T – 15 – 16
Barbara A. Lee, Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2016
Additional Manufacturers Agree to Improve Collection
of Used Mercury-Containing Thermostats
SACRAMENTO – Four more thermostat manufacturers have agreed to improve their methods for collecting used thermostats that contain mercury, a potent neurotoxin, under an agreement with the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).
DTSC reached a settlement with Goodman Global Inc., PSG Controls Inc., TPI Corporation and Daikin Applied in June and July of this year. The manufacturers agreed to settle the enforcement actions against them for a penalty of $25,000 each for failure to meet the out-of-service mercuryadded thermostat collection requirement.
Earlier this year, 25 other manufacturers signed a separate agreement to improve the collection of used thermostats that contain mercury. The agreement settled those violations for a collective penalty of $625,000.
“The commitment of these additional four manufacturers will go a long way to protect the public and help remove mercury from entering the environment,” said Keith Kihara, Chief of DTSC’s Enforcement Division.
The Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2008 banned the sale of new mercury-added thermostats. It also required manufacturers that had sold or distributed mercury-containing thermostats in California to establish a program to collect and recycle the thermostats. The manufacturers use the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) to carry out their collection responsibilities.
DTSC has adopted regulations that established annual performance requirements for the collection of mercury-containing thermostats. The manufacturers failed to meet those requirements for 2013 and 2014, prompting DTSC to issue Summaries of Violation. The Consent Order settles those violations.
DTSC has a hearing later this month for one enforcement action with one remaining thermostat manufacturer that has not reached a settlement agreement.
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can cause significant harm to human health and the environment. Although they are no longer sold in California, an estimated 4 to 9 million mercury containing thermostats are still in use in California homes and businesses.
Mercury-containing thermostats may not be disposed in solid waste landfills. If you have a mercury-containing thermostat that is being replaced and want to ensure the thermostat is sent to an appropriate collection location, click here.
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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit www.dtsc.ca.gov. To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942.
The mission of DTSC is to protect California’s people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances by restoring contaminated properties, enforcing hazardous waste law, reducing hazardous waste generation, and encouraging the manufacture of chemically safer products.