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September 19, 2005
Volume 83, Number 38
p. 11

INDUSTRIAL SAFETY

SOCMA Opts Out Of Responsible Care

Rick Mullin

The Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association has launched a mandatory environment, health, and safety (EHS) and security performance improvement program for its member companies. SOCMA will no longer require its members to pursue qualification under the chemical industry's Responsible Care initiative, run in the U.S. by the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

SOCMA's ChemStewards program, featuring progressive tiers of compliance and third-party verification, is better suited than Responsible Care to the needs of the batch manufacturers, distributors, and small producers that make up much of SOCMA's membership, President Joseph G. Acker told reporters at a SOCMA conference in Philadelphia last week. The new program was developed in response to a membership survey, he added.

Acker said SOCMA will not renew its Responsible Care license with ACC when the current two-year agreement between the associations expires this month. SOCMA has licensed the program for 15 years, with a deadline of 2008 for membership compliance.

ACC President Jack N. Gerard issued a statement expressing regret that SOCMA is breaking ranks on EHS and security. Terry F. Yosie, ACC's vice president for Responsible Care, told C&EN that SOCMA's decision comes as a surprise, given the group's involvement with ACC in the recent conversion of Responsible Care to a management systems verification format.

According to Acker, ACC planned to begin charging SOCMA to license the Responsible Care program in October, but he said the prospect of a licensing fee was not a factor in SOCMA's decision.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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