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Selected tag(s): American Chemistry Council (ACC)

Repost: The new Safe Chemicals Act fulfills every detail of ACC’s 10 “Principles for Modernizing TSCA”

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

[NOTE:  I am reposting this piece, given that it was first posted during the dog days of August and I don’t want those interested to have missed it in digging out from time away from the office.  If you have an interest in understanding just how much the Safe Chemicals Act has changed to account for earlier industry concerns, please take the time to look at the analysis I’ve done comparing the bill to ACC’s TSCA Principles.]

You wouldn’t know it from listening to the American Chemistry Council (ACC) talk about the Safe Chemicals Act, but the new and improved version of the bill that was passed out of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee on July 25 closely mirrors every detail of ACC’s 10 “Principles for Modernizing TSCA.”.

Those principles, issued in August of 2009, represent a key reference point given that they are virtually the only somewhat detailed public articulation by ACC of its substantive position on TSCA reform, one to which ACC continues to refer today.  In describing its principles, ACC says they “create a roadmap to a modern chemical regulatory system that will protect public health and the environment, while preserving the ability of American chemical companies to drive innovation, grow jobs, and compete in the global marketplace.”

ACC indicated in its statement on the revised bill that it only conducted a “cursory review” of the bill language, which perhaps explains why it got even some basics wrong.  One example:  ACC claims “[t]he bill would also dramatically increase the time it would take for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review new chemicals.”  In fact, the revised bill retains the 90-day review period for new chemicals operable under current TSCA.

So how does the bill stack up against ACC’s 10 Principles for TSCA Modernization?  Read More »

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Hands off the Report on Carcinogens

Sarah Vogel, Ph.D., is Managing Director of EDF’s Health Program.

Information, and importantly, access to reliable and objective information, is the cornerstone of a democratic society.  That is why recent efforts by the chemical industry and its allies to block Congressionally-mandated, scientific information on carcinogenic hazards by defunding the Report on Carcinogens (ROC) have many researchers and public health officials alarmed. 

Today, in a letter sent to House and Senate appropriations committee leaders, 75 occupational and environmental health scientists and professionals from around the country called on Congress to maintain funding for the ROC.  Their letter is in response to a legislative proposal that, if passed into law, would withhold funding for any work on the ROC until the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) completes its review of the listings of formaldehyde and styrene in the 12th ROC—a process the NAS has only just begun.  If such a proposal were successful, it would effectively delay public access to critical information on chemical carcinogens for years.     Read More »

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The new Safe Chemicals Act fulfills every detail of ACC’s 10 “Principles for Modernizing TSCA”

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

You wouldn’t know it from listening to the American Chemistry Council (ACC) talk about the Safe Chemicals Act, but the new and improved version of the bill that was passed out of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee on July 25 closely mirrors every detail of ACC’s 10 “Principles for Modernizing TSCA.”.

Those principles, issued in August of 2009, represent a key reference point given that they are virtually the only somewhat detailed public articulation by ACC of its substantive position on TSCA reform, one to which ACC continues to refer today.  In describing its principles, ACC says they “create a roadmap to a modern chemical regulatory system that will protect public health and the environment, while preserving the ability of American chemical companies to drive innovation, grow jobs, and compete in the global marketplace.”

ACC indicated in its statement on the revised bill that it only conducted a “cursory review” of the bill language, which perhaps explains why it got even some basics wrong.  One example:  ACC claims “[t]he bill would also dramatically increase the time it would take for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review new chemicals.”  In fact, the revised bill retains the 90-day review period for new chemicals operable under current TSCA.

So how does the bill stack up against ACC’s 10 Principles for TSCA Modernization?  Read More »

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If you can’t say anything nice …

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.  EDF intern Lydia Kaprelian assisted with the analysis of trade association statements reported in this post.

In response to last week’s noteworthy mark-up of the Safe Chemicals Act, six major trade associations issued statements commenting on the event (see links at the end of this post).  I was struck by the broad spectrum of reaction and decided to do a little analysis.  I counted up the number of positive and negative comments or items noted in each statement about the bill, and then plotted them on a graph, along with the percentage of all comments in each statement that were negative.  Here’s how it looks:

The first thing that jumps out is how much of an outlier the American Chemistry Council (ACC) is, way off there on the lower right of the chart all by itself.  Talk about extreme (the word ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley used to describe the Safe Chemicals Act; subscription required).  Despite the fact that the bill was heavily rewritten to accommodate industry concerns, ACC couldn’t find a single positive thing to say about it, but really piled on with the negatives.  Do ACC member companies really want to be in that extreme of a position in this debate?  Read More »

Posted in Health Policy, TSCA Reform / Also tagged | Comments are closed

No shame: ACC plunges to new low in fighting your right to know

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

This post is longer than usual and starts with a rather esoteric topic, but I urge you to read it through, as it vividly shows there is no limit to the lengths to which the American Chemistry Council (ACC) will go to squirm out of a regulatory requirement, even if it means violating rules by which ACC had agreed to abide.

But that’s far from the worst of it.  Going farther than even I could imagine when I blogged earlier about its tactics, ACC is sparing no effort to deny your right to know about the health impacts of chemicals, by mustering every argument it can invent – however far-fetched – to  keep health and safety studies from being shared with the public.

ACC insists that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should hassle the European Union (EU) instead of its members for the health and safety data ACC promised to provide – despite the fact that the chemical industry itself has thrown up major roadblocks to such sharing.  And reaching a new low in tortured logic, ACC argues that, should EPA succeed in getting its hands on the health and safety data submitted to the EU, EPA can and should deny the public access to those data – despite the fact that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) clearly prohibits EPA from withholding such information.  Read More »

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ACC missing in action this week, no doubt feeling burned

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

Every day in my email I get the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC’s) “SmartBrief,” a digest of the day’s news related to the chemical industry.  Here’s its self-description:

Designed specifically for American chemistry professionals, ACC SmartBrief is a FREE, daily e-mail news briefing. It provides the latest news and information on the American chemistry industry.

As I noted in my last blog post, all this week the Chicago Tribune has been running one of the biggest stories relating to the chemical industry published in a long, long time.  Titled “Playing with Fire,” it documents in meticulous detail the campaign of deception that producers of chemical flame retardants have foisted on the American public for decades.

One might expect, therefore, that ACC’s SmartBrief this week would be directing its readers – who sign up to keep up with what they need to know that affects the chemical industry – to the Tribune’s series.  One would be wrong.  Nary a mention of this blockbuster story managed to find its way into SmartBrief this week.

It appears that only certain news relevant to SmartBrief’s audience of American chemistry professionals is deemed essential enough to make the cut over at ACC.  SmartBrief readers might need to look elsewhere if they want to know what’s really affecting their industry.

In fact, the only response to be found anywhere on ACC’s website to this week’s major news is this highly oblique press release posted there yesterday.  It makes no mention of the Tribune series, but does affirm the industry’s commitment to safety as a general matter.  And it includes this tidbit:

ACC always strives to conduct its advocacy work in an open and transparent manner.

Oh really?

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