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                                                       Calendar No. 351
111th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     111-168

======================================================================



 
        ELECTRONIC DEVICE RECYCLING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT

                                _______
                                

                 April 19, 2010.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Reid (for Mrs. Boxer), from the Committee on Environment and Public 
                     Works, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1397]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 1397) to authorize the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency to provide grants for 
electronic device recycling research, development, and 
demonstration projects, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                       INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSES

    The Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development 
Act was introduced by Senators Klobuchar and Gillibrand on July 
6, 2009, and referred to the Committee on Environment and 
Public Works. The bill was considered at a markup by the 
Committee held on December 10, 2009. At the December 10, 2009, 
markup, Senator Klobuchar offered a substitute amendment which 
was agreed to by voice vote and the bill was ordered favorably 
reported, as amended.
    The Act's primary purposes are to: authorize EPA to award 
multi-year grants to consortia to conduct research on 
innovative and practical approaches to manage the human health 
and environmental impacts of electronic devices through 
recycling, reuse, reduction of the use of hazardous materials, 
and life-cycle extension; authorize EPA to award grants to 
higher education institutions to develop curricula for 
environmental design in electronic devices; require a National 
Academy of Sciences report to Congress on unwanted electronics 
issues; and require the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology to establish a physical property database for 
environmentally preferable alternative materials, design 
features, and manufacturing practices for use in electronic 
devices.
    The substitute amendment added an authorization of 
appropriations for EPA to conduct research, expanded the scope 
of the research to include human health impacts, and pushed 
back the date of the grants by one year.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The rapidly increasing number of unwanted electronic 
devices, including televisions, computers, cell phones, 
printers, gaming systems, and other electronic devices, is a 
growing problem in the United States and throughout the world. 
Rapid advances in technology have resulted in enormous 
increases in sales of new electronic devices, but have also 
resulted in electronic devices becoming obsolete more quickly. 
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, Americans 
own approximately 24 electronic devices per household.\1\ Many 
electronic devices are not designed to be easily recycled and 
often contain toxic or hazardous substances. The U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over 2 
billion electronic devices have been sold in the United States 
since 1980, generating 2 million tons of unwanted electronic 
devices in 2005 alone.\2\ However, according to EPA, only 15 to 
20 percent of unwanted electronic devices are recycled, while 
most end up in municipal solid waste landfills and 
incinerators.\3\ Hazardous substances from electronic devices 
disposed of in municipal solid waste landfills and electronic 
devices burned in municipal solid waste incinerators can 
release toxic substances into the environment.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Consumer Electronics Association Market Research Report: 
``Trends in Consumer Electronics Reuse, Recycle and Removal'' (April 
2008).
    \2\``EPA Fact Sheet: Management of Electronic Waste in the United 
States'', EPA530-F-08-014, April 2007 (revised July 2008); online at: 
http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/ materials/ecycling/docs/fact7-
08.pdf; ``EPA 2008 Statistics on the Management of Used and End-Of-Life 
Electronics,'' http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserv/materials/ecycling/
manage.htm; ``EPA Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2007 
Facts and Figures'', EPA530-R-08-010, November 2008; online at: http://
www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw07-rpt.pdf.
    \3\``EPA Fact Sheet: Management of Electronic Waste in the United 
States'', EPA530-F-08-014, April 2007 (revised July 2008); online at: 
http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/ materials/ecycling/docs/fact7-
08.pdf.
    \4\EPA Proposed Rule, ``Hazardous Waste Management System; 
Modification of the Hazardous Waste Program; Cathode Ray Tubes and 
Mercury-Containing Equipment'', 67 Fed. Reg. 40508, 40522 (June 12, 
2002).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unwanted electronic devices can be refurbished and reused 
or recycled to recover and conserve valuable materials, such as 
gold, copper, platinum, and rare earth metals.\5\ For example, 
the United States Geological Survey reports that 1 metric ton 
of computer scrap contains more gold than 17 tons of ore and 
much lower levels of toxic elements, such as arsenic, mercury, 
and sulfur.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Testimony of John B. Stephenson, Director, Natural Resources and 
Environment, U.S. Government Accountability Office, before Senate 
Committee on Environment and Public Works, ``Electronic Waste,'' July 
26, 2005, S. HRG. 109-988 at 55; U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. 
Geological Survey Fact Sheet 087-02, ``Rare Earth Elements--Critical 
Resources for High Technology'' (2002); online at: http://
pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2002/fs087-02/fs087-02.pdf.
    \6\U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey Fact 
Sheet 060-01, ``Obsolete Computers, `Gold Mine,' or High-Tech Trash? 
Resource Recovery from Recycling'' (July 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While the electronic device recycling industry in the 
United States is growing, many challenges remain for the 
recycling of electronic devices, particularly by households and 
other small generators. Collection of the millions of unwanted 
electronic devices spread out over urban, suburban, and rural 
areas presents an expensive and logistical challenge. Also the 
separation and proper recycling of some of the materials 
recovered, such as lead from cathode-ray tube (CRT) 
televisions, is costly.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Testimony of Scott Slesinger, Vice President for Government 
Affairs, Environmental Technology Council, before Senate Committee on 
Environment and Public Works, ``Electronic Waste,'' July 26, 2005, S. 
HRG. 109-988 at 40; Response to Additional Questions by Richard Goss, 
Director of Environmental Affairs, Electronic Industries Alliance, 
before Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, ``Electronic 
Waste,'' July 26, 2005, S. HRG. 109-988 at 116-117; Statement of Renee 
St. Denis, Director of America's Product Take-Back and Recycling, 
Hewlett Packard Company, Before House Committee on Science and 
Technology, 110th Cong., 2nd Sess., April 30, 2008, Serial No. 110-98 
at 27; Statement of Eric Harris, Associate Counsel/Director of 
Government and International Affairs, Institute of Scrap Recycling 
Industries, Before House Committee on Science and Technology, 110th 
Cong., 2nd Sess., April 30, 2008, Serial No. 110-98 at 30.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The export of unwanted electronic devices to countries that 
lack the infrastructure required to properly recycle unwanted 
electronic devices also presents a serious challenge. The crude 
methods of many of the recycling operations in these countries 
can expose workers to harmful chemicals, jeopardizing their 
health and polluting the environment.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Statement of Sheila Davis, Executive Director, Silicon Valley 
Toxics Coalition, before Senate Committee on Environment and Public 
Works, ``Electronic Waste,'' July 26, 2005, S. HRG. 109-988 at 27-28; 
U.S. Government Accountability Office Report ``Electronic Waste--EPA 
Needs to Better Control Harmful U.S. Exports Through Stronger 
Enforcement and More Comprehensive Regulation,'' GAO-08-1044, August 
2008; Statement of Dr. Valerie Thomas, Associate Professor, Georgia 
Institute of Technology, Before House Committee on Science and 
Technology, 111th Cong., 1st Sess., Feb. 11, 2009, Serial No. 111-1 at 
17; Statement of Dr. Eric D. Williams, Assistant Professor of Civil and 
Environmental Engineering, Arizona State University, Before House 
Committee on Science and Technology, 110th Cong., 2nd Sess., April 30, 
2008, Serial No. 110-98 at 13-14.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Some of the challenges to increasing the recyclability of 
electronic devices can be addressed by improving the logistics 
and technology of the collection and recycling process, 
designing electronic devices to avoid the use of hazardous 
materials and to be more easily recycled, and encouraging the 
use of recycled materials in more applications.\9\ The public 
currently does not take full advantage of existing electronic 
device recycling opportunities, with many unwanted electronic 
devices being stored in people's homes. Studying factors that 
influence behavior and educating consumers about responsible 
electronic device recycling could help communities and private 
industry develop recycling programs that draw more 
participation.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Testimony of Richard Goss, Director of Environmental Affairs, 
Electronic Industries Alliance, before Senate Committee on Environment 
and Public Works, ``Electronic Waste,'' July 26, 2005, S. HRG. 109-988 
at 39; Statement of Dr. Valerie Thomas, Associate Professor, Georgia 
Institute of Technology, Before House Committee on Science and 
Technology, 111th Cong., 1st Sess., Feb. 11, 2009, Serial No. 111-1 at 
17; Statement of Dr. Eric D. Williams, Assistant Professor of Civil and 
Environmental Engineering, Arizona State University, Before House 
Committee on Science and Technology, 110th Cong., 2nd Sess., April 30, 
2008, Serial No. 110-98 at 16; Statement of Eric Harris, Associate 
Counsel/Director of Government and International Affairs, Institute of 
Scrap Recycling Industries, Before House Committee on Science and 
Technology, 110th Cong., 2nd Sess., April 30, 2008, Serial No. 110-98 
at 29.
    \10\Testimony of Renee St. Denis, Director of America's Product 
Take-Back and Recycling, Hewlett Packard Company, Before House 
Committee on Science and Technology, 110th Cong., 2nd Sess., April 30, 
2008, Serial No. 110-98 at 55.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The development of tools and technologies to increase the 
lifespan of electronic devices and to promote their safe reuse 
would decrease the impact of the production of electronic 
devices on the environment and likely increase the 
recyclability of such devices.\11\ Accurately assessing the 
human health and environmental impacts of the production and 
recycling of electronic devices is a complex task and should be 
addressed cooperatively by relevant stakeholders, including 
EPA's Office of Research and Development, the electronic device 
manufacturing and recycling industries, public health and 
environmental groups, and academia. Data, tools, and methods to 
better quantify these impacts would help policymakers and other 
stakeholders determine the best end-of-life management options 
for electronic devices.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Statement of John B. Stephenson, Director, Natural Resources 
and Environment, U.S. Government Accountability Office, before Senate 
Committee on Environment and Public Works, ``Electronic Waste,'' July 
26, 2005, S. HRG. 109-988 at 62; Statement of Dr. Eric D. Williams, 
Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Arizona 
State University, Before House Committee on Science and Technology, 
110th Cong., 2nd Sess., April 30, 2008, Serial No. 110-98 at 15; 
Statement of Ted Smith, Chair, Electronics TakeBack Coalition, Before 
House Committee on Science and Technology, 110th Cong., 2nd Sess., 
April 30, 2008, Serial No. 110-98 at 38; Responses by Dr. Eric D. 
Williams, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 
Arizona State University, to Questions Submitted by Chairman Bart 
Gordon, House Committee on Science and Technology, 110th Cong., 2nd 
Sess., April 30, 2008, Serial No. 110-98 at 63-64.
    \12\Statement of Dr. Eric D. Williams, Assistant Professor of Civil 
and Environmental Engineering, Arizona State University, Before House 
Committee on Science and Technology, 110th Cong., 2nd Sess., April 30, 
2008, Serial No. 110-98 at 13; Statement of Renee St. Denis, Director 
of America's Product Take-Back and Recycling, Hewlett Packard Company, 
Before House Committee on Science and Technology, 110th Cong., 2nd 
Sess., April 30, 2008, Serial No. 110-98 at 28; Responses by Dr. Eric 
D. Williams, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental 
Engineering, Arizona State University, to Questions Submitted by 
Chairman Bart Gordon, House Committee on Science and Technology, 110th 
Cong., 2nd Sess., April 30, 2008, Serial No. 110-98 at 62.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This bill will authorize EPA grants and in-house research 
and development programs to advance our understanding of how to 
make electronic devices in more environmentally preferable ways 
and to ensure the responsible recycling of the materials they 
contain. This research and development program will create 
tools to expand knowledge in EPA and industry to better protect 
public health and the environment, enhance competitiveness, and 
grow business opportunities and jobs in the electronic device 
manufacturing and recycling industries.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

            Summary
    This section provides that the Act may be cited as ``The 
Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act.''

Section 2. Findings

            Summary
    This section outlines the scope of the challenges and 
issues relating to the recycling of electronic devices in the 
United States and how a research and development program will 
provide the tools for policymakers and stakeholders to increase 
the recycling of unwanted electronic devices and to reduce the 
human health and environmental impacts of the production and 
recycling of electronic devices.

Section 3. Definitions

            Summary
    This section defines the following terms:
    (1) The ``Academy'' is the National Academy of Sciences.
    (2) The ``Administrator'' is the Administrator of EPA.
    (3) A ``Consortium'' is a grant applicant or recipient 
under Section 4 that includes: (a) at least 1 institution of 
higher education, nonprofit research institution, or government 
laboratory; and (b) at least 1 for-profit entity, including a 
manufacturer, designer, refurbisher, or recycler of electronic 
devices or components of those devices.
    (4) The ``Director'' is the Director of the National 
Institute of Standards and Technology.
    (5) An ``electronic device'' includes computers (including 
laptops and notebooks), computer monitors, televisions, 
printers, wireless devices (including cell phones, pagers, and 
personal digital assistants (PDAs)), copiers, fax machines, 
stereos, video gaming systems, and the components of electronic 
devices.
    (6) An ``institution of higher education'' has the meaning 
given the term in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 
1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)), and for the purpose of section 
7(a)(2) of the bill, includes any institution of higher 
education under section 101(b) of that Act (20 U.S.C. 1001(b)).
    (7) A ``minority serving institution'' is an institution 
that is eligible under section 371(a) of the Higher Education 
Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1067q(a)).

Section 4. Electronic Device Engineering Research, Development, and 
        Demonstration Projects Grant Program

            Subsection (a)--Grant program
            Summary
    Subsection (a) directs the Administrator to provide multi-
year grants to consortia to conduct research on managing the 
human health and environmental impacts of electronic devices 
through recycling, reuse, reduction of the use of hazardous 
materials, and life-cycle extension, and to contribute to the 
professional development of scientists, engineers, and 
technicians in the fields of electronic device manufacturing, 
design, refurbishing, and recycling.
            Discussion
    The EPA grants program will promote research to increase 
knowledge of how to make electronic devices in more 
environmentally preferable ways throughout their life-cycle and 
to ensure the responsible recycling of the materials they 
contain. This research and development program will create 
tools to expand knowledge in EPA and industry to better protect 
public health and the environment, enhance competitiveness, and 
grow business opportunities and jobs in the electronic device 
manufacturing and recycling industries.
    The substitute amendment expanded the scope of the types of 
research that grants will support, including to authorize 
research on the risks to human health and the environment from 
the recycling of unwanted electronic devices, as well as the 
risks to human health and the environment from the disposal of 
electronic devices and recycling residues, such as leachate 
from landfills and emissions and combustion residues from 
municipal solid waste incinerators and smelters. The substitute 
also authorized research and development on methods to 
discourage exports to countries with unsafe recycling practices 
of recyclable materials from electronic devices that could be 
processed into usable commodities in the United States and 
North America, including identification of what kind of 
additional specialized capacity may be needed, existing 
barriers to developing that capacity, and options for 
overcoming those barriers.
            Subsection (b)--Merit review; competition
            Summary
    Subsection (b) requires that the grants be provided on a 
merit-reviewed, competitive basis.
            Subsection (c)--Applications
            Summary
    Subsection (c) requires that a consortium submit a grant 
application to EPA, at such time, in such manner, and 
containing such information and assurances as the Administrator 
may require, including: (1) a description of the research 
project and the contributions of each of the participating 
entities, including the for-profit entity; (2) the 
applicability of the project to reduce impediments to 
electronic device recycling in the electronic device design, 
manufacturing, refurbishing, or recycling industries; (3) the 
potential for and feasibility of incorporating the research 
results into industry practice; and (4) how the project will 
promote collaboration among scientists and engineers from 
different disciplines, such as electrical engineering, 
materials science, and social science.
            Subsection (d)--Dissemination of research results
            Summary
    Subsection (d) requires that the research results be made 
public through: (1) publication on EPA's website; (2) 
development of best practices or training materials for use in 
the electronic device manufacturing, design, refurbishing, or 
recycling industries; (3) dissemination at conferences 
affiliated with such industries; (4) demonstration projects; or 
(5) educational materials for the public produced in 
conjunction with State governments, local governments, or 
nonprofit organizations on problems and solutions related to 
electronic device recycling and reuse.
            Discussion
    The Committee expects that EPA will make all information 
developed through these programs that is not proprietary 
information or trade secrets, including research results, 
training materials, conference materials, educational 
materials, and any other information, available on its website.
            Subsection (e)--Funding contribution from for-profit member 
                    of consortium
            Summary
    Subsection (e) requires that the for-profit entity 
participating in the consortium contribute at least 10 percent 
of the total research project cost, either directly or with in-
kind contributions.
            Subsection (f)--Protection of proprietary information
            Summary
    Subsection (f) prohibits the disclosure of proprietary 
information or trade secrets provided by any person or entity 
under this section. Subsection (f) also requires that, as a 
condition of receipt of a grant under this section, each member 
of the consortium must have in place proper protections to 
maintain proprietary information or trade secrets contributed 
by other members of the consortium, and if any member of the 
consortium breaches that condition or discloses such 
proprietary information or trade secrets, the grant recipient 
may be required to return funds received under the grant.
            Discussion
    The Committee appreciates and respects the legitimate need 
of consortia members to protect proprietary information or 
trade secrets. Because one of the primary purposes of this bill 
is to develop and promote the widespread use more 
environmentally preferable materials, design features, and 
manufacturing processes in the electronic device industry, the 
consideration of this goal is expected when making a 
determination on whether to assert or maintain a claim that 
such information is proprietary information or a trade secret.
            Subsection (g)--Biennial report
            Summary
    Subsection (g) requires EPA to report to Congress within 2 
years of enactment, and every 2 years thereafter until Congress 
stops appropriating funds to carry out the program, of grants 
awarded, list of the research and development projects, results 
of projects, and a description of the rate and success of the 
adoption or integration of the research results into electronic 
device manufacturing practices, management practices, and 
products.
            Subsection (h)--Authorization of appropriations
            Summary
    Subsection (h) authorizes $60 million over 3 years for the 
research, development, and demonstration project grant program 
as follows: $18 million for fiscal year (FY) 2011; $20 million 
for FY 2012; and $22 million for FY 2013.

Section 5. Electronic Device Engineering Research, Development, and 
        Demonstration Projects of EPA

            Summary
    This section directs the Administrator, through an applied 
research program in EPA's Office of Research and Development, 
to conduct research for the purposes described in and on the 
topics listed in section 4. Section 5 authorizes $10 million 
for each of FYs 2011 through 2013 for this in-house research 
program.
            Discussion
    The scope of the in-house research to be conducted by EPA's 
Office of Research and Development is the same as the scope of 
the research authorized to be conducted by the consortia 
through the grant program. The Committee expects that the grant 
program and the in-house research program will complement each 
other. The Committee has authorized appropriations for the in-
house research program separately from the grant program and 
expects that each program shall be funded independently.

Section 6. National Academy of Sciences report on electronic devices

            Subsection (a)--In general
            Summary
    Subsection (a) directs the Administrator to arrange a study 
and enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of 
Sciences under which the Academy will, within 1 year of 
enactment, provide Congress with a report on:
    (1) opportunities for and barriers to increasing the 
recyclability of electronic devices;
    (2) the environmental and human health risks posed by the 
storage, transport, recycling, and disposal of unwanted 
electronic devices;
    (3) the current status of research and training programs to 
promote the environmental design of electronic devices to 
increase the recyclability of such devices;
    (4) any regulatory or statutory barriers that may prevent 
the adoption or implementation of best management practices or 
technological innovations that may arise from the research and 
training programs established in this Act; and
    (5) the direct and indirect economic and domestic 
employment impacts associated with recycling and harvesting 
materials from unwanted electronic devices, instead of 
disposing of such devices directly in landfills.
            Discussion
    The substitute amendment added to the scope of the Academy 
study an examination of the direct and indirect economic and 
domestic employment impacts of recycling and harvesting 
materials from unwanted electronic devices instead of disposing 
of such devices in landfills. The Committee believes that it is 
important for the Academy to examine how increasing the reuse 
and recycling of electronic devices will enhance 
competitiveness, and grow business opportunities and jobs in 
the electronic device manufacturing and recycling industries in 
the United States.
            Subsection (b)--Recommendations
            Summary
    Subsection (b) requires that the Academy's report to 
Congress under subsection (a) identify gaps in the current 
research and training programs in addressing the opportunities, 
barriers, and risks relating to electronic device recycling, 
and recommend areas where additional research and development 
resources are needed to reduce the impact of unwanted 
electronic devices on human health and the environment.

Section 7. Engineering curriculum development grants

            Subsection (a)--Grant program
            Summary
    Subsection (a) directs the Administrator, in consultation 
with the Director of the National Science Foundation, to 
provide grants to institutions of higher education to develop 
curricula that incorporates the principles of environmental 
design into the development of electronic devices for the 
training of electrical, mechanical, industrial, manufacturing, 
materials, and software engineers and other students at the 
undergraduate and graduate level, and to support the continuing 
education of professionals in the electronic device 
manufacturing, design, refurbishing, or recycling industries.
            Subsection (b)--Outreach to minority serving institutions
            Summary
    Subsection (b) directs the Administrator to conduct 
outreach to minority serving institutions for the purposes of 
providing information on the grants available under this 
section and how to apply for such grants.
            Subsection (c)--Merit review; competition
            Summary
    Subsection (c) requires that the grants be awarded on a 
merit-reviewed, competitive basis.
            Subsection (d)--Use of funds
            Summary
    Subsection (d) requires that the grants be used for 
activities that enhance the ability of an institution of higher 
education to broaden the undergraduate and graduate-level 
engineering curriculum or professional continuing education 
curriculum to include environmental engineering design 
principles and consideration of product lifecycles related to 
electronic devices and increasing the recyclability of such 
devices. Activities may include:
    (1) developing and revising curriculum to include 
multidisciplinary elements;
    (2) creating research and internship opportunities for 
students through partnerships with industry, nonprofit 
organizations, or government agencies;
    (3) creating and establishing certificate programs; and
    (4) developing curricula for short courses and continuing 
education for professionals in the environmental design of 
electronic devices to increase the recyclability of such 
devices.
            Subsection (e)--Application
            Summary
    Subsection (e) requires that an institution of higher 
education seeking a grant under this section submit an 
application to the Administrator at such time, in such manner, 
and with such information and assurances as the Administrator 
may require.
            Subsection (f)--Authorization of appropriations
            Summary
    Subsection (f) authorizes $15,454,000 over 3 years as 
follows: $5,000,000 for FY 2010; $5,150,000 for FY 2011; and 
$5,304,000 for FY 2012.

Section 8. Environmentally friendly alternative materials physical 
        property database

            Subsection (a)--In general
            Summary
    Subsection (a) requires the Director of the National 
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction 
with the EPA Administrator to develop a comprehensive physical 
property database for environmentally preferable alternative 
materials, design features, and manufacturing practices for use 
in electronic devices.
            Subsection (b)--Eligible materials, features, and practices
            Summary
    Subsection (b) requires that the Director consult the 
Administrator in determining whether certain materials, design 
features, and manufacturing practices are environmentally 
preferable and, therefore, should be contained in the database.
            Discussion
    The Committee recognizes that there is no established, 
generally recognized definition of the term ``environmentally 
preferable,'' and that the determination of what is 
environmentally preferable can be made on a case-by case basis. 
The Committee also recognizes that such determinations will not 
be static, but will change over time as newer more 
environmentally preferable alternative materials, design 
features, and manufacturing practices are developed. In making 
determinations of what to include in the database, NIST will be 
required to consult with EPA in making a determination that 
materials, design features, and manufacturing practices are 
environmentally preferable. The Committee also expects that EPA 
will work with stakeholders, including industry, public health 
and environmental groups, in carrying out its role of providing 
its expert advice to NIST on the materials, design features, 
and manufacturing practices that are environmentally preferable 
and, therefore, can be contained in the database.
            Subsection (c)--Priorities
            Summary
    Subsection (c) requires the Director, working with the 
electronic device design, manufacturing, or recycling 
industries, to develop a strategic plan to establish priorities 
and the physical property characterization requirements for the 
database.
            Subsection (d)--Other matters
            Summary
    Subsection (d) allows the Director to expand the database 
to include information on the environmental impacts of various 
materials, design features, and manufacturing practices used in 
electronic devices from a life-cycle standpoint.
            Subsection (e)--Annual updates
            Summary
    Subsection (e) requires at least annual updates to the 
database.
            Discussion
    The Committee expects that NIST will, in consultation with 
EPA, update the database more often as the results of the 
research and demonstration projects by the consortia and EPA 
become available.
            Subsection (f)--Authorization of appropriations
            Summary
    Subsection (f) authorizes $3 million for each of fiscal 
years 2011 through 2013.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 1397 was introduced by Senators Klobuchar and Gillibrand 
on July 6, 2009. The bill was read twice and referred to the 
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. On December 
10, 2009, the full Committee on Environment and Public Works 
considered S. 1397 and ordered favorably reported a substitute 
amendment. Senator Klobuchar made the following statement about 
S. 1397:

    Thank you Chairman Boxer. I appreciated the time you gave 
me to talk about the formaldehyde bill. One other I wanted to 
mention that is on the mark up today that I am co-sponsoring 
with Senator Gillibrand who I see is here. That is the 
Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act. As 
you all know across the country the vast majority of discarded 
electronics end up in landfills or burned in garbage 
incinerators. This is a national and an international problem 
and the solutions will have to be on an equal scale if we ever 
hope to recycle the huge, ever-growing volume of discarded 
electronics. When e-waste is buried in landfills, lead and 
mercury can contaminate ground and surface water.
    What this bill does is authorize public/private cost 
sharing grants to be awarded for R&D projects that aim to 
address this growing problem. We have worked on this bill with 
the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition. I've seen 
firsthand some of the work that is going on with consumer 
electronics to make them so that they are less damaging to the 
environment when they are discarded. There is a lot of 
recycling, obviously that we want to promote that is going on. 
But there is a huge amount of work to be done. When you think 
of all of the electronics in this country and it is going up at 
such an exponential rate that we need to be on the front end of 
this because, as I said, it's not just a national but an 
international problem. I appreciate that the Consumer 
Electronics Association, the Electronics Take Back Coalition, 
and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and others are 
on board with this legislation that Senator Gillibrand and I 
have. Thank you very much

                                HEARINGS

    The Committee did not hold hearings on S. 1397 during the 
111th Congress. On July 26, 2005, the Subcommittee on Superfund 
and Waste Management held an oversight hearing on ``Electronic 
Waste.''

                             ROLLCALL VOTES

    There were no rollcall votes. The Committee on Environment 
and Public Works met to consider S. 1397 on December 10, 2009. 
A quorum of the Committee being present, S. 1397 was reported 
favorably as amended by a voice vote.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that there 
are not expected to be significant costs to private entities 
under this legislation.

                          MANDATES ASSESSMENT

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(public Law 104-4), the Committee finds that S. 1397 would 
impose no Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State, 
local, or tribal governments.
                                                 December 14, 2009.
Hon. Barbara Boxer,
Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1397, the Electronic 
Device Recycling Research and Development Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Susanne S. 
Mehlman.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
            Enclosure.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    In compliance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office.

S. 1397--Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act

    Summary: S. 1397 would authorize appropriations for the 
Environmental Protection Agency to provide grants to consortia 
and institutions of higher education to support research and 
projects related to the recycling of electronic devices, such 
as computers, printers, and copiers. This legislation also 
would authorize appropriations for the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a database of 
alternative materials for use in electronic devices and for EPA 
to conduct its own engineering research and demonstration 
projects.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 1397 would cost $14 
million in 2011 and $109 million over the 2011-2014 period, 
assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts. Enacting the 
bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    S. 1397 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). 
Any costs to state, local, or tribal governments would result 
from complying with conditions of assistance.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 1397 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget functions 300 
(natural resources and environment) and 370 (commerce and 
housing credit).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                             ---------------------------------------------------
                                                               2010    2011    2012    2013    2014    2010-2014
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Grants to Consortia to Address Environmental Impact of
 Electronic Devices:
    Authorization Level.....................................       0      18      20      22       0          60
    Estimated Outlays.......................................       0       7      16      21      13          57
Funding to Support Engineering Research and Demonstration
 Projects:
    Authorization Level.....................................       0      10      10      10       0          30
    Estimated Outlays.......................................       0       4       9      10       6          29
Grants to Develop Engineering Curriculum:
    Authorization Level.....................................       0       5       5       5       0          15
    Estimated Outlays.......................................       0       2       4       5       3          15
NIST Database Development:
    Authorization Level.....................................       0       3       3       3       0           9
    Estimated Outlays.......................................       0       1       3       3       2           9
Total Proposed Changes:
    Authorization Level.....................................       0      36      38      40       0         114
    Estimated Outlays.......................................       0      14      32      39      24        109
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: NIST = National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
1397 will be enacted before the end of 2010, that the specified 
amounts will be appropriated in each year starting in 2011, and 
that outlays will follow historical spending patterns for 
similar programs. CBO estimates that implementing this 
legislation would cost $109 million over the 2011-2014 period.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 1397 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. The bill would provide grants to institutions 
of higher education, including public colleges and 
universities, to conduct research and develop curricula related 
to improving the recycling of electronic devices. Any costs to 
state, local, or tribal governments would result from complying 
with conditions of federal assistance.
    Previous CBO cost estimate: On March 30, 2009, CBO 
transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 1580, the Electric Device 
Recycling Research and Development Act, as ordered reported by 
the House Committee on Science and Technology on March 25, 
2009. Both pieces of legislation are similar, though S. 1397 
includes an additional authorization of appropriations for EPA 
to fund its own engineering research and demonstration 
projects. That difference between the two pieces of legislation 
is reflected in CBO's cost estimates.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Susanne S. Mehlman; 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Ryan Miller; 
Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate 
requires the Committee to publish changes in existing law made 
by the bill as reported. Passage of this bill will make no 
changes to existing law.