Paying ACMA dues is an important first step in supporting our advocacy programs but to ensure continued success we must have larger industry company participation. The Government Affairs Committee and ACMA’s Board provide direction and leadership for our advocacy program, but industry participation is the most important part of this effort.
Industry participation is what sets us apart from — and gives us an advantage over — those larger, better-funded industry groups. To actively contribute consider participating in the annual Lobby Day, taking place this year on May 17, Fly-Ins, hosting plant tours for elected officials and making a personal contribution to the ACMA PAC, or a corporate contribution to the special advocacy fund. To continue to our success we all need to make it personal.
Galvanized by the listing of styrene as a “reasonably anticipated” carcinogen in the 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC) released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in mid-June of 2011, the ACMA has been working hard on Capitol Hill to advance what it views as a common sense legislative approach to overhauling federal risk assessment programs. ACMA is advocating for long-standing reform recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that federal agencies have not effectively adopted on their own.
Among other reform measures, ACMA is seeking greater transparency in the risk assessment process and a robust separation of science from policy, plus increased oversight of — and guidance for — programs such as RoC and EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS).
“One of ACMA’s priorities is to help revamp the risk assessment in such a way that bad science can no longer be used to justify bad policy,” states ACMA Senior Director of Government Affairs, John Schweitzer. “We also believe the approach we are supporting would save federal tax dollars and improve risk assessment coordination by combining programs at HHS with redundant programs at EPA.”
In addition, Schweitzer says the draft legislative language ACMA has formulated would, if enacted into law, result in changes to the RoC that would bring it closer to what Congress actually intended when it first mandated the biennial report in 1978.
ACMA has presented potential reform legislative language to staffers from the House Energy and Commerce Committee and been encouraged to go forward with its reform advocacy efforts. The Association’s experience and its representation of the perspective of active small businesses has been deemed particularly valuable in this effort. ACMA has embarked on a campaign to educate lawmakers about the necessity of reforming risk assessment programs and the cost — exemplified by the negative impacts of the RoC styrene listing — of failing to do so.