Public Release: 

World's largest scientific society backs green chemistry bill

American Chemical Society

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has strongly backed a green chemistry bill, introduced in the House March 10, which will improve federal coordination, dissemination and investment in green chemistry research and development.

"Green chemistry technologies have eliminated waste, improved safety and saved industry money," according to ACS President William F. Carroll, Ph.D. "From redesigning pharmaceutical synthesis to reducing waste, to developing catalysts that improve energy efficiency, green chemistry techniques lead to technology that can be environmentally and economically viable."

But "substantial fundamental scientific and engineering challenges remain and more long-term R&D in this area is badly needed," he adds.

The legislation "calls for research and innovation to encourage pollution prevention from the start," notes the ACS President. "Green chemistry plays a critical role by concentrating on economic and environmental improvement through smarter technology and process design."

The Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2005 was introduced by Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), Vernon J. Ehlers (R-Mich.) and Jim Marshall (D-Ga.). In a letter to lead sponsor Gingrey, Carroll praised an interagency program set up by the legislation because it would "strengthen the government's role as a true partner in promoting greener technologies," he wrote.

Under the bill, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy would work together to enhance funding and coordination of green chemistry R&D. The interagency program would support merit-reviewed grants to individual researchers, university-industry partnership, R&D and technology transfer at federal laboratories, and the education and training of undergraduate and graduate students in green chemistry science and engineering.

The same legislation was passed by the House last year, but not acted upon by the Senate.

The ACS, the world's largest scientific society, with its Green Chemistry Institute, has played a leading role in advancing the concept of improving the environment through chemistry.

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The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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