Recent US elections won't relieve regulatory issues

02 December 2010 19:51  [Source: ICIS news]

By Ivan Lerner

LA QUINTA, California (ICIS)--The US regulatory climate should remain difficult despite the recent Republican gains in Congress, said the outgoing chairman of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) on Thursday.

In the 2 November elections, Republicans won control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats, and they trimmed the Democrats' majority in the Senate.

“There should be a more favourable Congress, people who understand business,” said Bruce Schechinger, outgoing chairman of the NACD and president of US-based chemical distributor BHS Marketing.

Schechinger was speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the NACD.

The NACD “doesn’t want favouritism [from Congress], just a level playing field,” he added.

However, regulatory issues “will still be tough”, especially the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed changes for the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Schechinger said this will be a “big hurdle going forward”, and said that it “scares” some NACD members.

It is “worse than [Europe’s] REACH” legislation, he said.

Additionally, there is the unfortunate situation where one US governmental agency has no idea what another’s rules and regulations are. Schechinger offered an anecdote about one of his company’s facilities.

The US Department of Homeland Security inspected a company site and told BHS that a particular gate needed to be kept locked.

The next week, the EPA inspected, “and said they’d fine us for keeping the gate closed”, Schechinger said.

The NACD's annual meeting lasts through Thursday.

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By: Ivan Lerner
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