Federal E-Waste Legislation to Adopt Producer Responsibility Approach

Date: February 26, 2008

Source: News Room

Lawmakers working on federal e-waste legislation are touting a consensus-based extended producer responsibility approach, as described in a concept paper, a precursor to what might become the National Electronic Products Stewardship Act. Manufacturers, retailers and recyclers would share the task of setting up and running a national program to collect, transport, and recycle e-waste. Existing state e-waste laws would not be preempted if the law is enacted, but it would serve as a floor for future state controls, the paper said. Federal requirements would apply immediately in states without e-waste laws, and states would be free to set limits more stringent than those that the federal law imposes. The EPA would establish recycling rules and run the national program. Federal requirements would take precedence, but states wanting to do more could apply to EPA for "lead implementing agency" status. The draft proposes to cover CRT devices, flat panel video display devices with screens larger than 4 inches and desktop and laptop computers. The EPA could add or remove products from the list.

The paper was drafted by the staffs of Reps. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., Louis Slaughter, D-N.Y., Albert Wynn, D- Md., Mary Bono, R-Calif., Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., and Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Sherrod Brown, D- Ohio.

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