IC2 Member Spotlight: Karl Palmer

This issue's member spotlight shines on Karl Palmer, CA DTSC. Karl is IC2's Vice Chair this year. In that role, he has been providing great leadership on the Executive Committee.

IC2: Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Karl: I've spent almost 30 years working at DTSC! It has been a diverse and rewarding journey working in a wide variety of jobs and programs. I started working on RCRA authorization in 1986, moved on to doing site assessment field work in our Superfund program, then lead our Emergency Response Unit responding to floods, fires, earthquakes, hazmat spills, and methamphetamine labs. From there I moved on to manage our hazardous waste program responsible for regulation development, recycling and universal wastes. I then went on to manage our Pollution Prevention Branch before my current job.
 
Throughout the years I've had the privilege to work with many talented and dedicated people at DTSC and from US EPA, NGOs, industry, and other states and organizations like NEWMOA, ECOS, NAHMMA, and IC2.
 
IC2: What is your job at DTSC?
Karl: I currently manage DTSC's Safer Consumer Products (SCP) branch. We're a group of scientists and engineers working to implement new regulations designed to protect people and the environment from exposures to hazardous chemicals found in consumer products . While I'm also responsible for overseeing other "toxics in products" programs (e.g., copper limits in brake pads, lead in jewelry, toxics in packaging) almost all my energies are directed to our SCP efforts.
 
IC2: What is your involvement in promotion of safer alternatives?
Karl: The SCP program requires certain manufacturers to conduct alternatives analyses to evaluate if there are safer alternatives to their product. DTSC's regulatory framework is comprised of four key elements:
  • Identifying chemicals of concern or "candidate chemicals". We've identified over 2,000 chemicals based on their hazard traits.
  • Selecting specific consumer products that contain one or more of the candidate chemicals where there is evidence that exposure to the chemical has potential to harm people or the environment.
  • Requiring the product manufacturer to conduct an "alternatives analysis" (AA) evaluating potential chemical or design alternatives that improve product safety.
  • Evaluating the AA, approving the recommended alternative, or imposing some form of regulatory requirement (e.g., providing consumer safety information, additional research, restricting product sales in CA).
My primary role is to support and empower our teams that are identifying products we want to regulate, developing our AA guidance, adopting regulations and developing our CalSAFER information management system.
 
Another role is working with the key players in government, industry, advocacy, and academia to collect and share information. Given our limited resources and new program, it is critical that we coordinate and work with external experts who can educate and inform us. This is why IC2 is so valuable to us.
 
IC2: What do you like most about your job?
Karl: I love collaborative problem solving. The best thing about my work is that I get to work with so many dedicated, innovative, and mission-driven people on issues that make a difference.   It is wonderful to work in a program that is the "building phase" and looking forward. I feel privileged to be serving the public and the planet.
 
IC2: What is your vision for the IC2 over the next two years? What do you hope it will accomplish?
Karl: I think that the next two years hold great promise for IC2. We can keep building on the successes of the Workgroups and increasing value for IC2 members. Most IC2 members have limited resources and need to demonstrate a return on investment of time and energy. Thus, developing strategic, pragmatic goals and work plans is critical. The leadership provided by Ken Zarker and the Executive Committee is moving us smartly forward. The face-to-face IC2 meeting held in Olympia Washington this June provided an opportunity to solidify near term priorities. That collective vision is reflected in our recently adopted work plan.
 
We've identified some ambitious goals, in particular developing an online harmonized product ingredient database. Sharing additional hazard assessments, AAs, and providing on-going training opportunities will help current members and attract new ones.
 
IC2's strength is that our collective knowledge and efforts can provide far greater benefits to all members than any one member could achieve alone. Our efforts will also expand our role as leaders providing useful information and tools supporting sound and progressive chemicals programs and policies. I look forward to working with everyone moving forward.
 
IC2: What is one fun thing that most people in IC2 don't know about you?
Karl: I'm a soccer junkie. (Ken Zarker actually knows this because he's one too!) I play in an "old man's" league, was a crazy "Soccer Dad", and am an avid supporter of Sacramento Republic Football Club. Soccer, like life, is a beautiful game!
IC2 News
IC2 at the International Chemicals Management Conference

The IC2 joined delegates from industry, NGOs, and more than 100 countries at the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4) hosted by the United Nations Environment. Ken Zarker, IC2's Chair represented the IC2 at the 10th anniversary of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) working towards a chemical-safe future. The conference included High-Level Segments with Ministers, CEOs, and Heads of UN agencies and organizations working toward achieving 2020 goals for chemicals management.
Ken participated in the forum and worked on the Chemicals in Products initiative that is closely aligned with the goals of the IC2.

The conference also featured sessions on lead in paint, green chemistry, emerging issues like endocrine disrupting chemicals, nanotechnology, pesticides, and mercury. For presentations and proceedings, visit
www.saicm.org .
Chemicals of Concern Database Update

IC2 has added California's Candidate Chemicals and Vermont's Chemicals of High Concern to Children to its online Chemicals of Concern Database, which features both browse and advanced search options.
Chemical Hazard Assessment Database Enhancements

IC2 staff has implemented several enhancements to the user interface of the Chemical Hazard Assessment Database. Some of these enhancements include a separate search interface for full GreenScreen® assessments and GreenScreen List Translator assessments and the ability to search by GreenScreen Benchmark score. The IC2 also added 40+ new GreenScreens to the Database, which were provided by the Washington State Department of Ecology and derived from their copper boat paint project.
Chemicals Policy Database

IC2 staff are currently updating the IC2 Chemicals Policy Database for the 2015 legislative session. These updates should appear later this year.
Strategic Plan

The IC2 recently completed a strategic planning process for FY 2016. The final plan comprises four separate strategic workplans--one for each of the four IC2 workgroups--and an overall detailed workplan, as well as a budget. The Workgroups focus on alternatives assessment, databases, governance and recruitment, and training. Through this planning process, the membership affirmed that developing an interstate chemical use disclosure system for reporting and data sharing is the IC2's top priority, and the Clearinghouse is currently working to realize that goal by applying for funding for the system.
Upcoming Events
Green Chemistry Guide Listen & Learn Webinars

The Green Chemistry Guide provides state agencies and technical assistance providers with tools and resources to better serve their clients who are looking for information and to support greening their operations, supply chains, processes, and products. Business owners can also use the publication to develop and implement green chemistry solutions and improve profitability.

The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) is hosting a series of webinars that covers the content of the manual chapter by chapter. To view the previous webinars, visit the NPPR website news page. The following are coming up:

Building the Business Case for Green Chemistry
November 16, 2015, 1 - 2 PM CST
Chapter 7, presented by Al Innes, Michelle Butler, and Kate Winnebeck, covers how to build the business case for green chemistry, the steps needed for initiating a successful program, and accounting for all cost.
To register, visit attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/705496504415457282

Implementation of the Green Chemistry Change & Sustaining Success
December 15, 2015, 1 - 2 PM CST
Chapter 8, presented by Lissa McCracken, focuses on the implementation of sustainability practices into business models and integrating pollution prevention and green chemistry strategies and models.
To register, visit attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2425667052908588290.
Member Updates
California Department of Toxics Substances Control

The  California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has released a Safer Consumer Products (SCP) Draft Stage 1 Alternatives Analysis Guide. The Department held webinars (on October 7 and 21) to discuss it. For more information, visit www.dtsc.ca.gov/SCP/AlternativesAnalysisGuidance.cfm.
Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI)

Several University of Massachusetts (UMass) Lowell researchers have partnered with Massachusetts businesses to advance safer alternatives to chemicals of concern with support from TURI.

Associate Professor Ramaswamy Nagarajan is partnering with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics in Norwood, MA to research safer alternative surfactants used in diagnostic laboratory testing products.

Assistant Professor Christopher Hansen is working with ITW Polymer Sealants in Rockland, MA to research safer alternatives to solvents currently used in contact adhesive products.




In addition to these funded projects, Jason Marshall and Greg Morose from TURI will work directly with Savogran in Norwood, MA to research safer alternatives to methylene chloride used in household paint stripping formulations. The research will involve UMass Lowell students, and the performance testing for the alternatives will be conducted at the TURI Laboratory.
Washington State Department of Ecology

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) has proposed to amend Chapter 173-333 Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Chemical Action Plans (CAPs) [proposed title change from Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins]. The CAP is a comprehensive plan to identify, characterize, and evaluate all uses and releases of specific chemicals or group of chemicals. Each CAP recommends actions to protect human health and the environment. This rule identifies the criteria for persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity (PBT) used to identify a chemical as a PBT, provides a list of chemicals for which CAPs may be developed, identifies the CAP development process, and details the CAP contents.

Ecology intends to amend the whole chapter. They proposed this rulemaking to update the PBT criteria and list of chemicals appropriate for CAP development and streamline the CAP development process. They will consider amending the PBT criteria to be consistent with the criteria used by other jurisdictions, like the European Union. They consider whether including a fast-track CAP development process is appropriate. Updating the chemical list and streamlining the CAP process will allow Ecology to update the science and focus their efforts on the most important chemicals.

Ecology will send a survey (or surveys) to interested stakeholders soliciting input on proposed approaches and rule amendments. The preliminary draft rule language will be influenced by the responses to this outreach.

For more information, contact Kara Steward.
Chemical Action Plan (CAP)
CAP Rulemaking process

The web link for Ecology's Children's Safe Product Act pages has changed to
www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/hwtr/rtt/cspa/index.html.
Supporting Member Updates
GC3 Safer Chemistry Curriculum

The Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) Education Group has announced the launch of the Safer Chemistry Training for Businesses. This free online curriculum is comprised of educational webinars, ranging from introductory to advanced, and supplemental reading materials. While the material has been developed with a business audience in mind, GC3 hopes that other groups, such as technical assistance providers and students, will also benefit from this foundation in green chemistry.

The Curriculum is designed to be tailored to the specific needs of the learner's job description and experience; the number of webinars watched and duration of training can be altered as needed. For example, a purchaser trying to understand new corporate sustainability initiatives might only watch a few, whereas a chemist new to green chemistry might want to watch more.

To view the list of educational webinars, visit www.greenchemistryandcommerce.org/safer-chemistry-training/webinars. Additional training webinars are planned and will be added to the Safer Chemistry Training in the coming months. For more information, contact Saskia van Bergen, GC3 Project Lead, Education, or subscribe to the GC3 newsletter to be notified of new additions.
U.S. EPA Updates
ChemView

ChemView, EPA's web tool for information on chemicals, now contains information on over 12,000 chemicals. Since the launch of ChemView in 2013, EPA has been working to add new types of data, increase the amount of information, and improve its usability, including:
  • Exporters and receiving countries now have access to information on chemicals subject to Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA's) export notice requirements under Section 12(b) in ChemView. The web tool contains the list of Section 12(b) chemicals and links to the Federal Register notices for additional information about actions triggering the export notice requirement.
  • ChemView users can now easily search and find key information on TSCA chemicals that is housed in other federal agencies, including the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This improved functionality and access enables users to search multiple federal chemical databases at once.
  • ChemView has now begun including expanded summary information on substantial risk notification data submissions received under TSCA Section 8(e), making this important health and safety information more easily accessible to researchers and the public.

ChemView now includes:

  • Data submitted to EPA:
    • Test data for 178 chemicals subject to TSCA Section 4 test rules. EPA test rules require industry to develop health and safety data to help EPA scientists and others to better understand potential health and environmental effects associated with exposure to chemicals.
    • TSCA Section 8(e) substantial risk notices for 2,400 chemicals, including 600 submissions with detailed summaries.
    • TSCA Section 8(d) health and safety studies for 140 chemicals, and High Production Volume Information System submissions for 1,513 chemicals.
  • EPA Assessments:
    • The Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL), developed under the Safer Choice program, now contains information on 659 chemicals.
    • Hazard characterizations for 1,018 chemicals, Integrated Risk Information System assessments for 546 chemicals, and alternative assessments for 48 chemicals.
  • EPA Actions:
    • Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) for over 1,900 chemicals, covering new and existing chemical SNURs issued since 2000. SNURs require notification to EPA for any significant new uses of the chemical(s) identified in the SNUR and allow for EPA review prior to the start or resumption of new uses.
    • Consent orders for 245 chemicals are also available.
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) information are also easily accessed through ChemView.

ChemView is providing improved access to useful information on TSCA chemicals so that people are more informed and able to make safer chemical choices about the chemicals they formulate and use.

For an introduction to ChemView, visit www2.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/chemview.
Alternatives Assessments for Flame Retardants

EPA has announced the availability of two final reports on alternatives assessments (AAs) for flame retardants and a technical correction to a 2014 final alternatives assessment report.

The first report addresses flame retardant chemicals that are used to meet fire safety requirements for upholstered consumer products containing flexible polyurethane foam (FPUF). The report finalizes information in a 2014 update and supplement to a 2005 report on alternatives to pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDE), which was developed by EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) Furniture Flame Retardancy Partnership. The final report provides a detailed comparison of the potential human health and environmental effects of 20 chemical alternatives. It briefly describes other (non-flame retardant) methods that can be used to provide increased fire safety. There are several alternative flame retardants that are anticipated to be safer, based on hazard profiles, when flame retardants are used to meet end-use product flammability standards. For more information, visit www2.epa.gov/saferchoice/flame-retardants-used-flexible-polyurethane-foam.

The second report addresses flame retardant chemicals used to meet fire safety standards in printed circuit boards for electronic products, such as cell phones and computers. It finalizes information in a 2014 update to the 2008 draft alternatives assessment report. The final report provides updated human health and environmental information on 10 flame retardants: Tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA), which is one of the most commonly used flame retardants for printed circuit boards in electronics, and nine alternative chemicals. It also supplements the 2008 draft report with a summary of research on combustion by-products from burning printed circuit boards to simulate uncontrolled recycling or incineration. For more information, visit www2.epa.gov/saferchoice/alternatives-assessment-partnership-evaluate-flame-retardants-printed-circuit-boards.

EPA has also issued a technical correction to a 2014 final AA report on the use of Bisphenol A in thermal paper, such as cash register receipts and tickets. After further analysis of new data submitted in response to the draft report, EPA has revised the toxicity designation for one alternative from high to moderate. For more information, visit www2.epa.gov/saferchoice/partnership-evaluate-alternatives-bisphenol-thermal-paper.

For more information on DfE AAs, visit www2.epa.gov/saferchoice/design-environment-alternatives-assessments.
Public Comment on Three TSCA Work Plans

On August 13, 2015, EPA released for public comment three TSCA Work Plan Chemical problem formulation and initial assessment documents for the following flame retardant clusters: Brominated Bisphenol A (TBBPA), Chlorinated Phosphate Esters (CPE), and Cyclic Aliphatic Bromides (HBCD). The initial public comment period was scheduled to close on October 19, 2015. Due to numerous requests from various stakeholder groups, the public comment period has been extended to November 18, 2015.

Each flame retardant cluster has a separate docket assignment: Chlorinated Phosphate Esters Cluster: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0068; Cyclic Aliphatic Bromides Cluster: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0081; and Tetrabromobisphenol A and Related Chemicals Cluster: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0730. For more information, visit www2.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/assessments-tsca-work-plan-chemicals.
IC2 e-Bulletin
The Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) is an association of state, local, and tribal governments that promotes a clean environment, healthy communities, and a vital economy through the development and use of safer chemicals and products.
The purpose of the IC2 e-Bulletin is to inform IC2 members and others of the activities of the Clearinghouse, its members, and related national and international programs. It is published approximately three times per year and is provided free. Funding for the e-Bulletin is provided by the IC2 membership. Previous issues are available.

The IC2 is a program of the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA). NEWMOA provides management and staff support for IC2 and serves as its fiscal agent.
NEWMOA is moving! As of December 5, 2015 our mailing address will be:
89 South Street, Suite 600
Boston, MA 02111
Neither our telephone numbers nor our email addresses will change.
Membership Invitation

The IC2 invites businesses, non-governmental organizations, academic researchers, consultants, and others to join the Clearinghouse. Supporting Members sign a Memorandum of Agreement demonstrating support for the principles of the Clearinghouse and provide annual dues to help fund baseline activities. All IC2 Supporting Members are eligible to participate in the IC2 Council, in IC2 Workgroups, and in webinars.

For more information, contact Topher Buck, (617) 367-8558 x309.
IC2's Workgroups

If you work for an IC2 Member or Supporting Member, consider becoming active in one of the four IC2 Workgroups. These provide a great opportunity to work on critical projects and to collaborate with others that are insightful and dedicated to improving public health and the environment through the development and use of safer chemicals and products.

Alternatives Assessment Workgroup
The IC2 Alternatives Assessment Workgroup supports state and local development of alternatives assessment (AA) methods, coordinates with other organizations involved in AA activities, and makes resources, common protocols, and results available to the IC2 membership.

Database Workgroup
The IC2 Database Workgroup assesses the chemical data needs and priorities of the IC2 membership and develops IC2 data and information systems to address those priorities. The Workgroup has reviewed a variety of chemicals databases and has developed several online systems.

Governance, Outreach, & Recruitment Workgroup
The IC2 Governance, Outreach, and Recruitment Workgroup maintains the Clearinghouse's governance framework, including membership criteria, member contributions, Board structure, and overall goals and objectives. The Workgroup also leads member recruitment and outreach efforts.

Training Workgroup
The IC2 Training Workgroup plans informational and technical training sessions for the IC2 members. These trainings, in conference call and webinar formats, are presented approximately four times per year.

If you are interested in any of these groups, visit the IC2 website or write to Topher Buck.
Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse | (617) 367-8558 x309| theic2.org