California Lighting Efficiency and Toxics Reduction Act Amendment (SB 589)

February, 2011

SB 589, introduced in February 2011, would amend the California Lighting Efficiency and Toxics Reduction Act by adding Chapter 21 – Household Mercury-Containing Lamp Recovery and Recycling Program – to existing law. SB 589 would require that a manufacturer of household mercury-containing lamps prepare and submit to CalRecycle, by April 1, 2013, a household mercury-containing lamp stewardship plan to establish a recovery program for the management of end-of-life household mercury-containing lamps. This bill remains active.

SB 589 would define the term stewardship fee as an amount added to the retail purchase price of a mercury-containing household lamp. The bill would require the plan to include the payment of a stewardship fee at the point of sale and would specify a procedure for CalRecycle’s approval of the amount of the stewardship fee. This would "constitute a change in state statute that would result in a taxpayer paying a higher tax within the meaning of Section 3 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, and thus would require for passage the approval of 2/3 of the membership of each house of the Legislature." CalRecycle would be authorized to recover the reasonable cost of plan review by requiring the payment of a plan review fee.

CalRecycle would be required to post and maintain on its Web site a list of manufacturers which have approved stewardship plans. The bill would prohibit a manufacturer or retailer, on and after November 1, 2013, from selling or offering for sale a household mercury-containing lamp in the state unless the manufacturer is included on CalRecycle’s list. The bill would require a retailer that distributes or sells household mercury-containing lamps to consumers in the state to monitor the CalRecycle’s Web site to determine if the sale of a manufacturer’s mercury-containing lamp is listed as being in compliance.

The bill would also require a retailer to add the stewardship fee to the retail purchase price of a household mercury-containing lamp, and remit the fee to the manufacturer or stewardship organization. A retailer would also be required to document the stewardship fee as a separate line item on the customer’s receipt, and to include specified information on that receipt. The bill would also require a manufacturer or stewardship organization, by July 1, 2014, to submit an annual report to the department describing the program implementing the plan.

See the California Legislature website to monitor SB 589’s status, or see the California Product Stewardship Council’s legislation site.