Schwarzenegger Signs First-In-Nation Green-Chemistry Bills

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signed two bills that move
the state on the path toward a comprehensive green chemistry program to
reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals in products and the
environment.

AB 1879 establishes authority for the Department of Toxic Substances
Control (DTSC) to develop regulations that create a process for
identifying and prioritizing chemicals of concern and to create methods
for analyzing alternatives to existing hazardous chemicals. It also
allows DTSC to take certain actions following an assessment that range
from "no action" to "restrictions or bans."

The bill also establishes a Green Ribbon Science Panel made up of
experts to provide advice on scientific matters, chemical policy
recommendations and implementation strategies, as well as ensuring
implementation efforts are based on a strong scientific foundation.
Moreover, it expands the role of the Environmental Policy Council, made
up of the heads of all California Environmental Protection Agency
boards and departments, to oversee critical activities related to the
implementation of the green chemistry program.

SB 509 creates an online Toxics Information Clearinghouse, a
web-based database, to increase consumer knowledge about the toxicity
and hazards of thousands of chemicals used in California every day.

Governor Schwarzenegger said the package of bills "puts an end
to the less effective ‘chemical-by-chemical’ bans of the past. With
these two bills, we will stop looking at toxics as an inevitable
bi-product of industrial production. Instead they will be something
that can be removed from every product in the design stage-protecting
people’s health and our environment."

In Releated News…

Governor Schwarzenegger also signed legislation
Tuesday that attempts to ease greenhouse gas emissions by giving
priority to transportation projects that limit commutes and curb urban
sprawl.

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