Link to Whitehouse Announcement
CMA Website Source: http://www.cmahq.com/cmawebsite.nsf/pages/newsinfo
October 9, 1998
CMA, EPA, EDF Unveil Voluntary Framework For
Speeding Up Testing of HPV Chemicals
BOSTON, (October 9)-The Chemical Manufacturers Association, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Environmental Defense Fund today unveiled a framework for voluntary industry testing of high production volume (HPV) chemicals. Under the terms of the framework, industry will significantly increase the pace of testing for HPV chemicals, at a cost of more than $700 million over just 6 years.
HPV chemicals are products that are produced in or imported into the United States in quantities of more than one million pounds a year.
Speaking at Logan International Airport, CMA President and CEO Fred Webber said the framework "not only demonstrates that industry, environmental groups and government can work together, but that we should." Such a process, Webber said, "not only produces better decisions, but much faster decisions." Webber joined Vice President Al Gore, EPA Administrator Carol Browner and EDF Executive Director Fred Krupp in Boston to announce the framework.
In his remarks, Webber also noted the testing framework "adds even more substance to our industry's commitment to improve our over-all health, safety and environmental performance. This commitment," he said, "which we call Responsible Care, also is a purely voluntary effort-and it also goes beyond what regulations require."
The testing framework grew out of a challenge issued this past Earth Day by Vice President Gore. He challenged the industry to commit to stepped-up testing of HPV chemicals. His challenge followed a 1997 EDF report which claimed there was a lack of publicly available data for a small test sample of U.S. HPV chemicals. Not long after release of the EDF report, CMA conducted its own study, which found that much of the screening test data for all 2,700 U.S. HPV chemicals was not publicly available.
Not long after that, CMA initiated a series of meetings with EPA, EDF and other industry trade associations to discuss whether a reasonable and achievable framework for voluntary testing could be developed to meet the Vice President's challenge.
One of the chemical industry's most important objectives in the discussions was retention of the idea of a shared international testing initiative. Such an initiative exists under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Other objectives were ensuring some degree of flexibility in the testing regime, including the ability to test by chemical "families" or categories, and a realistic time frame to form testing consortia, develop testing plans and conduct the tests.
CMA also announced today its plans to develop an electronic tracking system that will allow the public and test sponsors to follow progress in the testing program. The tracking system will make information on test sponsorship and progress available via the Internet.
"Any test sponsor, whether a CMA member or not, will be able to submit details on testing commitments to the site," Webber said. He added that CMA's Board of Directors has encouraged other associations and their members to take part in the voluntary testing program. CMA has nearly 200 members. There are approximately 800 producers and importers of HPV chemicals.
Companies that wish to sponsor HPV chemicals for testing and avoid being listed on the EPA's proposed mandatory test rule have until next February to do so. Companies that wish to test chemicals, but cannot due so by February (due to the time needed to form a consortia with other manufacturers of the same products) will have until December of next year to make the commitment. Chemicals which sponsors volunteer to test at any time before December 1, 1999 will not be included in the final mandatory test rule.
Webber said that developing hazard screening information for HPV chemicals is consistent with CMA's Responsible Care initiative. Responsible Care, which was established by CMA's members 10 years ago, is a condition of membership in the association. At the heart of Responsible Care are six performance codes covering specific areas of chemical manufacturing, transportation and handling.
"Chemical testing is consistent with Responsible Care's product stewardship code," Webber said. A successful, voluntary testing program, confirmed by a public tracking system, will provide a visible, verifiable and credible Responsible Care measurement."
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