Bill S664-2013

Relates to the collection of mercury containing thermostats

Relates to the collection of mercury-containing thermostats.

Details

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S664

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to the collection of mercury containing thermostats

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

The purpose of this bill is to encourage the safe collection of mercury-containing thermostats.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

This bill would: require thermostat manufacturers, no later than June 1, 2016, to submit a plan to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) establishing a collection program for out-of-service thermostats. The collection program, to be offered free of cost to contractors, service technicians and homeowners, would include, but not be limited to:

o An education and outreach program directed to retailers, contractors and homeowners o The distribution of containers for mercury-containing thermostats; o Measures to protect against the fraudulent return of mercury-containing thermostats o Criteria to encourage the purchase of mercury-free thermostats o Criteria to ensure that the capture rate of out-of-service mercury thermostats is maximized o Require manufacturers to implement their plans not later than December 1, 2016

By June 2017, and annually thereafter, manufacturers would be required to submit a report to DEC identifying:

o the number of thermostats collected; o the estimated total amount of mercury in the thermostats; o an evaluation of the program's effectiveness; and o an accounting of the administrative costs incurred.

DEC would be required to:

o grant, deny or approve manufacturer collection plans within 90 days of submission; o maintain a list of mercury-containing thermostat collection points; o conduct education and outreach; o issue annual reports on its website · provide estimate, by January 15, 2017, the number of out-of-service thermostats generated in New York on an annual basis

DEC may require the modification of manufacturer's plans, including the implementation of a financial collection incentive, to result in the collection and recycling of at least 25 percent of the out-of-service mercury-containing thermostats statewide.

Beginning June 1, 2020, if collection efforts fail to result in the collection and recycling of at least 65 percent of the out-of-service mercury-containing thermostats statewide, then DEC shall require the modification of manufacturer plans, including the implementation of a financial collection incentive of cash or coupons between $5 and $10 that are redeemable by contractors or homeowners.

Beginning January 15, 2023, DEC may adopt regulations setting forth future collection costs.

JUSTIFICATION:

Mercury has been shown to impair brain development The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 300,000 and 630,000 infants each year are born in the United States with mercury levels high enough to be associated with IQ loss. Each year, more than two million mercury-containing thermostats are discarded. Most states now ban the sale of new mercury containing thermostats, but despite disposal limitations, only a very small percentage of old thermostats are collected and recycled. The remainder enters the waste stream and poses the potential to pollute the environment. This bill would protect the environment and public health by requiring the establishment of a program to collect mercury containing thermostats, ensuring they do not go on to cause harm to the public and the environment.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S.4833-A 2011-12: A.3485 (Sweeney) (title/dates different than S4833-A) (Passed Assembly) 2009-10: S.7752 (Thompson)/A.10160-B (Sweeney)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 664 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- 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 the collection of mercury containing thermostats THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new section 27-2119 to read as follows: S 27-2119. MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTAT COLLECTION PROGRAM. 1. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION: (A) "MANUFACTURER" MEANS THE ENTITY THAT OWNS A NAME BRAND OF MERCU- RY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS. (B) "MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTAT" MEANS A PRODUCT OR DEVICE THAT USES A MERCURY SWITCH TO SENSE AND CONTROL ROOM TEMPERATURE THROUGH COMMUNICATION WITH HEATING, VENTILATING, OR AIR-CONDITIONING EQUIPMENT. "MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTAT" INCLUDES THERMOSTATS USED TO SENSE AND CONTROL ROOM TEMPERATURE IN RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL AND OTHER BUILDINGS BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE A THERMOSTAT USED TO SENSE AND CONTROL TEMPERATURE AS PART OF A MANUFACTURING PROCESS. (C) "THERMOSTAT RETAILER" MEANS ANY INDIVIDUAL, CORPORATION, PARTNER- SHIP, COOPERATIVE, ASSOCIATION, FIRM, OR OTHER ENTITY THAT SELLS THERMO- STATS OF ANY KIND DIRECTLY TO HOMEOWNERS OR OTHER NONPROFESSIONALS THROUGH ANY SELLING OR DISTRIBUTION MECHANISM, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO SALES USING THE INTERNET OR CATALOGUES. A RETAILER MAY ALSO BE A WHOLESALER IF IT MEETS THE DEFINITION OF A WHOLESALER. (D) "THERMOSTAT WHOLESALER" MEANS ANY INDIVIDUAL, CORPORATION, PART- NERSHIP, COOPERATIVE, ASSOCIATION, FIRM, OR OTHER ENTITY THAT IS ENGAGED PRIMARILY IN THE DISTRIBUTION AND WHOLESALE OF HEATING, VENTILATION, AND AIR-CONDITIONING COMPONENTS TO CONTRACTORS WHO INSTALL HEATING, VENTI- LATION, AND AIR-CONDITIONING COMPONENTS.
2. MANUFACTURER RESPONSIBILITIES. (A) EACH MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMO- STAT MANUFACTURER THAT HAS OFFERED FOR FINAL SALE, SOLD AT FINAL SALE, OR HAS DISTRIBUTED MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS IN NEW YORK SHALL, INDIVIDUALLY OR COLLECTIVELY, AND NOT LATER THAN JUNE FIRST, TWO THOU- SAND SIXTEEN, SUBMIT A PLAN TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR APPROVAL THAT DESCRIBES A COLLECTION PROGRAM FOR OUT-OF-SERVICE MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS FROM CONTRACTORS, SERVICE TECHNICIANS AND HOMEOWNERS. THE COLLECTION PROGRAM SHALL NOT INVOLVE ANY DIRECT COST TO CONTRACTORS, SERVICE TECHNICIANS OR HOMEOWNERS FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM. THE COLLECTION PROGRAM MAY INCLUDE A FINANCIAL INCENTIVE FOR THE RETURN OF EACH MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTAT IN THE FORM OF CASH OR COUPONS THAT ARE REDEEMABLE BY CONTRACTORS AND/OR HOMEOWNERS. THE COLLECTION PROGRAM SHALL AT A MINIMUM INCLUDE: (I) AN EDUCATION AND OUTREACH PROGRAM DIRECTED TOWARD WHOLESALERS, RETAILERS, CONTRACTORS AND HOMEOWNERS. SUCH PROGRAM SHALL BE CONDUCTED AT NO COST TO SUCH ENTITIES. (II) THE DISTRIBUTION OF CONTAINERS FOR MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTAT COLLECTION. COLLECTION METHODS MAY INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, INDIVIDUAL PRODUCT MAIL RETURN AND/OR MULTIPLE COLLECTION CONTAINERS AND COLLECTION SITES LOCATED AT THERMOSTAT RETAILERS, THERMOSTAT WHOLE- SALERS, MUNICIPALITIES FOR COLLECTION AT HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION FACILITIES OR HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE EVENTS. (III) MEASURES TO PROTECT AGAINST THE FRAUDULENT RETURN OF MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS. (IV) CRITERIA TO ENCOURAGE THE PURCHASE OF MERCURY-FREE PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTATS QUALIFIED BY THE ENERGY STAR PROGRAM AS REPLACEMENTS FOR MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS. (V) CRITERIA TO ENSURE THAT THE CAPTURE RATE OF OUT-OF-SERVICE MERCURY THERMOSTATS IS MAXIMIZED AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COLLECTION GOAL. (B) NOT LATER THAN DECEMBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN, MANUFACTURERS OF MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS SHALL IMPLEMENT THE COLLECTION PROGRAM OUTLINED IN THEIR PLAN. (C) BEGINNING JUNE FIRST, TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN, AND ANNUALLY THERE- AFTER, EACH MANUFACTURER OF MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS SHALL SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE DEPARTMENT THAT INCLUDES, AT A MINIMUM, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION: (I) THE NUMBER OF MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS COLLECTED AND RECY- CLED BY THE MANUFACTURER DURING THE PREVIOUS CALENDAR YEAR. (II) THE ESTIMATED TOTAL AMOUNT OF MERCURY CONTAINED IN THE THERMOSTAT COMPONENTS COLLECTED BY THAT MANUFACTURER IN THE PREVIOUS CALENDAR YEAR. (III) AN EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE MANUFACTURER'S COLLECTION PROGRAM AND ANY FINANCIAL INCENTIVES. (IV) AN ACCOUNTING OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS INCURRED IN THE COURSE OF ADMINISTERING THE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING PROGRAM AND ANY FINANCIAL INCENTIVE PLAN. 3. DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBILITIES. (A) WITHIN NINETY DAYS OF RECEIPT OF A COMPLETE MANUFACTURER PLAN REQUIRED BY SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL REVIEW AND MAY GRANT, DENY OR APPROVE WITH MODIFI- CATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOT APPROVE A PLAN UNLESS ALL ELEMENTS OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION ARE ADEQUATELY ADDRESSED. IN REVIEWING A PLAN, THE DEPARTMENT MAY CONSIDER CONSISTENCY OF THE PLAN WITH COLLECTION IN OTHER STATES AND CONSIDER CONSISTENCY BETWEEN MANUFACTURER PROGRAMS. IN REVIEWING PLANS, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ENSURE THAT EDUCATION AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS ARE UNIFORM AND CONSISTENT TO ENSURE EASE OF IMPLEMENTATION.
(B) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL MAINTAIN AND POST ON ITS WEBSITE A LIST OF ENTITIES AND LOCATIONS THAT SERVE AS COLLECTION POINTS FOR MERCURY-CON- TAINING THERMOSTATS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO MUNICIPALITIES AND THERMOSTAT RETAILERS AND THERMOSTAT WHOLESALERS. (C) IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE EDUCATIONAL AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS IMPLE- MENTED BY MANUFACTURERS, THE DEPARTMENT MAY CONDUCT AN EDUCATION AND OUTREACH PROGRAM DIRECTED AT WHOLESALERS, RETAILERS, CONTRACTORS, AND HOMEOWNERS TO PROMOTE THE COLLECTION OF DISCARDED MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS. (D) BY DECEMBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN, AND ANNUALLY THEREAFT- ER, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL POST A REPORT ON ITS WEBSITE DETAILING THE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING OF MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS IN THE STATE. SUCH REPORT SHALL INCLUDE AN EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE THERMOSTAT COLLECTION AND RECYCLING PROGRAMS, AND INFORMATION ON ACTUAL COLLECTION RATES. (E) BY JANUARY FIFTEENTH, TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN, AND ANNUALLY THERE- AFTER, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTIMATE THE NUMBER OF OUT-OF-SERVICE THER- MOSTATS GENERATED IN NEW YORK ON AN ANNUAL BASIS. BEGINNING JUNE FIRST, TWO THOUSAND EIGHTEEN, SHOULD COLLECTION EFFORTS FAIL TO RESULT IN THE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING OF AT LEAST TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE OUT-OF- SERVICE MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS IN THE STATE, THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE MODIFICATION TO MANUFACTURERS' COLLECTION PLANS TO IMPROVE COLLECTION RATES INCLUDING A REQUIREMENT TO IMPLEMENT A FINANCIAL INCEN- TIVE IN THE FORM OF CASH OR COUPONS NOT LESS THAN FIVE DOLLARS OR NOT GREATER THAN TEN DOLLARS THAT ARE REDEEMABLE BY CONTRACTORS AND/OR HOME- OWNERS. BEGINNING JUNE FIRST, TWO THOUSAND TWENTY, SHOULD COLLECTION EFFORTS FAIL TO RESULT IN THE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING OF AT LEAST SIXTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE OUT-OF-SERVICE MERCURY-CONTAINING THERMOSTATS IN THE STATE, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL REQUIRE MODIFICATION TO MANUFACTUR- ERS' COLLECTION PLANS TO INCLUDE A FINANCIAL INCENTIVE IN THE FORM OF CASH OR COUPONS NOT LESS THAN FIVE DOLLARS OR GREATER THAN TEN DOLLARS THAT ARE REDEEMABLE BY CONTRACTORS AND/OR HOMEOWNERS. BEGINNING JANUARY FIFTEENTH, TWO THOUSAND TWENTY-THREE, THE DEPARTMENT MAY ADOPT REGU- LATIONS SETTING FORTH FUTURE COLLECTION GOALS. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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