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March 20, 2013
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News for American Chemistry

Top Story 
  • ACC: U.S., Canada boost rigid-plastics recycling, access to facilities
    Rigid-plastics recycling in the U.S. and Canada, excluding plastic bottles, exceeded 934 million pounds in 2011, according to a report prepared by Moore Recycling Associates for the American Chemistry Council. Another report, also sponsored by ACC, found that the share of the population with access to recycling facilities that can process rigid plastics increased from 40% in 2011 to 57% in 2012. (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ACC reports show recycling of rigid plastics grew 13% in 2011  LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Policy Watch 
  • Worker shortage is feared as petrochemical projects gear up
    The North American energy sector is expected to have a shortage of skilled workers in a decade, with half of skilled-trades employees slated to retire, said Daniel Lumma, senior vice president of Kiewit Oil, Gas and Chemical. If all the projected petrochemical projects in the region materialize, "the peak workforce would have to multiply five to six times above what it is right now. The fact is, that's not going to happen," he said. "We're heading into a very, very significant demographic issue." San Antonio Express-News (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Energy Dept. official: LNG applications are being analyzed
    The Energy Department is analyzing applications for exports of liquefied natural gas to countries without free trade agreements but will not rush such decisions, a department official told Congress this week. "We're moving forward in a way that's open, transparent and which yields a decision that's going to withstand the scrutiny it's going to receive," said Christopher Smith, acting assistant secretary for fossil energy. Politico Pro (subscription required) (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Expect increased chemical M&A, analysts say
    Merger-and-acquisition activity in the global chemical sector is primed to increase, said Mike Shannon, global leader for chemicals practice at KPMG. "I think many of these have been in the works for multiple years. It's just that the market conditions are now better and more supportive of these transactions occurring," he said. ICIS News (U.K.) (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Research & Innovation 
  • Analysis: America's lead in R&D narrows
    The U.S. still leads the world in the total amount of money it spends on research and development, but other countries are increasing their emphasis on research and steadily narrowing the gap, according to The Economist. "A mixture of government-funded basic research, built on and deployed by business, lies behind two of the innovations that are doing most to help America out of its current economic doldrums: hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling," the magazine notes. "...They are now giving a massive boost to the oil and gas industry -- and hence to the broader economy." The Economist (tiered subscription model) (3/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researchers develop fracking nanoparticles that could provide geologic data
    The Advanced Energy Consortium at the University of Texas at Austin is working on magnetic nanoparticles that could map shale rock dimensions during hydraulic fracturing procedures. "Even though the industry has gotten good at fracturing, we don't know the exact extent of the fracture networks," said project manager Mohsen Ahmadian. "The answer is not always drilling more wells. We want to give engineers better information so they can make better decisions," he added. (free content) (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Leadership & Management 
  • How March Madness can put a spring in the step of workers
    There are legal considerations to letting employees participate in March Madness brackets at work, but doing so correctly can build team spirit and morale without hurting productivity, says Murat Philippe of Avatar HR Solutions. Bracket betting "is something that is going to happen anyway, no matter what a company may say," Philippe says. "It doesn't really cost you a great deal, so you may as well saddle it up and ride it out." USA Today/Gannett News Service (3/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 3 ways to be more assertive
    Bosses can't get away with failing to assert themselves, writes Joel Garfinkle. It's important to acknowledge, address and overcome social anxieties and to have confidence in your ideas. "We all have times when we'd prefer to be low key. But if this is a pattern [that] is getting in the way of upward mobility, you need to take corrective action," Garfinkle writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
ACC News 
  • ACC submits comments on EPA's work plan chemical assessments
    The American Chemistry Council issued the following statement in conjunction with its review and public comment on five draft work plan chemical risk assessments announced in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Federal Register on Jan. 9:

    "ACC welcomes the general approach EPA has taken to conduct targeted risk assessments on its first five work plan priority chemicals. ACC commends the Agency for conducting targeted quantitative assessments that focus on the potential risks associated with certain uses and applications of the work plan chemicals, and for employing a margin of exposure (MOE) approach for human health evaluations. The assessments are focused appropriately on those risks that have not already been determined to present minimal or negligible risk for ecological or human health endpoints."

    Read the full statement from ACC. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Time is running out: Register today for ACC's upcoming workshop: "REACH & CLP Requirements -- What U.S. Companies Need to Do"
    ACC is partnering with Steptoe & Johnson LLP to conduct a REACH workshop at ACC headquarters on Tuesday, March 26, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Join us to learn about tasks to complete before the next REACH registration deadline (May 31, 2013), lessons learned during the first registration cycle, and other issues surrounding REACH compliance. Should you and/or someone on your staff plan to participate, please notify ACC's Lora Magruder. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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