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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 3, 1991.
Solid Waste Metals Reduction Act - Prohibits the intentional introduction of lead, cadmium, mercury, or hexavalent chromium into a package or packaging component during manufacturing or distribution. Sets forth the maximum allowable concentration level of the sum of such elements in packaging. Makes such regulations inapplicable (for a specified period) for packaging: (1) that was manufactured prior to this Act's effective date; (2) to which lead, cadmium, mercury, or hexavalent chromium have been added to comply with Federal health or safety requirements or, because it is essential for the protection, safe handling, or function of the contents of the package, provided that the manufacturer, supplier, or distributor petitions the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the exemption; or (3) that would not exceed the maximum concentration levels set forth in this Act but for the addition of post-consumer materials. Provides for the renewal of exemptions if the Administrator determines that a renewal is warranted. Requires packaging manufacturers or suppliers to furnish certificates of compliance (with respect to this Act's requirements) to distributors. Makes certificates of compliance, upon request, available to EPA and the public. Authorizes the assessment of civil penalties for violations of this Act.