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Posted: July 11, 2008
Joint statement on EPA's Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program
(Nanowerk News) The following statement is released in support of the Environmental Protection Agencyís (EPA) Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP):
The Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Associationís (SOCMA) Nanotechnology SME Coalition, American Chemistry Councilís (ACC) Nanotechnology Panel, the NanoBusiness Alliance, and join together to fully support the EPAís NMSP. These associations represent companies researching, developing, manufacturing, and/or using products in the field of nanotechnology. Providing societal benefits, and protecting workers, consumers and the environment are top priorities for our members. EPA launched the NMSP earlier this year to enable EPA to obtain from stakeholders scientific data and other important information that is expected to be useful to EPA in making informed regulatory decisions regarding nanoscale materials.
The NMSP has two components. Under the basic program component, EPA is collecting information to build a scientific knowledge base. An important goal to the Agency is developing an understanding of nanomaterial manufacturing and use activities that companies are undertaking, whether in research and development or commercial manufacturing. Under the basic program, no new information is required to be developed. Information obtained in the basic program will also allow EPA to develop guidance that will assist regulated industries on ways to manage new and existing nanoscale materials. Where necessary, this information can be used to implement risk management programs.
The in-depth program component is designed to solicit information over a longer timeframe. The in-depth program allows for companies to form consortia to develop and/or submit information such as materials characterization, exposure, fate and transport. EPA has expressed its interest in working with interested parties in determining ways to develop and/or submit the data.
Information collection under the NMSP is a necessary step for EPA to better understand the potential health and environmental effects of nanoscale materials and to determine if any regulatory changes are needed. It is imperative that companies participate in the NMSP and work with the EPA so all regulatory decisions on nanomaterials are science based. Participants in the NMSP indicate that EPA has made it easy to participate - information can be submitted in any format and will remain confidential if so requested by the submitting organization.
A voluntary program with built-in flexibility is appropriate at this time and should facilitate participation as many companies engaged in nanotechnology developments are small or newly-created. If voluntary participation in the NMSP is low, EPA may need to resort to more traditional mandatory information gathering measures that could include issuing a Toxic Substances Control Act test rule to compel the development of new data, or implement mandatory handling requirements for manufactured nanomaterials.
We urge any company willing to consider participating in the NMSP to either contact the EPA or the undersigned groups for more information. The signatories signed below strongly believe that private sector companies should participate in the NMSP. Companies desiring additional information directly from EPA should contact Mr. Jim Alwood at (202) 564-8974.
Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association Nanotechnology SME Coalition
American Chemistry Council Nanotechnology Panel
About SOCMA Nanotechnology SME Coalition
SOCMA's Nanotechnology Coalition represents companies of all sizes, including small and mid-sized entrepreneurial companies, engaged in the manufacture, use, or sale of nanoscale products. The Coalition focuses on environmental, safety, and health issues to promote a positive public perception of the nanotech industry, advocate on behalf of the industry to the regulatory agencies, address standards and definitions in nanotechnology, coordinate with other nanotechnology trade associations, advocacy organizations and business groups, and act as an industry voice. As a networking forum for its members, the Coalition facilitates information exchange, dissemination of regulatory and legislative updates, and sharing of best practices for development of nanotechnology stewardship programs.
About the American Chemistry Council
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $664 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nationís largest exporters, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nationís critical infrastructure.
About the Nanobusiness Alliance
The NanoBusiness Alliance is the business association for the emerging nanotechnology industry. Through its extensive network of leading startups, Fortune 500 companies, research institutions, non-governmental organizations and public-private partnerships, the Alliance shapes nanotechnology policy and helps accelerate the commercialization of nanotechnology innovations. The NanoBusiness Alliance has offices in Chicago, New York, Connecticut and Washington, DC. For more information, visit http://www.nanobusiness.org .