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Regulatory Update: EPA issues new rules for 107 chemicals under TSCA
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On Sept. 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) significant new use rules (SNURs) for 107 chemicals that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs). The SNURs require parties who intend to manufacture, import or process any of these 107 chemicals for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by this rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. More

Regulatory Update: EPA posts list of safer chemical ingredients
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Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted as part of its Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Labeling Program a List of Safer Chemical Ingredients. The list includes chemicals that meet stringent criteria applied by the DfE program, which recognizes products that are high-performance and cost-effective while using safe chemical ingredients. More

Regulatory Update: DOT plans workshops on electronic shipping papers
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The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is seeking input on its Hazardous Materials Automated Cargo Communications for Efficient and Safe Shipments (HM-ACCESS) initiative. This program seeks to identify and eliminate barriers to the use of paperless hazard communication technologies to improve the delivery of hazardous materials (HM) safety information throughout the transportation chain.

Through the initiative, DOT is working with law enforcement, emergency response organizations and industry representatives to evaluate the feasibility of allowing the use of electronic shipping papers for HM shipments.

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Legislative Update: DHS delivers CFATS status report to House
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Last Thursday, for the second week in a row, officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) traveled to Capitol Hill to brief a House Subcommittee on Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) implementation. Thursday's hearing was held by the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, which has proposed drastic funding cuts for CFATS.

During the hearing, the DHS officials testified they had reviewed all CFATS risk Tier I and 40 percent of Tier II site security plans (SSPs), authorized 84 SSPs and granted final approval to two plans. The Subcommittee members raised concerns about the slow pace of SSP approvals as well as DHS's proposed Personnel Surety Program (PSP) under CFATS.

Regulatory Update: FMCSA shuts down Kansas-based trucking company
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The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Kansas-based commercial truck company HP Distribution LLP and an affiliated company, HP Distribution LLC, to immediately cease all transportation services based on serious safety violations that posed an imminent hazard to public safety.

FMCSA shut down HP Distribution LLP following a thorough review of the company's operations that uncovered extensive drivers' hours-of-service violations.

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  General Business Interest

FMCSA to phase in changes to 'vehicle registrant only' designation
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Owner-operators who previously had to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as a "vehicle registrant only" will need to stay tuned for changes coming to that requirement. Typically, according to OOIDA Business Services Assistant Manager Kip Hough, these "vehicle registrant only" designations were obtained by owner-operators who maintained their own plates on their equipment. The number was required for vehicle licensing. The designation was not full DOT authority registration that allowed owner-operators to run under their own authority. The agency originally planned to fully implement a requirement Sept. 1 that would force all current "vehicle registrant only" operations to switch their designation to a motor carrier registration or deactivate the number. However, an announcement posted to FMCSA's home page states the agency will phase in the requirement to give those motor carriers — and the states that depended on the DOT "vehicle registrant only" designation — more time. More

Industry profitability higher in 2011, but sales growth slower
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Recently released results from the NACD's annual Company Productivity Report for 2011 show member companies achieved the highest overall profitability in at least five years. In particular, the performance ratio total return on assets for 2011 was 10.6 percent, 20.2 percent and 10.5 percent for the Liquid, Factory Pack and Balanced Product Mix groups, respectively. Not only was this the highest "overall" industry-wide profitability in recent years, but this represented one of the highest levels of overall average profitability among the nearly 100 industry segments that Industry Insights regularly tracks through CPR-type studies. More

US chemicals production drops in August as manufacturing weakens
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U.S. chemicals production fell in August from July as part of an overall softening across the nation's broad manufacturing sector, a key report said. In addition, the American Chemistry Council said U.S. chemicals output last month was down by 0.4 percent from August 2011, the first negative year-over-year comparison in a year. In its monthly report on the nation's chemicals output — the U.S. chemical production regional index — the council said chemical manufacturing fell marginally by 0.2 percent in August and followed a revised 0.5 percent downturn in July. More

ACC CPI: PU players going green
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Companies are looking at opportunities in the growing renewables market, mindful of end users who want green credentials without losing performance. The demand for renewable-based polyurethanes continues to rise as manufacturers throughout the value chain within the automotive, footwear, carpet and even furniture sectors seek to differentiate themselves by selling more sustainable products. More

Report: China's chemical industry bright
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Multinational companies are attracted by the vast potential in China's chemical industry and plan to increase investments in this sector, according to two KPMG reports released recently. Despite global economic woes, China's chemical industry is expected to expand. A majority of global respondents in the KPMG reports said the country is their top investment target. More


NACD NewsBrief
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Caitlin O'Donnell, NACD Assistant Manager, Communications & Meetings, 703.527.6223   

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