Manufacturing Sustainability: Green Manufacturing News

NEMA Environmental Design Initiative Introduced in Congress

posted by William R. Stott
Published: May 18, 2009

Federal legislation establishing uniform federal standards on the amount of hazardous substances in certain electrical products was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 14, 2009. The Environmental Design for Electrical Equipment Act of 2009 (“EDEE Act”) is sponsored by Representative Michael C. Burgess (R-TX), a physician who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“Today the electroindustry takes another bold step forward in our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Evan R. Gaddis, President & CEO of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). “The Environmental Design of Electrical Equipment Act codifies our industry’s commitment to responsible, environmentally conscious design of electrical products and demonstrates to the world that we continue to develop innovative products that perform safely and are environmentally-friendly.

“NEMA applauds Congressman Burgess for his sponsorship of the EDEE Act and his leadership in protecting human health and the environment.”

The EDEE Act, H.R. 2420, establishes uniform federal standards on the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and two flame retardants in certain electroindustry products, similar to those in place under the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substance (RoHS) Directive. The bill specifies exemptions for certain applications when needed to maintain adherence with industry’s rigid safety and performance standards. The bill also is designed to establish a level playing field for domestically made and imported products, and to discourage the proliferation of a patchwork of inconsistent state laws and regulations that are not a workable solution in interstate and global commerce.

For more information on NEMA’s Environmental Call-to-Action initiative, visit

NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. The association’s Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) Division represents manufacturers of cutting-edge medical diagnostic imaging equipment including MRI, CT, x-ray, and ultrasound products. Worldwide sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing and Mexico City.