News & Press: eNewsletters

Regulatory issues discussed at the Spring Meeting last week

Friday, May 9, 2014  
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PCA eNews May 9, 2014

“The EPA is finalizing their regulations in the coal industry.  In the next move to achieve the administration’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, the EPA is likely to turn its attention to the petrochemical industry and possibly to the chemical industry, in general.”  This was the forecast from Mike Walls, the Vice President of Regulatory & Technical Affairs with the American Chemistry Council in his presentation at the PCA Spring Meeting last week in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  Mike provided one of the four excellent presentations on the regulatory climate in our industry today.

David Constable, Director of the ACS Green Chemical Initiative, challenged the group to become more innovative with their chemical processes and engineering.  His message was very clear that sustainability risks are real for the chemical industry and that for companies to survive in the long term, green chemistry and engineering will be required. 

Ron Buckhalt, USDA manager, updated us on the Biopreferred program and the changes in the law that will hopefully allow intermediate chemicals, such as rosin and TOFA, to be “labeled” as bio-preferred. 

Kevin Moran, Director of the Pine Chemistry Panel at the ACC, noted that it is critical to be involved in legislation early on, as some laws that initially appear insignificant can rapidly expand in scope and impact. There must also be close collaboration among manufacturers in the U.S. and EU to achieve global uniformity. Proposed advocacy positions include pushing for a level playing field, promoting harmonization of bio-based product policies and seeking a holistic approach to biomass utilization policy. 

If you missed our Spring Meeting last week, you missed these excellent presentations that addressed the conference theme “Pine Chemicals in a Regulatory Environment.”  In addition, our functional committees provided high level updates on issues facing our industry and the actions they are taking to address them. 

At the meeting, a plan was announced for the PCA to start collecting and publishing paper mill yield data on CTO and CST recovery which will allow mills to benchmark their operations. The actual mill names will not be listed, but the data will be segregated by region to make the information meaningful.  We hope to start publishing this data later in the year. 

Another initiative announced was the collection of import and export statistics. In July, the PCA will begin publishing import and export data for pine chemical products for key producing and consuming countries around the world.  This data, which will be extracted from each country's trade database, will include Tall Oil and Gum Rosin, Fatty Acids, Resins, CTO, CST, Gum Turpentine, Pine Oil and Terpene Oils. The data will be available exclusively to PCA member companies.

Over the last few years the PCA has evolved in many positive ways.  The modernized PCA logo, demonstrating the new Association image, was presented at the Business Meeting.  Our Association membership is up over 50%, we are financially strong and our plans for the coming years are to continue to add new initiatives and programs to benefit our members and the industry. We hope to see you at the International Conference in Seattle on September 21-23, 2014.

Best Regards,

Charles Morris
President and COO