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October 14, 2008 

President Signs Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008

President Bush today signed into law S. 906, the "Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008," which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to:

  1. Prohibit Federal agencies from transferring elemental mercury to government or private entities;
  2. Prohibit all exports of mercury from the U.S. on January 1, 2013; and
  3. Require the Department of Energy to designate and manage an elemental mercury long-term disposal facility.
The bill provides that persons may petition the EPA for an exemption from the export ban in certain circumstances.

The U.S. is currently a net exporter of mercury. European Union member countries are the largest source of mercury exports. The European Commission has proposed to ban exports of elemental mercury from the European Union by 2011.

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