California Launches 'Wiki' to Develop Green Chemistry Regulations

Cal/EPA's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is launching a "wiki" to gather comment on how to build California’s Green Chemistry regulations. The wiki, found on the department's Web site, allows anyone to access and contribute or modify content, using simple on-line tools.

DTSC created the wiki for the Green Chemistry bills signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in September 2008. These new laws require DTSC to develop a comprehensive approach for assessing potential hazards from chemicals in consumer products and for finding safer alternatives for harmful chemicals used in those products and in the manufacturing processes of goods sold in California.

“This wiki brings transparency to our rule-making process and ensures the public will have immediate and easy access to comment and provide suggested edits. It will capture the input of Californians and experts worldwide and generate new ideas that will play an integral role as we develop these new regulations,” said DTSC Director Maureen Gorsen. “It will help us evolve from managing waste after the fact to designing less toxic products from the start.”

In addition to using the wiki, DTSC will gather public comments at several workshops The California Green Chemistry Initiative was launched in April 2007 by Cal/EPA Secretary Linda Adams who asked DTSC to work with Cal/EPA’s boards, departments and offices, and other state agencies to develop recommendations. Released in December 2008, the six recommendations are:

• Expand pollution prevention programs
• Develop green chemistry workforce education and training
• Create an online product ingredient network
•Create an online toxic clearinghouse
•Accelerate the quest for safer products
•Move toward a “cradle-to-cradle” economy

DTSC’s green chemistry wiki can be viewed at: http://cagreenchem.wikidot.com/start. More information on California’s Green Chemistry Initiative can be found at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/GreenChemistry.

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