Significant New Use Rule for Elemental Mercury in Certain Motor Vehicle Switches
EPA issued a final Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) on October 5, 2007 to require notification to EPA 90 days prior to U.S. manufacture, import, or processing of elemental mercury for use in convenience light switches, anti-lock brake system (ABS) switches, and active ride control system switches in certain motor vehicles. The Agency received and, where appropriate, incorporated comments from the public on the rule, which was proposed on July 11, 2006. The required Significant New Use Notice will provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the potential risks of resuming the use of elemental mercury in such switches, and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit such activity before it occurs, in order to prevent unreasonable risk of injury to human health or the environment.
To view comments that the public submitted through Regulations.gov, go to Regulations.gov , click on "Search for Dockets" in the gold bar near the top of the page, and type "EPA-HQ-OPPT-2005-0036" into the Docket ID window.
On January 1, 2003, American automakers voluntarily discontinued the use of elemental mercury in convenience light, ABS, and active ride control system switches; foreign automakers had previously discontinued use of such switches. The final rule covers manufacture or processing of elemental mercury for:
1. use in convenience light switches, ABS switches, and active ride control system switches in new motor vehicles;
2. use in convenience light switches as new aftermarket replacement parts for any motor vehicles; and
3. use in ABS and active ride control switches as new, aftermarket replacement parts for motor vehicles that were manufactured after January 1, 2003.
The final rule does not apply to elemental mercury in switches used as aftermarket replacement parts for ABS and active ride control systems in pre-2003 vehicles. EPA believes that there currently are no suitable non-mercury substitutes for such replacement parts and that the remaining market for such products is limited and declining.
For more information about this SNUR, please contact Thomas Groeneveld at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 566-1188.