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House Passes Lipinski's "Green Chemistry" Bill to Promote Innovation, Create Jobs, Improve Health, and Protect Environment

WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives today passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3), along with Congressman John Moolenaar (MI-4), to prioritize the development of clean chemicals in all aspects of everyday life to help protect the environment, create jobs, and improve health and safety. The Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2019 (H.R. 2051) will help strengthen collaboration between the federal government and the private sector by promoting sustainable research and development to make unsafe chemicals obsolete.

“Chemical innovation is the foundation of countless industries which we rely upon every day, from agriculture to energy to healthcare,” said Congressman Lipinski, who is co-chair of the House Chemistry Caucus with Rep. Moolenaar. “Chemical products are part of our everyday lives, from toothpaste, to shampoo, cosmetics, dish soap, clothing, and even LEGO bricks.  Because these products are all around us, we need to prioritize the development of chemicals that are affordable, meet our needs, and are green, meaning that they protect our health and the environment.  As global demand grows for cleaner chemicals, innovation is also an opportunity to grow our economy and jobs.  Supporting research and educational efforts in green chemistry will ensure American companies have the workforce and tools they need to create safer, more environmentally-friendly products, as well as new American jobs.”

The Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2019 supports efforts in green chemistry across federal research agencies and will establish a coordinating entity under the National Science and Technology Council within the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The legislation will allow the agencies involved in this entity to work, in consultation with qualified stakeholders, to assess the state of sustainable chemistry in the U.S. and encourage the validation of tools for assessment of sustainable chemistry processes or products. The bill will also coordinate federal efforts in sustainable chemistry to maximize federal investment in this area.

The legislation enjoys wide support from the private sector, as well as environmental groups and the scientific research community.

“The LEGO Group is devoted to making a positive impact on the world our children will inherit and has set a goal of 100 percent sustainable materials in our core products by 2030. This goal will require continued research and innovation throughout materials markets, which the Sustainable Chemistry Research & Development Act will help foster. We fully support the bill and congratulate its sponsors and the U.S. House of Representatives on taking this important step forward,” said Tim Brooks, VP of Environmental Responsibility, the LEGO Group.

"Sustainable Chemistry represents the future and cutting edge of the chemistry enterprise. Chemistry and chemical products are foundational to the American economy.  H.R. 2051 will reduce hazardous waste, improve safety, and boost innovation, creating a win-win outcome for both economic growth and protection of the environment.  The American Chemical Society applauds Congressman Lipinski and Moolenaar for bringing this groundbreaking legislation to the floor, " said Glenn Ruskin, Vice President of External Affairs and Communications of the American Chemical Society.

“The GC3 Sustainable Chemistry Alliance congratulates Representatives Lipinski and Moolenaar and their bipartisan cosponsors on House passage of H.R. 2051, the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act, said Dr. Joel Tickner of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council. “This is an important step in advancing the kind of sustainable chemistry innovation that will help US companies compete and meet growing global market demand for high performance products with better health and environmental profiles. US innovation in sustainable chemistry has broad benefits across the U.S. economy and delivers to consumers the better products they desire.”

“ACC and our members strongly support this legislation and share the desire to dedicate research and development efforts to identify and enhance sustainable chemistry products and technologies,” said ACC President and CEO Chris Jahn. “Harnessing the power of chemistry to enable sustainability progress is embedded in our industry’s values – from technologies that help enable cleaner, more efficient energy, to processes that support resource conservation, materials reuse, recycling and recovery, chemistry is the ‘Science behind Sustainability.’ This legislation will play a key role in supporting and enabling technologies and tools that can help advance the sustainable chemistry innovations our members are developing.”

Lipinski’s legislation is a companion bill to identical legislation introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

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