ACC to focus on four key issues in 2008-2009

05 May 2008 23:40  [Source: ICIS news]

By Joseph Chang

NEW YORK (ICIS news) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) will focus on four key issues in 2008 and 2009 - energy and climate change, rail competition, chemical regulations and site security, CEO Jack Gerard said on Monday.

“Those areas are our top priorities, and it’s possible, although difficult to predict, that some legislative action will be taken on these before the end of 2008,” Gerard said.

Gerard said he was encouraged by the passage of legislation by the US House Judiciary Committee last week to repeal the railroad antitrust exemptions. The measure will now go to the full House for a vote.

“That’s a priority for our industry because of the impact on our ability to compete globally based on the whims of the railroad industry to arbitrarily charge us what they deem is appropriate,” Gerard said. “We want reform to subject them to a free market orientation.”

The ACC joined electric power and forestry groups, cement producers and wheat and corn growers among other agriculture interests in backing legislation - HR-1650 and S-772 - that would strip railroads of some limited antitrust exemptions left over from 1980 when Congress partially deregulated the rail industry.

On chemical regulations, Gerard said the ACC is supportive of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) CHAMP (Chemical Assessment and Management Program) initiative, a risk-based approach to health, safety and environmental management of chemicals resulting from an agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico in August 2007.

By 2012, the US aims to complete risk characterisations on more than 9,000 chemicals produced in quantities of 25,000 pounds (11.3 tonnes) or more, so-called moderate volume chemicals.

 “The approach we’re taking is a thoughtful, comprehensive, integrated one between industry activities and government regulations as opposed to a command-and-control one-size-fits-all approach like Europe’s Reach,” Gerard said.

By: Joseph Chang
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