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[GreenYes] Fwd: Press Release: EPA's Proposed Rule on CRTs
Apologies for Cross-Postings

>Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 19:56:09 -0400 (EDT)
>To: Multiple recipients of list <>
>EPA Environmental News
>David Deegan, 202-564-7839/
>EPA has proposed changing its existing waste regulations for computers,
>televisions and mercury-containing equipment to discourage the flow of
>these materials to municipal landfills and incinerators, and to promote
>safe reuse and recycling of these products.
>"By streamlining our waste regulations, we encourage more reuse and
>recycling, cut costs and reduce paperwork," said EPA Administrator
>Christie Whitman.  "At the same time we continue to protect public
>health and the environment by providing better methods for reusing,
>recycling and managing materials containing hazardous substances such as 
>lead and mercury."
>Color computer monitors and televisions contain cathode ray tubes
>(CRTs), most of which contain lead to protect users from x-rays
>generated while the tube is in operation.  A typical computer monitor
>may contain up to eight pounds of lead.  EPA estimates that over 250
>million computers in this country will be retired from use over the next
>five years.  The EPA proposal would encourage more reuse and recycling
>of these computers.
>For instance, if CRTs are being considered for possible reuse, the
>proposal clarifies that EPA considers them to be "products," rather than
>"waste."  Therefore, they would not be regulated under the waste
>requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  EPA is 
>also proposing to lift the waste designation from glass removed from CRTs, 
>as long as the glass is sent for recycling and managed in
>accordance with simplified storage, labeling and transportation
>requirements specified in the proposal.  EPA believes that these
>proposed changes will encourage the recycling of these materials, while
>minimizing the possibility of releasing lead into the environment.
>This proposal will also streamline regulations for mercury-containing
>equipment.  Mercury is used in several types of instruments common to
>electric utilities, municipalities and households, such as switches,
>barometers, meters, temperature gauges, pressure gauges and sprinkler
>system contacts.
>Under the proposal, mercury-containing equipment will be treated as a
>"universal waste," rather than being subject to the full hazardous waste
>regulations under RCRA.  Universal wastes are usually items commonly
>thrown into the trash by households and small businesses, such as
>batteries, thermostats, lamps and pesticides.  EPA issued the first
>universal waste rule in 1995 to streamline environmental regulations for
>wastes produced in relatively small quantities by large numbers of
>businesses.  Handlers of universal wastes follow special standards
>designed to encourage centralized collection and recycling in order to
>keep these wastes out of  landfills and incinerators.
>The proposal will appear soon in the Federal Register.  For further
>information call the RCRA Call Center at 1-800-424-9346 (from the
>Washington, D.C. area, call 703-412-9810), or go to:
> .

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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