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The nobility of CA's 'green chemistry' program deserves careful, scientific regulation

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Aug. 25, 2010

If you haven't heard of California's 'Green Chemistry' Initiative, you will soon.  It is a bold step that has the potential to change the way we approach chemicals in consumer products.  It also has the potential to further hamstring California’s struggling economy, drive jobs from the state and raise consumer prices.  So, it’s an issue worth our attention.

In a nutshell, the 'Green Chemistry Initiative' is a California-only endeavor to identify and regulate “chemicals of concern” in consumer products made or sold in California.  It would regulate alongside existing oversight by the FDA, EPA, Prop. 65 and many others. The Department of Toxic Substance Control is now finalizing the regulations to make this plan a reality.

These rules will determine whether the initiative enhances consumer safety, inspires innovation and triggers new investment, or whether it delivers only increased costs, lost jobs and crippling new burdens on manufacturers and business in California.

The Green Chemistry effort is a worthy effort and it has had the support and participation of many of California’s leading employers and manufacturers.  We’re involved because the initiative is simply too important for regulators to get wrong. If California is going to set the example and put its economy at risk, the program must be done right.  This means not succumbing to pressure from environmental activists and insisting on regulations built around balance and science.

For a better read from an expert, Dawn Sanders-Koepke, co-chair of the Green Chemistry Alliance, raised excellent points in this weekend's op-ed in the Sacramento Bee.   You can also see the Alliance's letter and regulatory comments sent to DTSC on the regulations here.

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