ASSEMBLY, No. 3876

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 27, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† JAMES J. KENNEDY

District 22 (Somerset and Union)

Assemblyman† WILLIAM B. SAMPSON, IV

District 31 (Hudson)

Assemblywoman† GARNET R. HALL

District 28 (Essex and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Revises provisions of "Dry Cell Battery Management Act."

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning the disposal of certain batteries and battery-containing products, amending P.L.1991, c.521, and repealing sections 6 and 10 of P.L.1991, c.521.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.† Section 3 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.61) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 3.† As used in sections 1 through 23 of [this act] P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.59 through C.13:1E-99.81):

†††† "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection;†

†††† "Consumer mercuric oxide battery" means any button or coin shaped mercuric oxide battery which is purchased at retail by a consumer for personal or household use;

†††† "Covered battery" means a portable battery or medium format battery, whether embedded in a product or sold separately, except that "covered battery" shall not include:† (1) a battery contained within a medical device, as specified in 21 U.S.C. s.321(h), as it existed on the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.          ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), which device is not designed and marketed for sale or resale principally to consumers for personal use; (2) a battery that contains an electrolyte as a free liquid; (3) a lead acid battery weighing greater than 11 pounds; (4) a battery designed for use in a motor vehicle, part of a motor vehicle, or a component part of a motor vehicle assembled by, or for, a vehicle manufacturer or franchised dealer, including replacement parts for use in a motor vehicle; or (5) a battery recalled by a manufacturer for safety reasons in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (3) of subsection c. of section 8 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.66);†

†††† "Department" means the Department of Environmental Protection;

†††† "Distributor" means a person who sells dry cell batteries at wholesale to retailers in this State, including any manufacturer who engages in these sales, except that a "distributor" shall not include any wholesaler or distributor owned cooperatively by retailers;†

†††† "Dry cell battery" means any type of button, coin, cylindrical, rectangular or other shaped, enclosed device or sealed container consisting of a combination of two or more voltaic or galvanic cells, electrically connected to produce electric energy, composed of lead, lithium, manganese, mercury, mercuric oxide, silver oxide, cadmium, zinc, copper or other metals, or any combination thereof, and designed for commercial, industrial, medical, institutional or household use, including any alkaline manganese, lithium, mercuric oxide, silver oxide, zinc-air or zinc-carbon battery, nickel-cadmium rechargeable battery or sealed lead rechargeable battery;† †† "Institutional generator" means the owner or operator of any public or private, commercial or industrial establishment or facility, including any establishment owned or operated by, or on behalf of, a governmental agency, health care facility or hospital, licensed or other authorized hearing aid dispenser, research laboratory or facility, who routinely uses large quantities of mercuric oxide batteries or nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable batteries; or the owner or operator of any public or private facility identified by the department that generates at least 220 pounds of these types of used dry cell batteries per month, or the owner or operator of any public or private facility that accumulates 220 pounds of these types of used dry cell batteries at any time;†

†††† "Lithium battery" means any button, coin, cylindrical, rectangular or other shaped dry cell battery consisting of lithium and other chemicals commonly used in pocket calculators, wrist watches and other electrical appliances;†

†††† "Manufacturer" means a person producing [dry cell] covered batteries for sale to institutional generators, distributors, retailers, small quantity generators, or consumers.† For a covered battery embedded in a product, the manufacturer of the product shall be considered the "manufacturer" for the purposes of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.59 et seq.);†

†††† "Mercuric oxide battery" means any button, coin, cylindrical, rectangular or other shaped dry cell battery consisting of zinc, potassium and mercury oxide which is designed or sold for commercial, industrial, medical or institutional use;

†††† "Medium format battery" means: †(1) a rechargeable battery that weighs between 11 and 25 pounds or that has a rating of between 300 and 2000 watt-hours; or (2) a primary battery that weighs between 4.4 and 25 pounds;†

†††† "Nickel-cadmium rechargeable battery" means any button, coin, cylindrical, rectangular or other shaped dry cell battery composed of cadmium and nickel which is designed for reuse and is capable of being recharged after repeated uses, and which has a useful life of at least 12 months, except that "nickel-cadmium rechargeable battery" shall not include any dry cell battery used as a backup power source for memory or program instruction storage, timekeeping, or any similar purpose that requires uninterrupted electrical power in order to operate if the primary energy supply fails or fluctuates momentarily;

†††† "Primary battery" means a battery that is not capable of being recharged, and includes, but is not limited to, a mercuric oxide battery, lithium battery, silver oxide battery, zinc air battery, or non-rechargeable dry cell battery;

†††† "Portable battery" means:† (1) a rechargeable battery that weighs less than 11 pounds and has a rating of less than 300 watt-hours; or (2) a primary battery that weighs less than 4.4 pounds;

†††† "Rechargeable battery" means [any] one or more voltaic or galvanic cells, electrically connected to produce electric energy and designed to be repeatedly charged and discharged or an assembly of small rechargeable batteries in a container that has a single positive and negative connection, commonly known as a battery pack. "Rechargeable battery" includes, but is not limited to, a nickel-cadmium rechargeable battery, nickel metal hydride rechargeable battery, lithium ion rechargeable battery, or sealed lead rechargeable battery;†

†††† "Rechargeable consumer product" means any product, including, but not limited to, a cordless electrical tool or appliance, containing a nickel-cadmium rechargeable battery or a sealed lead rechargeable battery, which is purchased at retail and commonly used for personal or household purposes;†

†††† "Retailer" means a person engaged in the sale of rechargeable batteries to any consumer at retail;†

†††† "Sealed lead rechargeable battery" means any button, coin, cylindrical, rectangular or other shaped dry cell battery composed of lead and other chemicals which is designed for reuse and is capable of being recharged after repeated uses, and which has a useful life of at least 12 months;†

†††† "Silver oxide battery" means any button, coin, cylindrical, rectangular or other shaped dry cell battery consisting of silver oxide, potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide and zinc, and mercury commonly used in wrist watches and other electrical appliances;†

†††† "Solid waste container" means a receptacle, container or bag suitable for the depositing of solid waste;†

†††† "Solid waste facilities" mean and include the plants, structures and other real and personal property acquired, constructed or operated or to be acquired, constructed or operated by any person pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1970, c.39 (C.13:1E-1 et seq.), P.L.1970, c.40 (C.48:13A-1 et seq.) or any other act, including transfer stations, incinerators, resource recovery facilities, sanitary landfill facilities or other plants for the disposal of solid waste, and all vehicles, equipment and other real and personal property and rights therein and appurtenances necessary or useful and convenient for the collection or disposal of solid waste in a sanitary manner;†

†††† "Small quantity generator" means the owner or operator of any public or private, commercial or industrial establishment or facility, including any establishment owned or operated by, or on behalf of, a governmental agency, health care facility or hospital, licensed or other authorized hearing aid dispenser, research laboratory or facility, who routinely uses small quantities of mercuric oxide batteries or nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable batteries; or the owner or operator of any public or private facility identified by the department that generates less than 220 pounds of these types of used dry cell batteries per month, or the owner or operator of any public or private facility that accumulates over 20 pounds but less than 220 pounds of these types of used dry cell batteries at any time;†

†††† "Zinc-air battery" means any button, coin, cylindrical, rectangular or other shaped dry cell battery consisting of zinc, potassium hydroxide and commonly used in hearing aids, photographic equipment and electrical appliances.†

(cf: P.L.1997, c.91, s.1)

 

†††† 2.† Section 7 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.65) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 7. †a. †No person shall sell, offer for sale, or offer for promotional purposes in this State any [mercuric oxide battery, or any nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable] covered battery, unless the manufacturer thereof has obtained the prior written approval of the department of a plan for the collection, transportation, recycling or proper disposal of that used [dry cell] covered battery pursuant to the provisions of section 8 of [this act] P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.66).†

†††† Any two or more manufacturers may submit a joint plan to the department for any specified [mercuric oxide battery or rechargeable] covered battery that they manufacture.†

†††† b.††† Every manufacturer shall be liable, at [his own] the manufacturer's expense, for the environmentally sound collection, transportation, and recycling or proper disposal of every used [mercuric oxide battery, or used nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable battery, as the case may be,] covered battery produced by [him] the manufacturer and sold or offered for promotional purposes in this State.†

†††† c.†††† Manufacturers may establish or utilize a [trade association or a consortium comprised of members of the dry cell battery industry, as appropriate,] producer responsibility organization in order to facilitate compliance with the requirements of [this act] P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.59 et seq.).†

(cf: P.L.1991, c.521, s.7)

 

†††† 3.††† Section 8 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.66) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 8. †a. †(1) Within nine months of the effective date of [this act] P.L.    , c.    (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), every manufacturer of [mercuric oxide batteries, nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries or sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries sold or offered for promotional purposes in this State shall prepare and submit a battery management plan, in writing, to the department for the environmentally sound collection, transportation, and recycling or proper disposal of each specified used [dry cell] covered battery produced by that manufacturer.†

†††† (2)† Prior to submission to the department of a battery management plan, every manufacturer of [nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries shall consult with distributors and retailers of the [rechargeable] covered batteries produced by that manufacturer. No battery management plan shall require a retail establishment where food or food products are sold or offered for sale directly to the consumer for consumption off the premises of the retail establishment to accept the return of used [rechargeable] covered batteries.†

†††† (3)† No battery management plan shall include the collection of used covered batteries in curbside recycling bins.

†††† b. †Each battery management plan submitted by a manufacturer shall include, as appropriate, but need not be limited to:†

†††† (1)† Designation of the collector, transporter, processor or collection system to be utilized by the manufacturer, or by the county or municipality, institutional generator, retailer or small quantity generator on behalf of the manufacturer, for the collection, transportation, and recycling or proper disposal of used [mercuric oxide batteries or used rechargeable] covered batteries in each county, including, as appropriate, evidence of contracts or agreements entered into therefor;†

†††† (2)† Designation of the funding source or mechanism to be utilized by the manufacturer to defray the costs of implementing the battery management plan;

†††† (3)† A strategy for informing consumers, on any store display promoting the sale or use of the [rechargeable] covered batteries [he manufactures], that these types of used [dry cell] batteries may not enter the solid waste stream, and that a convenient mechanism for the collection, transportation, and recycling or proper disposal of [used rechargeable] covered batteries is available to the consumer;†

†††† (4)† A Statewide consumer education program to assure the widespread dissemination of information concerning the environmental impact of the improper disposal of used [mercuric oxide batteries or rechargeable] covered batteries, and to inform consumers that manufacturers of these types of [dry cell] batteries are liable for their environmentally sound disposal; [and]

†††† (5)† A strategy for establishing and implementing, as the department deems necessary, an industry-wide uniform coding system for the identification and labeling of all [mercuric oxide batteries or rechargeable] covered batteries by brand name, electrode type, product type or shape; except that the commissioner may grant a waiver from this requirement based on evidence furnished to the department that it is not technologically feasible to label a specified [dry cell] covered battery;

†††† (6) A covered battery collection system that makes available:

†††† (a) at least one permanent collection site for used, portable, covered batteries within a 15-mile radius of no less than 95 percent of the residents of the State, and within a 25-mile radius of each resident of the State, and

†††† (b) at least one permanent collection site for used, medium format covered batteries in each county in the State;

†††† (7) An explanation of the process by which the manufacturer will, upon request, provide household hazardous waste collection facilities, at no cost, and to all other collection sites, at cost, packaging consistent with the requirements found in the United States Department of Transportationís hazardous materials regulations, and the necessary forms and instructions, for the safe collection and transportation of damaged or defective lithium covered batteries. †The collection of recalled lithium covered batteries shall be the sole responsibility of the manufacturer of the lithium covered battery and shall not utilize the same collection system that is used for the collection of used covered batteries pursuant to an approved battery management plan; and

†††† (8) A strategy for preventing fires and other safety issues at collection sites including, but not limited to, providing packaging and shipping materials and training on the safe shipping and storage of covered batteries at no charge to those collection sites.†

†††† The commissioner shall maintain on file in the department for public inspection copies of any uniform coding system implemented pursuant to this paragraph. The department shall provide a copy to any person upon request.†

†††† c.† Any manufacturer seeking approval of a battery management plan for the environmentally sound collection, transportation, and recycling or proper disposal of any specified used [mercuric oxide battery, used nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable battery that he manufactures] covered battery shall submit the plan to the department for its review and approval. Notice of any battery management plan received by the department pursuant to this subsection shall be published in the New Jersey Register.†

†††† The commissioner shall maintain on file in the department for public inspection copies of any battery management plan received by the department pursuant to this subsection. The department shall provide a copy to any person upon request at a cost not to exceed the cost of reproduction.†

†††† (1)† The department shall promptly review all plans submitted pursuant to this subsection. The department shall, within 30 days of receipt of a plan, request that the manufacturer submit additional information to assist in its review if it deems that such information is necessary. If no such request is made, the plan shall be construed to be completed. In the event that additional information is requested, the plan shall be construed to be completed when the additional information is received by the department.†

†††† (2)† The department shall approve or deny a plan within 45 days of receipt of a completed plan. In the event that the department fails to take action on a plan within the 45-day period specified herein, then the plan shall be deemed to have been approved.†

†††† (3)† The department shall review any battery management plan submitted by a manufacturer and approved pursuant to this subsection at least once every 24 months following its initial approval. †If the department finds, in writing, that the plan is no longer a convenient or economically feasible method for the collection, transportation, and recycling or proper disposal of these types of used [dry cell] covered batteries, the department may require the manufacturer to submit a new or revised plan for its review and approval; except that any previously approved plan shall remain in effect until such time as a new or revised plan is approved by the department.†

†††† d.† Within 15 months of the effective date of [this act] P.L.    , c.    (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and at least once every six months thereafter, every manufacturer of [mercuric oxide batteries or rechargeable] covered batteries shall submit a written report to the department on used [dry cell] covered battery return or recovery rates in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the department therefor.†

†††† e.† Manufacturers may establish an advisory council comprised of members of the [dry cell] covered battery industry, institutional generators, retailers, small quantity generators and county representatives in order to facilitate the collection, transportation, recycling or proper disposal of used [mercuric oxide batteries or used rechargeable] covered batteries in this State.†

(cf: P.L.1991, c.521, s.8)

 

†††† 4.††† Section 11 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.69) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 11. †a. †No person shall knowingly dispose of used [nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries or used sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries as solid waste at any time. †No person shall knowingly place covered batteries in curbside recycling bins.

†††† b.† Any person seeking to dispose of used [nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries derived from household use may:†

†††† (1)† return these types of [used dry cell] batteries to a retailer unless otherwise provided by the battery management plan required pursuant to section 8 of [this act] P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.66);†

†††† (2)† transport these types of [used dry cell] batteries to a household hazardous waste collection site established pursuant to a county household hazardous waste collection program; or

†††† (3)† place these types of used [dry cell] batteries for collection in the manner provided by the municipal recycling ordinance in instances where the adopted district recycling plan as approved by the department pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1987, c.102 (C.13:1E-99.13) requires the collection and disposition of used [dry cell] covered batteries [as a designated source separated recyclable material] on a designated hazardous waste collection day; or

††† (4)† collect, transport, recycle or dispose of these types of [used dry cell] batteries as otherwise provided by the battery management plan required pursuant to section 8 of [this act] P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.66).†

(cf: P.L.1991, c.521, s.11)

 

†††† 5.††† Section 12 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.70) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 12. †a. †No solid waste collector registered pursuant to sections 4 and 5 of P.L.1970, c.39 (C.13:1E-4 and 13:1E-5) shall, at any time, knowingly collect used [mercuric oxide batteries, used nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries or used sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries placed for collection and disposal as solid waste.†

†††† b.† A solid waste collector may refuse to collect the contents of a solid waste container containing a visible quantity of used [mercuric oxide batteries or used rechargeable] covered batteries.†

(cf: P.L.1991, c.521, s.12)

 

†††† 6.††† Section 13 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.71) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 13. †a. †No solid waste facility in this State shall knowingly accept for disposal any truckload or roll-off container of solid waste containing a visible quantity of used [mercuric oxide batteries, used nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries or used sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries at any time.

†††† b.† The owner or operator of a solid waste facility may refuse to accept for disposal any truckload or roll-off container of solid waste containing a visible quantity of used [mercuric oxide batteries or used rechargeable] covered batteries.†

(cf: P.L.1991, c.521, s.13)

 

†††† 7.††† Section 14 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.72) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 14. †a. †[Except as otherwise provided in a battery management plan approved by the department pursuant to the provisions of section 8 of this act, every retailer shall:†

†††† (1)† Accept from customers at any time during business hours up to three used nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries or sealed lead rechargeable batteries derived from household use, of the type and size he sells or offers for sale;†

†††† (2)† Conspicuously post and maintain, at or near the point of display, a legible sign, not less than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches in size, informing customers that used rechargeable batteries of the type and size sold or offered for sale by the retailer may not enter the solid waste stream, and that the retail establishment is a collection site for the recycling or proper disposal of these types of used dry cell batteries. The sign shall contain the following inscription:†

†††† "It is illegal to dispose of used nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable batteries in this State as solid waste"; and†

†††† "State law requires us to accept used nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable batteries for return to the manufacturer"; and†

†††† (3)† Conspicuously provide or maintain, at a convenient location within the retail establishment, collection boxes or other suitable receptacles into which customers may deposit used nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable batteries accepted by the retailer.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.    , c.   .) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)

†††† b. †Except as otherwise provided in a battery management plan approved by the department pursuant to the provisions of section 8 of [this act] P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.66), a distributor or his agent shall accept the return of all used [nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries [he] the distributor distributes in [his] the distributor's service area from a retailer.†

†††† c.† Every manufacturer, at his own expense, shall accept the return of all used [nickel-cadmium or sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries [he] the manufacturer manufactures from distributors or retailers as provided in a battery management plan approved by the department pursuant to the provisions of section 8 of [this act] P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.66). A manufacturer shall, upon return of a used [dry cell] covered battery, provide for its proper disposal or recycling.†

†††† d.† [The provisions of this section shall not apply to any retail establishment where food or food products are sold or offered for sale directly to the consumer for consumption off the premises of the retail establishment.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.    , c.   .) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)

(cf: P.L.1991, c.521, s.14)

 

†††† 8.††† Section 15 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.73) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 15. †a. †Every institutional generator shall provide for the on-site source separation, collection, and disposal of all used [mercuric oxide batteries, nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries and sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries generated at the facility.†

†††† b.† Every small quantity generator shall provide for the on-site source separation, collection, and disposal of all used [mercuric oxide batteries, nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries and sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries generated at the facility.†

†††† c.† Except as otherwise provided in rules or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to P.L.1970, c.39 (C.13:1E-1 et seq.), or as otherwise prescribed under any other applicable federal or State law, every institutional or small quantity generator shall source-separate used [mercuric oxide batteries, nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries and sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries for collection and disposal in the manner provided in the battery management plan required pursuant to section 8 of [this act] P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.66).†

(cf: P.L.1991, c.521, s.15)

 

†††† 9.††† Section 19 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.77) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 19. †a.† The commissioner shall establish a means of addressing consumer complaints and a public education program to assure the widespread dissemination of information concerning the purpose of [this act] P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.59 et seq.).†

†††† b. †The department shall have the right to enter, at any time during normal business hours and upon presentation of appropriate credentials, any retail establishment at which [consumer mercuric oxide batteries, nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries or sealed lead rechargeable] covered batteries are sold or offered for promotional purposes in order to determine compliance with the provisions of [this act] P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.59 et seq.).†

(cf: P.L.1991, c.521, s.19)

 

†††† 10.† Sections 6 and 10 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.64 and C.13:1E-68) are repealed.

 

†††† 11. †This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill would revise the provisions of the "Dry Cell Battery Management Act," P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.59 et seq.) to expand the types of batteries and consumer products that are covered under this law.

†††† The bill would amend most of the provisions of the "Dry Cell Battery Management Act" to provide that the law would apply to "covered batteries," rather than to mercuric oxide batteries, nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries and sealed lead rechargeable batteries, as in current law.† The bill would define a "covered battery" as a rechargeable or non-rechargeable battery that weighs up to 25 pounds or a rechargeable battery that stores up to 2000 watt-hours of energy, whether embedded in a product or sold separately.† This would entail, among other things, that persons would be prohibited from selling a covered battery or a battery-embedded product unless the manufacturer of the battery or product, as applicable, has developed a battery management plan, which has been approved by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).† The bill would require each manufacturer of a covered battery to submit a battery management plan to the DEP no later than nine months after the bill's enactment.† The bill would also modify the provisions of the "Dry Cell Battery Management Act" to prohibit the use of curbside recycling for the collection of covered batteries, and to require additional items be included in a battery management plan, including a requirement that each manufacturer provide for at least one permanent collection site for used, portable, covered batteries within a 15-mile radius of no less than 95 percent of the residents of the State, and within a 25-mile radius of each resident of the State.

†††† The bill would delete a provision of current law that requires retailers to accept used nickel-cadmium and sealed lead rechargeable batteries from customers.† The bill would also delete a provision in current law that requires retailers to post certain signage regarding nickel-cadmium and sealed lead rechargeable batteries in their retail establishments.† In addition, the bill would repeal section 6 of P.L.1991, c.521 (C.13:1E-99.64), which prohibits persons from selling certain rechargeable consumer products, unless certain conditions are met, including that the rechargeable battery is readily removable from the product.