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1 TESTIMONY of Michael P. Wilson, Ph.D, MPH Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry University of California, Berkeley before The Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Honorable Pedro Nava, Chair and The Assembly Committee on Health Honorable William Monning, Chair and The Assembly Committee on Natural Resources Honorable Wesley Chesbro, Chair Oversight Hearing on the Safer Consumer Product Alternatives Draft Regulations AB 1879 Green Chemistry: Cornerstone to a Sustainable California Tuesday, August 3, 2010, 2:00 PM California State Capitol, Room 4202 Mr. Nava, Mr. Monning, Mr. Chesbro, members of the Committees, thank you very much for inviting me to today’s oversight hearing on the Safer Consumer Product Alternatives draft regulations promulgated by the Department of Toxic Substances Control in response to AB 1879. The nearly 600 pages of public comment received by DTSC in response to the draft regulations hints at the importance of this hearing and the matter we are discussing today. In my view, the outcome of this process could have enormous implications for California and the U.S., and perhaps the world, well into the future. As global chemical production doubles over the next 24 years, much is at stake, and we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to do the very best we can. As you know, I am a research scientist at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at UC Berkeley, and I serve as Associate Director of the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, which we launched last year. The Center for Green Chemistry is the nation’s first interdisciplinary academic effort at a major university to conduct research, teaching and service for the purpose of advancing green chemistry; that is, the design of chemicals and products that are safer for health and the environment. It is now a collaboration of faculty, students, and researchers from the School of Public Health, College of Chemistry, College of Natural Resources and Haas School of Business. We are recruiting faculty and students across the campus to participate in the Center because the more we have learned about this topic, the more we have found how extraordinarily complicated it can be. I mention this because I want you to know,
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2 essentially, that I appreciate the complexity of the challenges you and your colleagues are facing as we work together to craft a modern chemicals policy. I also appreciate that we will not solve all of our problems with chemical pollution and exposures with a single initiative or single set of regulations; that we are talking about nothing short of a transformation in the chemical sciences, in chemicals policy, and in the chemicals market. At the same time, of course, the best time to start is now. The more we delay, the more
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