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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

116.92 Mercury emissions reduction.

Subdivision 1. Sales. A person may not sell mercury to another person in this state without providing a material safety data sheet, as defined in United States Code, title 42, section 11049, and requiring the purchaser to sign a statement that the purchaser:

(1) will use the mercury only for a medical, dental, instructional, research, or manufacturing purpose; and

(2) understands the toxicity of mercury and will appropriately store and use it and will not place, or allow anyone under the purchaser's control to place, the mercury in the solid waste stream or in a wastewater disposal system, as defined in section 115.01, subdivision 4.

Subd. 2. Use of mercury. A person who uses mercury in any application may not place, or deliver the mercury to another person who places residues, particles, scrapings, or other materials that contain mercury in solid waste or wastewater, except for traces of materials that may inadvertently pass through a filtration system during a dental procedure.

Subd. 3. Labeling; products containing mercury. A manufacturer or wholesaler may not sell and a retailer may not knowingly sell any of the following items in this state that contain mercury unless the item is labeled in a manner to clearly inform a purchaser or consumer that mercury is present in the item and that the item may not be placed in the garbage until the mercury is removed and reused, recycled, or otherwise managed to ensure that it does not become part of solid waste or wastewater:

(1) a thermostat or thermometer;

(2) an electric switch, individually or as part of another product, other than a motor vehicle;

(3) an appliance;

(4) a medical or scientific instrument; and

(5) an electric relay or other electrical device.

Subd. 4. Removal from service; products containing mercury. (a) When an item listed in subdivision 3 is removed from service the mercury in the item must be reused, recycled, or otherwise managed to ensure compliance with section 115A.932.

(b) A person who is in the business of replacing or repairing an item listed in subdivision 3 in households shall ensure, or deliver the item to a facility that will ensure, that the mercury contained in an item that is replaced or repaired is reused or recycled or otherwise managed in compliance with section 115A.932.

(c) A person may not crush a motor vehicle unless the person has first made a good faith effort to remove all of the mercury switches in the motor vehicle.

Subd. 5. Thermostats. A manufacturer of thermostats that contain mercury or that may replace thermostats that contain mercury shall, in addition to the requirements of subdivision 3, provide incentives for and sufficient information to purchasers and consumers of the thermostats for the purchasers or consumers to ensure that mercury in thermostats being removed from service is reused or recycled or otherwise managed in compliance with section 115A.932. A manufacturer that has complied with this subdivision is not liable for improper disposal by purchasers or consumers of thermostats.

Subd. 5a. Displacement relays. (a) A manufacturer of a displacement relay that contains mercury is responsible for the costs of collecting and managing its displacement relays to ensure that the relays do not become part of the solid waste stream.

(b) A manufacturer of a displacement relay that contains mercury shall, in addition to the requirements of subdivision 3, provide incentives for, and sufficient information to, purchasers and consumers of the relay to ensure that the relay does not become part of the waste stream. A manufacturer that has complied with this subdivision is not liable for improper disposal by purchasers or consumers of its relays.

(c) A manufacturer subject to this subdivision, or an organization of such manufacturers and its officers, members, employees, and agents, may participate in projects or programs to collect and properly manage waste displacement relays. Any person who participates in such a project or program is immune from liability under state law relating to antitrust, restraint of trade, unfair trade practices, and other regulation of trade or commerce for activities related to the collection and management of the relays under this subdivision.

(d) For the purposes of this subdivision, a "displacement relay" means an electric flow control device having one or more poles that contain metallic mercury and a plunger which, when energized by a magnetic field, moves into a pool of mercury, displacing the mercury sufficiently to create a closed electrical circuit.

Subd. 6. Mercury thermometers prohibited. (a) A manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer may not sell or distribute at no cost a thermometer containing mercury that was manufactured after June 1, 2001.

(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to:

(1) an electronic thermometer with a battery containing mercury if the battery is in compliance with section 325E.125;

(2) a mercury thermometer used for food research and development or food processing, including meat, dairy products, and pet food processing;

(3) a mercury thermometer that is a component of an animal agriculture climate control system or industrial measurement system until such time as the system is replaced or a nonmercury component for the system is available; or

(4) a mercury thermometer used for calibration of other thermometers, apparatus, or equipment, unless a nonmercury calibration standard is approved for the application by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Subd. 7. Fluorescent and high intensity discharge lamps; large use applications. (a) A person who sells fluorescent or high intensity discharge lamps that contain mercury to the owner or manager of an industrial, commercial, office, or multiunit residential building, or to any person who replaces or removes from service outdoor lamps that contain mercury, shall clearly inform the purchaser in writing on the invoice for the lamps, or in a separate writing, that the lamps contain mercury, a hazardous substance that is regulated by federal or state law and that they may not be placed in solid waste. This paragraph does not apply to a person who incidentally sells fluorescent or high intensity discharge lamps at retail to the specified purchasers.

(b) A person who contracts with the owner or manager of an industrial, commercial, office, or multiunit residential building, or with a person responsible for outdoor lighting, to remove from service fluorescent or high intensity discharge lamps that contain mercury shall clearly inform, in writing, the person for whom the work is being done that the lamps being removed from service contain mercury and what the contractor's arrangements are for the management of the mercury in the removed lamps.

Subd. 8. Ban; toys, games, and apparel. A person may not sell for resale or at retail in this state a toy or game that contains mercury, or an item of clothing or wearing apparel that is exempt from sales tax under section 297A.67, subdivision 8, that contains an electric switch that contains mercury.

Subd. 8a. Ban; mercury manometers. After June 30, 1997, mercury manometers for use on dairy farms may not be sold or installed, nor may mercury manometers in use on dairy farms be repaired. After December 31, 2000, all mercury manometers on dairy farms must be removed from use.

Subd. 9. Enforcement; generators of household hazardous waste. (a) A violation of subdivision 2 or 4, paragraph (a), by a generator of household hazardous waste, as defined in section 115A.96, or a violation of subdivision 8 by a person selling at retail, is not subject to enforcement under section 115.071, subdivision 3.

(b) An administrative penalty imposed under section 116.072 for a violation of subdivision 2 or 4, paragraph (a), by a generator of household hazardous waste, as defined in section 115A.96, or for a violation of subdivision 8 by a person selling at retail, may not exceed $700.

HIST: 1992 c 560 s 3; 1992 c 603 s 37; 1993 c 249 s 28; 1994 c 585 s 38; 1995 c 247 art 1 s 43; 1997 c 62 s 2,3; 1997 c 216 s 116; 2000 c 418 art 1 s 44; 2001 c 47 s 1