State Mercury-Added Product Collection Plan Information
Guidance on Compliance with Collection Plan Requirements for Mercury-added Products Sold & Distributed in Connecticut & Rhode Island
If you are a manufacturer of a mercury-added product that is sold or distributed in the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island new requirements mandate that you establish a collection and recycling system when the product is ready to be discarded. This guidance document is designed to assist you with compliance with these state laws.
The participating states are coordinating these mercury reduction initiatives through the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC) to:
What is a Mercury-added Product?
A mercury-added product is any formulated or fabricated product that contains mercury, a mercury compound, or a component containing mercury, when the mercury is intentionally added to the product (or component) for any reason.
A fabricated mercury-added product is a combination of individual components, one or more of which has mercury added, that combine to make a single unit.
A formulated mercury-added product is a chemical product, including but not limited to laboratory chemicals, cleaning products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and coating materials that are sold as a consistent mixture of chemicals.
If you are a manufacturer, distributor, or importer of either a fabricated or formulated mercury-added product as defined above, you need to review this guidance material to determine whether there are collection plan requirements that apply to you. These requirements are described in detail in this guidance material.
What is the Purpose of a Collection System Plan?
The purpose of a mercury-added product collection plan is to institutionalize a system to collect and recycle mercury-added products from business, institutions, and households at the end of the product's useful life. A functioning collection system minimizes releases during waste handling and prevents these waste materials from being disposed in landfills or incinerated. For more information on the health and environmental effects of mercury, go to: www.newmoa.org/prevention/mercury/.
Who Must Develop & Implement the Collection System Plan?
A manufacturer who is offering for sale or is distributing for promotional purposes in Connecticut and Rhode Island any mercury-added product must develop and implement a Collection System Plan.
Manufacturers or other applicants that apply for an exemption to the Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island mercury-added product phase-out requirements must include in those Applications a plan for collecting the products at the end of their useful life. For a table showing the state compliance dates for mercury-added product phase-out, go to (provide link to location in the document). The first deadline for mercury-added product phase-out is July 1, 2004 in Connecticut and July 1, 2005 in Rhode Island and applies to manufacturers or distributors of mercury-added products that contain greater than or equal to 1,000 mg of mercury. The manufacturers do not have to submit a separate collection plan from the one that is included in their Mercury-added Product Phase-out Exemption Application.
Manufacturers or other applicants that manufacture or distribute fabricated mercury-added products in Connecticut and Rhode Island that contain less than 1,000 mg must submit a separate Collection System Plan Application if they plan to continue to sell their products in Connecticut after July 1, 2004 and July 1, 2005 in Rhode Island.
Table 1 provides an overview of these limits and the compliance dates.
Table 1: Limits on Products Based on their Mercury-Content & Compliance Dates
The following products are exempt from the mercury collection system requirements:
What is the Role of the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC) in Assisting the States with Implementation of the Collection System Plan Requirements?
The States of Connecticut and Rhode Island have decided to coordinate their collection system plan requirements through the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC) to:
IMERC conducts the following activities to help support state implementation of their collection system plan requirements:
All state representatives to IMERC are appointed by the responsible State Environmental Agency Commissioner/Director. The decisions regarding approval of mercury-added product collection system plans are made by each individual state environmental agency. Upon approval of a collection system plan, the state sends a letter to the applicant detailing the approval, the period of time over which it applies, and the schedule for reporting on the effectiveness of the proposed collection system.
Use of the IMERC process is strongly encouraged to avoid duplication of effort by all concerned, but is not required. Companies may choose to submit collection plans to individual states, and should do so if they wish to designate some or the entire plan as confidential business information (CBI), since IMERC is not equipped to handle CBI submittals. Where more than one state receives a plan covering the same mercury-added products, the states will consult extensively with each other to achieve an appropriate level of consistency across jurisdictions.
What Information Must be Submitted in the Collection System Plan?
The following information must be submitted as part of a collection system plan to be considered by the environmental agencies in Connecticut and Rhode Island. No copies or faxes, or electronic submissions will be accepted:
What are the Required Biennial Reports on the Effectiveness of the Collection System?
Not later than July 1, 2006 and biennially thereafter, the person who has submitted the Collection System Plan must file a report to the IMERC or the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management on the effectiveness of their collection system. The report shall include an estimate of the amount of mercury that was collected, the capture rate for the mercury-added products or components, the results of the other performance measures included in the manufacturer's collection system plan, and such other information as the states' environmental agencies may request. The Agencies may make such reports available to the public.
How Can You Revise a Collection System Plan?
To revise a Collection System Plan, the applicant should identify, in writing, any known impediments that have impacted the effectiveness of the collection system and what corrective measures may be appropriate. The Agencies will then review the submission and determine if the corrective measures are acceptable and should be implemented.
Where Can I Get More Information?
For more information on state specific Mercury-added Product Collection System Plan requirements visit the following website:
You can also contact IMERC if you have any questions about this guidance material and state mercury-added product collection system requirements at:
129 Portland Street, 6th floor
Boston, MA 02114