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                                                      Calendar No. 513
116th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                    {      116-251
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     




       SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2019





                               __________






                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                 S. 999










[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]









                August 12, 2020.--Ordered to be printed 
                
                              ________
                              
                  U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
                  
99-010                 WASHINGTON : 2020 
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                 
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred sixteenth congress
                             second session

                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi, Chairman
JOHN THUNE, South Dakota             MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 TOM UDALL, New Mexico
CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee          TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West Virginia  TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
MIKE LEE, Utah                       JON TESTER, Montana
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
RICK SCOTT, Florida
                       John Keast, Staff Director
               David Strickland, Minority Staff Director






















                                                      Calendar No. 513
116th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                    {      116-251
======================================================================



 
       SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

                August 12, 2020.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

       Mr. Wicker, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 999]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 999) to provide for Federal 
coordination of activities supporting sustainable chemistry, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment (in the nature of a 
substitute) and recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of S. 999, the Sustainable Chemistry Research 
and Development Act of 2019, is to designate an interagency 
entity to coordinate Federal research and promote sustainable 
chemistry. It would also support collaborative research of 
sustainable chemistry at institutions of higher education and 
with industry through Federal partnerships in order to improve 
training and professional development in the field.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEEDS

    Sustainable chemistry can generally be summarized as the 
design of chemical products and processes that reduces or 
eliminates the generation of hazardous substances released into 
the environment that may pose a danger to public health or the 
environment.\1\ Sustainable chemistry's aim is to prevent 
pollution at any point in the life cycle of a chemical product, 
``including its design, manufacture, use, and ultimate 
disposal.''\2\ The legislative origin of Federal activities 
related to sustainable chemistry has its roots in the Pollution 
Prevention Act of 1990, which ``focused industry, government, 
and public attention on reducing the amount of pollution 
through cost-effective changes in production, operation, and 
raw materials use,'' rather than relying on remediation.\3\ 
Section 2 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 establishes a 
pollution prevention hierarchy which ranks preventing pollution 
at the source as the most important and preferred method of 
pollution reduction.\4\ Sustainable chemistry inhabits this 
most important level of pollution prevention because it aims to 
reduce the intrinsic hazards of chemical pollution at the 
source.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Environmental Protection Agency, ``Basics of Green Chemistry,'' 
Mar. 21, 2017 (https://www.epa.gov/greenchemistry/basics-green-
chemistry) (accessed May 13, 2020).
    \2\Id.
    \3\Environmental Protection Agency, ``Summary of the Pollution 
Prevention Act,'' Aug. 15, 2019 (https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/
summary-pollution-prevention-act) (accessed May 13, 2020); Basics of 
Green Chemistry, supra note. 2.
    \4\``Basics of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 1; Environmental 
Protection Agency, ``Pollution Prevention Law and Policies,'' Jul. 15, 
2019 (https://www.epa.gov/p2/pollution-prevention-law-and-policies) 
(accessed May 13, 2020).
    \5\``Basics of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As a result of its cross-disciplinary application, 
sustainable chemistry is a broad concept unified by 12 design 
principles. The primary principle of sustainable chemistry is 
that a chemical, process, or product is sustainable if its 
chemical syntheses is designed to prevent waste.\6\ The 
remaining 11 design principles of sustainable chemistry are 
essentially methods through which the core goal of preventing 
waste may be achieved.\7\ The second design principle is 
maximizing atom economy by designing chemical syntheses ``so 
that the final product contains the maximum proportion of the 
starting materials[,]'' thus capitalizing the incorporation of 
all materials used in the process.\8\ The third design 
principle is to design less hazardous chemical syntheses in 
order to ``use and generate substances with little or no 
toxicity to either humans or the environment.''\9\ The fourth 
principle of sustainable chemistry is to design safer chemicals 
and products which ``preserve efficacy of function while 
reducing toxicity.''\10\ The fifth principle is to use safer 
solvents and reaction conditions by avoiding, to whatever 
extent possible, the use of ``solvents, separation agents, or 
other auxiliary chemicals'' or, in the alternative, to use 
safer ones.\11\ The sixth principle is to increase energy 
efficiency by running chemical reactions at ambient, or room, 
temperature and pressure where possible.\12\ The seventh 
principle is to use starting materials, or feedstocks, which 
are renewable. Fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal are 
depletable feedstocks. Agriculturally derived products such as 
biodiesel and bioethanol are examples of renewable 
feedstock.\13\ The eighth principle of sustainable chemistry is 
to reduce the use of chemical derivatives, which require 
additional reagents and generate more waste.\14\ The ninth 
principle is to minimize waste by using catalysts, which can 
carry out a single reaction multiple times, in place of 
stoichiometric reagents, which carry out a reaction only 
once.\15\ The tenth principle is to design chemicals and 
products to degrade after use so they do not accumulate in the 
environment. The eleventh design principle is to ``[i]nclude 
in-process, real-time monitoring and control during syntheses 
to minimize or eliminate the formation of byproducts.''\16\ The 
final principle of sustainable chemistry is to minimize the 
potential for accidents in the design of chemicals to reduce 
the likelihood of including explosions, fires, and releases to 
the environment.\17\ Sustainable chemistry is promoted if a 
process or chemical product achieves any of these design 
principles. There are many ways in which sustainable chemistry 
can be applied to the field of science. Several examples follow 
below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\American Chemical Society, ``12 Design Principles of Green 
Chemistry'' (https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/greenchemistry/
principles/12-principles-of-green-chemistry.html) (accessed May 13, 
2020).
    \7\Id.
    \8\``Basics of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 1; ``12 Design 
Principles of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 6.
    \9\``Basics of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 1.
    \10\``12 Design Principles of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 6.
    \11\``Basics of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 1.
    \12\``12 Design Principles of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 6; 
``Basics of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 1.
    \13\``Basics of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 1.
    \14\``12 Design Principles of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 6.
    \15\``Basics of Green Chemistry,'' supra note 1.
    \16\Id.
    \17\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Metathesis

    In 2005, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three 
scientists who developed a process in organic chemistry called 
metathesis, which is broadly applicable to the field of 
science.\18\ Metathesis is a chemical process that uses less 
energy, is stable at normal temperature and pressure, can be 
combined with sustainable solvents, and produces less hazardous 
waste.\19\ Metathesis directly furthers the principles of 
sustainable chemistry. In 2012, Elevance Renewable Sciences, an 
organization which produces high-performance, cost-advantage 
green chemicals from renewable oils, won the Presidential Green 
Chemistry Challenge Award by using metathesis to break down 
natural oils and recombine the fragments into chemicals which 
consume less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as 
much as 50 percent.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\``The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2005,'' NobelPrize.org press 
release, Nobel Media (https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2005/
press-release/) (accessed May 13, 2020).
    \19\American Chemical Society, ``Green Chemistry Examples'' 
(https://www.acs.org/
content/acs/en/greenchemistry/what-is-green-chemistry/examples.html) 
(accessed May 13, 2020).
    \20\Environmental Protection Agency, ``Presidential Green Chemistry 
Challenge: 2012 Small Business Award,'' May 14, 2018 (https://
www.epa.gov/greenchemistry/presidential-green-
chemistry-challenge-2012-small-business-award) (accessed May 13, 2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Computer Chips

    The manufacture of computer chips requires a large amount 
of chemicals, water, and energy. To make the process of 
manufacturing computer chips more sustainable, the Los Alamos 
National Laboratory developed a process whereby supercritical 
carbon dioxide is used in one of the steps of chip preparation. 
This single change in the process significantly reduces the 
quantities of chemicals, energy, and water needed to produce 
computer chips. Alternatively, Richard Wool, the former 
director of the Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources 
(ACRES) program at the University of Delaware, developed a 
method of using the keratin in chicken feathers to make a fiber 
light and tough enough to withstand mechanical and thermal 
stresses.\21\ This fiber can be used in computer chip circuit 
boards that work two times faster than traditional circuit 
boards.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\``Green Chemistry Examples,'' supra note 19.
    \22\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paint

    Oil-based paints release a large quantity of volatile 
organic compounds which evaporate from the paint as it dries, 
causing various environmental impacts. Paint manufacturers have 
been developing methods of minimizing hazardous volatiles in 
their products. Procter & Gamble, working with Cook Composites 
and Polymers, developed a mixture derived from soya oil and 
sugar that replaces fossil-fuel-derived paint resins and 
solvents.\23\ This paint is safer to use, cuts hazardous 
volatiles by 50 percent, and produces less toxic waste.\24\ 
Similarly, Sherwin-Williams developed water-based acrylic alkyd 
paints with low volatiles, made from recycled soda bottle 
plastic, acrylics, and soybean oil.\25\ In 2010, Sherwin-
Williams eliminated over 800,000 pounds of volatile organic 
compounds using these paints.\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\Id.
    \24\Id.
    \25\Id.
    \26\Id.
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Medicine

    The production of medicines which produce less toxic waste 
is a growing field within the pharmaceutical industry. Merck & 
Co., Inc., one of the world's largest pharmaceutical 
manufacturers, worked with Codexis, Inc., a protein engineering 
company, to develop a sustainable synthesis of sitagliptin, the 
active ingredient in Januvia, a type 2 diabetes treatment. This 
new process reduces waste and improves yield and safety. 
Simvastatin is a leading prescription for treating high 
cholesterol which uses hazardous reagents and produces a large 
amount of toxic waste. Professor Yi Tang, at the University of 
California, Los Angeles, created a synthesis of Simvastatin 
using an engineered enzyme and a low-cost feedstock which he, 
in conjunction with Codexis, Inc., optimized to reduce hazard 
and waste.
    In 2010, Congress directed the National Science Foundation 
(NSF) to establish a sustainable chemistry basic research 
program.\27\ The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of 
Energy (EPA), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of 
Agriculture (USDA), Department of Commerce (DOC), and National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) all fund and/or 
carry out activities related to sustainable chemistry.\28\ 
While some of these entities coordinate with each other on an 
ad hoc basis, no Federal coordinating entity exists to 
strategically drive progress in this discipline.\29\ The 
Committee notes that other nations are developing national 
strategic plans and investing in sustainable chemistry research 
and development (R&D).\30\
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    \27\America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010; Pub. L. 111-358.
    \28\Government Accountability Office, Technology Assessment: 
Chemical Innovation, Feb. 2018 (https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/
689951.pdf) (accessed May 13, 2020).
    \29\Id.
    \30\United Nations Environment Programme, Advancing 
Entrepreneurship and Start-up
Initiatives for Sustainable Chemistry: Learning from Case Studies, Sep. 
14, 2017
(http://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/22044/
SC%20Startup%20WS_Case
%20Studies%20Compilation_Final.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y) (accessed 
May 13, 2020); see also Chemical Watch, ```Green Chemistry' Key Plank 
of Brazil's Economic Strategy,'' Feb. 
2011 (https://chemicalwatch.com/6504/green-chemistry-key-plank-of-
brazils-economic-strategy) (accessed May 13, 2020); see also Shariq 
Khan, ``A $163 Billion Sector Is Fighting Against a Hazardous Future,'' 
Economic Times, Oct. 23, 2019 (https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/
small-biz/sme-sector/a-163-billion-sector-is-fighting-against-a-
hazardous-future-chemical-sector-india/articleshow/
71716343.cms?from=mdr) (accessed May 13, 2020).
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                         SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS

    S. 999, the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development 
Act of 2019, would do the following:
   Establish an interagency entity under the National 
        Science and Technology Council which would coordinate 
        Federal programs that support research and development 
        of sustainable chemistry. In coordination with 
        stakeholders, the entity is tasked with developing a 
        Federal strategic plan for sustainable chemistry and a 
        consensus definition of sustainable chemistry.
   Require a report to be submitted to Congress 
        summarizing federally funded sustainable chemistry 
        research, the financial resources allocated to 
        sustainable chemistry incentives, the current state of 
        sustainable chemistry, an analysis of the entity's 
        progress in achieving the goals designated by the 
        legislation, recommendations for further program 
        activities in support of sustainable chemistry, and an 
        evaluation of efforts taken to date and future 
        strategies to avoid duplication of efforts and spread 
        best practices.
   Designate appropriate agency activities, including 
        supporting the research and development of sustainable 
        chemistry, disseminating information about sustainable 
        chemistry, expanding sustainable chemistry education 
        and training, examining methods related to sustainable 
        chemistry standards, developing metrics for sustainable 
        chemistry programs, and public outreach.
   Allow Federal agencies to partner with institutions 
        of higher education and industry to create 
        collaborative sustainable chemistry research, train 
        students, develop curricula, and provide for 
        professional development in the field of sustainable 
        chemistry.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 999 was introduced on April 3, 2019, by Senator Coons 
(for himself and Senators Collins, Capito, and Klobuchar) and 
was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate. On October 17, 2019, the 
Committee met in open Executive Session and, by voice vote, 
ordered S. 999 reported favorably with an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute and three first degree amendments.
    An identical bill, H.R. 2051 was introduced on April 3, 
2019, by Representative Lipinski (for himself and 
Representative Moolenaar) and was referred to the Committee on 
Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives. 
There are 16 additional cosponsors. On December 9, 2019, H.R. 
2051 was passed on a motion to suspend the rules and pass that 
bill, as amended, in the House of Representatives.

                            ESTIMATED COSTS

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


    S. 999 would direct the Office of Science and Technology 
Policy (OSTP) to establish an interagency entity--with 
representation from at least nine federal agencies--to 
coordinate federal programs and activities in sustainable 
chemistry. The bill would require the entity to consult with 
stakeholders, develop metrics to assess sustainable chemistry, 
and report to the Congress on related initiatives and 
priorities. Participating agencies also would be required to 
incorporate sustainable chemistry into existing programs for 
research and development, demonstration, technology transfer, 
commercialization, and education and training.
    Using information from the Government Accountability 
Office, CBO expects that many agencies are already conducting 
activities similar to those required under the bill.\1\ On that 
basis, and using information from OSTP and several of the 
affected agencies, CBO estimates that each of the nine agencies 
and OSTP would require, on average, two additional employees at 
an average annual cost of $150,000 each to manage and 
participate in the interagency entity. CBO estimates that 
implementing S. 999 would cost $2 million in 2020 and $14 
million over the 2020-2024 period; such spending would be 
subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\See Government Accountability Office, Chemical Innovation: 
Technologies to Make Processes and Products More Sustainable, GAO-18-
307 (February 2018), www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-307.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On November 15, 2019, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 2051, the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development 
Act of 2019, as ordered reported by the House Committee on 
Science, Space, and Technology on October 17, 2019. The two 
bills are similar, and CBO's estimates of their budgetary 
effects are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Janani 
Shankaran. The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

Number of Persons Covered

    S. 999, as reported, would not create any new programs or 
impose any new regulatory requirements, and therefore will not 
subject any individuals or businesses to new regulations.

Economic Impact

    S. 999 is not expected to have a negative impact on the 
Nation's economy. It is likely to have a net positive benefit 
by coordinating Federal research and promoting the field of 
sustainable chemistry.

Privacy

    S. 999 would have no impact on the personal privacy of 
individuals.

Paperwork

    S. 999 would require the newly created interagency entity 
to complete a report, to be submitted to Congress and the 
Government Accountability Office (GAO), relating to the state 
of sustainable chemistry and current Federal funds dedicated to 
the promotion of sustainable chemistry.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide that the bill may be cited as 
the ``Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 
2019''.

Section 2. Findings.

    This section would establish that Congress recognizes the 
importance of sustainable chemistry as a key component to 
business competitiveness, open market innovation, avoiding 
environmental harm, and improving the efficiency of the use of 
natural resources to meet human needs. This section also finds 
that GAO has found that the Federal Government could play a key 
role in helping sustainable chemistry reach its full potential 
domestically.

Section 3. National coordinating entity for sustainable chemistry.

    This section would convene an interagency entity (the 
Entity) responsible for coordinating Federal programs and 
activities in support of sustainable chemistry for a period of 
10 years after enactment under the National Science and 
Technology Council. The Entity would be co-chaired by the 
Office of Science and Technology Policy and a representative 
from the EPA, National Institute of Standards and Technology 
(NIST), and NSF. The Entity would include representatives from 
the EPA, NIST, NSF, Department of Energy, USDA, DOD, National 
Institute of Health, Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and any other 
appropriate Federal agency.

Section 4. Strategic plan for sustainable chemistry.

    This section would require the Entity to develop a 
framework of attributes characterizing sustainable chemistry 
and to assess the state of sustainable chemistry in the United 
States. It would also require the Entity to coordinate and 
support Federal research development of sustainable chemistry, 
identify ways in which agencies can facilitate incentives for 
development, and identify major scientific challenges and/or 
roadblocks to progress in sustainable chemistry. This section 
would also require the Entity to consult with stakeholders in 
business and industry, the scientific community, the defense 
community, State, Tribal, and local governments, 
nongovernmental organizations, and other organizations as 
appropriate. These actions by the Entity would be required no 
later than 2 years after enactment.
    This section also would require the Entity to submit a 
report to Congress and GAO not later than 3 years after 
enactment with a summary of federally funded sustainable 
chemistry research, the financial resources allocated to 
sustainable chemistry initiatives, the current state of 
sustainable chemistry, an analysis of the entity's progress in 
achieving the goals designated by the legislation, 
recommendations for further program activities in support of 
sustainable chemistry, and an evaluation of efforts taken to 
date and future strategies to avoid duplication of efforts and 
spread best practices.

Section 5. Agency activities in support of sustainable chemistry.

    This section would require agencies participating in the 
Entity to carry out activities in support of sustainable 
chemistry as appropriate to each agency's mission. This 
includes coordinating their efforts, promoting sustainable 
chemistry education and training, disseminating information on 
sustainable chemistry, expanding sustainable chemistry 
education and training, examining methods related to 
sustainable chemistry standards, developing metrics for 
sustainable chemistry programs, and public outreach. It would 
limit the use of Federal funds provided for under this section 
to pre-competitive activities and not for the promotion of a 
specific product or technology, or to disparage a specific 
process or technology.

Section 6. Partnerships in sustainable chemistry.

    This section would allow the agencies participating in the 
Entity to facilitate and support the creation of partnerships 
between institutions of higher education, industry, and 
nongovernmental organizations to create collaborative 
sustainable chemistry research, development, demonstration, 
technology transfer, and commercialization programs, as well as 
provide professional development in fields related to 
sustainable chemistry. To be eligible for support, a 
partnership must include a private sector organization.
    This section would limit the ways in which Federal funds 
could be used by partnerships to preclude expanding regulatory 
chemical management programs under State law, constructing or 
renovating any building or structure, or promoting the sale of 
a specific product or technology.

Section 7. Prioritization.

    This section would require the Entity to focus its support 
for sustainable chemistry on activities that best achieve the 
goals outlined in the Act.

Section 8. Rule of construction.

    This section states that nothing in the Act would be 
construed to alter or amend any State law relating to 
sustainable or green chemistry.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.

                                  [all]