Tag Archive for: Green Chemistry

California Releases Informal Draft of the Revised Green Chemistry Regulations

Green Chemistry Regulations:

On Monday, October 31, 2011, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released an informal draft of its revised green chemistry regulations, the so-called “Safer Consumer Product Alternatives (SCPA) Regulations.”  DTSC spent the last year further revising the regulations after some stakeholders decried the proposed final version released for public comment over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2010.  Public comments on the lastest informal draft are due by December 30, 2011.  The formal rulemaking process will begin in 2012.

On Monday DTSC also released a document setting out the most significant changes from the November 2010 version of the regulations. (For purposes of comparison, a summary of the November 2010 version is available here.)  It is clear that DTSC is envisioning a more robust program with shorter timelines and fewer exemptions, ultimately requiring more agency and private resources to implement without a clear benefit from doing so. In light of the poor state of California’s economy, and the relative weakness of the U.S. economy as a whole, one has to wonder why DTSC has chosen its proposed path. According to DTSC, the following are the most significant changes found in the current informal draft. 


(1) Many timeframes have been shortened and/or made more specific.

(2) Timing of initial Chemicals of Concern (COC) list — effective date of the regulations.

(3) Timing of initial Priority Products list — 6 months for the proposed list.

(4) Both the chemicals and products lists will be reviewed at least once every 3 years.

Chemical / Product Prioritization

(1) The regulations will establish an immediate robust (~3,000) list of COCs (which DTSC can add onto later), based on work already done by numerous authoritative bodies.

 (2) The list of hazard traits has been expanded to include all hazard traits and environmental and toxicological endpoints specified by OEHHA. Additionally, the universe of chemicals considered to be carcinogens and reproductive toxins is no longer limited to only those chemicals listed on a short list of lists.

(3) The regulations no longer limit the product categories that DTSC can consider when listing Priority Products during the first 5 years.

(4) Worker exposure has been added as a prioritization factor.

(5) The requirement for responsible entities to provide chemical and product information during the prioritization process has been eliminated. (DTSC will request this information and list anyone who does not provide the information on a Failure to Respond list.)

Alternatives Assessments

(1) The regulations expand the primary responsibility for compliance beyond the product producer to also include: (i) the person who controls the product design; and (ii) the U.S. importer.

(2) The alternatives assessment (AA) process is more specific and structured, but allows for flexibility.

(3) There is no requirement to fill information gaps during the AA — instead DTSC has the option to require this as a regulatory response.

(4) The third-party verification requirement for AAs has been eliminated — instead AAs are required to be conducted by a certified assessor. Also, DTSC will play a greater role in auditing AAs.


(1) The default de minimis level is 0.01% for chemicals with one of 9 specified hazard traits, and 0.1% for all other chemicals — DTSC can set a lower or higher de minimis level.

(2) The exemption for unintentionally-added chemicals has been eliminated. However, these chemicals are a consideration for setting a higher de minimis level.

(3) The “no exposure pathway” exemption has been eliminated. However, exposure potential will still be considered during the chemical/product prioritization process.

Readers wanting more information should check back for future posts on this development, as well as visit the DTSC website. In addition, there will be a public workshop on the draft proposal on December 5, 2011 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm in Sacramento. The Green Ribbon Science Panel also will dicuss the proposal at the Panel’s meeting on November 14 – 15, also in Sacramento.        

EPA Launches Green Products Web Portal for Pollution Prevention Week

Sustainable Products/Green Marketing:

This week is Pollution Prevention Week.  And to help celebrate the Week, EPA has announced the launch of a new portal to help consumers find so-called “Greener Products.”   The tool is intended to provide consumers information about everyday products, enabling them to identify those that require less energy or water, or use safer chemicals.  The Agency’s announcement is embedded below.  The portal is accessible here.


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is observing Pollution Prevention (P2) Week (September 19-25, 2011) by launching a new tool designed to provide Americans easy access to information about everyday products like home appliances, electronics and cleaning products that can save money, prevent pollution and protect people’s health. The new green products web portal is available at www.epa.gov/greenerproducts

This week serves to recognize significant pollution prevention work around the country and help  consumers get involved in pollution prevention. EPA’s new green products web portal is an easy way for all Americans to learn about products that prevent pollution and protect our environment.

Using the new tool, consumers can find electronics and appliances that have earned EPA’s Energy Star label and can browse WaterSense products that help save energy and water. Additionally, consumers can find information about cleaning products that are safer for the environment and people’s health. These products bear the EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) label. The website will also help manufacturers and institutional purchasers with information on  standards and criteria for designing  greener products.

“By purchasing greener products, consumers can help reduce air pollution, conserve water and energy, minimize waste and protect their children and families from exposure to toxic chemicals, while also creating green jobs,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, “Pollution Prevention is good for our health, our environment and our economy.”

Join the EPA in marking P2 Week this week, and help prevent pollution every day. More information on pollution prevention, P2 Week, and EPA’s P2 programs: http://epa.gov/p2/

Reminder: Upcoming Meeting of the California Green Ribbon Science Panel

Green Chemistry Regulations:

For readers interested in learning more about the development of California’s Green Chemistry Regulations – the “Safer Consumer Product Alternative Regulations” – the upcoming meeting of the Green Ribbon Science Panel may be of interest.  Details are set out below in the embedded announcement from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).  Enjoy!

DTSC: Green Chemistry Initiative

 The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will convene the Green Ribbon Science Panel (GRSP) on Thursday, July 14, 2011, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (PDT), and on Friday, July 15, 2011, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon (PDT) in Sacramento, California and via webcast. The public is invited to attend, and comments to the GRSP on agenda items are welcome.

 Meeting notice:


Meeting agenda:



EPA Announces Winners of 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award

Readers curious about notable innovations in the green chemistry space may be interested in the following announcement from EPA regarding the 2011 winners of the Presidential Challenge Awards.

Dale Kemery (News media only)

June 20, 2011


EPA Honors Winners of 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

WASHINGTON – For the 16th year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing pioneering chemical technologies developed by leading researchers and industrial innovators who are making significant contributions to pollution prevention in the United States. These prestigious awards recognize the design of safer and more sustainable chemicals, processes, and products that will protect Americans, particularly children, from exposure to harmful chemicals.

The awards will be made this evening, June 20, at the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. This year’s awards are significant because 2011 has been named the International Year of Chemistry and marks the 20th anniversary of EPA’s efforts in what would become the creation of green chemistry. 

“EPA congratulates this year’s winners for designing and developing innovative green chemistry technologies that will result in safer chemicals for use in products, homes, schools, and workplaces that also have significant environmental and economic benefits,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are bestowed in five categories. The 2011 award winners are:

  •  Academic: Bruce H. Lipshutz, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara
  •  Small business: BioAmber, Inc., Plymouth, Minn.
  • Greener synthetic pathways: Genomatica, San Diego, Calif.
  • Greener reaction conditions: Kraton Performance Polymers, LLC, Houston, Texas
  • Designing greener chemicals: The Sherwin-Williams Company, Cleveland, Ohio

By recognizing groundbreaking scientific solutions to real-world environmental problems, EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Program has significantly reduced the hazards associated with designing, manufacturing and using chemicals. The program promotes research and development of less-hazardous alternatives to existing technologies that reduce or eliminate waste, particularly hazardous waste, in industrial production.

An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute selected the 2011 winners from among scores of nominated technologies. During the program’s life, EPA has received more than 1,400 nominations and presented awards to 82 winners. Winning technologies alone are responsible for reducing the use or generation of more than 199 million pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminating 57 million pounds of carbon dioxide releases to the air. These benefits are in addition to significant energy and cost savings by the winners and their customers. 

More information: http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/greenchemistry/pubs/pgcc/past.html

Listen to podcasts about this year’s winners: http://www.epa.gov/greenchemistry/pubs/2011_podcasts/index.html

Philip Moffat Will Speak About Sustainable Packaging at the 2011 ASC Sustainability Summit

Sustainable Products/Green Marketing:

Verdant is pleased to announce that Philip Moffat will speak at the 2011 ASC Sustainability Summit in Rosemont, Illinois (O’Hare) on July 26 – 27.  Mr.  Moffat will discuss green marketing and enforcement trends, the tools available to regulate green marketing in the U.S. and elsewhere, and the legal risks attending the marketing of “sustainable” packaging in the absence of universally accepted metrics and definitions.

The Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC) and ASTM International (formerly known as the American Society of Testing and Materials) are co-sponsoring the event.  Representatives from well-known organizations such as Dow Corning, John Deere, HP Fuller, the America Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Initiative, USEPA, and many others will be presenting on timely topics ranging from Green Chemistry to Green Marketing.  A copy of the preliminary agenda is set out below.  The conference brochure is available here.

Tuesday, July 26

Keynote Speaker………………………………………………………………….8:00 – 8:45 am
Dr. Bob Peoples, ACS

Adhesive Panel Discussion (focused on transportation)…………….8:45 – 10:15 am
Moderator: Sandra Niks, ASTM

Sealant Panel Discussion (focused on building construction)…….10:30 am – Noon
Moderator: Ken Yarosh, Dow Corning

Lunch Keynote Speaker……………………………………………………….Noon – 1:00 pm
FEICA – The EU’s perspective on sustainability
in the adhesive and sealant space

Adhesive Panel Discussion (focused on packaging)……………………1:15 – 2:45 pm
Moderator: John Kalkowski, Packaging Digest Magazine

Break Out Session – Adhesives………………………………………………3:30 – 4:30 pm

Break Out Session – Sealants…………………………………………………3:30 – 4:30 pm

Tour of a LEED Silver Building………………………………………………..4:30 – 5:45 pm

Reception…………………………………………………………………………..6:00 – 7:00 pm

Wednesday, July 27

Adhesives Group Key Findings……………………………………………….8:00 – 8:45 am
Presented by Adhesives Group Leader

Sealants Group Key Findings………………………………………………….8:45 – 9:30 am
Presented by Sealants Group Leader

ASTM Future Initiatives & Roadmap………………………………………9:45 – 10:00 am

ASC Future Educational Initiatives ………………………………………10:00 – 10:15 am

Closing Keynote Session……………………………………………………10:30 – 11:30 am
Rik Master, USG Corp.

Design for the Environment–EPA’s Safer Product Labeling Program

Green Chemistry/Design for the Environment:

Readers interested in EPA’s Safer Product Labeling Program may want to look through the list of products now authorized to carry EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) label.  The list is available here.

On April 20, in anticipation of Earth Day, EPA announced that 2,500 products are now approved to carry the DfE label, including all-purpose cleaners, laundry and dishwasher detergents, drain line maintainers, and car and boat care products. DfE-labeled products do not contain known chemicals of potential concern, like carcinogens, reproductive or developmental toxicants. Even minor product components, like dyes and fragrances, are screened for safety.  In fact, according to EPA, before allowing the DfE logo to be used on a product label, the Agency conducts a scientific evaluation to ensure that candidate products are formulated from the safest possible ingredients.  The Agency’s press release explains that “[t]he DfE label means that EPA has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that the product contains only ingredients that, in EPA’s scientific opinion, pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.”

EPA also announced that DfE labeled products will soon be required to disclose their ingredients (other than trade secrets) to consumers. In addition, new DfE-approved products will need to meet additional life-cycle requirements such as sustainable packaging and limits on volatile organic compounds.  The new disclosure and life-cycle requirements will be phased in for existing DfE products, but some companies are already moving to comply with those standards.

Instructions on the application process for DfE labeling are available here.

Click here for the DfE home page.

Leading Consumer Products Companies Explain How and Why They Share Chemical Data Along the Supply Chain

Green Chemistry/Sustainable Supply Chain Management:

The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) recently published a report titled, Meeting Customers’ Needs for Chemical Data: A Guidance Document for Suppliers.  The Guidance Document is designed to improve supply chain communication between suppliers and their customers concerning chemical identities and health and safety data.  In the report, leading companies such as HP, Johnson & Johnson, Method, Nike, SC Johnson, and Wal-Mart explain why they want such data and how they interact with their suppliers to obtain it. 

Readers unfamiliar with GC3 should know that it is a business-to-business forum for members to discuss and share information and experiences relating to the advancement of green chemistry, design for the environment, and sustainable supply chain management.  GC3, which began in 2005, is a project of Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.  GC3 prepared the Guidance Document with two goals in mind: “(1) to advance the efforts of companies trying to obtain the chemical data needed for regulatory and corporate sustainability programs and in response to market demands, and (2) to advance the efforts of suppliers to provide chemical data needed by their customers.”

The Guidance Document is a response to the growing demand for increased transparency concerning chemical-related data. Companies attempting to bring “green” or “safer” products to the market need chemical identity and health and safety data at the product design phase.  Access to this information enables them to evaluate and manage market, regulatory, and tort liability risks, as well as respond to requests from their customers, including consumers, wanting more information.

The Guidance Document should prove helpful to suppliers less familiar with the trend toward greater transparency, the rationale supporting it, and the techniques used to sustain it.  The document explains why fabricators and formulators are requesting chemical data, what chemical data are being sought, how suppliers can benefit from sharing data, why Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) often provide inadequate data, how companies are handling confidential business information, how fabricators and formulators collect data from their suppliers and what they are doing with the data, and where suppliers can obtain the data being requested.  In addition to describing the chemical data collection practices of different companies, the Guidance Document also provides customizable letters and forms that companies can use to facilitate their communications. 

More information about GC3 is available here.

Reminder: Upcoming Teleconferences and Meetings of the DTSC Green Ribbon Science Panel

Green Chemistry:

Readers will recall that the Green Ribbon Science Panel convened on February 4, 2011 to discuss its role in advising DTSC on green chemistry matters.  During that call, the Panel agreed to arrange itself into three subcommittees to work on specific aspects of the Safer Consumer Product Alternative Regulations.  Below is an excerpt from the DTSC website describing each subcommittee and providing its upcoming teleconference schedule.  Also, the full Panel will convene in-person May 5 – 6, 2011. 

Although more focused attention by the Panel will be welcomed by some, the numerous teleconferences and meetings will make it incredibly difficult for stakeholders to remain actively engaged throughout the Panel’s deliberations.


GRSP Topic Subcommittees

The Green Ribbon Science Panel has formed three subcommittees to more deeply discuss issues related to DTSC’s Green Chemistry Program. The subcommittees will each meet via teleconference twice prior to the next scheduled meeting of the entire Panel (scheduled for May 5 and 6, 2011, in Sacramento). At that time, there will be a discussion of these issues by the entire GRSP. All GRSP subcommittee meetings are open to the public, and will include an opportunity for the public to make comments to the GRSP subcommittee.

Green Ribbon Science Panel Subcommittees

#1: Chemical Identification and Prioritization
(chaired by GRSP Co-Chair Ken Geiser, Ph.D.)

#2: Product Identification and Prioritization
(chaired by GRSP Co-Chair Debbie Raphael, M.A.)

#3: De Minimis and Unintentionally-Added Chemicals
(chaired by GRSP Co-Chair Bill Carroll, Ph.D.)

This subcommittee will meet:

  • April 4, 2011, from 9:30 to 12 noon Pacific Time. See the agenda and public notice.
  • April 13, 2011 (time and other details to be determined). 

This subcommittee will meet:

  • April 11, 2011 (time and other details to be determined).
  • April 19, 2011 (time and other details to be determined).

This subcommittee will meet:

  • April 6, 2011, from 9:30 to 12 noon Pacific Time. See the agenda and public notice.
  • April 18, 2011 (time and other details to be determined).

Subcommittee #1 members are:

  • Julia Quint, Ph.D.
  • George Daston, Ph.D.
  • Meg Schwarzman, M.D.
  • Julie Zimmerman, Ph.D.
  • Lauren Heine, Ph.D.
  • Art Fong, Ph.D.
  • Rich Liroff, Ph.D.
  • Tim Malloy, J.D.

Subcommittee #2 members are:

  • Bruce Cords, Ph.D.
  • Jae Choi, Ph.D.
  • Mike Kirschner
  • Scott Matthews, Ph.D.
  • Kelly Moran, Ph.D.
  • Dele Ogunseitan, Ph.D.
  • Julie Schoenung, Ph.D.
  • Roger McFadden
  • Mike Wilson, Ph.D.

Subcommittee #3 members are:

  • Ann Blake, Ph.D.
  • Tod Delaney, Ph.D.
  • Richard Denison, Ph.D.
  • Dale Johnson, Ph.D.
  • Bob Peoples, Ph.D.
  • Joe Guth, J.D., Ph.D.




California DTSC Green Ribbon Science Panel Discusses Changes to Its Advisory Role in the Green Chemistry Program

Green Chemistry Regulations:

On February 4, 2011, the Green Ribbon Science Panel (GRSP), a panel of experts advising the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) on green chemistry-related matters, convened via teleconference to consider how it might better fulfill its role as an advisor to the Department.  The teleconference focused on GRSP process rather than on substantive topics such as the Safer Consumer Product Alternatives Regulations, which remain in draft form.  However, it was clear from the teleconference that frustration over the latest draft of the Regulations – in terms of how the draft was proposed as well as its content – was at the core of some GRSP members’ concerns.

Readers will recall that the Department delayed adoption of the Regulations on December 23, 2010 in response to widespread criticism of the latest draft.  No deadline for completing the rulemaking has been publicly announced.

Update:  An audio file of the GRSP teleconference is now available on DTSC’s website.

Reminder: February 4 Meeting of the Green Ribbon Science Panel for CA DTSC

Green Chemistry:

The Green Ribbon Science Panel (GRSP) of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is holding its first meeting of 2011 later this week.  The meeting will be held this Friday, February 4.  Details and links to additional information are set out in the DTSC notice below. 

From the agenda, this meeting does not appear to include discussion of the draft Safer Consumer Product Alternatives (SCPA) regulations.  Readers will recall that Cal-EPA decided on December 23 to delay adoption of those regulations, and reconvene the GRSP to discuss further revisions to the regulations despite a December 31, 2010 statutory deadline for completing the rulemaking process.  A new date for completing the process has not yet been announced publicly.


DTSC: Green Chemistry Initiative

DTSC will convene a teleconference meeting of the Green Ribbon Science Panel (GRSP) to discuss future process considerations for the GRSP. 

The meeting will be held on February 4, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time.

To find out how to participate in person or via teleconference go to:


To view meeting materials and an agenda go to:


To subscribe to or unsubscribe from the DTSC Green Chemistry Initiative Listserv or other Listservs, please go to http://www.calepa.ca.gov/listservs/dtsc.  For information on DTSC`s Green Chemistry Initiative, go to http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/PollutionPrevention/GreenChemistryInitiative/index.cfm