REACHing the Montebello agreement

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

In August, EPA, Canada and Mexico announced in Montebello, Quebec, new efforts to ensure the safe manufacture and use of industrial chemicals by entering into a regional partnership for assessing and managing potential chemical risks. As part of what is now referred to as the 'Montebello Agreement' made at the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America Leaders' Summit, these countries agreed to coordinate efforts to assess approximately 9,000 industrial chemicals that are produced or imported in volumes above 25,000 pounds per year.

The agreement
Under the agreement, the countries agreed to certain milestones. By 2012, the United States is to complete risk characterizations and initiate needed action on the more than 9,000 existing chemicals produced in the country in quantities above 25,000 pounds per year. The Moderate Production Volume (MPV) Program, as it has come to be called, is patterned after the HPV Challenge Program, and will build upon the success of that program and the CCMP. Canada is to complete assessments and take regulatory action on the  Canadian highest priority substances and initiate assessments of medium priority substances. Mexico is to develop an information system for dangerous materials. All three countries are to enhance appropriate coordination in areas including testing, research, information gathering, assessment and risk management actions.

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