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Letter to Manufacturers/Importers, 10/9/98

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource

This letter was mailed to the Chief Executive Officers of more than 900 chemical companies that account for most of the U.S. manufacture and import of HPV chemicals.

October 9, 1998

Dear _________________

Today, the Vice President and I announced the launch of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program. Following through on his 1998 Earth Day address, the Vice President endorsed this collaborative program designed to ensure that the American public has access to basic health and environmental effects data for those chemicals which are produced in the highest volumes in the United States. The HPV Challenge Program encourages chemical manufacturers to voluntarily test those chemicals for which little or no health or environmental effects data are publicly available. The Vice President and I were joined at today's announcement by representatives of the Chemical Manufacturers' Association (CMA), the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). This new initiative is a collaborative partnership that was designed by CMA, EDF and the EPA, working together to create a win-win approach to enhancing the public's right-to-know and furthering the goals of environmental protection.

The goal of the HPV Challenge Program is to ensure that the American public has access to basic information about the hazards associated with chemicals manufactured and used in the greatest quantities in the United States today. The program is designed to secure the generation of complete hazard screening data for High Production Volume (HPV) commercial chemicals.

This Challenge Program represents a powerful new direction in environmental protection, one that offers the opportunity for EPA, the chemical industry, and the environmental community to work together toward common goals. The citizens of this country deserve to have basic health and environmental information about the chemicals they come in contact with on a daily basis. For this reason, we need to move quickly to close the information gaps on the 2800 high production chemicals identified today. We hope that, with the leadership of companies like yours, we can accomplish this goal voluntarily and collaboratively.

To participate in the Challenge program, we ask that you commit to fill data gaps on the HPV chemicals that your company manufactures. This commitment will entail evaluating existing data, and where gaps exist, providing a schedule for needed testing that your company will conduct. We recognize that this represents a commitment of your company's resources, which is why we are working to engage the entire U.S. chemical industry as well as international organizations, to share in the effort required to meet this Challenge. We have also designed the Challenge Program to be flexible so as to allow you to create consortia with your industrial colleagues as a means of sharing testing activities.

Your commitment to participate in the Challenge Program and voluntarily fill basic data gaps on the HPV chemicals produced by your company is the cornerstone of this program. Your efforts will improve the public's understanding of the toxicity of the most commonly produced chemicals. In addition, your participation will serve as a demonstration of your corporate commitment to right-to-know and to environmental leadership. Public recognition of your company's participation in the program by EPA will be a key component of the HPV Challenge.

To assist your company in making this important decision, I am enclosing additional information on the HPV Challenge program including the list of HPV chemicals, Principles for Participation, sample commitment language, and details on other sources of information such as the ChemRTK Web Site. I, or my Assistant Administrator for Pesticides, Prevention, and Toxic Substances, Dr. Lynn Goldman, would also be happy to talk with you personally about this effort. I can be reached at 202-260-4700, and Dr. Goldman can be reached at 202-260-2902.

I look forward to working with you on this very important initiative and on making the HPV Challenge Program a success. Together, we can improve our understanding of chemical effects, provide for the protection of human health and the environment, and bolster the trust and confidence of the American people in both government and the chemical industry as responsible guardians of public health and safety. It all begins with you.



Carol M. Browner


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