Gino DiCaro

Final Green Chemistry Recommendations

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Dec. 23, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On Tuesday, December 16th, Cal EPA released its final policy recommendations for implementation of their Green Chemistry Initiative.   The GCI proposals will accelerate California’s move toward a clean, green, sustainable economy through the following six policy

1. Expand Pollution Prevention
  • Expand pollution prevention and product stewardship programs to more business sectors
  • Broaden technical assistance programs beyond hazardous and solid waste reduction by adding green chemistry and engineering lifecycle approaches
  • Create incentive programs to assist California businesses that adopt green chemistry and engineering practices
2. Develop Green Chemistry Workforce Education and Training, Research and Development and Technology Transfer
  • Incorporate green chemistry and green engineering principles in California’s public education and the existing Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) program
  • Enhance scientific curricula in green chemistry, engineering, and materials sciences at California’s universities and colleges
  • Develop postsecondary and career technical training programs for lab technicians for new clean industries and the materials
    sciences industries
  • Foster research and development in new green materials and technologies
  • Encourage establishment of green chemistry technology transfer centers ("R&D Incubators") for rapid commercialization
  • Create programs to increase global market opportunities for California green businesses
  • Create high-skill, high-wage green worker jobs for Californians
3. Create an Online Product Ingredient Network
  • Require consumer friendly online disclosure of chemical ingredients for products sold in California, while protecting trade secrets
  • Create low-cost and easily-accessible online web portal for product ingredients
4. Create an Online Toxics Clearinghouse
  • Establish an online clearinghouse for chemical toxicity and hazards
  • Appoint a Green Ribbon Science Panel to help prioritize chemicals of concern and data needs
  • Enter into data-sharing agreements with other countries and states to link scienti_c studies worldwide and avoid costly duplication of effort
5. Accelerate the Quest for Safer Products
  • Create a systematic, science-based process to evaluate chemicals of concern and alternatives to ensure product safety
  • Task the Environmental Policy council with oversight to ensure multimedia (air, land, water) concerns are addressed
  • Pursue consistency in enforcement statutes governing toxics in products
6. Move Toward a Cradle-to-Cradle Economy
  • Set a voluntary goal to achieve "Cradle-to-Cradle" economy by 2050
  • Establish a California Green Products Registry to develop green metrics and tools (e.g. environmental footprint calculators, sustainability indexes) for a range of consumer products and encourage their use by businesses
  • Direct state agencies to lead by example in the purchase of sustainable products<
Department of Toxic Substance Control Director, Maureen Gorsen stated, "The recommendations developed through the Green Chemistry Initiative constitute a far-reaching, market-driven strategy with an ambitious aim - the launch of a new chemicals framework and a quantum shift in environmental protection. These landmark policy options will continue California’s environmental leadership and foster a new era in the design of a new consumer products economy - inventing, manufacturing and using toxic free, sustainable products."

CMTA and the newly formed business/industry coalition, the Green Chemistry Alliance, will be weighing in heavily during the coming year as the department holds meetings and workshops to determine how these goals will best be achieved.

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