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International Work

More on Managing Existing Chemicals

OPPT participates in an array of international work aimed at reducing risks, facilitating the sound management of chemicals and preventing pollution. Complementing OPPT's domestic mission, the work ranges from facilitating the exchange of information, for example, on chemical assessments and risk assessments, to cooperating on the scientific and technical aspects of international commitments.

A major step forward, the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America Leaders' Summit, resulted in commitments on behalf of the United States, Canada and Mexico to work together to ensure the safe manufacture and use of industrial chemicals. Read more about the SPP commitments on chemical cooperation made by the United States, Canada and Mexico.

OPPT is fulfilling U.S. commitments made under SPP through EPA's new Chemical Assessment and Management Program (ChAMP), which builds on EPA's High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program and extends EPA's efforts to include moderate production volume chemicals.

ChAMP and the SPP work complement the United States' continuing work with Canada and Mexico under the Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Sound Management of Chemicals (SMOC) Working Group.Exit EPA Disclaimer Together, these North American efforts comprise a regional approach to implement the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).Exit EPA Disclaimer SAICM is an international policy framework to foster the sound management of chemicals.

In addition to SAICM, countries have committed to global partnerships within the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to reduce releases and uses of mercury.Exit EPA Disclaimer OPPT helped spearhead this initiative and is leading partnership efforts on mercury in products. EPA's PFOA Stewardship Program is also making significant progress toward reductions in releases and use in products both domestically and globally.

OPPT continues its technical, scientific and regulatory cooperation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).Exit EPA Disclaimer Over the years, OPPT's work in OECD has contributed in a significant way to the Screening Data Information Sets (SIDS) program, out of which grew EPA's HPV Challenge program. Both programs are giving citizens screening-level hazard data on HPV chemicals, and are, in turn, contributing to the new ChAMP.

OPPT also provides substantial leadership and international coordination through our Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP) and participation in the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN).

The Administration supports the United States becoming a party to the:

Both the Stockholm Convention on POPs and the LRTAP Protocol on POPs include provisions that require parties to eliminate or restrict the production, use and/or release of the POPs chemicals listed under the respective Agreements. In general, POPs under these Agreements are chemicals that are persistent and toxic, can bioaccumulate and be transported long distances in the environment, and are likely to affect human health or the environment in locations distant from their sources.

The United States is a party to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe LRTAP Convention, including the Protocol on Heavy Metals, but is not yet a party to the POPs Protocol.

The 1998 Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade Exit EPA Disclaimer  was developed with strong U.S. support to promote information exchange and informed risk-based decisions in the trade of hazardous chemicals and pesticides. Among other provisions, the Convention gives force to importing country decisions on listed chemicals by prohibiting unwanted exports and requiring that exports meet conditions specified by importing governments. Legislative changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) that would provide the authority needed to implement the respective agreements have been considered in Congress.

Accomplishments

SMOC Working Group

The SMOC Working Group held a public meeting in March 2008Exit EPA Disclaimer to discuss North American cooperative efforts on assessment and management of chemicals, including efforts to:

Read other sections of this report for additional information on OECD Screening Information Data Sets (SIDS) program and EPA's international work with mercury.


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