PRESERVATIVES; C. MINERAL SPIRITS, TURPENTINE, ALCOHOLS NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, CRESOL, AND NAPHTHA; D. PAINTS, WHETHER FOR BRUSH OR SPRAY APPLICATION, AEROSOL PAINTS, LACQUERS, AND THINNERS (EXCEPT WATER); E. DRAIN CLEANERS, SINK AND TOILET BOWL CLEANERS, AND OVEN CLEANERS; F. SPOT AND STAIN REMOVERS WITH PETROLEUM BASE; G. PETROLEUM BASED FERTILIZERS SOLD FOR RESIDENTIAL APPLICATION; H. PESTICIDES SOLD FOR RESIDENTIAL APPLICATION; AND I. LEAD-ACID BATTERIES, SWIMMING POOL CHEMICALS, PHOTOGRAPHIC CHEMI- CALS, MOST GLUES AND ADHESIVES, SELF-LIGHTING CHARCOAL, CHARCOAL LIGHT- ER, BUTANE LIGHTERS, AND ALL AEROSOLS (EXCEPT PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS). 3. THE DEPARTMENT MAY, BY REGULATION, ADD TO OR DELETE FROM THE LIST ESTABLISHED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION, AS DEEMED APPROPRIATE. SIMILARLY, THE DEPARTMENT MAY DELETE FROM THE LIST SPECIFIC PRODUCTS THAT DO NOT CONTAIN A HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL IN CONCENTRATION AT OR ABOVE ONE PERCENT. A HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL, FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, SHALL BE CONSISTENT WITH HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS LISTED IN REGULATIONS PROMULGATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 9 OF ARTICLE 27 OF THIS CHAPTER. A PRODUCT MANUFACTURER OF ANY PRODUCT LISTED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION MAY PETITION THE DEPARTMENT FOR AN EXEMPTION IF THE PRODUCT DOES NOT CONTAIN A HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL IN CONCENTRATION AT OR ABOVE ONE PERCENT. S 2. This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a law, provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amend- ment and/or repeal of any rules or regulations necessary for the imple- mentation of the foregoing section of this act on its effective date is authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.