Summary: H.R.2024 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (04/23/1996)


Title I: Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act

Title II: Mercury-Containing Battery Management Act

Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act - Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a program to provide information on the proper handling and disposal of used regulated batteries and rechargeable consumer products with nonremovable batteries.

Defines a "regulated battery" as a rechargeable battery that contains a cadmium or lead electrode or contains other electrode chemistries and is the subject of a specified determination by the Administrator.

Establishes civil penalties for violations of this Act. Prohibits enforcement actions for the sale or offering for sale or promotional purposes to the final consumer of an unmodified battery or product that is purchased ready for final sale, except with respect to an importer who has knowledge of the chemical contents of the battery when such contents make the sale or offering of the battery unlawful under title II of this Act.

Sets forth recordkeeping requirements and establishes access authorities for the Administrator.

Authorizes appropriations.

Title I: Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act - Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act - Prohibits any person from selling for use in the United States a regulated battery or a rechargeable consumer product ready for retail sale and manufactured on or after 12 months after this Act's enactment date unless the labeling requirements of this Act are met and the battery is easily removable from the product or is sold separately. Sets forth labeling requirements, including that the label contain a statement that the battery must be recycled or disposed of properly.

Authorizes the Administrator, upon determining that other rechargeable batteries having electrode chemistries different from regulated batteries are toxic and may cause substantial harm if discarded for land disposal or incineration, to promulgate requirements for: (1) labeling such batteries and related products; and (2) easy removability of regulated batteries from rechargeable consumer products designed to contain such batteries.

Provides for exemptions from this Act's requirements under certain conditions.

Subjects the collection, storage, or transportation of used rechargeable batteries, certain batteries excluded from the definition of "rechargeable battery" under this Act, mercury-containing batteries, and used rechargeable consumer products containing rechargeable batteries that are easily removable, notwithstanding State or local laws, to certain EPA regulations promulgated on May 11, 1995, regarding management of hazardous wastes known as "universal" waste, except that: (1) States may implement such requirements if they are identical and the State provides enforcement; (2) the requirements of regulations (and equivalent State provisions) regarding rulemaking petitions, additional regulation of spent lead-acid batteries that are being reclaimed, and procedures for case-by-case regulation of such batteries shall not apply; and (3) these requirements shall not apply to any lead-acid battery managed under the reclamation regulations or equivalent State provisions. Subjects persons who fail to comply with these requirements to enforcement under applicable provisions of the Solid Waste Disposal Act.

Title II: Mercury-Containing Battery Management Act - Mercury-Containing Battery Management Act - Prohibits the sale or offering for sale or promotional purposes of: (1) alkaline-manganese batteries manufactured on or after the date of enactment of this Act with a mercury content that was intentionally introduced (limits the content in alkaline-manganese button cells to 25 milligrams of mercury per button cell); (2) zinc carbon batteries manufactured on or after the date of enactment of this Act that contain mercury that was intentionally introduced; (3) button cell mercuric-oxide batteries for use in the United States on or after the date of enactment of this Act; and (4) any mercuric-oxide battery on or after the date of enactment of this Act unless the manufacturer identifies a collection site that has all required Federal, State, and local government approvals, to which persons may send such batteries for recycling or disposal and informs its purchasers of such site and of a telephone number to get information about sending such batteries for recycling or disposal.

Authorizes the Administrator, upon the petition of a person that proposes a new use for a battery technology or the use of a battery described in this title in a new product, to exempt such new use or product from this title if there exist safeguards to ensure that the battery or product will not be disposed of in an incinerator, composting facility, or landfill (other than a facility regulated under subtitle C of the Solid Waste Disposal Act).