ACC Association News
US specialty chemicals market starts first quarter on a good note
ACC SmartBrief | Feb 20, 2017
The American Chemistry Council reported that US specialty chemicals market volumes rose 0.2% in January. This follows a downwardly revised 0.3% gain in December. Volumes have generally been moving up since May. All changes in the data are reported on a three-month moving average basis. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments we monitor, 15 expanded in January, 10 experienced decline and three were flat. During January, large gains (1% and higher) were noted only in oilfield chemicals.
The overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 0.4% on a year-over-year 3MMA basis. The index stood at 105.9% of its average 2012 levels. This is equivalent to 7.30 billion pounds (3.31 million metric tons). The downturn in the oil and gas sector affected headline volumes, and weakness spread to other segments. Year-earlier comparisons were negative from second-quarter 2015 through second-quarter 2016 but are now improving. On a year-over-year basis, there were gains among 16 market and functional specialty chemical segments. Read more.
US chemical production starts the year on an upward trend
ACC SmartBrief | Feb 17, 2017
According to the American Chemistry Council, the US Chemical Production Regional Index rose by 0.5% in January, following an upwardly revised 0.2% gain in December and a 0.4% increase in November, as measured on a three-month moving average basis. In January, chemical production was higher across all regions, with especially large gains in the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions, reflecting the relatively large share of basic industrial chemical production in those regions. Read more.
Chemical industry committed to working with Congress on smart transportation regulations
ACC SmartBrief | Feb 16, 2017
Chemical manufacturers want to work closely with Congress to improve our nation's transportation system and ensure the safe transportation of hazardous materials, according to Dow Chemical Company Corporate Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain Tom Gurd, who testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation's Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. Read more.
Monthly resin market data for 2017 now available from ACC
ACC SmartBrief | Feb 16, 2017
ACC's resin reports are recognized as a leading data source on the plastics resins industry. Based on detailed monthly surveys of major North American producers, ACC publishes authoritative industry reports on production and sales by end use markets for major plastic resins. Get complete details including sample reports, 2017 subscription pricing and how to order.
ACC commends Sens. Portman and Shaheen for reintroducing energy-efficiency bill
ACC SmartBrief | Feb 15, 2017
"We commend Senators Portman and Shaheen for their tireless efforts in championing this important, bipartisan legislation. The 'Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act' includes smart and effective measures that will help Americans save energy and money while creating jobs." Read more.
Are there really thousands of untested chemicals in everyday products?
ACC SmartBrief | Feb 08, 2017
If you've ever read a news article or blog post about chemicals, you may have come across the oft-cited claim that there are 84,000 untested chemicals in the products we use every day. Taken at face value, this figure is startling. But, if you check the facts and take a closer look, you'll also find that this figure simply is not true. Check out this video, which provides some clarity and context. You see, the 84,000 number is based on the Environmental Protection Agency's chemical inventory list. Established in 1979, this inventory has not been an accurate reflection of the chemicals actually used in products. Why? For one thing, any chemical that has ever gone on the inventory has stayed there, even if it's not used anymore. A more accurate count of the total number of chemicals in commerce is closer to 7,700 -- this reflects chemicals produced in what EPA considers "significant amounts" and widely used in commerce. Read more.
ACC to testify before House Science Committee
ACC SmartBrief | Feb 07, 2017
Kimberly White, Ph.D., on behalf of the American Chemistry Council, will provide testimony today about the importance of increasing transparency and using the most up-to-date and relevant science in all Environmental Protection Agency decision-making, especially in the federal chemical assessments that the agency uses to inform regulatory decisions. Read more.
ACC welcomes reintroduction of EPA ozone legislation
ACC SmartBrief | Feb 06, 2017
The American Chemistry Council issued the following statement last week in response to the reintroduction of the "Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016" in the House and Senate (H.R. 806, S. 263).
"We welcome the reintroduction of the bipartisan 'Ozone Standards Implementation Act,' which will help ensure that manufacturers who want to invest in the U.S. are able to obtain regulatory permits in a timely, transparent and efficient manner. We commend the sponsors for their steadfast support of American manufacturing and job growth.
"New EPA ozone standards took effect on December 28, 2015. Manufacturing facilities must obtain a permit before they can proceed with a new construction or expansion project. Yet too often, EPA fails to provide the necessary implementation rules and guidance, leaving facilities and state permitting agencies in limbo. Such confusion and delays put U.S. investment and jobs at risk.
"The 'Ozone Standards Implementation Act' will help. It sets a ten-year interval for National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) reviews, phases in implementation of the 2008 and 2015 ozone standards and extends the compliance date for meeting the 2015 standards to 2025. These and other reforms will enable continued air quality improvement alongside U.S. manufacturing investment."
ACC comments on congressional resolution to address chemical security concerns
ACC SmartBrief | Feb 03, 2017
Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., introduced a resolution with the support of 15 co-sponsors to prevent a new Environmental Protection Agency rule from making changes to the Risk Management Plan that will create new security and safety issues. The American Chemistry Council issued the following statement regarding the resolution:
"We welcome the introduction of Congressman Mullin's resolution to prevent EPA's changes to the Risk Management Plan (RMP) from creating new national and local security issues. ACC is particularly concerned with EPA's new regulatory requirements to expand the sharing of chemical hazard and operational information, which would allow sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands and endanger chemical facilities and communities across America.
"RMP has been, and continues to be, an effective program through which EPA and industry have seen a dramatic decrease in accidental chemical releases -- close to a 60 percent reduction in the nearly 20 years since the program/plan has been in place." Read more.
Recent attention on a broad class of fluorinated chemistry in food packaging is unfounded and unnecessary, say experts
ACC SmartBrief | Feb 01, 2017
In response to a new analysis that was released today about the use of per- and polyfluorinated substances in food packaging materials, the FluoroCouncil, the global industry group representing major manufacturers of fluorinated chemistries, released the following statement:
"Without further examination of the data, it's impossible to draw any definitive conclusions about the nature and source of the compounds that were detected in this particular study. It is important to note, however, that the major manufacturers of fluorinated chemistries in the US, EU and Japan have stopped manufacturing the older, long-chain fluorinated chemistries, such as PFOA and PFOS, which have been the chemicals of concern to regulators.
"There are now specific, modern, short-chain PFAS chemicals that have been carefully reviewed and approved for use in coating food-contact papers to keep grease, oil and moisture from seeping through the packaging. So to find these chemistries in these products is neither surprising nor alarming, as long as they are approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration.
"Because use of short-chain PFASs in food packaging is highly and rigorously regulated, any further regulation of modern-day short-chain food packaging materials is unnecessary and would provide no further benefits to human health or the environment."
Winter 2017 TRANSCAER Today magazine now available
ACC SmartBrief | Feb 01, 2017
View the magazine online.
US chemical production ended the year on a soft note
ACC SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2017
According to the American Chemistry Council, the US Chemical Production Regional Index fell back 0.2% in December, following a 0.2% gain in November and a 0.1% decline in October, as measured on a three-month moving average basis. In December, chemical production was lower across all regions. Read more.
Chemical Activity Barometer starts new year with strong gain
ACC SmartBrief | Jan 24, 2017
The Chemical Activity Barometer, a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council, started the year on a strong note, posting a monthly gain of 0.4% in January. This follows a 0.3% gain in December, November and October. Learn more.
ACC: US specialty chemicals market volume rises
ACC SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2017
The American Chemistry Council reported that US specialty chemicals market volumes rose 0.3% in December. This follows an upwardly revised 0.5% gain in November. Volumes have generally been moving up since May. All changes in the data are reported on a three-month moving average basis. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments we monitor, 17 expanded in December, 10 markets experienced decline and one was flat. During December, large gains (1% and over) were noted only in oilfield chemicals. Learn more.