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Environmental Protection & Preservation

American Chemical Society Calls Green Chemistry Bill a 'Smart Step'

The American Chemical Society (ACS) today praised House passage of legislation that will improve federal coordination, dissemination and investment in green chemistry research and development (R&D). Introduced by Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) and Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2005 (H.R. 1215) aims to provide safer, more sustainable technological options to replace traditional products and processes.

ACS President E. Ann Nalley, Ph.D., praised the leadership of the two Congressmen saying "Green chemistry is a smart approach to pollution prevention, and the House took a smart step in the right direction by passing H.R. 1215."

"As real environmental progress shifts to preventing pollution, we need more innovative strategies and technologies," Nalley said. "The tools chemists and chemical engineers develop will be instrumental in meeting the challenges of environmental protection and economic growth. Green chemistry plays a critical role because it literally seeks to change the equation by designing cleaner and safer chemicals, products, and processes up front."

Home of the Green Chemistry Institute, the American Chemical Society has played a leading role in advancing the concept of improving the environment through chemistry. Paul Anastas, Ph.D., institute director and winner of this year's Heinz Award for the Environment, said: "People often believe environmental and economic prosperity are a balance or trade off. Green chemistry is showing that you can simultaneously benefit the environment and the economy."

Under the bill, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy would work together to enhance funding and coordination of green chemistry R&D. The interagency program would support merit-reviewed grants to individual researchers, university-industry partnership, R&D and technology transfer at federal laboratories, and the education and training of undergraduate and graduate students in green chemistry science and engineering.

The bill was managed on the floor by Reps. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) and David Wu (D-Ore.). Also supporting the bill on the floor was sponsor Rep. Gingrey, and House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas). A Senate companion bill, S. 1270, has been introduced by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), but has not yet been acted upon by the Senate.

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