16 April 2010 19:43 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--Plans by the New York State government to discourage its many agencies from purchasing products containing any one of 85 chemicals apparently have been suspended for financial reasons, industry officials said on Friday.
Steve Rosario, executive director of the New York State Chemical Alliance, an industry trade group, said that state officials apparently have put off a decision to formally adopt and implement the so-called “gray list”.
“Nothing has happened,” he said, noting that the state government is in the midst of a major financial crisis - with a $9bn (€6.7bn) deficit - and a long overdue state budget.
“Every agency in state government is under tremendous pressure to cut their budget, to cut spending, and my guess is that they’ve all got more important things to do than bother with this list,” ?xml:namespace>
The proposed list arose from an April 2008 executive order by New York Governor David Paterson designed to “green” the procurement policies of hundreds of state agencies and public authorities.
A multi-agency group called the Interagency Committee on Sustainability and Green Procurement last year drew up a list of 85 chemicals that state purchasing officers should avoid in buying goods and services.
Known as the “Chemical Avoidance List”, the roster of 85 substances would, if given final approval by the state government, “encourage all state agencies and other affected entities to avoid the purchase of products, services and technologies that contain and/or use substances found on the Chemical Avoidance List”.
The committee also recommended that state agencies “use safer alternate substances and products, services and technologies which, at a minimum, avoid the use of targeted chemicals”. But the avoidance list does not specify what alternatives might be available or acceptable.
State officials have noted that the policy is not a “blacklist” because it only recommends that the listed chemicals and products containing them be “avoided” and that the policy does not specifically call for an outright ban on use of those substances or their derivative products.
Some are calling the avoidance policy a gray list.
“An avoidance policy, even if it is short of a ban, puts you on a path to product deselection and eventually to banning products,” he said.
Because state government is such a major purchaser of goods and services, he noted, manufacturers and vendors would be wary of producing or stocking products that state agencies might refuse to buy.
His group and other
“Maybe when they get the state’s budget sorted out they might start addressing this again,” he said.
($1 = €0.74)
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