Text: H.R.2024 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 104-142 (05/13/1996)
[104th Congress Public Law 142]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[[Page 110 STAT. 1329]]
Public Law 104-142
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
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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
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)
(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
(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
(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,
(B) who has knowledge of the chemical contents of the
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
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
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,
(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
[[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
(A) The sale of a remanufactured product unit unless
paragraph (1) applied to the sale of the unit when
(B) The sale of a product unit intended for export
(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
(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
(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).
(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),
(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
(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
(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
(B) violating requirements for approvals from
governmental agencies or widely recognized private
standard-setting organizations (including Underwriters
(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
SEC. 202. <<NOTE: 42 USC 14331.>> PURPOSE.
The purpose of this title is to phase out the use of batteries
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
(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);
(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).
Vol. 141 (1995):
Sept. 21, S. 619 considered and
Vol. 142 (1996):
Apr. 23, H.R. 2024 considered and
Apr. 25, considered and passed