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Question of the month: How much should the tax be on hazardous chemicals produced, used or distributed in California?

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on May 6, 2008

This was the first of eleven questions posed to industry and others for the final phase of the California Department of Toxics and Substance Control's "Green Chemistry" Initiative.  The agency is looking to regulate, tax, penalize and otherwise oversee thousands of chemicals and products  -- many of which have not been scientifically proven to be, in fact, hazardous.

Last month, DTSC sent out these questions to be answered prior to April 30th.   We have one question for DTSC now that we answered theirs:  What exactly makes a chemical hazardous in their minds, and in what application? ....  Sorry, one more.  What science is there to prove that the alternatives are better?

DTSC has an enormous undertaking with this initiative and the effort is commendable but, just as we answered their difficult questions, they should answer ours.  Before we start asking if and how much we should tax and penalize, we should know exactly what hazard we're taxing.  



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DTSC's 11 questions:

1. How much should the tax be on hazardous chemicals produced, used, or distributed in California?

2. What information would trigger a ban of a chemical by the state of California?

3. What incentives should the state of California provide to promote the development of safer chemical or product alternatives?

4. What would be the appropriate response by the state of California for failure to use safer alternatives?

5. What would be the appropriate response by the state of California for failure to disclose product ingredients?

6. By what date should the state of California require reusable or biodegradable non-petroleum based packaging?

7. How can industry use a multi-media standard, such as ISO 14000, to demonstrate they achieve performance above and beyond compliance with regulatory standards for product and processes?

8. What lines of scientific data (in vitro toxicity and other relevant properties) should the state of California consider and use for decision-making in the absence of traditional animal toxicity data?

9. What criteria should the State of California require as part of alternatives assessment by industry in determining which products are safer/greener?

10. How should the State of California use data (generated by others) in the chemical matrix for deciding which products are safe?

11. If third party life cycle analyses are required for specific products or materials, what State Agency, e.g. Department of Consumer Affairs, should be responsible for certifying or authorizing individuals to perform them?



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