SOCMA Updates Advocacy Against IST Provisions

November 25, 2009
Patricia Van Arnum

Patricia Van Arnum was executive editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

The Society for Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) provided an update as to its grassroots efforts regarding the recently passed Chemical and Water Security Act of 2009 (HR 2868).

The Society for Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) provided an update as to its grassroots efforts regarding the recently passed Chemical and Water Security Act of 2009 (HR 2868). SOCMA is the US-based trade association representing custom and batch manufacturers, including contract manufacturers of active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates.

SOCMA had opposed the bill for including requirements for inherently safer technology (IST) in relation to chemical site-security provisions. Although SOCMA favors chemical site-security provisions, it opposes mandated IST requirements. IST is a conceptual framework that covers chemical processing procedures, equipment, protection, and when feasible, the use of safer substances.

“The IST provisions in the bill were approved despite numerous attempts by lawmakers to improve the bill and with little regard to previous testimony by experts from academia, process safety organizations, and industry who all opposed an IST mandate. Until last month, DHS [Department of Homeland Security] also long opposed mandatory IST implementation before abruptly switching its position in time for a House subcommittee hearing,” said SOCMA in a Nov. 6, 2009 press release following the passage of the legislation.

SOCMA reported that although the bill was recently passed by the House, that its advocacy program, SOCMA CONNECT, conducted extensive advocacy to urge lawmakers to vote against the bill. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

“We look forward to working with the Senate, which we expect will be more willing to work with all stakeholders than the House committees that moved the IST provisions through the chamber,” said Bill Allmond, vice-president of government relations and ChemStewards at SOCMA, in the Nov. 6 release.