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SOCMA Announces Fall Legislative Agenda, Highlights Grassroots Efforts by Members

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2009

Media Contact:
Christine Sanchez
Manager, Public Relations & Media
(202) 721-4182
sanchezc@socma.com

Washington, DC – SOCMA, the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates, today announced its legislative priorities for the remainder of 2009.

Key legislative priorities include:

  • Chemical Site Security – SOCMA asks Congress to make permanent the current chemical security regulations under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards without mandated product substitution via inherently safer technology (IST), civil litigation clauses or federal preemption. “SOCMA is concerned that Congress misunderstands the complexity of chemistry when it comes to proposals mandating product substitution in the name of security, not to mention unintended consequences,” said Joe Acker, President of SOCMA. “Congress can approve meaningful chemical security rules today by ensuring the existing comprehensive law continues,” he said, “instead of allowing activists to stall legislation with demands that have nothing to do with securing chemical facilities.” For more about SOCMA’s position on chemical security, please visit www.socma.com/ist.
  • TSCA Reform – SOCMA has been active in the chemicals management policy debate this year, both by publishing an official position and through testimony. SOCMA will continue to push for a risk-based approach to chemicals policy and to support the development and full utilization of existing programs. “The United States must have a chemicals policy based in science, not fear,” Acker said. “Congress can update TSCA without creating unintended interruptions in business innovation and trade, both of which are now taking place in Europe thanks to their over-reaching new chemicals policy.”
  • Card Check – SOCMA remains concerned about the potential for so-called Card Check legislation to threaten small businesses. “Congress must not allow unions to force undemocratic workplaces on workers,” said Acker. “Card check would destroy employees’ right to a secret ballot and have disastrous consequences for small and medium-sized businesses.”
     
  • Climate Change – SOCMA stands by its established climate change position and is continuing to monitor pending legislation on the issue. “Congress must proceed carefully with any climate change legislation to ensure that the approach is adaptable regardless of the size of the company, takes into account the impact on small chemical manufacturers, and recognizes efforts by industry to minimize its carbon footprint,” said Acker.
  • Health Care – SOCMA supports health care policy that protects the ability of its members, 80% of which are small and medium-sized businesses, to grow and provide jobs in their communities. “SOCMA will continue to monitor the health care debate,” Acker said. “While Congress is considering ways to improve the health of American workers, it should work to pass reform that will not threaten American workplaces with even more burdensome costs.”
  • Trade – SOCMA is urging Congress to move forward on approving duty suspensions before time runs out. By failing to act, these duties will be reinstated on chemical imports and will impose an additional hardship on SOCMA members. “First and foremost these suspensions help protect American jobs in the chemical industry by lowering unnecessary costs on components incorporated into final U.S. products,” Acker said. “At a time of hardship for the U.S. chemical industry, these suspensions provide critical assistance in allowing American-made final products to be more globally competitive and support the maintenance of manufacturing plants and jobs in the United States.”

In addition to its lobbying activity, SOCMA is helping members further engage their representatives on Capitol Hill. In the last four months alone, SOCMA members have met with over 35 members of Congress, in Washington and in their Congressional districts, and written over 245 letters about issues such as chemical security, health care, and Card Check.

“Through programs like SOCMA’s Washington Fly-In, facility site visits for members of Congress, and our SOCMA CONNECT grassroots letter-writing efforts, SOCMA has stayed visible on Capitol Hill all summer,” said Acker.  “Now that 2009 is drawing to a close, SOCMA will continue to fight for our members’ interests as Congress considers major legislation that will affect U.S. chemical manufacturing.”

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SOCMA is the leading trade association, serving the batch, custom and specialty chemical industry since 1921. SOCMA’s nearly 300 members employ more than 100,000 workers across the country and produce 50,000 products valued at $60 billion annually. For more information please visit www.socma.com.

ChemStewards® is SOCMA’s flagship environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) continuous performance improvement program.  ChemStewards was created from industry’s commitment to reducing the environmental footprint left by member’s facilities.  Industry created ChemStewards to meet the unique needs of the batch, custom, and specialty chemical industry. As a mandatory requirement for SOCMA members engaged in the manufacturing or handling of chemicals, ChemStewards is helping participants reach for superior EHS&S performance.  To learn more visit www.chemstewards.com.


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