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

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Public Law No: 104-142 (05/13/1996)

 
[104th Congress Public Law 142]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ142.104]


[[Page 110 STAT. 1329]]

Public Law 104-142
104th Congress

                                 An Act


 
    To phase out the use of mercury in batteries and provide for the 
efficient and cost-effective collection and recycling or proper disposal 
of used nickel cadmium batteries, small sealed lead-acid batteries, and 
    certain other batteries, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: May 13, 
                         1996 -  [H.R. 2024]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Mercury-Containing and 
Rechargeable Battery Management Act.>>  assembled,

SECTION 1. <<NOTE: Environmental protection. 42 USC 14301 note.>>  SHORT 
            TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable 
Battery Management Act''.

SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14301.>>  FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--
            (1) it is in the public interest to--
                    (A) phase out the use of mercury in batteries and 
                provide for the efficient and cost-effective collection 
                and recycling or proper disposal of used nickel cadmium 
                batteries, small sealed lead-acid batteries, and other 
                regulated batteries; and
                    (B) educate the public concerning the collection, 
                recycling, and proper disposal of such batteries;
            (2) uniform national labeling requirements for regulated 
        batteries, rechargeable consumer products, and product packaging 
        will significantly benefit programs for regulated battery 
        collection and recycling or proper disposal; and
            (3) it is in the public interest to encourage persons who 
        use rechargeable batteries to participate in collection for 
        recycling of used nickel-cadmium, small sealed lead-acid, and 
        other regulated batteries.

SEC. 3. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14302.>>  DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act:
            (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
            (2) Button cell.--The term ``button cell'' means a button- 
        or coin-shaped battery.
            (3) Easily removable.--The term ``easily removable'', with 
        respect to a battery, means detachable or removable at the end 
        of the life of the battery--
                    (A) from a consumer product by a consumer with the 
                use of common household tools; or
                    (B) by a retailer of replacements for a battery used 
                as the principal electrical power source for a vehicle.

[[Page 110 STAT. 1330]]

            (4) Mercuric-oxide battery.--The term ``mercuric-oxide 
        battery'' means a battery that uses a mercuric-oxide electrode.
            (5) Rechargeable battery.--The term ``rechargeable 
        battery''--
                    (A) means 1 or more voltaic or galvanic cells, 
                electrically connected to produce electric energy, that 
                is designed to be recharged for repeated uses; and
                    (B) includes any type of enclosed device or sealed 
                container consisting of 1 or more such cells, including 
                what is commonly called a battery pack (and in the case 
                of a battery pack, for the purposes of the requirements 
                of easy removability and labeling under section 103, 
                means the battery pack as a whole rather than each 
                component individually); but
                    (C) does not include--
                          (i) a lead-acid battery used to start an 
                      internal combustion engine or as the principal 
                      electrical power source for a vehicle, such as an 
                      automobile, a truck, construction equipment, a 
                      motorcycle, a garden tractor, a golf cart, a 
                      wheelchair, or a boat;
                          (ii) a lead-acid battery used for load 
                      leveling or for storage of electricity generated 
                      by an alternative energy source, such as a solar 
                      cell or wind-driven generator;
                          (iii) a battery used as a backup power source 
                      for memory or program instruction storage, 
                      timekeeping, or any similar purpose that requires 
                      uninterrupted electrical power in order to 
                      function if the primary energy supply fails or 
                      fluctuates momentarily; or
                          (iv) a rechargeable alkaline battery.
            (6) Rechargeable consumer product.--The term ``rechargeable 
        consumer product''--
                    (A) means a product that, when sold at retail, 
                includes a regulated battery as a primary energy supply, 
                and that is primarily intended for personal or household 
                use; but
                    (B) does not include a product that only uses a 
                battery solely as a source of backup power for memory or 
                program instruction storage, timekeeping, or any similar 
                purpose that requires uninterrupted electrical power in 
                order to function if the primary energy supply fails or 
                fluctuates momentarily.
            (7) Regulated battery.--The term ``regulated battery'' means 
        a rechargeable battery that--
                    (A) contains a cadmium or a lead electrode or any 
                combination of cadmium and lead electrodes; or
                    (B) contains other electrode chemistries and is the 
                subject of a determination by the Administrator under 
                section 103(d).
            (8) Remanufactured product.--The term ``remanufactured 
        product'' means a rechargeable consumer product that has been 
        altered by the replacement of parts, repackaged, or repaired 
        after initial sale by the original manufacturer.

SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14303.>>  INFORMATION DISSEMINATION.

    The Administrator shall, in consultation with representatives of 
rechargeable battery manufacturers, rechargeable consumer product 
manufacturers, and retailers, establish a program to provide

[[Page 110 STAT. 1331]]

information to the public concerning the proper handling and disposal of 
used regulated batteries and rechargeable consumer products with 
nonremovable batteries.

SEC. 5. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14304.>>  ENFORCEMENT.

    (a) Civil Penalty.--When on the basis of any information the 
Administrator determines that a person has violated, or is in violation 
of, any requirement of this Act (except a requirement of section 104) 
the Administrator--
            (1) in the case of any violation, may issue an order 
        assessing a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each 
        violation, or requiring compliance immediately or within a 
        reasonable specified time period, or both; or
            (2) in the case of any violation or failure to comply with 
        an order issued under this section, may commence a civil action 
        in the United States district court in the district in which the 
        violation occurred or in the district in which the violator 
        resides for appropriate relief, including a temporary or 
        permanent injunction.

    (b) Contents of Order.--An order under subsection (a)(1) shall state 
with reasonable specificity the nature of the violation.
    (c) Considerations.--In assessing a civil penalty under subsection 
(a)(1), the Administrator shall take into account the seriousness of the 
violation and any good faith efforts to comply with applicable 
requirements.
    (d) Finality of Order; Request for Hearing.--An order under 
subsection (a)(1) shall become final unless, not later than 30 days 
after the order is served, a person named in the order requests a 
hearing on the record.
    (e) Hearing.--On receiving a request under subsection (d), the 
Administrator shall promptly conduct a hearing on the record.
    (f) Subpoena Power.--In connection with any hearing on the record 
under this section, the Administrator may issue subpoenas for the 
attendance and testimony of witnesses and for the production of relevant 
papers, books, and documents.
    (g) Continued Violation After Expiration of Period for Compliance.--
If a violator fails to take corrective action within the time specified 
in an order under subsection (a)(1), the Administrator may assess a 
civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for the continued noncompliance 
with the order.
    (h) Savings Provision.--The Administrator may not take any 
enforcement action against a person for selling, offering for sale, or 
offering for promotional purposes to the ultimate consumer a battery or 
product covered by this Act that was--
            (1) purchased ready for sale to the ultimate consumer; and
            (2) sold, offered for sale, or offered for promotional 
        purposes without modification.

The preceding sentence shall not apply to a person--
            (A) who is the importer of a battery covered by this Act, 
        and
            (B) who has knowledge of the chemical contents of the 
        battery

when such chemical contents make the sale, offering for sale, or 
offering for promotional purposes of such battery unlawful under title 
II of this Act.

[[Page 110 STAT. 1332]]

SEC. 6. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14305.>>  INFORMATION GATHERING AND ACCESS.

    (a) Records and Reports.--A person who is required to carry out the 
objectives of this Act, including--
            (1) a regulated battery manufacturer;
            (2) a rechargeable consumer product manufacturer;
            (3) a mercury-containing battery manufacturer; and
            (4) an authorized agent of a person described in paragraph 
        (1), (2), or (3),

shall establish and maintain such records and report such information as 
the Administrator may by regulation reasonably require to carry out the 
objectives of this Act.
    (b) Access and Copying.--The Administrator or the Administrator's 
authorized representative, on presentation of credentials of the 
Administrator, may at reasonable times have access to and copy any 
records required to be maintained under subsection (a).
    (c) Confidentiality.--The Administrator shall maintain the 
confidentiality of documents and records that contain proprietary 
information.

SEC. 7. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14306.>>  STATE AUTHORITY.

    Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit a State from 
enacting and enforcing a standard or requirement that is identical to a 
standard or requirement established or promulgated under this Act. 
Except as provided in sections 103(e) and 104, nothing in this Act shall 
be construed to prohibit a State from enacting and enforcing a standard 
or requirement that is more stringent than a standard or requirement 
established or promulgated under this Act.

SEC. 8. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14307.>>  AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary 
to carry out this Act.

  TITLE <<NOTE: Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act.>>  I--RECHARGEABLE 
BATTERY RECYCLING ACT

SEC. 101. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14301 note.>>  SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Rechargeable Battery Recycling 
Act''.

SEC. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14321.>>  102. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this title is to facilitate the efficient recycling 
or proper disposal of used nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries, used 
small sealed lead-acid rechargeable batteries, other regulated 
batteries, and such rechargeable batteries in used consumer products, 
by--
            (1) providing for uniform labeling requirements and 
        streamlined regulatory requirements for regulated battery 
        collection programs; and
            (2) encouraging voluntary industry programs by eliminating 
        barriers to funding the collection and recycling or proper 
        disposal of used rechargeable batteries.

SEC. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14322.>>  103. RECHARGEABLE CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND 
            LABELING.

    (a) Prohibition.--

[[Page 110 STAT. 1333]]

            (1) In general.--No person shall sell for use in the United 
        States a regulated battery that is ready for retail sale or a 
        rechargeable consumer product that is ready for retail sale, if 
        such battery or product was manufactured on or after the date 12 
        months after the date of enactment of this Act, unless the 
        labeling requirements of subsection (b) are met and, in the case 
        of a regulated battery, the regulated battery--
                    (A) is easily removable from the rechargeable 
                consumer product; or
                    (B) is sold separately.
            (2) Application.--Paragraph (1) does not apply to any of the 
        following:
                    (A) The sale of a remanufactured product unit unless 
                paragraph (1) applied to the sale of the unit when 
                originally manufactured.
                    (B) The sale of a product unit intended for export 
                purposes only.

    (b) Labeling.--Each regulated battery or rechargeable consumer 
product without an easily removable battery manufactured on or after the 
date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, whether 
produced domestically or imported shall bear the following labels:
            (1) 3 chasing arrows or a comparable recycling symbol.
            (2)(A) On each regulated battery which is a nickel-cadmium 
        battery, the chemical name or the abbreviation ``Ni-Cd'' and the 
        phrase ``BATTERY MUST BE RECYCLED OR DISPOSED OF PROPERLY.''.
            (B) On each regulated battery which is a lead-acid battery, 
        ``Pb'' or the words ``LEAD'', ``RETURN'', and ``RECYCLE'' and if 
        the regulated battery is sealed, the phrase ``BATTERY MUST BE 
        RECYCLED.''.
            (3) On each rechargeable consumer product containing a 
        regulated battery that is not easily removable, the phrase 
        ``CONTAINS NICKEL-CADMIUM BATTERY. BATTERY MUST BE RECYCLED OR 
        DISPOSED OF PROPERLY.'' or ``CONTAINS SEALED LEAD BATTERY. 
        BATTERY MUST BE RECYCLED.'', as applicable.
            (4) On the packaging of each rechargeable consumer product, 
        and the packaging of each regulated battery sold separately from 
        such a product, unless the required label is clearly visible 
        through the packaging, the phrase ``CONTAINS NICKEL-CADMIUM 
        BATTERY. BATTERY MUST BE RECYCLED OR DISPOSED OF PROPERLY.'' or 
        ``CONTAINS SEALED LEAD BATTERY. BATTERY MUST BE RECYCLED.'', as 
        applicable.

    (c) Existing or Alternative Labeling.--
            (1) Initial period.--For a period of 2 years after the date 
        of enactment of this Act, regulated batteries, rechargeable 
        consumer products containing regulated batteries, and 
        rechargeable consumer product packages that are labeled in 
        substantial compliance with subsection (b) shall be deemed to 
        comply with the labeling requirements of subsection (b).
            (2) Certification.--
                    (A) In general.--On application by persons subject 
                to the labeling requirements of subsection (b) or the 
                labeling requirements promulgated by the Administrator 
                under subsection (d), the Administrator shall certify 
                that a dif

[[Page 110 STAT. 1334]]

                ferent label meets the requirements of subsection (b) or 
                (d), respectively, if the different label--
                          (i) conveys the same information as the label 
                      required under subsection (b) or (d), 
                      respectively; or
                          (ii) conforms with a recognized international 
                      standard that is consistent with the overall 
                      purposes of this title.
                    (B) Constructive certification.--Failure of the 
                Administrator to object to an application under 
                subparagraph (A) on the ground that a different label 
                does not meet either of the conditions described in 
                subparagraph (A) (i) or (ii) within 120 days after the 
                date on which the application is made shall constitute 
                certification for the purposes of this Act.

    (d) Rulemaking Authority of the Administrator.--
            (1) In general.--If the Administrator determines that other 
        rechargeable batteries having electrode chemistries different 
        from regulated batteries are toxic and may cause substantial 
        harm to human health and the environment if discarded into the 
        solid waste stream for land disposal or incineration, the 
        Administrator may, with the advice and counsel of State 
        regulatory authorities and manufacturers of rechargeable 
        batteries and rechargeable consumer products, and after public 
        comment--
                    (A) promulgate labeling requirements for the 
                batteries with different electrode chemistries, 
                rechargeable consumer products containing such batteries 
                that are not easily removable batteries, and packaging 
                for the batteries and products; and
                    (B) promulgate requirements for easy removability of 
                regulated batteries from rechargeable consumer products 
                designed to contain such batteries.
            (2) Substantial similarity.--The regulations promulgated 
        under paragraph (1) shall be substantially similar to the 
        requirements set forth in subsections (a) and (b).

    (e) Uniformity.--After the effective dates of a requirement set 
forth in subsection (a), (b), or (c) or a regulation promulgated by the 
Administrator under subsection (d), no Federal agency, State, or 
political subdivision of a State may enforce any easy removability or 
environmental labeling requirement for a rechargeable battery or 
rechargeable consumer product that is not identical to the requirement 
or regulation.
    (f) Exemptions.--
            (1) In general.--With respect to any rechargeable consumer 
        product, any person may submit an application to the 
        Administrator for an exemption from the requirements of 
        subsection (a) in accordance with the procedures under paragraph 
        (2). The application shall include the following information:
                    (A) A statement of the specific basis for the 
                request for the exemption.
                    (B) The name, business address, and telephone number 
                of the applicant.
            (2) Granting of exemption.--Not later than 60 days after 
        receipt of an application under paragraph (1), the Administrator 
        shall approve or deny the application. On approval of the 
        application the Administrator shall grant an exemption to the

[[Page 110 STAT. 1335]]

        applicant. The exemption shall be issued for a period of time 
        that the Administrator determines to be appropriate, except that 
        the period shall not exceed 2 years. The Administrator shall 
        grant an exemption on the basis of evidence supplied to the 
        Administrator that the manufacturer has been unable to commence 
        manufacturing the rechargeable consumer product in compliance 
        with the requirements of this section and with an equivalent 
        level of product performance without the product--
                    (A) posing a threat to human health, safety, or the 
                environment; or
                    (B) violating requirements for approvals from 
                governmental agencies or widely recognized private 
                standard-setting organizations (including Underwriters 
                Laboratories).
            (3) Renewal of exemption.--A person granted an exemption 
        under paragraph (2) may apply for a renewal of the exemption in 
        accordance with the requirements and procedures described in 
        paragraphs (1) and (2). The Administrator may grant a renewal of 
        such an exemption for a period of not more than 2 years after 
        the date of the granting of the renewal.

SEC. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14323.>>  104. REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) Batteries Subject to Certain Regulations.--The collection, 
storage, or transportation of used rechargeable batteries, batteries 
described in section 3(5)(C) or in title II, and used rechargeable 
consumer products containing rechargeable batteries that are not easily 
removable rechargeable batteries, shall, notwithstanding any law of a 
State or political subdivision thereof governing such collection, 
storage, or transportation, be regulated under applicable provisions of 
the regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 60 
Fed. Reg. 25492 (May 11, 1995), as effective on May 11, 1995, except as 
provided in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) and except that--
            (1) the requirements of 40 CFR 260.20, 260.40, and 260.41 
        and the equivalent requirements of an approved State program 
        shall not apply, and
            (2) this section shall not apply to any lead acid battery 
        managed under 40 CFR 266 subpart G or the equivalent 
        requirements of an approved State program.

    (b) Enforcement Under Solid Waste Disposal Act.--(1) Any person who 
fails to comply with the requirements imposed by subsection (a) of this 
section may be subject to enforcement under applicable provisions of the 
Solid Waste Disposal Act.
    (2) States may implement and enforce the requirements of subsection 
(a) if the Administrator finds that--
            (A) the State has adopted requirements that are identical to 
        those referred to in subsection (a) governing the collection, 
        storage, or transportation of batteries referred to in 
        subsection (a); and
            (B) the State provides for enforcement of such requirements.

[[Page 110 STAT. 1336]]

TITLE <<NOTE: Mercury-Containing Battery Management Act.>>  II--MERCURY-
CONTAINING BATTERY MANAGEMENT ACT

SEC. 201. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14301 note.>>  SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Mercury-Containing Battery 
Management Act''.

SEC. 202. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14331.>>  PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this title is to phase out the use of batteries 
containing mercury.

SEC. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14332.>>  203. LIMITATIONS ON THE SALE OF ALKALINE-
            MANGANESE BATTERIES CONTAINING MERCURY.

    No person shall sell, offer for sale, or offer for promotional 
purposes any alkaline-manganese battery manufactured on or after the 
date of enactment of this Act, with a mercury content that was 
intentionally introduced (as distinguished from mercury that may be 
incidentally present in other materials), except that the limitation on 
mercury content in alkaline-manganese button cells shall be 25 
milligrams of mercury per button cell.

SEC. 204. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14333.>>  LIMITATIONS ON THE SALE OF ZINC-
            CARBON BATTERIES CONTAINING MERCURY.

    No person shall sell, offer for sale, or offer for promotional 
purposes any zinc-carbon battery manufactured on or after the date of 
enactment of this Act, that contains mercury that was intentionally 
introduced as described in section 203.

SEC. 205. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14334.>>  LIMITATIONS ON THE SALE OF BUTTON 
            CELL MERCURIC-OXIDE BATTERIES.

    No person shall sell, offer for sale, or offer for promotional 
purposes any button cell mercuric-oxide battery for use in the United 
States on or after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 206. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14335.>>  LIMITATIONS ON THE SALE OF OTHER 
            MERCURIC-OXIDE BATTERIES.

    (a) Prohibition.--On or after the date of enactment of this Act, no 
person shall sell, offer for sale, or offer for promotional purposes a 
mercuric-oxide battery for use in the United States unless the battery 
manufacturer, or the importer of such a battery--
            (1) identifies a collection site in the United States that 
        has all required Federal, State, and local government approvals, 
        to which persons may send used mercuric-oxide batteries for 
        recycling or proper disposal;
            (2) informs each of its purchasers of mercuric-oxide 
        batteries of the collection site identified under paragraph (1); 
        and
            (3) informs each of its purchasers of mercuric-oxide 
        batteries of a telephone number that the purchaser may call to 
        get information about sending mercuric-oxide batteries for 
        recycling or proper disposal.

    (b) Application of Section.--This section does not apply to a sale 
or offer of a mercuric-oxide button cell battery.

SEC. 207. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14336.>>  NEW PRODUCT OR USE.

    On petition of a person that proposes a new use for a battery 
technology described in this title or the use of a battery described in 
this title in a new product, the Administrator may exempt

[[Page 110 STAT. 1337]]

from this title the new use of the technology or the use of such a 
battery in the new product on the condition, if appropriate, that there 
exist reasonable safeguards to ensure that the resulting battery or 
product without an easily removable battery 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 (42 U.S.C. 
6921 et seq.)).

    Approved May 13, 1996.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 2024 (S. 619):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 104-530 (Comm. on Commerce).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 104-136 accompanying S. 619 (Comm. on Environment 
and Public Works).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
                                                        Vol. 141 (1995):
                                    Sept. 21, S. 619 considered and 
                                        passed Senate.
                                                        Vol. 142 (1996):
                                    Apr. 23, H.R. 2024 considered and 
                                        passed House.
                                    Apr. 25, considered and passed 
                                        Senate.

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