Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott has issued Executive Order 13-17, forming the Vermont Interagency Committee on Chemical Management. The committee is charged with reviewing State chemical regulation and policies to ensure compliance and further reduce risks posed by the use or storage of unsafe chemicals. The committee will incorporate the expertise of State agencies and outside experts who will participate in the citizen advisory panel.
The committee will be responsible for better coordinating chemical management in the state, and will recommend any necessary actions to address these risks. It is also tasked with developing a streamlined electronic reporting system to facilitate businesses compliance with reporting requirements, and with improving state agency, business, and public access to information about chemicals in the state.
“The discovery of PFOA contamination of the drinking water in Bennington County was a wakeup call for Vermont,” Scott said. “I am directing this committee to find solutions that will ensure proactive coordination among the agencies charged with chemical oversight to protect Vermonters from unsafe chemicals, increase public access to information about chemicals in our communities, and help Vermont businesses comply with existing law.”
In response, Lauren Hierl, Political Director of Vermont Conservation Voters, said in a statement:
"Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV) supports Governor Scott's proposal to begin work on better coordinating existing toxic chemical programs and identifying ways to better inform Vermonters about chemicals in their communities. However, with tens of thousands of untested chemicals on the market and real harm being felt in our communities today — as highlighted by the PFOA drinking water contamination in several Vermont towns — it’s clear that we need further action as soon as possible. VCV looks forward to working with the Interagency Committee on these issues while also continuing to advocate for additional policies to ensure all Vermonters have clean drinking water and safe products in our homes."
The Committee, which will be chaired by the Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources or her designee, will hold its first meeting in September. The other agencies that will form the committee are:
- Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
- Agency of Commerce and Community Development
- Department of Health
- Department of Labor
- Department of Public Safety
- Agency of Digital Services
The committee will consult with a citizen advisory panel comprised of public health and chemical policy experts, industry representatives – including a small business representative – and individuals with toxicology, risk assessment, environmental law and data management expertise.
A copy of the executive order can be found here.
Source: Governor 8.8.2017