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State Legislative Roundup

As of the time of writing, only 17 states remain in their regular 2016 legislative session, with Alaska, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Illinois all expected to finish before the end of the month. You can find summaries of a few of the bills that passed and are pending that impact recyclers

However, that list is not exhaustive. To learn more about these and other bills visit ISRI's State Legislative Tracking System. Or contact Danielle Waterfield or Justin Short if you have any questions about the system or bills impacting your state. The state metals theft summaries and links to state laws impacting recyclers on the State Specific Resources page are also kept updated, so be sure to check the requirements in your state.

Colorado, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Utah have all passed amendments to their metals theft laws; these have already been added to ISRI's state metals theft law summaries and the metals theft law database. In short:

  • Colorado HB 1182 revises the definition of "commodity metal" and extends the state's metals theft task force;
  • New Mexico SB 76 adds lead material to the list of regulated metals;
  • Tennessee HB 2339 is a clean-up bill that ensures that scrap metal dealers and dismantlers that handle vehicles pay the one-time $500 fee to pay for a system to track salvaged vehicles, which sunsets in 2017; and
  • Utah HB 269 adds mandatory fines to violations by dealers or sellers.

Tennessee recyclers were also successful in amending the definition of "liable party" in Tennessee's Hazardous Waste Management Act of 1983 to exempt any person excluded from liability under SREA with the passage of SB 2228, and in clarifying that a motor vehicle dealer's license is not needed to sell a non-repairable vehicle as scrap to a licensed dismantler, scrap metal dealer, or processor with the passage of HB 2473.

Illinois HB 6321 would effectively hijack the R2 Standard by barring electronics recycling accreditation organizations from taking "negative action" against recyclers or other parties that place "CRT glass in storage cells for future retrieval." ISRI submitted comments on proposed regulatory changes to the Illinois electronics recycling program last year expressing disapproval of this "storage‎" scheme as essentially evasion of recycling responsibility and opposes the passage of this bill. On May 12 the bill passed the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee and was scheduled to be considered on the Senate floor.

In contrast, Michigan SB 507 represents the result of years of discussions between the recycling industry and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on how best to develop a system to track recycling and develop a more certain statewide recycling rate. The final bill signing was attended by the Michigan Chapter leadership, and will require a recycling establishment to register annually by July 1 and report the amount of each category of reportable recyclable material received by and the amount shipped from the recycling establishment for each fiscal year. The definitions of "recycling establishment" and "reportable recyclable materials" include important exemptions that impact many recyclers, so be sure to check if your company is excluded.

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