The Vermont Legislature passed a law in 1998 (10 V.S.A., Chapter 159 §6621a, §6621d, §6621e) to regulate the sale and disposal of mercury-added products. New legislation was passed in 2005 (10 V.S.A., Chapter 164 §7101 - §7715) that expanded the current legislation to include requirements for labeling that more closely aligns with the labeling requirements of other states, notification, restrictions on the sale of certain products, and other provisions related to mercury-added product regulation.
Chapter 164 is the governing statute on comprehensive mercury management replacing or amending existing sections in Chapter 159. The 2008 legislation expanded the law to include provisions relating to mercury-containing thermostats under §7116.
Vermont Mercury Statutes - Chapter 164 (modified 2008)
Interstate Mercury Education & Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC)
The Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC) provides ongoing technical and programmatic assistance to states that have enacted provisions of the Mercury Education and Reduction Model Legislation, and provides a single point of contact for industry and the public for information on mercury-containing products and member states' mercury education and reduction programs. Mercury-added product manufacturers have a "notification" requirement in order to sell their products for use in the states of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. This notification may be submitted through a regional clearinghouse (IMERC) in order to fulfil this requirement.
Vermont Mercury Management Rules
The following are excerpts from Vermont Solid Waste Management Rules that specifically address mercury waste management. The rules were developed to implement Vermont's mercury-added products law.
Subchapter 2 -- Definitions / 6-201 Definitions
"Mercury-Added Consumer Product" means a device or material into which elemental mercury or mercury compounds are intentionally added during its formulation or manufacture and in which the continued presence of mercury is desired to provide a specific characteristic, appearance, or quality, or to perform a specific function. For the purposes of this Chapter "mercury-added consumer products" shall be those mercury containing products required to be labeled by 10 V.S.A. §6621d (a), namely:
(1) A thermostat or thermometer.
(2) A switch, individually or as part of another product.
(3) A medical or scientific instrument.
(4) An electric relay or other electrical device.
(5) A lamp.
(6) A battery, sold to the public, other than a button battery.
Subchapter 8 -- SPECIAL WASTES / 6-803 Mercury-Added Consumer Products
(a) To facilitate the source reduction of mercury from solid waste and to help ensure proper handling, recycling and disposal of waste mercury-added consumer products, certain mercury-added items must be labeled prior sale.
(1) After July 1, 1999, a manufacturer or wholesaler may not sell at retail in this state, to a retailer in this state, or for use in this state, and a retailer may not knowingly sell, any of the items listed in 10 V.S.A. §6621d(a) at retail if they contain added mercury, unless the item is labeled in accordance with Subsections 6-803(b) or (c).
(2) Items to be labeled are:
(A) A thermostat or thermometer.
(B) A switch, individually or as part of another product.
(C) A medical or scientific instrument.
(D) An electric relay or other electrical device.
(E) A lamp.
(F) A battery, sold to the public, other than a button battery.
(b) The following labeling standards shall apply to all mercury-added consumer products listed in Subsection 6-803(a)(2) above:
(1) The label must clearly inform the purchaser or consumer that mercury is present in the item and that the item may not be disposed of or placed in a waste stream destined for disposal until the mercury is removed and reused, recycled, or otherwise managed to ensure that mercury does not become part of solid waste or wastewater.
(2) A label must be clearly visible and legible to consumers prior to purchase of the product. The label must be located on a surface of the product that is visible during installation and removal.
(3) For labels affixed to products, the required words or symbols must be printed, mounted, molded, or engraved on the surface of the product using materials sufficiently durable to remain legible for the useful life of the product.
(4) For products with enclosed mercury-added switches, both the enclosed device and the larger product must be labeled.
(5) A listed mercury-added consumer product must be labeled if manufactured after July 1, 1999.
(6) Primary responsibility for affixing the required labels shall be on the manufacturer, and not on the wholesaler or retailer.
(c) The Secretary may administratively authorize alternative labeling, including package labeling, for mercury-added consumer products listed in Subsection 6-803(a)(2) above under the following conditions:
(1) A manufacturer must submit a written request for alternative labeling documenting that a product or class of products cannot reasonably be labeled to comply with specific requirements of Subsections 6-803(a) and/or (b) above.
(2) All authorizations for alternative labeling granted under this Subsection will be limited in duration and may be renewed.