Gino DiCaro

Green chemistry regulations still need work

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Dec. 10, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On November 18th, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released its last draft for public review of regulations for green chemistry. The Green Chemistry Alliance, of which CMTA was a founding member, has called on DTSC to create a rational system that would replace politics with science, enhance consumer safety, and inspire innovation and investment.

While DTSC obviously sought to address numerous flagrant shortcomings in its mid-November revisions, it is clear that more work remains to be done.  In some key instances, DTSC has merely postponed critical decisions and problems created by the regulations rather than eliminating them.

The revised regulations still lack a clear and explicit explanation of the process DTSC will use to select the products and chemicals to be regulated. This persistent ambiguity leaves innovators and manufacturers stymied as to whether a product under development today will in five year’s time be subject to regulation or banned by DTSC. This lack of clarity is a strong disincentive to the development of new technologies and products in California.

A provision that could require companies to divulge proprietary formulas and processes is another obstacle to innovation and investments in new or improved products. On December 2nd, the environmental lobby held a rally/press conference at the State Capitol to protest DTSC’s significant changes from their previous draft.  The business community isn’t pleased either, wishing the whole program was scrapped.  It will result in additional cost and liabilities for companies and will jeopardize their trade secrets.

Additional changes to the regulations are still necessary for this program to be effective, achieve its goals and minimize any negative effects on the State’s economy.

Read more Environmental Impacts articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989