The Environmental Design of Electrical Equipment (EDEE) Act has recently been put before the House of Representatives as a proposed amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act  (TSCA).

The scope seems to be more limited than that of EU RoHS and refers to products that are “directly used to facilitate the transmission, distribution, or control of electricity, or that use electrical power for arc welding, lighting, signalling protection and communication, or medical imaging, or electrical motors and generators”.

The substance restrictions and maximum permitted concentration values, within homogeneous materials, are the same as EU RoHS although bill HR2420 does stipulate certain exemptions such as products or equipment designed with a voltage rating of 300 volts or above, fixed installations, certain medical equipment and electrical wire and cable products and accessories.

The bill also contains some, but not all, of the substance application exemptions currently within scope of EU RoHS, and under review at present as part of the so called “RoHS2” proposals.

Restriction would apply to products manufactured after 1 July 2010, although it is not yet clear on how the date would be applied to products manufactured outside the US.

Guidelines for the testing of products must be published with one year of the Act’s effective date.

Bill HR2595 aims to restrict certain exports of electronic waste and proposes an amendment to the Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA).

While the scope is more limited than in the EU it is certainly broader than most e-waste restrictions currently in effect in the US.

Products, defined as covered electronic equipment, include the likes of personal computers, servers, monitors, televisions (and other video display products) printers, copiers, fax machines, image scanners, cassette recorders, video and audio players, games consoles, PDA’s, telephones and any other products deemed to be similar.

The bill would only cover products containing certain substances such as beryllium, cadmium, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, antimony, chromium and lead in certain components, assemblies and materials.

The bill provides for certain exemptions including reuse, returns under warranty, and repair / refurbishment.

The bill would prohibit the export of any restricted electronic waste to any non OECD (organisation for economic co-operation and development) countries. Unlike EU WEEE there is no producer registration, labelling or financing requirement.

There will be a 12 month period of grace once the law comes into effect.





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