The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the Senate in late July includes the bipartisan Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2019 (S.999), led by US Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) and cosponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.).
The Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2019 is endorsed by the GC3 Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, the American Chemical Society, the American Chemistry Council, the American Sustainable Business Council, 3M, Ashland, BASF, Beautycounter, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Chemours, Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, Environmental Working Group, The LEGO Group, Nohbo LLC, Procter & Gamble, and the University of Delaware.
The act directs the Office of Science and Technology Policy to convene an interagency entity under the National Science and Technology Council with the responsibility of coordinating federal programs and activities in support of sustainable chemistry. The Entity is to be co-chaired by representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation.
Agencies participating in the Entity must carry out specified activities in support of sustainable chemistry, including incorporating sustainable chemistry into existing research, development, demonstration, technology transfer, commercialization, education, and training programs.
Sustainable chemistry, also known as green chemistry, is focused on conserving resources and minimizing the generation and use of hazardous substances in chemical processes.
Under the legislation, not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the act, the Entity is to:
develop a working framework of attributes characterizing sustainable chemistry;
assess the state of sustainable chemistry in the United States as a key benchmark from which progress under the activities described in this Act can be measured, including assessing key sectors of the United States economy, key technology platforms, and barriers to innovation;
coordinate and support Federal research, development, demonstration, technology transfer, commercialization, education, and training efforts in sustainable chemistry, including budget coordination and support for public-private partnerships, as appropriate;
identify methods by which the Federal agencies can facilitate the development of incentives for development, consideration and use of sustainable chemistry processes and products, including innovative financing mechanisms;
identify major scientific challenges, roadblocks, or hurdles to transformational progress in improving the sustainability of the chemical sciences; and
identify other opportunities for expanding Federal efforts in support of sustainable chemistry.
The Entity is also to develop a working framework of attributes characterizing sustainable chemistry for the purposes of carrying out the Act.