News

Improvements to mercury-light disposal program signed into law

Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn), standing, third from right, and Auburn City Councilmember Bill Peloza, far right, gathered at the Capitol as Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation updated the state’s mercury-light stewardship program - Courtesy photo/Washington State Legislative Support Services
Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn), standing, third from right, and Auburn City Councilmember Bill Peloza, far right, gathered at the Capitol as Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation updated the state’s mercury-light stewardship program
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Washington State Legislative Support Services

For the Reporter

Following the legislative session, Gov. Jay Inslee endorsed a program update for disposing lights containing mercury.

Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn) and Auburn City Councilmember Bill Peloza worked to secure passage of the changes. The legislation updates an existing stewardship program created in 2010 to facilitate responsible disposal of lights with mercury given the public health and environmental dangers.

"Keeping people safe by reducing accidental or unknown exposures to mercury is critical to public health," Fain said. "Councilmember Peloza's work and advocacy to improve this legislation and get it through the legislative process was incredibly important. On behalf of Auburn residents I'd like to thank him for sharing his time and expertise."

The state Department of Ecology will oversee the program, which was updated through broad participation by stakeholders. Consumers who purchase bulbs containing mercury will be able to dispose of them at collection stations found at existing hazardous waste facilities, stores where the bulbs are sold and recycling sites throughout the state.

"It was an honor to stand beside Rep. (Sam) Hunt, Sen. Fain and Gov. Inslee when he signed ESHB 2246, the Mercury-Light Lamp Stewardship Program," said Peloza, who has been a member of the City Council since 2004. "This bill is an environmental movement and partnership between government entities and industry."

Lawmakers approved the legislation during this year's 60-day session that ended March 13. Inslee signed the bill into law on March 28. The law goes into effect June 12.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 31 edition online now. Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates