Illinois signs bills changing thermostat manufacturers’ mercury rules

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law three bills that will further reduce the amounts of mercury in the environment that can be harmful to residents.

Senate Bill 3346, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Karen May (D-Highwood), requires thermostat manufacturers to maintain a statewide program to collect, transport and manage mercury-switch thermostats for recycling when they are taken out of service. Senate Bill 3347, also sponsored by Sen. Steans and Rep. May, phases out the sale and use of lead and mercury wheel balancing weights in Illinois on January 1, 2012.

House Bill 6201, sponsored by Rep. May and Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan), extends the sunset date to for the automakers’ current state program that collects and recycles mercury light switches from end-of-life vehicles before they are processed as scrap metal to January 1, 2017.

All three laws go into effect immediately.