ARLINGTON, VA - The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has criticized a new draft of the European Union's sweeping chemicals-regulation proposal as "excessive and highly bureaucratic," and urged major changes in the plan.

The ACC said only minor changes have been made to the proposal, called REACH (registration, evaluation and authorization of chemicals), despite harsh criticism of the plan in Europe and overseas.

The European Commission in May proposed the REACH plan - EU-wide legislation that would establish a sweeping testing, data-registration and authorization system for chemicals in circulation in the European Union. The program would regulate an estimated 30,000 chemicals and "downstream" products.

ACC President and CEO Greg Lebedev said European Union officials had made only "a few perfunctory adjustments" in the initial REACH proposal following a period of "internet consultation" that allowed comment on the plan.

The ACC said the new REACH draft would do little to ease requirements for safety assessments for downstream chemicals users, and continues to rely on volume-based thresholds for applying the regulatory requirements rather than risk-based thresholds.

The chemistry council also cited an extensive list of other REACH proposals as being redundant, wasteful, "overzelous" and unnecessary.