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American Chemical Society calls green chemistry bill a 'smart step'

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 5, 2007 The American Chemical Society (ACS) today praised House passage of legislation seeking to improve federal coordination, dissemination and investment in green chemistry research and development (R&D). The Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2007 (HR 2850) aims to provide safer, more sustainable technological options to replace traditional products and processes.

H.R. 2850 was introduced in the House on June 25, 2007, by Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and David Wu (D-Ore.). On July 11, 2007, the House Committee on Science and Technology passed the bill by unanimous consent, and the bill yesterday passed the full House of Representatives by voice vote. Similar legislation was passed overwhelmingly by the House in each of the last two Congresses, but was not acted on in the Senate.

Green chemistry is the ultimate proof that environmental and economic benefits in chemistry can be optimized simultaneously. The technologies that spin out of this novel research are the seeds that can sustain small business ventures and green corporate practices, said Catherine T. Hunt, Ph.D., ACS President. From reducing and improving pharmaceutical processes, reinventing the home and construction business, to over-coming our climate and energy challenges, green chemistry is proving that economics and environment are not mutually exclusive.

The bill dedicates resources at a number of federal agencies towards green chemistry R&D and improves interagency coordination. By concentrating on sustainable economic practices in the chemical industry, we can move towards a more sustainable vision of the future, Hunt said. In a letter to lead sponsor Gingrey, Hunt praised the interagency program set up by the legislation because it would strengthen the governments role as a true partner in promoting greener technologies.

Under the bill, the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Energy would work together to fund and coordinate green chemistry R&D. The interagency program would support merit-reviewed grants to individual researchers, university-industry partnership, R&D and technology transfer at federal laboratories, and the education and training of undergraduate and graduate students in green chemistry science and engineering.

ACS, through its Green Chemistry Institute, supports improving the environment through chemistry. ACS works closely with policymakers to encourage environmental decisions that promote sustainable resource usage and waste prevention in an economically viable chemical enterprise.


Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society

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