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S. 1397 (111th): Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

4/19/2010--Reported to Senate amended. Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act - (Sec. 4) Requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide multiyear grants to consortia: (1) to conduct research to create innovative and practical approaches to manage the environmental impacts of electronic devices through recycling, reuse, reduction of the use of hazardous materials, and life-cycle extension; and (2) through such research, to contribute to the professional development of scientists, engineers, and technicians in the fields of electronic device manufacturing, design, refurbishing, and recycling.

Sets forth provisions concerning research objectives, grant application requirements, and requirements for disseminating research results to the public.

Provides for the protection of proprietary information of trade secrets provided by any person or entity pursuant to this Act.

Requires the Administrator to report to Congress biennially on the grants provided and the results of research projects carried out under such grants.

(Sec. 5) Requires the Administrator, through an applied research program of EPA's Office of Research and Development, to conduct electronic device engineering research.

(Sec. 6) Requires the Administrator to enter into an arrangement for the National Academy of Sciences to report to Congress on: (1) opportunities for, and barriers to, increasing the recyclability of electronic devices and making electronic devises safer and more environmentally preferable; (2) the risks posed by the storage, transport, recycling, and disposal of unwanted electronic devices; (3) the current status of research and training programs to promote the environmental design of electronic devices to increase recyclability; (4) regulatory or statutory barriers that may prevent the adoption or implementation of best management practices or technological innovations that may arise from the research and training programs established under this Act; and (5) economic and domestic employment impacts associated with recycling and harvesting materials from unwanted electronic devices in lieu of the disposal of those devices directly in landfills. Requires such reports to: (1) identify gaps in the research and training programs in addressing the opportunities, barriers, and risks relating to electronic device recycling; and (2) recommend areas in which additional research and development resources are needed to reduce the impact of unwanted electronic devices on the environment.

(Sec. 7) Requires the Administrator to provide grants to institutions of higher education to develop curricula that incorporate the principles of environmental design into the development of electronic devices: (1) for the training of engineers and other students; and (2) to support the continuing education of professionals in the electronic device manufacturing, design, refurbishing, or recycling industries. Requires: (1) the Administrator to conduct outreach to minority serving institutions to provide information about the grants; and (2) the grants to be used for activities that enhance the ability of an institution to broaden its engineering or professional continuing education curriculum to include environmental engineering design principles and consideration of product lifecycles relating to electronic devices and increasing their recyclability.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to: (1) develop a comprehensive physical property database for environmentally preferable alternative materials, design features, and manufacturing practices for use in electronic devices; (2) develop a strategic plan to establish priorities and physical property characterization requirements for the database; and (3) update the database no less than annually. Authorizes the Director to expand the database to include information on the environmental impacts of various materials, design features, and manufacturing practices used in electronic devices from a lifecycle standpoint.

Authorizes appropriations.