February 28, 2012
Tranel’s Battery Bill Moves Forward
Madison - Today, Rep. Travis Tranel’s bill (AB 511) to eliminate mercury in button cell batteries passed the Assembly Consumer Protection and Personal Privacy committee.
“I would like to thank the committee for moving this common sense legislation forward,” said Tranel. “The purpose of the bill is to help keep jobs in Wisconsin and protect our environment.”
AB 511 updates Wisconsin statutes regarding mercury content in dry cell batteries. Currently, state statues restrict the amount of mercury that a number of different types of batteries can contain and has not been updated since 1995.
“The U.S. battery manufacturing industry has made great strides to develop mercury-free button batteries for hearing aids, medical devices, watches and toys,” said Tranel. “A Wisconsin company, Rayovac, is at the forefront of manufacturing these new modern batteries. I am very fortunate to have one of their two Wisconsin manufacturing plants in my district.”
Four states, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and Louisiana have already passed legislation to eliminate the sale of mercury containing zinc air button cells and other states are expected to follow suit. Even though U.S manufacturers have voluntarily met this requirement, there are a number of foreign manufacturers that have not taken any steps to develop or produce mercury free zinc air button cell batteries.
By modernizing our statutes, Wisconsin can avoid becoming a dumping ground for the mercury containing batteries from China, South Korea, and Japan.
This legislation is supported by leading battery manufacturers in the U.S., including Rayovac which is headquartered in Wisconsin and employs 318 people in Fennimore.
“I am looking forward to moving this important legislation through the full Assembly and greatly appreciate Senator Olsen’s leadership on this bill in the Senate,” said Tranel.