October 18, 2021
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Top Story
The Environmental Protection Agency announced today it will increase regulation of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds through stricter Safe Drinking Water Act rules, additional reporting for PFAS manufacturers and designating PFAS as a Superfund-eligible hazardous substance. "The American Chemistry Council supports the strong, science-based regulation of chemicals, including PFAS substances," says ACC spokesman Erich Shea. "But all PFAS are not the same, and they should not all be regulated the same way."
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/18),  The New York Times (10/18) 
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Explore the six building blocks of digital R&D
Chemical companies have an opportunity to do more with digital technologies in R&D. Six building blocks can help them link and streamline processes and accelerate innovation. The first step: Develop a roadmap for using these technologies to take R&D to the next level. Download the full report.
Policy Watch
The Biden administration supports the World Trade Organization and believes it can help facilitate trade worldwide, but would like to create a "more flexible WTO, change the way we approach problems collectively, improve transparency and inclusiveness, and restore the deliberative function of the organization," said US Trade Representatives Katherine Tai last week. Tai's views align with those of the American Chemistry Council and International Council of Chemical Associations, which recently shared its recommendations for WTO reform, writes ACC's Ed Brzytwa.
Full Story: American Chemistry Matters (American Chemistry Council) (10/11),  Bloomberg (10/14) 
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The Environmental Protection Agency has not historically regulated finished products entering the US due to time and cost constraints, but recent remarks made by EPA official Michal Freedhoff indicate the agency could do so under the Toxic Substances Control Act, according to this analysis.
Full Story: EHS Daily Advisor (10/18) 
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Supply chain issues are likely to last into 2022 as the Biden administration attempts to support the private sector without overstepping its bounds, says Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. President Joe Biden last week announced a plan to extend operational hours at the Port of Los Angeles in an agreement that included retailers and unions, part of a larger effort to alleviate supply chain issues.
Full Story: NBC News (10/17),  CNN (10/17),  The Week (10/14) 
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Industry Watch
Port congestion, driver shortages and freight rail disruption linked to the coronavirus pandemic, hurricanes and other trends continue to create problems for chemical shippers. The American Chemistry Council and other members of the Rail Customer Coalition are urging the Surface Transportation Board to alleviate rail service issues by taking action on reciprocal shipping.
Full Story: ICIS News (UK) (free content) (10/16) 
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Mitsubishi Chemical is working on multiple projects to scale plastic recycling in Japan, including a joint venture with Kirin that focuses on large-scale depolymerization. Mitsubishi is also working with Microwave Chemical on microwave-based depolymerization technology for polymethyl methacrylate.
Full Story: Chemical & Engineering News (tiered subscription model) (10/17) 
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Research & Innovation
SABIC, Air Liquide, BASF, Clariant, Covestro, Dow and other chemical companies are forming a project development partnership with the support of the World Economic Forum to create and scale low-carbon-emitting technologies. The first project will involve BASF, SABIC and Linde.
Full Story: Society of Chemical Industry (London) (10/15) 
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Leadership & Management
Reinvent your company's innovation process in the next 30 days by answering the five questions Rita Gunther McGrath poses in this article, including examining where new growth is emerging, how innovation will be run and what resources are needed. "And throughout, remember: Innovation can be a repeatable, reliable process," she writes.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (10/15) 
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Processes can become out of date and turn stability into obsolescence when not regularly reviewed, as seen with a British company still inadvertently protecting against World War II bombers, writes Steve Keating. "To assume that any process never needs to change along with its environment is a very dangerous assumption," he writes.
Full Story: LeadToday (10/14) 
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ACC News
The number of new jobless claims fell by 36,000 to 293,000 during the week ending 9 October. Continuing claims decreased by 134,000 to 2.59 million, and the insured unemployment rate for the week ending 2 October declined by 0.1% points to 1.9%. Read more.
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The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of the American Chemistry Council.
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