Chemical Makers to Focus on Security, TSCA Reform Bills
The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) recently announced its legislative priorities for the second session of the 111th Congress, outlining plans for its national grassroots program, SOCMA Connect, and efforts to launch a voter registration drive ahead of the November midterm elections.
“Our priorities this year are similar to those in 2009, but our message will more forcefully communicate how overreaching legislation will negatively impact specialty chemical manufacturers, particularly small and mid-sized producers,” said Bill Allmond, the organization's vice president of Government Relations and ChemStewards®. “With unemployment still at 10 percent, Congress should be doing all it can to take concerns about new regulatory burdens more seriously.”
Key legislative priorities include:
- Chemical Site Security. SOCMA will continue to support permanent risk-based regulations that comprehensively address security at chemical facilities without mandating inherently safer technology (IST) implementation under the guise of security. Despite strong industry protests, the House of Representatives in November passed overreaching standards that include product substitution requirements. “Our grassroots efforts are now focused on the Senate, which is expected to give greater consideration to the harmful effects IST implementation would have on batch chemical manufacturers.”
TSCA Reform. SOCMA remains active in the chemicals management policy debate and testified twice on this issue before Congress last year. SOCMA recognizes the need to update the decades-olds statute and supports carefully tailored approaches and fuller implementation of existing programs. “Any reform of TSCA should leverage regulatory efforts that have demonstrated success, while maintaining a fundamentally risk-based framework that prioritize chemicals for further review,” said Allmond.
Climate Change. SOCMA will continue monitoring climate legislation and regulatory activity, including S. 1733, the “Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act” as it awaits action by the Senate. While it remains unlikely that a cap and trade bill will pass the Senate this election year, a major climate change/clean energy bill will remain a top Democratic congressional priority over the next two years.
SOCMA Connect is launching new services to better assist members in their congressional advocacy efforts. Using Web-based tools, members will be able to research election dates, races, and important issue information. The initiative also will spearhead voter registration drives and provide e-mail race updates that will inform and engage members as election day approaches.