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February 23, 2022

EPA Updates Resources on Mercury Inventory Reporting Rule

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on February 22, 2022, the release of the updated Mercury Electronic Reporting (MER) application and compliance guide for calendar year 2021 data reporting. According to EPA, the updates make it easier to report information about the supply, use, and trade of mercury. The mercury rule applies to any person who manufactures (including imports) mercury or mercury-added products (including pre-assembled products that contain mercury-added components) or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process (including processes traditionally not subject to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), such as for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and pesticides). This information is required to be submitted every three years using the online MER application, accessed through EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX).
EPA states that it updated the mercury inventory reporting rule compliance guide to reflect the new requirement to report pre-assembled products that contain mercury-added components, such as a watch with a mercury-added battery. According to EPA, the guide explains the requirements for manufacturers and importers to report information about the supply, use, and trade of mercury to EPA; provides an overview of the legal requirements; and describes how EPA intends to use the information it collects. Diagrams and examples are provided to help companies determine whether they must report information about mercury to EPA.
EPA updated the MER application to include a drop-down year list to allow users to report for previous reporting years and to make the system easier for EPA to maintain. According to EPA, the updated resources will help it carry out the statutory requirements to identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury and recommend actions to achieve further reductions in mercury use in the United States. This will further assist the United States in its implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. The deadline to report 2021 data is July 1, 2022. More information on the mercury inventory reporting rule is available in our June 25, 2018, memorandum.