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September 2006

 

Little switches add up to big cuts in mercury pollution

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a national program that will help cut mercury air emissions by up to 75 tons over the next 15 years.

The National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program is designed to remove mercury-containing light switches from scrap vehicles before the vehicles are flattened, shredded, and melted to make new steel.

Under the program, automobile dismantlers will remove the mercury-containing light switches from scrap vehicles prior to the vehicles being flattened and then shredded at scrap recycling facilities. The program will also provide a financial incentive for those who remove mercury switches.

The National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program is the result of a two-year collaborative effort involving EPA, the End of Life Vehicle Solutions Corporation, the American Iron and Steel Institute, the Steel Manufacturers Association, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the Automotive Recyclers Association, Environmental Defense, the Ecology Center (Ann Arbor) and representatives of the Environmental Council of the States.

For additional information about mercury switch removal programs, visit the EPA's website.


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