The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency must implement the Obama-era Risk Management Plan rule. In May, the agency proposed a repeal of a number of the chemical plant regulation's most significant terms.
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The China-US trade war and the North American Free Trade Agreement talks are creating uncertainty and counteracting the benefits of the tax code overhaul and deregulation, says American Chemistry Council Chief Economist Kevin Swift. The loss of NAFTA, he adds, would put $85 billion worth of planned chemical investments at risk.
Plastics can make powerful sustainability contributions, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste and energy usage, says the American Chemistry Council's Keith Christman, following the release of a study showing that plastics curb solid waste generation. The ACC has introduced a tool to help quantify plastic-packaging benefits.
Plastics are safe in food packaging and offer many benefits, contrary to a Washington Post essay by Paul Thacker, writes Steve Russell of the American Chemistry Council. The piece "stoked unfounded alarm about plastic food packaging -- materials that reliably do their job of providing safety and performance benefits for consumers around the world," Russell writes.
Some businesses that rely heavily on Chinese imports have secured tariff waivers by proving their business need to the Trump administration. Mitsubishi Chemical America has secured a waiver for some materials it uses to produce electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries.
For the past eight years, chemical industry investments worth $202.4 billion have been made across 333 projects, the result of modest shale gas prices and solid inventory. American Chemistry Council data show that just under 70% of investments were either directly or indirectly sourced from overseas. "This is an exciting milestone for American chemistry and further evidence that shale gas is a powerful engine of manufacturing growth," ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley said.
A proposed joint venture between SABIC and Clariant could leverage SABIC's IT operations and Clariant's distribution network, with synergies of $104 million possible, says Clariant Chief Financial Officer Patrick Jany. The deal is projected to be approved by regulators by the end of next year.
Any company that seeks to create a so-called factory of the future should be able to handle five important capabilities, starting with internal process optimization, per the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership. Plants can create greater mobility through mobile cell towers and wireless mesh networks.
ACC Requests Correction to Information Used In National Air Toxics Assessment
On August 22, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the results of its 2014 National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA). On September 20, 2018, the Ethylene Oxide Panel of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) submitted a Request for Correction under the Information Quality Act to ethylene oxide information used in the 2014 NATA. ACC represents producers and users of etylene oxide.
"We are concerned that EPA's 2014 NATA uses a significantly flawed risk value for ethylene oxide (EO) that was generated by EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program. The EO risk value is far below levels found in nature. In fact, it is 19,000 times lower than the normal, naturally-created levels of EO in the human body.
"ACC has filed a petition under the Information Quality Act seeking a correction to EO risk information in the NATA based on the IRIS risk value. Our petition outlines numerous problems with the methodology and substance of the EO IRIS risk value and presents reliable scientific evidence in support of correction. We offer as an alternative a range of risk values that is both scientifically sound and protective of public health for use in the NATA and any EPA regulatory actions."