Maine Revised Statutes

§1665-A. Motor vehicle components

Notwithstanding sections 1663 and 1664, this section applies to a mercury-added product that is a motor vehicle component. [2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW).]

1. Prohibition on sale of new motor vehicles with mercury switches.  A person may not sell a motor vehicle manufactured on or after January 1, 2003 if it contains a mercury switch. A motor vehicle manufacturer may apply to the commissioner for an exemption from this prohibition. The commissioner may grant an exemption upon finding that:
A. The manufacturer has provided assurance that a system exists for the proper removal and recycling of the mercury switch; and [2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW).]
B. Either of the following applies:
(1) Use of the mercury switch is necessary to protect public health or safety; or
(2) There are no technically feasible alternatives to the mercury switch at comparable cost. [2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW).]
[ 2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW) .]
2. Prohibition on replacement mercury light switches.  Effective January 1, 2003, a person may not sell or distribute a mercury light switch for installation in a motor vehicle.
[ 2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW) .]
3. Removal of certain mercury components when vehicle use ends.  A person may not flatten, crush or bale a motor vehicle for the purpose of sending it to a scrap recycling facility, or arrange for a motor vehicle to be flattened, baled or crushed for that purpose, without first removing all mercury switches and mercury headlamps, except that a scrap recycling facility may agree to accept a motor vehicle that has not been flattened, crushed or baled. If a scrap recycling facility accepts such a motor vehicle, the scrap recycling facility is responsible for removing the mercury switches and mercury headlamps before the vehicle is flattened, crushed, baled or shredded. Upon removal, the components must be collected, stored, transported and otherwise handled in accordance with the universal waste rules adopted by the board under subsection 8.
[ 2005, c. 148, §4 (RPR) .]
4. Voluntary removal of mercury light switches prior to end of vehicle use.  A motor vehicle dealer or any person engaged in motor vehicle repair or maintenance may participate in the mercury light switch removal and collection effort pursuant to subsection 5, as long as the person notifies the department before commencing removal and receives such training as may be required by the department. Any person who removes a mercury light switch from a motor vehicle before the motor vehicle is removed from service shall affix an official sticker to the motor vehicle to indicate that the switch has been removed. The stickers may be obtained from the department and must be affixed to the doorpost or other location specified by the department. A person may not install a mercury light switch into a motor vehicle to which the sticker is affixed.
[ 2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW) .]
5. Motor vehicle manufacturer responsibility.  Manufacturers of motor vehicles sold in this State that contain mercury switches or mercury headlamps shall, individually or collectively, do the following:
A. Establish a system to collect and recycle mercury switches removed pursuant to subsection 3. The system may consist of consolidation facilities geographically located to serve all areas of the State to which the switches may be transported by the persons performing the removal or any other collection methodology approved by the department. The system must be convenient to use, must accept the switches free of charge and may not provide for collection of the switches at an automobile dealership; [2009, c. 277, §3 (AMD).]
B. Pay for each mercury switch brought to the consolidation facilities as partial compensation for the removal, storage and transport of the switches a minimum of $4 if the vehicle identification number or year, make and model of the source vehicle is provided. If the vehicle identification number or year, make and model of the source vehicle is not provided, no payment is required; [2011, c. 206, §27 (AMD).]
C. Ensure that mercury switches collected pursuant to paragraph A are managed in accordance with the universal waste rules adopted by the board under subsection 8; and [2009, c. 277, §3 (AMD).]
D. Provide the department and persons who remove motor vehicle components under this section with information, training and other technical assistance required to facilitate removal and recycling of the components in accordance with the universal waste rules adopted by the board under subsection 8, including, but not limited to, information identifying the motor vehicle models that contain or may contain mercury switches or mercury headlamps. [2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW).]
The goal of this collection and recycling effort is to minimize mercury emissions to the environment by ensuring that all mercury switches are removed from motor vehicles for recycling before the vehicles are flattened, baled or crushed.
In complying with the requirements of this subsection, manufacturers of motor vehicles shall establish a system that does not require a person who removes a mercury switch to segregate switches separately according to each manufacturer of motor vehicles from which the switches are removed.
[ 2011, c. 206, §27 (AMD) .]
6. Department responsibility.  The department shall:
A. Assist those subject to the source separation requirements of this section by providing training on the universal waste rules adopted by the board under subsection 8 and by taking other steps as determined appropriate to provide for the safe removal and proper handling of motor vehicle components; [2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW).]
B. Design and distribute the stickers required under subsection 4; and [2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW).]
C. Make available to the public information concerning services to remove mercury light switches in motor vehicles. [2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW).]
[ 2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW) .]
7. Labeling.  Effective July 15, 2002, the labeling requirements of section 1662 apply to motor vehicle components. In approving an alternative compliance plan for labeling for motor vehicles under section 1662, the commissioner shall require a motor vehicle manufacturer to apply a doorpost label listing the mercury-added products that may be components in the motor vehicle. The commissioner may not require a manufacturer to affix a label to each mercury-added component.
[ 2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW) .]
8. Rulemaking.  The board shall revise the universal waste rules adopted pursuant to section 1319-O, subsection 1, paragraph F as necessary to establish standards by which mercury switches in motor vehicles may be handled as universal waste.
[ 2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW) .]
9. Reporting.  Before January 1, 2003 and annually thereafter, motor vehicle manufacturers doing business in the State shall report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over natural resources matters on any fee or other charge collected on the sale of new motor vehicles for the purpose of paying the cost of carrying out the manufacturer responsibilities under subsection 5. The report must specify the amount of the fee or charge collected and how the amount of the fee or charge was determined. When the commissioner determines that the number of mercury switches available for collection is too small to warrant continuation of the program, the department shall recommend to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over natural resources matters that the mercury switch removal, collection and recycling requirements of this section be repealed. The committee may report out a bill repealing this section.
[ 2007, c. 655, §19 (AMD) .]
2001, c. 656, §3 (NEW). 2003, c. 6, §1 (AMD). 2005, c. 148, §§4,5 (AMD). 2005, c. 561, §9 (AMD). 2007, c. 292, §45 (AMD). 2007, c. 655, §19 (AMD). 2009, c. 277, §3 (AMD). 2011, c. 206, §27 (AMD).