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IMERC Guidance Materials Collection Plan


State Mercury-Added Product Collection Plan Information

Guidance on Compliance with Collection Plan Requirements for Mercury-added Products Sold & Distributed in Connecticut & Rhode Island

This Guidance has been reviewed & endorsed by senior state environmental directors from the states of Connecticut and 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:

  • promote consistency among the states in implementing phase-out and collection system requirements; and
  • provide a single point of contact for manufacturers

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

Effective Dates Products Established Limit on Mercury Content Requirement
On or after July 1, 2004 Fabricated Mercury-added Product >= 1000 milligrams (mg) of mercury Submit a collection system plan as part of the Exemption to Phase-Out Application; no need to submit a separate collection system plan
On or after January 1, 2004 in Connecticut Fabricated Mercury-added Products <1000 mg (note: no diminus level) Must submit a Collection System Plan Application, even if plan to comply with phase-out requirements by the 2006 effective date or later
On or after July 1, 2005 in Rhode Island Fabricated Mercury-added Products <1000 mg (note: no diminus level) Must submit a Collection System Plan Application, even if plan to comply with phase-out requirements by the 2006 effective date or later

The following products are exempt from the mercury collection system requirements:

  • Formulated mercury-added products intended to be consumed in use, including, but not limited to reagents, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, other laboratory chemicals, biological products or any substance that may be lawfully sold over the counter with or without a prescription under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, 21 USC 301 et. seq.
  • Fabricated mercury-added products where the only mercury is contained in a component that cannot feasibly be removed by the purchaser including, but not limited to, electronic products whose only mercury-added component is a mercury-added lamp used for backlighting provided such manufacturer or trade association maintains a web-based service to provide information on recycling and safe disposal of such products.
  • Photographic films and papers.
  • Mercury-containing lamps if the manufacturer or trade association maintains a toll-free telephone and internet-based service to provide information on recycling and safe disposal of such lamps and directs consumers to such telephone numbers and services on package labels.
  • Mercury-added products for which the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner and/or the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Director determines a collection system plan is not feasible.
  • Mercury-added products with a code or date of manufacture indicating they were manufactured prior to January 1, 2004.
  • Motor vehicles with a code or date of manufacture prior to October 1, 2003 in Connecticut.
  • Mercury-added button cell batteries in Rhode Island.
  • Motor vehicles in Rhode Island.

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:

  • help manufacturers and distributors comply with the laws in the states; and
  • promote consistency, where appropriate, among the states in their approaches to implementing these requirements.

IMERC conducts the following activities to help support state implementation of their collection system plan requirements:

  • providing a single location for manufacturers to submit Collection System Plans that apply to Connecticut and Rhode Island,
  • facilitating the review by these member states concerning manufacturer plans for collection and proper waste management of mercury-containing materials,
  • responding to questions and comments regarding state mercury-added product collection system plan requirements, and
  • assisting the states with their efforts to educate the regulated community and the public regarding the state requirements and how to comply with them.

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:

  1. Applicant's name, telephone number, North American Industry Classification System, and web address. If a company is not aware of its NAICS code, they can visit http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html to find a list of the available codes and to select the one that is applicable.
  2. Applicant's address, including the mailing address.
  3. The address, telephone number, and e-mail address of a contact person for the applicant.
  4. Applicant's signed certification indicating that a senior manager of the company or organization has personally examined and is familiar with the information submitted within the document and all attachments.
  5. Documentation describing a public education program, including implementation dates, which will inform the relevant portions of the public and private sector about the mercury-added products, the purpose of the collection system program, and how they may participate.
  6. Location of the mercury-added product(s) or components and how to remove them.
  7. If applicable, documentation regarding the intention of the applicant to phase-out use of mercury in the product or the sale of the mercury-added product in the states and the schedule for the phase-out.
  8. Identification of the targeted capture rate for the mercury-added product(s), product category(ies), or components covered in the Plan.
  9. A proposed Collection System Plan that describes the proposal for the proper collection, storage, transportation, and processing of the mercury-added product(s), including a system for the direct return of a waste product to the manufacturer, or a collection and recycling system that is supported by an industry or trade group, or other similar private or public sector efforts; the frequency and method for disposal/recycling for the items collected; and documentation of the readiness of all necessary parties to perform as intended in the planned collection system.
  10. Documentation demonstrating the financing and implementation of the proposed collection system. The cost of the collection system cannot be borne by state or local government. Financing may include the recovery of a product that has an economic value to processors, such as silver oxide batteries.
  11. Description of the performance measures to be used to demonstrate that the collection system is meeting capture rate targets and the recordkeeping protocol that the manufacturer or company other than the manufacturer will maintain to assure compliance with the Plan.
  12. Description of additional or alternative actions that will be implemented to improve the collection system and its operation in the event that the program targets are not met.
  13. Other special conditions or information related to the affected mercury-added product(s).

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
(617) 367-8558



Last Modified 02/10/2014

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