Chemicals
Top stories summarized by our editors
12/6/2019

The slowdown seen in the US and chemical sector is bottoming out and growth is expected to remain slow in 2020 before improving in mid-2020 to 2021, depending partially on a trade agreement between the US and China, says the American Chemistry Council's chief economist Kevin Swift. The US shale boom continues to bode well for the chemical sector, but additional tariffs that are scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 15 could disrupt supply chains further and create more uncertainty, the ACC says.

12/6/2019

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., has removed a provision from the chamber's 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that would have narrowed the scope for regulating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in favor of a separate package focused on the substances. The measure will pass the House and Congressional negotiators hope to finish the 2020 NDAA, which will likely reflect the Senate's measure, by Monday.

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Senate
12/6/2019

The Environmental Protection Agency should work with manufacturers, processors and other stakeholders to "optimize the agency's approach to gathering better information about conditions of use and related exposure potential information," according to comments filed by the American Chemistry Council regarding the EPA's next 20 work plan substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The agency "could take greater advantage of the entire 9 to 12 month prioritization process timeframe to improve the information it receives," said the ACC.

12/6/2019

The Environmental Protection Agency has revised its risk management program to eliminate proposed changes. "We commend the EPA for developing a rule that reflects the extensive feedback the agency received through a comprehensive and thoughtful process to seek public input," said the American Chemistry Council.

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RMP
12/6/2019

Steve Russell, vice president of the American Chemistry Council's Plastics Division, unveiled plans to retire after ACC's Feb. 7 board meeting, and the council has begun the search for a successor. Russell brought "unparalleled" industry knowledge to the ACC and helped form the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, says President and CEO Chris Jahn.

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Steve Russell
12/6/2019

Circulate Capital has closed the first funding round for its Circulate Capital Ocean Fund, raising $106 million from Dow Chemical, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Procter & Gamble and other companies to address marine plastic debris in South and Southeast Asia. "Supporting companies and infrastructure that are addressing plastic waste will catalyze the development of systems designed to advance a circular economy for plastics," said Dow's Bambang Candra.

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Recycling Today
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Procter & Gamble
12/6/2019

Huntsman is acquiring Icynene-Lapolla, a spray foam business based in Texas, for $350 million. "As the demand for energy efficiency continues to grow, both in residential and commercial construction, this combination of companies will provide Huntsman with the largest global array of spray foam technology, integration of raw materials and associates," says CEO Peter Huntsman.

12/6/2019

The success of crackers today depends on access to feedstocks, but that's changing as more nations adopt bans on single-use plastics, and trade becomes increasingly fractured, writes John Richardson. The maturation of chemical and mechanical recycling is expected to cut into the demand for new crackers and the US and China appear to be moving to permanently fractured trade zones, which means companies will have to build projects in local markets where they rely less on exports.

12/5/2019

A bill under consideration in the House of Representatives that would allow open competition among materials suppliers for infrastructure projects "will simply and wisely let project managers consider all technologies and select the best solution for the job instead of being forced to use pre-selected materials," said American Chemistry Council CEO Cal Dooley. "It's estimated that adopting the open and competitive bidding reforms in this legislation could save over $370 billion on water infrastructure projects alone," he said.

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Transport Topics
12/5/2019

Negotiators in the House of Representatives and Senate have reportedly reached a compromise on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and hope to finalize the bill by Friday. Sources say the final NDAA will designate two types of PFAS hazardous, rather than the entire class, and provide for cleanup under the Superfund law.

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Senate