(Washington, D.C. – March 1, 2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the National Challenge Commitment for Priority Chemicals, a collaborative initiative to shrink industrial use of 31 priority chemicals. The challenge commitment seeks a 10 percent decrease in the use of one or more of the chemicals over three years at government and industrial facilities throughout the country.
“I encourage companies to accept this challenge,” said Susan Bodine, assistant administrator of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “Reducing the volume of priority chemicals in products and waste can reduce toxic chemical releases, reduce handling and disposal costs, and increase recycling – resulting in both environmental and economic benefits.”
The national challenge is sponsored by two EPA programs, the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities and the National Environmental Performance Track. Becoming an environmental priorities partner and implementing the challenge commitment can be the first step for companies to become full Performance Track members.
The National Partnership for Environmental Priorities is a voluntary program that encourages government and private industry to reduce the use of priority chemicals in products and waste. Priority chemicals are chemicals that are persistent in the environment, accumulate in living organisms, and toxic if released. Since 2002, environmental priorities partners have removed more than 800,000 pounds of priority chemicals from the environment and have commitments to remove an additional 2 million pounds.
Performance Track is a voluntary program that recognizes facilities for their commitment to effective environmental management, sustained record of compliance, commitment to measurable goals, and transparency to the public. Performance Track members set goals in different categories, including material use, energy use, or air emissions.
For more information on the National Challenge Commitment for Priority Chemicals and the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities, visit: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/conserve/priorities/chemical.htm