SOCMA members once again shared their expertise as specialty and fine chemical manufacturers at the Global Chemical Regulations Conference, February 28-March 2, in Washington, D.C. More commonly known as GlobalChem, this premier policy and regulatory
where chemical industry professionals and stakeholders gather each year to discuss unique challenges and opportunities faced in the regulatory arena.
SOCMA sessions featured specialty experts from McGean, Lonza, Royal Chemical Company, Hampford Research, Inc., and BASF, as well as the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Beveridge and Diamond. Our panelists shared knowledge and industry outlooks on a variety of topics, including contract manufacturing relationships, regulatory agendas, and chemical safety in the modern era.
SOCMA's opening session featured first-rate insights on federal regulatory agendas and the future of environmental and health management systems. Elizabeth Corona, ombudsman to
EPA's Smart Sectors Program for chemical manufacturing, began with discussion
on EPA's efforts to streamline operations internally and maintain meaningful
dialogue with the chemicals sector. Michael Neilson, Lonza's Associate General Counsel, followed with pragmatic approaches to regulatory challenges and the benefits of a collaborative audit process. Lastly, William Perry, OSHA's Director of the Directorate of Standards and Guidance, summed up the agency's efforts on hazard classification GHS alignment.
Following, to close out Thursday's sessions, Mara Gliozzi, Global Business Manager at McGean, Michael Stadelmaier, Procurement Manager at BASF, and Nick LaMagna, VP of Sales and Marketing at Royal Chemical Company, provided in-depth looks at the intricacies of the contract manufacturing relationship.
Gliozzi focused on several key factors that are paramount in building contract manufacturing relationships. She told attendees her team focuses on what their customers are looking for, as well as the internal operations, language and documents facilities use. More importantly, Gliozzi said communication is key when you have multiple site visits from various individuals involved in the process. Other things to keep in mind, according to Gliozzi, include GHS labeling requirements,
and knowing the new TSCA rules, thereby staying on top of environmental, health and safety issues and compliance.
Stadelmaier told attendees communication and relationships are the most important part of contract manufacturing. "Companies don't have relationships; people do," he said. "So, there is no such thing as a relationship between two companies."
LaMagna focused his comments on the technical aspects of the contract manufacturing relationship, such as labeling, packaging and
permits, among others.
SOCMA's third and final session on Safety and Security wrapped up the conference Friday morning as leadership from DHS, Hampford Research, and Beveridge and Diamond, P.C., shared insight on chemical safety in the modern era and the importance of a steadfast commitment to safety processes.
Amy Graydon, Acting Director of DHS's Infrastructure Security Compliance Division, provided the latest updates on the reauthorization and retiering
of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). She told attendees that through the new tiering methodology, DHS can detect inherent vulnerabilities. She also noted that there are more than 323 chemicals of interest which DHS tracks. The first part of that screening process is for companies to inform DHS if they have any chemicals on
Appendix A (the list of chemicals of interest). According to Graydon, the agency has had more than 40,000 unique top screens submitted. And, DHS is working hard to communicate with first responders and conducting drills to ensure safety at chemical facilities.
Jeff Gilmour of Hampford shared insight on how technology plays a role in safety and security efforts in chemical facilities. Gilmour stressed that relationships are everything, and Hampford has made a concerted effort to make a company culture of safety and open communication. This starts with the hiring process, which includes in-depth interviews to ensure the new employee will be a good fit within the company's safety culture. Gilmour also noted Hampford manages its relationships outside the plant in the same way. "That is the great thing with being a member of SOCMA," he said. "They really help us achieve the relationships we need at the federal level, which takes a lot of the burden off of us being a smaller company."
Aaron Goldberg of B&D rounded out the panel with an overview of the final EPA ruling on the Hazardous Waste Generator Rule.
High wind advisories, which closed the federal government on March 2, did not dissuade stakeholders from forging ahead with GlobalChem's third and final day. As the conference adjourned, attendees applauded the week's educational opportunities, and more importantly, the platform that enabled the creative collaboration with those who specialize in the chemical industry's vast array of products and services.