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July 15, 2016
Lynn L. Bergeson Quoted In Environmental Leader Article “What Does the Loss of ‘Green Chemistry’ Provision from Amended TSCA Mean for Biochemicals?”

On July 15, 2016, Lynn L. Bergeson, President of The Acta Group (Acta®), was quoted in an Environmental Leader article on the impacts of the loss of a green chemistry provision from Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform.

As Lynn Bergeson, managing partner of Bergeson & Campbell writes in a blog post, the provision “called for a study of how to best incentivize sustainable chemistry research and development, as well as support ‘economic, legal and other appropriate social science research to identify barriers to commercialization and methods to advance commercialization of sustainable chemistry.’”

It also created an EPA-led working group to coordinate federal sustainable chemical activities.

What does this mean for the future of biochemicals, sustainable plastics and other green chemistry sectors?

“While regrettable, the absence of the green chemistry provisions in the amended Toxic Substances Control Act is a setback, not a deal breaker,” Bergeson told Environmental Leader. “The green chemistry provisions in Section 24 of H.R. 2576 were taken from Senator Chris Coons’ (D-DE) Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act. Section 24 was eliminated reportedly because its inclusion would have been subject to review by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, a different House Committee from the House Energy and Commerce Committee that had primary jurisdiction over TSCA reform, potentially complicating and delaying an already complicated and time-sensitive Congressional review process. The decision to forego this review and eliminate the green chemistry provisions is disappointing, but a failed TSCA reform effort would have been more so.”

Bergeson says the provision’s absence in the updated chemical safety law eliminates — for now — the development of and funding for a green chemistry strategy at the federal level. Sen. Coons is expected to introduce a similar bill next year.

Senators Coons, Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ed Markey (D-MA) have asked the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) for a technology review of sustainable chemistry. “The report, expected to be complete in the spring of 2017, can help illuminate the options available to the federal government to promote green chemistry whether by instigating new legislation or by serving as a resource which existing legal authorities can use to support this field that is so vital to economic competitiveness and/or use to diminish the less positive impacts of chemistry throughout our economy,” Bergeson said.


 
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