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104th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                     104-530
_______________________________________________________________________


 
       MERCURY-CONTAINING AND RECHARGEABLE BATTERY MANAGEMENT ACT
                                _______


 April 23, 1996.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______


  Mr. Bliley, from the Committee on Commerce, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2024]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 2024) 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, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     7
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     7
Hearings.........................................................    12
Committee Consideration..........................................    12
Roll Call Votes..................................................    12
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................    13
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.....................    13
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................    13
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................    13
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................    13
Inflationary Impact Statement....................................    15
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    15
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion.......................    15
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............    19

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable 
Battery Management Act''.

SEC. 2. 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. 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.
          (4) Mercuric-oxide battery.--The term ``mercuric-oxide 
        battery'' means a battery that uses a mercuric-oxide electrode.
          (5) Rechargeable battery.--The term ``rechargeable 
        battery''--
                  (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 
        consumer product''--
                  (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 use; but
                  (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 fluctuates momentarily.
          (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 
                section 103(d).
          (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. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION.

  The Administrator shall, in consultation with representatives of 
rechargeable battery manufacturers, rechargeable consumer product 
manufacturers, and retailers, establish a program to provide 
information to the public concerning the proper handling and disposal 
of used regulated batteries and rechargeable consumer products with 
nonremovable batteries.

SEC. 5. 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) 
the Administrator--
          (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 
        permanent injunction.
  (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 
requirements.
  (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 who is the importer 
of a battery or product covered by this Act and who has knowledge that 
the sale, offering for sale, or offering for promotional purposes of 
such battery or product is prohibited by this Act.

SEC. 6. 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 
information.

SEC. 7. 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. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to 
carry out this Act.

              TITLE I--RECHARGEABLE BATTERY RECYCLING ACT

SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

  This title may be cited as the ``Rechargeable Battery Recycling 
Act''.

SEC. 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, 
by--
          (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. 103. RECHARGEABLE CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND LABELING.

  (a) Prohibition.--
          (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 
        following:
                  (A) The sale of a remanufactured product unit unless 
                paragraph (1) applied to the sale of the unit when 
                originally manufactured.
                  (B) The sale of a product unit intended for export 
                purposes only.
  (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 RECYCLED.''.
          (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 applicable.
  (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).
          (2) Certification.--
                  (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 different 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), 
                        respectively; or
                          (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 
        comment--
                  (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 
or regulation.
  (f) Exemptions.--
          (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 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 
                environment; or
                  (B) violating requirements for approvals from 
                governmental agencies or widely recognized private 
                standard-setting organizations (including Underwriters 
                Laboratories).
          (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. 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.

          TITLE II--MERCURY-CONTAINING BATTERY MANAGEMENT ACT

SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.

  This title may be cited as the ``Mercury-Containing Battery 
Management Act''.

SEC. 202. PURPOSE.

  The purpose of this title is to phase out the use of batteries 
containing mercury.

SEC. 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 
January 1, 1996, 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. 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 January 1, 
1996, that contains mercury that was intentionally introduced as 
described in section 203.

SEC. 205. 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 January 1, 1996.

SEC. 206. LIMITATIONS ON THE SALE OF OTHER MERCURIC-OXIDE BATTERIES.

  (a) Prohibition.--On or after January 1, 1996, 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); and
          (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. 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 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.)).

                          purpose and summary

    H.R. 2024, the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery 
Management Act, phases out the use of mercury in batteries and 
provides for the efficient and cost-effective collection and 
recycling of certain other batteries, including nickel cadmium 
batteries and small sealed lead-acid batteries. The legislation 
would implement a national, uniform system for the collection 
and recycling of such batteries and provide for uniform 
labeling of the batteries. The legislation also provides 
enforcement mechanisms for violations of these new 
requirements.

                  background and need for legislation

A. Environmental hazards posed by batteries

    Exposure to mercury and cadmium does not pose health risks 
through the use of ordinary consumer products, but these 
elements can pose significant environmental problems when 
released into the environment.
    Exposure to mercury at high levels, which may result from 
breathing contaminated air or exposure to highly contaminated 
air, water, or soil near hazardous waste sites, may damage the 
brain, kidneys, and a developing fetus. Inorganic mercury, 
which includes metallic mercury and inorganic mercury 
compounds, can be released into the air from waste 
incineration. Inorganic mercury compounds are created by the 
combination of mercury with other elements, such as oxygen, 
chlorine, or sulfur. Mercury's effects on the brain may result 
in memory problems, vision and hearing difficulties, tremors, 
and irritability. Methylmercury exposure is particularly 
dangerous for young children because of its interference with 
neurological development. The U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA) limits mercury in drinking water to no more than 2 
parts per billion. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
limits methylmercury in seafood to 1 part per million. The 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) limits 
mercury in workplace air to 1 milligram per 10 cubic meters.
    Exposure to cadmium, which may occur from inhalation or 
ingestion of water, can damage the lungs and cause kidney 
disease. Cadmium can be released into the air from waste 
incineration and enters the water and soil from waste disposal 
and leaks near hazardous waste sites. The body retains cadmium 
for a long time, and cadmium can build up in the body as a 
result of long periods of low exposure. The Department of 
Health and Human Services notes that cadmium may reasonably be 
anticipated to be a carcinogen. The EPA limits cadmium in 
drinking water to no more than 5 parts per billion. The FDA 
limits cadmium in food colors to 15 parts per million parts of 
food color. OSHA limits cadmium fumes in workplace air to 100 
micrograms per cubic meter, and cadmium dust to 200 micrograms 
per cubic meter.
    Batteries are a major source of mercury and cadmium 
releases into the environment. Although the 2.5 billion dry 
cell batteries which the United States uses each year are a 
small portion of the overall amount of waste that is landfilled 
or incinerated, they represent a much larger portion of the 
overall amounts of mercury and cadmium in the U.S. waste 
stream. A New York State report on solid waste found that 
rechargeable batteries were the source of 68 percent of the 
cadmium in the State's solid waste, and mercury batteries 
accounted for 85 percent of the mercury in the State's waste 
stream. These materials can leach into groundwater after the 
batteries become corroded in landfills, and cause toxic air 
emissions from incinerators and increase the concentration of 
heavy metals in fly ash and bottom ash.
    There are two main categories of dry cell batteries: 
primary batteries, which are disposable batteries used in 
common household items like flashlights and radios, and 
secondary batteries or rechargeable batteries, typically used 
in items like cellular phones, cordless phones and cordless 
power tools. Primary batteries do not typically contain lead or 
cadmium electrodes or other significant amounts of toxic 
metals, but they may contain very small amounts of metals to 
prevent the formation of dangerous gases and to extend the life 
of the battery. The main primary battery chemistries are 
alkaline-manganese and zinc-carbon. The exception is the 
mercuric-oxide cell, used in medical, military, computer, and 
other equipment that requires constant voltage to operate. 
Mercuric-oxide batteries are being replaced increasingly with 
other alternatives.
    Secondary or rechargeable batteries include heavy metal 
nickel-cadmium and sealed lead batteries. Manufacturers most 
often market these batteries with products like portable power 
tools and razors and include external rechargers. Some 85 
percent of the 350 million rechargeable batteries purchased 
annually today in the United States are nickel-cadmium 
batteries, although new chemistries are expected to become a 
larger portion of the total over the next few years as 
rechargeable battery use grows.
    A broad industry group encompassing nearly all major 
battery manufacturing, consuming, and retailing companies is 
supporting H.R. 2024. The battery manufacturing and consuming 
companies organized the Portable Rechargeable Battery 
Association (PRBA) after the State of Minnesota passed the 
first State law establishing a rechargeable battery recycling 
program in 1991. The association, which now includes over 100 
member companies, was formed to promote battery recycling 
programs.
    The PRBA formed the Rechargeable Battery Recycling 
Corporation (RBRC) to recycle the rechargeable batteries with 
funding from the PRBA companies. The RBRC now operates battery 
programs in three States. The PRBA and the RBRC testified that 
Federal legislation is necessary to allow them to operate a 
uniform battery recycling program nationwide to quickly reduce 
cadmium levels in household waste. The PRBA also supports 
provisions in the bills to phase out mercury in most batteries.

B. Federal and State battery recycling initiatives and current law

    Both regulators and the regulated community agree that 
government should take steps to reduce the presence of mercury, 
cadmium, and other metals from batteries in the solid waste 
stream. Additionally, there appear to be few disagreements that 
recycling programs would be an efficient method of reduction.
    Because of their heavy metal content, used rechargeable 
batteries are considered to be ``hazardous waste'' under the 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and therefore 
have been subject to the regulatory requirements applicable to 
hazardous waste under subtitle C of that Act. ``Household 
waste,'' however, is exempted from the requirements of subtitle 
C, so batteries disposed of through ordinary municipal 
collection have ended up in landfills or incinerators. Waste 
from sources other than households does not fall into this 
exemption. If businesses were to undertake collection of 
rechargeable batteries, as is envisioned by the battery 
industry for its recycling program, the batteries would be 
subject to RCRA hazardous waste requirements. Those 
requirements include licensing and manifesting requirements for 
hazardous waste transporters; permitting requirements for the 
storage of hazardous waste; a requirement that hazardous waste 
be disposed of in specially permitted landfills; and various 
reporting and inspection requirements. The expensive subtitle C 
requirements are ill-suited to used rechargeable batteries, 
which are typically no more hazardous when transported and 
handled after use than when they are transported new. Their 
hazardous constituents do not pose risks to human health or the 
environment until incinerated or until they become corroded 
from exposure to the elements.
    Recognizing that certain hazardous wastes do not require 
the extensive regulatory control of subtitle C, and in an 
effort to facilitate environmentally-sound collection and 
recycling or treatment of hazardous waste nickel-cadmium and 
other batteries and other widely generated hazardous wastes, 
the EPA promulgated the Universal Waste Rule (40 CFR 273). 
Promulgated on May 11, 1995, the Universal Waste Rule applies 
to batteries which have been characterized as ``hazardous 
waste'' under RCRA. The regulatory definition of ``battery'' 
for such purposes is a broad one which covers rechargeable 
batteries and other battery types.
    The effect of the Universal Waste Rule is to streamline the 
regulations of subtitle C for the purpose of fostering battery 
recycling. The rule instead subjects rechargeable battery 
handlers and transporters to separate, less stringent 
requirements, distinguishing between ``large quantity handlers 
of universal waste'' (those which handle more than 5,000 
kilograms of universal waste at one time) and ``small quantity 
handlers of universal waste'' (those which handle less than 
5,000 kilograms at once). For large quantity handlers, the rule 
requires that the handler notify the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency (the Administrator) or 
authorized State of its activities and shipments, ensure 
appropriate employee training in handling such wastes, and 
track and keep records of shipments. Universal waste 
transporters and destination facilities are also subject to 
management and tracking requirements. The regulations for 
destination facilities remain the same as under the full 
subtitle C.
    The proposed legislation goes further than the Universal 
Waste Rule. Unlike H.R. 2024, the Universal Waste Rule does not 
set forth labeling requirements for rechargeable batteries and 
rechargeable consumer products. This means consumers do not 
have notice that rechargeable batteries can be recycled.
    RCRA provides that States may put in place their own 
hazardous waste programs in lieu of RCRA if the program is no 
less stringent than the Federal program. States may also adopt 
more restrictive requirements if they so choose. Only three 
States--Alaska, Hawaii, and Iowa--have not sought authorization 
to run a State program in lieu of RCRA. This means that in 
those three States, the Federal RCRA program, including 
regulations, applies and therefore the Universal Waste Rule 
also applies without any further action from the States.
    In the other 47 States, most RCRA regulations, including 
the Universal Waste Rule, do not automatically apply. Each 
State must affirmatively adopt the Federal regulations, and may 
do so with changes. The adopted State rule must then be 
approved by the EPA. To date, nine States--Alabama, Arkansas, 
Colorado, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, 
Tennessee, and Utah--have promulgated regulations implementing 
the Universal Waste Rule. Another two States--Georgia, and 
Michigan--have passed statutes incorporating the Universal 
Waste Rule. Others are considering the rule; some have issued 
discretionary guidance stating intentions not to enforce their 
existing laws to the detriment of battery recycling programs.
    In addition, 13 States--California, Connecticut, Florida, 
Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, 
New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont--have enacted their 
own legislation, mostly prior to the issuance of the Universal 
Waste Rule, requiring that nickel-cadmium and small sealed 
lead-acid batteries be labeled as recyclable and be ``easily 
removable'' from rechargeable consumer products. All of these 
States except California, New Hampshire, New York, and Oregon 
have also set up battery collection and recycling programs. 
There are slight differences among these statutes as to which 
words are required on the labels, and how the collection and 
recycling programs must be operated.
    The battery industry has made a strong case that there are 
at least two impediments that prevent establishment of a truly 
national recycling program and compel Federal legislation.
    First, the Universal Waste Rule is a helpful step toward 
establishing a national program. However, until all States 
adopt the rule, battery collection, handling, and 
transportation may be subject to inconsistent regulations among 
the States. Transporters may not be able to travel through 
certain States unless they comply with manifesting, reporting 
and other requirements, which are some of the requirements the 
Universal Waste Rule is designed to streamline. Furthermore, 
States are not required to adopt identical versions of the 
rule, which potentially could lead to transporters facing 
inconsistent requirements.
    Second, the inconsistencies also arise with respect to 
separate State rechargeable battery recycling statutes. 
Although the labeling requirements are very similar in 
virtually all States with such requirements, the exact words 
required in each vary slightly. Battery manufacturers must 
therefore produce separate labels for different States. 
Retailers who collect batteries for recycling may also have to 
set up different programs depending on State requirements.
    The Commerce Committee does not intend to establish this 
bill as a precedent for preempting State laws or affecting the 
enactment of State public health and environmental protections 
that are more stringent than Federal standards. The Committee 
does not intend to restrict the addition of wastes eligible for 
regulation under the Universal Waste Rule.
    H.R. 2024 is necessary because of a set of unique 
circumstances which requires national uniformity and preemption 
of State laws: (1) Battery manufacturers and manufacturers 
whose products require the use of such batteries have 
demonstrated a long-term commitment to protect the environment 
and to improve public health through collection and recycling 
capacity building, significant financial investments, and 
encouraging retailer and consumer participation; (2) While the 
batteries subject to Title I of H.R. 2024 can cause serious 
environmental hazards when disposed of or incinerated in large 
quantities, they will pose at most a de minimis environmental 
and public health threat if removed from the solid waste stream 
and managed in accordance with the requirements of the 
Universal Waste Rule; and (3) Uniform national incentives to 
create a voluntary recycling program will provide the 
opportunity to considerably enhance public health and the 
environment.

C. Support for legislation

    The community to be regulated by H.R. 2024--battery 
manufacturers, industries that use batteries in their consumer 
products, and the retail industry--all strongly support the 
legislation.
    The Oxley-Pallone-Klug amendment adopted at the Full 
Committee markup is designed to address the concerns raised by 
the EPA at the March 21, 1996, hearing on the bill. The amended 
version of H.R. 2024 reported by the Committee on Commerce also 
addresses issues raised by the Department of Justice, the 
Federal Trade Commission, and the Office of the United States 
Trade Representative.
    A number of local government groups, including the U.S. 
Conference of Mayors, and the National Conference of State 
Legislatures are endorsing the bill.

D. Legislative history

    In the 102nd Congress, battery legislation was approved by 
the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate 
Committee on Environment and Public Works, but did not move 
further in either the House or the Senate.
    In the 103rd Congress, battery legislation was paired with 
legislation to reduce lead in various consumer items. The House 
Subcommittee on Transportation and Hazardous Materials approved 
H.R. 4882, legislation offered by Congressman Al Swift, for 
Full Committee consideration by a voice vote. The Senate passed 
similar legislation, S. 729, offered by Senator Reid, by a 
nearly unanimous vote.
    In the 104th Congress, the Senate passed S. 619, 
legislation introduced by Senator Bob Smith, by a voice vote on 
September 21, 1995. Congressman Scott Klug introduced H.R. 2024 
on July 12, 1995 with Congressmen Gillmor, Bilirakis, Brown 
(Ohio), Fields (Texas), Franks (Connecticut), Hastert, 
Congresswoman Lincoln, Congressmen Manton, Pallone, Richardson, 
Stearns, Tauzin and Congresswoman Thurman as original 
cosponsors.

                                Hearings

    The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Hazardous 
Materials held a legislative hearing on March 21, 1996. 
Testimony was received from the following witnesses: Mr. 
Michael Shapiro, Director, Office of Solid Waste, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency; Mr. Jeff Bagby, Vice 
President, Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation; Mr. Norm 
England, President, Portable Battery Recycling Association; Mr. 
Ray Balfour, Vice President, Rayovac Corporation; The Honorable 
Randy Johnson, Commissioner, Board of Hennepin County 
(Minnesota) Commissioners; and Mr. Ronald Parrish, Vice 
President, Tandy Corporation.

                        Committee Consideration

    On April 16, 1996, the Full Committee met in open markup 
session to consider H.R. 2024, the Mercury-Containing and 
Rechargeable Battery Management Act. By unanimous consent, the 
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Hazardous Materials was 
discharged from further consideration of the bill. The Full 
Committee ordered H.R. 2024 reported to the House, as amended, 
by a voice vote, a quorum being present.

                            Roll Call Votes

    Clause 2(l)2(B) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto. There were no recorded votes taken in connection with 
ordering H.R. 2024 reported or in adopting the amendment. The 
voice votes taken in Committee are as follows:

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE--104TH CONGRESS VOICE VOTES

                             April 16, 1996

    Bill: H.R. 2024, Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable 
Battery Management Act.
    Amendment: Amendment by Mr. Oxley to make various 
clarifications to the existing legislation.
    Disposition: Agreed To, by a voice vote.
    Motion: Motion by Mr. Bliley to order H.R. 2024, as 
amended, reported to the House.
    Disposition: Agreed To, by a voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee held a legislative 
hearing and made findings that are reflected in this report.

              Committee on Government Reform and Oversight

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, no oversight findings have been 
submitted to the Committee by the Committee on Government 
Reform and Oversight.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(B) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee states 
that H.R. 2024 would result in no new or increased budget 
authority or tax expenditures or revenues.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(3)(C) of rule XI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the following is the cost 
estimate provided by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant 
to section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, April 19, 1996.
Hon. Thomas J. Bliley, Jr.,
Chairman, Committee on Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
reviewed H.R. 2024, the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable 
Battery Management Act, as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Commerce on April 16, 1995. CBO estimates that 
this bill would not have a significant impact on the federal 
budget, because it does not require any significant regulatory 
actions that are not anticipated under current law. Because the 
bill could affect receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would 
apply. However, CBO estimates that any change in receipts would 
be insignificant. The bill would impose new intergovernmental 
and private sector mandates, but those mandates would not 
result in significant costs for state or local governments, and 
would save money for the private sector.

Bill purpose

    H.R. 2024 would prohibit the sale of certain consumer 
products with rechargeable batteries unless labeling 
requirements specified in the bill are met. Under some 
circumstances, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could 
grant two-year exemptions from this requirement. Section 104 
would exempt persons involved in the collection, storage, 
transportation, and recycling or proper disposal of certain 
rechargeable batteries from regulations governing hazardous 
waste. In addition, title II would prohibit the sale of 
batteries containing mercury that was intentionally introduced 
during the manufacturing process.

Impact on the Federal budget

    The bill would require EPA to enforce the provisions of 
this bill, to provide information to the public concerning 
proper handling and disposal of certain used rechargeable 
batteries, and to respond to petitions from manufacturers for 
exemption from the battery labeling requirements defined by 
H.R. 2024. Based on information from the agency, we estimate 
these activities would cost less than $500,000 annually.
    Section 5 could increase governmental receipts by creating 
new civil penalties under the provisions of the bill enforced 
by the EPA. CBO estimates that any such increase would be less 
than $500,000 annually.

Estimated impact on State and local governments

    The bill contains intergovernmental mandates, as defined in 
Public Law 104-4, that would preempt state and local laws 
dealing with rechargeable batteries. CBO estimates that the 
costs of these mandates would be minimal and would not exceed 
the $50 million threshold establishes in the law. State and 
local governments would likely realize lower battery disposal 
costs as a result of this bill, but those savings would not 
result from the mandates in the bill.
    Section 103 of the bill would prohibit states or localities 
from enforcing any requirements regarding the case of removal 
or the environmental labeling of rechargeable batteries that 
are not identical to the requirements in the bill. CBO 
estimates that this preemption would not impose significant 
costs on state and local governments.
    Section 104 would exempt handlers of some types of 
rechargeable batteries from certain hazardous waste 
regulations. In providing this exemption, the section would 
immediately preempt all similar state and local laws. States 
would be allowed to implement and enforce their own 
requirements only if EPA determined that those requirements 
were identical to those of the federal government. Under 
current law, states authorized to administer and enforce the 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) may adopt EPA's 
universal waste rule of May 1995, which provides an exemption 
to handlers of rechargeable batteries similar to the exemption 
in this bill. Thus, CBO estimates that this preemption would 
not impose significant costs on states and localities because 
it would not significantly change their enforcement activities.
    The bill would provide an immediate exemption from certain 
regulations to handlers of rechargeable batteries. State and 
local governments that use rechargeable batteries would begin 
paying lower handling costs one to three years earlier than 
under current law.

Impact on the private sector

    This bill would impose mandates on the manufactures and 
importers of regulated batteries, mercury-containing batteries, 
and rechargeable consumer products. The mandates include 
requirements governing labeling of batteries, elimination of 
mercury in batteries, establishing and maintaining records of 
the labeling and the mercury content of batteries, and 
manufacturing rechargeable consumer products with an easily 
removable battery or a battery that is sold separately. 
Manufacturers and importers are unlikely to incur any 
additional costs from these mandated because they either 
currently comply with these requirements, or would likely 
obtain an exemption.
    Requirements for standard labels and reduced requirements 
related to transporting certain batteries would save money for 
the private sector. The labeling requirements would standardize 
labels that are now required by a number of states. Because 
individual states have different labeling requirements, the 
federal standards would reduce costs for manufacturers. This 
bill produces additional savings for the rechargeable battery 
industry by loosening transportation restrictions of 
rechargeable batteries. The rechargeable battery would no 
longer be considered a hazardous material and thus could be 
transported at lower cost as a nonhazardous substance.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Kim Cawley 
(for federal costs), Pepper Santalucia (for state and local 
impacts), and Jean Wooster (for private sector impacts).
            Sincerely,
                                         Paul Van de Water,
                                   (For June E. O'Neill, Director).

                     Inflationary Impact Statement

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the bill 
would have no inflationary impact.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 establishes the short title of the bill as the 
``Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act.''

Section 2. Congressional Findings

    Congress finds that it is in the public interest to phase 
out mercury use in batteries and provide for efficient and 
cost-effective collection and recycling or proper disposal of 
certain batteries; that uniform national labeling of certain 
batteries will significantly benefit recycling programs; and 
that battery recycling programs are to be encouraged.

Section 3. Definitions

    Section 3 defines the following terms used in the bill: 
``Administrator,'' ``button cell,'' ``easily removable,'' 
``mercuric oxide battery,'' ``rechargeable battery,'' 
``rechargeable consumer product,'' ``regulated battery,'' and 
``remanufactured product.''
    The term ``rechargeable battery'' excludes lead acid 
batteries used in vehicles and electric power generators; 
rechargeable alkaline batteries (which are subject to section 
203's mercury requirements); and batteries built into products 
to deal with power failures and fluctuations. The paragraph 
5(C)(iii) exemption and the product exemption in paragraph 6(B) 
do not apply to external uninterruptible power supply devices 
or their batteries.

Section 4. Information Dissemination

    This section requires the Administrator to establish a 
program to provide the public with information on the proper 
handling and disposal of used batteries and rechargeable 
consumer products with nonremovable batteries.

Section 5. Enforcement

    This section provides civil enforcement authority to the 
Administrator in cases where the Administrator determines that 
a person has violated any requirement of the Act, except for 
section 104, which is enforceable under the Solid Waste 
Disposal Act. The Administrator may assess a civil penalty of 
up to $10,000 for each violation. In addition, section 5(a)(2) 
authorizes commencement of a civil judicial action for 
noncompliance with any term or requirement of an administrative 
order (including an order to pay a penalty) and may also 
include additional injunctive or other relief, where 
appropriate.
    It restricts the Administrator's enforcement against 
retailers for offering to the ultimate consumer for sale or 
promotional purposes an unmodified battery or product governed 
by the Act that was purchased ready for final sale, and sold, 
offered for sale, or offered for promotional purposes. The 
initial manufacturer of the battery or other persons who modify 
or sell such batteries to a retailer can be prosecuted for 
violations of this Act.
    This provision is designed to promote retailers' voluntary 
participation in recycling programs by protecting retailers 
from prosecution for the sale of batteries that they purchase 
from a person, such as a manufacturer, who violates the Act. 
However, if the retailer is an importer who purchases batteries 
from an overseas manufacturer who may not be within the 
Administrator's enforcement reach, the legislation does not 
protect that retailer simply because he obtained the batteries 
abroad. For this reason, section 5(h) does not provide 
enforcement protection for an importer selling a battery who 
has knowledge that the battery he has obtained and is now 
selling contains the materials described in sections 203, 204, 
205, or 206.
    Requiring that the importer have ``knowledge'' of the 
contents of a battery is a standard that differs from civil 
enforcement standards of some other environmental statutes. 
Such an intent standard is adopted in this narrow circumstance 
to encourage retailers to participate in recycling programs, 
and because importers may be misled by foreign vendors from 
whom the importers purchase batteries.
    For the purposes of this Act, the term ``ultimate 
consumer'' means a person who obtains a battery or product with 
no intent to sell, and who does not sell, the battery or 
product prior to use.

Section 6. Information Gathering and Access

    Section 6 authorizes record keeping requirements for 
battery manufacturers or their agents, and provides the 
Administrator with information gathering authority on battery 
collection and recycling.

Section 7. State Authority

    This section preserves State authority to enact and enforce 
standards and requirements more stringent than those 
established under the Act, except as provided in sections 
103(e) and 104. This section also makes clear that States are 
entitled to adopt and enforce rules and regulations that are 
identical to the requirements imposed by the Act.

Section 8. Authorization of Appropriations

    Section 8 authorizes appropriation of such sums as are 
necessary to implement the Act.

              TITLE I--RECHARGEABLE BATTERY RECYCLING ACT

Section 101. Short Title

    Section 101 establishes the short title of this title as 
the ``Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act.'

Section 102. Purpose

    Section 102 sets forth the purpose of the title as 
facilitating efficient recycling of nickel-cadmium rechargeable 
batteries, small sealed lead-acid rechargeable batteries, and 
rechargeable batteries in consumer products, through uniform 
labeling requirements, streamlined regulatory requirements for 
regulated battery collection programs, and voluntary industry 
programs by eliminating barriers to funding the collection and 
recycling or proper disposal of used rechargeable batteries.

Section 103. Rechargeable Consumer Products and Labeling

    Section 103 prohibits the sale for use in the United States 
of a regulated battery or rechargeable consumer product 
manufactured one year or more after the date of enactment 
unless the section's labeling requirements are met and the 
regulated battery is easily removable from the rechargeable 
consumer product or sold separately.
    The section's labeling requirements apply to regulated 
batteries and rechargeable consumer products without easily 
removable batteries. Each such product must bear the three 
chasing arrows recycling sign and the phrase ``BATTERY MUST BE 
RECYCLED OR DISPOSED OF PROPERLY'' (the exact language differs 
depending on the type of battery).
    To give retailers time to deplete their stocks of products 
manufactured prior to the Act, the bill provides that products 
labeled in substantial compliance with the Act are deemed to 
comply with the labeling requirements.
    The section also gives the Administrator authority to 
certify that labels that convey substantially the same 
information or conform with international labeling standards 
comply with the Act; gives the Administrator the authority to 
adopt similar labeling rules for battery chemistries not 
covered by section 103 upon a finding that they may cause 
substantial harm to human health and the environment if 
discarded into the solid waste stream; prevents enforcement of 
labeling or easy removability standards that differ from the 
Act; and provides the Administrator with authority to exempt 
manufacturers from the section's requirements under certain 
circumstances.

Section 104. Requirements

    This section states that certain batteries which when 
discarded would otherwise be considered hazardous wastes--
including used rechargeable batteries, batteries described in 
section 3(5)(C) or Title II, and used rechargeable consumer 
products containing rechargeable batteries that are not easily 
removable--shall be regulated in essentially the same manner as 
batteries regulated under 40 CFR 273. That subpart is EPA's so-
called ``Universal Waste Rule,'' which provides comprehensive 
regulation for the management of used batteries. With the 
exception of mercuric oxide batteries, batteries described in 
Title II are not hazardous wastes. Under the Universal Waste 
Rule (40 CFR 273.2(b)), collection, storage, and transportation 
of any batteries described in Title II which are not hazardous 
wastes would not be subject to the Universal Waste Rule.
    The section also provides that failure to comply with 
subsection (a) of the section shall be subject to enforcement 
under the Solid Waste Disposal Act. States may enforce the 
requirements of subsection (a) if they have adopted 
requirements identical to those in that subsection and provide 
for their enforcement. This Act does not concern the disposal 
of batteries or other products. The disposal of batteries and 
other products covered by this Act is governed by the Solid 
Waste Disposal Act and other laws.

          TITLE II--MERCURY-CONTAINING BATTERY MANAGEMENT ACT

Section 201. Short Title

    Section 201 establishes the short title of Title II as the 
``Mercury-Containing Battery Management Act.''

Section 202. Purpose

    Section 202 states the purpose of Title II as phasing out 
the use of mercury in batteries.

Section 203. Limitations on the Sale of Alkaline-Manganese Batteries 
        Containing Mercury

    Section 203 prohibits any person from selling alkaline-
manganese batteries manufactured after January 1, 1996, with an 
intentionally introduced mercury content, except for alkaline-
manganese button cells, which may contain up to 25 milligrams 
of mercury.

Section 204. Limitations on the Sale of Zinc-Carbon Batteries 
        Containing Mercury

    Section 204 prohibits any person from selling zinc-carbon 
batteries manufactured after January 1, 1996, with an 
intentionally introduced mercury content.

Section 205. Limitations on the Sale of Button Cell Mercuric-Oxide 
        Batteries

    Section 205 prohibits any person from selling for use in 
the United States button cell mercuric-oxide batteries 
manufactured after January 1, 1996.

Section 206. Limitations on the Sale of Other Mercuric-Oxide Batteries

    Section 206 prohibits any person or importer from selling 
for use in the United States other mercuric-oxide batteries 
unless the manufacturer identifies an approved domestic 
collection site, and informs purchasers of the location of the 
site and provides a telephone number for recycling information.

Section 207. New Product or Use

    Section 207 authorizes the Administrator to exempt from 
this title new products or uses for batteries described in this 
bill, if reasonable safeguards exist that the battery will not 
be disposed of in an incinerator or landfill other than a 
facility regulated under subtitle C of the Solid Waste Disposal 
Act. The 1984 amendments to the Solid Waste Disposal Act 
prohibit the land disposal of hazardous wastes with two 
significant options for legal disposal: (1) meet pretreatment 
standards; or (2) place waste into a unit which has an approved 
petition certifying that there will be no migration of 
hazardous constituents for as long as the waste remains 
hazardous.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    This legislation does not amend any Federal statute.