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Posted: October 19, 2006
EPA invites public participation in development of nanotechnology stewardship program
(Nanowerk News) On October 18, EPA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sent letters to more than 500 organizations and individuals inviting participation in the design and development of a stewardship program that will help the agency better understand the potential risks and benefits of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is the science of creating or modifying materials at the atomic and molecular level to develop new or enhanced materials and products. The stewardship program will complement the agency's new and existing chemical programs under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and will provide a firm scientific foundation for regulatory decisions by encouraging the development of key scientific information and any appropriate risk management practices.
"By bringing people together to address this emerging technology, we can be well positioned to ensure the responsible development of nanotechnology, while at the same time, realizing its promise for a better tomorrow," said Jim Gulliford, assistant administrator for Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances at EPA. "Through open dialogue, public engagement and sound science, we can establish the appropriate oversight for nanoscale materials and ensure public confidence in its safety."
EPA is inviting the public, industry, environmental groups, other federal agencies and other stakeholders to participate in the design, development and implementation of this program. These include: 1) public scientific peer consultations to discuss risk management practices and characterization for nanoscale materials; 2) an overall framework document describing the TSCA program for nanoscale materials; 3) a document on distinguishing the TSCA Inventory status of "new" versus "existing" chemical nanoscale materials; 4) a concept paper describing EPA's thinking for the Stewardship Program, as well as an Information Collection Request to collect data under the Stewardship Program; 5) workshops examining the pollution prevention opportunities for nanoscale materials; and 6) a public meeting to discuss these documents and program elements.