13 March 2006 00:00 [Source: ICB]
The US chemical industry and US legislators are heading for collision over a bill which would implement the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (Pops). But according to several state attorney generals the bill would ‘undermine the ability of states to take unilateral action over chemicals they deem to be of concern’. The bill has been tabled by Representative Paul Gillmor.
The 11 attorney generals from states including New York, California and New Jersey claim that ‘pre-emption’ language in the bill ‘seriously undermines state authority to regulate substances listed under the Pops treaty, even if an exemption to the treaty allows continued use of a substance.’
The attorney generals are particularly concerned about substances that states have already begun to regulate, such as brominated flame retardants.
Backing the Gillmor bill and urging Congress to ‘act quickly’, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said: ‘The treaty is already being implemented at the international level.
‘Decisions are being made that affect American jobs and interests and it is imperative that the US government is a full party to the agreement’.
A second bill, which is also aimed at implementing the Pops treaty and tabled by Representative Hilda Solis, was rejected by the ACC, which said that the bill would lead to the US giving up its right to regulate chemicals and protect its citizens.
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