ACC Calls for Next Generation of Chemical Regulation
March 9, 2009
ARLINGTON, VA – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has called for the improvement and modernization of the U.S. chemical regulatory system and pledged to take a leadership role in the initiative. ACC is calling for a series of measures that would increase industry’s responsibility for evaluating chemicals and their uses, authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make safety determinations about priority chemicals in a risk-and-science-based process and assure an appropriate level of resources for EPA to implement these actions.
“We need a regulatory system that addresses government and public concerns about chemicals, enhances the competitiveness and innovation of our industry, and reflects scientific and technological innovations,” said Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council. “We are launching a robust effort to grant new powers and adequate resources for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to more effectively fulfill its mission in determining the safety of chemicals for their intended uses.
“The fundamental federal chemical management statute - the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) - was enacted more than 30 years ago. Scientific knowledge about how to assess chemical risks has grown substantially from the time when TSCA was first enacted,” Dooley added. “We need to harness scientific advances that integrate intelligent testing approaches with exposure determinations to more efficiently and effectively focus safety determinations on chemicals and their uses of greatest concern to public health (especially children) and the environment.”
ACC has endorsed granting EPA the authority to determine the safety of priority chemicals for their intended uses and adequately assess risk. ACC also called for establishment of clearly understood scientific principles and protocols to evaluate chemical research and testing.
“Our federal chemical management system should require data and information adequate to make sound and timely judgments about chemical safety,” said Dooley.
“For our part, the chemical industry will continue to provide robust information in a transparent manner on chemicals it produces to help EPA assess the safety of all chemicals in production. We must also engage the chemical value chain in assuring that there is sufficient information to adequately assess chemical safety.”
Another enhancement that ACC suggested is to give EPA authority to share confidential information with state and local governments when relevant to a decision on chemical safety, with appropriate protections against unnecessary disclosure.