senate Bill S664

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to the collection of mercury containing thermostats

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to environmental conservation
Jan 09, 2013 referred to environmental conservation

S664 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Environmental Conservation
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Add §27-2119, En Con L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S4833A
2009-2010: S7752

S664 - Bill Texts

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Relates to the collection of mercury-containing thermostats.

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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.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   664

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (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.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03384-01-3

S. 664                              2

  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.

S. 664                              3

  (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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