Environment & Science

Even faced with budget crisis, state grows Green Chemistry

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Statewide efforts to rethink how California deals with toxic hazards continue as environmental officials write new rules to govern dangerous substances. KPCC’s Molly Peterson has the latest on California’s so-called “Green Chemistry Initiative.”

In recent years, officials, academics, industry leaders, and environmental health activists worked together to make recommendations for a state policy on chemicals. A new report from the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control says the Green Chemistry Initiative has made some progress incorporating about a third of those ideas.

With scientific input, chemical experts are writing regulations the state aims to put in place next year. And California’s toxics agency is working with UC Davis to build an online clearinghouse of information on chemicals used in-state. But both projects have been delayed due to budget cuts and staff furloughs.

Also, a key agency, the office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, is facing elimination because of the state’s widening budget deficit. Despite those hurdles, the Department of Toxic Substances Control says it’s working to keep green chemistry alive in California.