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Governor’s Signing of Green Chemistry Legislation Applauded By Science Advisory Panel Member

September 29, 2008

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed landmark green chemistry legislation into law, drawing praise from a member of the Green Chemistry Initiative Science Advisory Panel, Environmental Defense Fund Senior Scientist Richard A. Denison, Ph.D. The following statement can be attributed to Dr. Denison:

“Environmental Defense Fund applauds Governor Schwarzenegger’s signature today of California’s landmark Green Chemistry legislation, AB 1879 and SB 509. At the national and international level as well as through our three California offices, Environmental Defense Fund has worked for more than four decades to reduce human and environmental exposures to toxic chemicals.

“The legislation adopted today will establish a strong foundation for advancing a sound, comprehensive chemicals policy in California. It responds to the growing number of cases of consumer products containing toxic chemicals reaching American consumers and unnecessarily exposing them, and ultimately the environment, to unnecessary harm. It also addresses serious deficiencies in the state’s authority to regulate such chemicals, which currently limits regulation only to product categories specified by statute rather than providing a broader authority to restrict such chemicals wherever the state finds them to present undue harm. Finally, the legislation broadens the arsenal of tools available to the state when it needs to take action, including providing a mandate to take action needed to protect the most vulnerable members of the public.

“AB 1879 establishes a process for California to systematically identify chemicals of concern to human health or the environment, and gives the Department of Toxic Substances Control authority to regulate such chemicals in consumer products. SB 509 establishes a clearinghouse to provide access to vital information that citizens, consumers, workers, institutions and businesses need to make sound decisions about chemicals and chemical products they make, use, buy or sell.

“The legislation adopted today provides some, though not all, of the elements needed to implement a sound and comprehensive policy in California. Additional legislation will be needed to ensure that sufficient information is developed to identify chemicals of concern, and that as many of these data as possible are made publicly available, consistent with protection of legitimate confidential business information. Additional legislation may also be needed to ensure the state has sufficient authority to act expeditiously to control or restrict use of chemicals of concern.

“We look forward to working with Cal EPA to implement today’s legislation, which poses both significant opportunities and some challenges. In particular, we will work to ensure that provisions mandating that any action to regulate a chemical of concern be preceded by a lifecycle-based evaluation of the chemical and potential alternatives do not become a bottleneck in the process. Given the proposed scope of the analysis, and the amount of information that would be needed to complete it, we are concerned that — without further clarification and proper implementation — the analysis could well prove unmanageable and become a major impediment to taking effective and timely action.”

Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. For more information, visit http://www.edf.org/.

   Contact:   Richard Denison, 202-387-3500, x3348, rdenison@edf.org   Jennifer Andreassen, 202-572-3387, jandreassen@edf.org  

Environmental Defense

CONTACT: Richard Denison, +1-202-387-3500, x3348, rdenison@edf.org orJennifer Andreassen, +1-202-572-3387, jandreassen@edf.org, both ofEnvironmental Defense

Web Site: http://www.edf.org/http://www.environmentaldefense.org/




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