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SOCMA to Host Third Annual Washington Fly-In

Spurred by major debates waging in Congress on key chemical industry issues, chemical executives are rallying in the nation’s capital to discuss their concerns with elected officials during SOCMA’s Annual Washington Fly-in, June 15-16, 2010.

The Washington Fly-in, the third of its kind, brings together chemical manufacturers from throughout the U.S. for a unique opportunity to influence public policy. In conjunction with this year’s event, SOCMA is also hosting a “Virtual Fly-In” for members unable to make the visit to Washington. The Virtual Fly-in, which allows members to send electronic letters to their representatives, runs June 14-18 and rounds off a week of advocacy activities.

“Congress is currently debating two of SOCMA’s top five legislative priorities – chemical site security and reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act – making this an opportune time to make our voices heard on Capitol Hill,” said Lawrence D. Sloan, SOCMA president and CEO. “We have a week full of activities designed to enable as much industry grassroots participation as possible and invite all our members to take part.”

In February, SOCMA supported the introduction of Senator Susan Collins’ (R-ME) bipartisan bill (S.2996) that would extend the current chemical security standards until 2015. More recently, SOCMA expressed concerns following Senator Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) introduction of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010. The legislation would overhaul TSCA by imposing a new, stringent approach to regulating chemicals. Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) have also released a discussion draft of the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010, which complements the Senate bill.

Collins and Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), who have worked extensively on chemical site security issues, will address Fly-in participants during a special reception on Capitol Hill.

Rick Monty, executive vice president of EH&S at Hexion, is a return participant who is looking forward to continuing discussions with legislators and their staff.

“I really believe some staffers will remember our sessions organized by SOCMA, and we may have given a key staff person a perspective that he or she may not have considered before,” Monty explained. “We really should not take a pass on an opportunity like that.”

In addition to pending legislation, Fly-in participants will also discuss several other issues including climate change, trade and the research and development tax credit during their meetings on the Hill.

SOCMA’s advocacy week activities are organized by the association’s grassroots arm, SOCMA CONNECT, which supports and encourages members to shape the laws affecting batch chemical manufacturers.

SOCMA is the leading trade association serving the batch, custom and specialty chemical industry since 1921. SOCMA’s nearly 300 members employ more than 100,000 workers across the country and produce 50,000 products valued at $60 billion annually. For more information, visit www.socma.com.

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