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$1 million requested for nanotech EHS roadmap

Foresight and other nanotech NGOs and companies have requested the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies, to allocate US$1 million for an EHS (environmental, health and safety) roadmap, to be prepared by the National Academy of Sciences.

Organizations and companies participating in the call were: Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., Altair Nanotechnologies Inc., Arkema, Inc., BASF Corporation, Bayer, Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc., Degussa, DuPont, Environmental Defense, Foresight Nanotech Institute, Houston Advanced Research Center, Lux Research, Inc., NanoBusiness Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, PPG Industries, Inc., Sasol North America, Union of Concerned Scientists.

Longtime readers of this blog know that near-term EHS issues are not central to Foresight. However, if they are botched, the rest of nanotech will suffer too, so we might as well try to get them properly attended to. You can read the full letter to Congress here:

June 7, 2006
Via Facsimile

The Honorable Conrad Burns
Chairman
Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
132 Dirksen Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Byron L. Dorgan
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
123 Dirksen Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Funding for Nanotechnology Roadmap through the FY07 NIEHS Budget as Allocated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Title of the Interior Appropriations Bill

Dear Senators Burns and Dorgan:

In our February 14, 2006, letter to Congress, the undersigned parties emphasized the critical importance this year of providing adequate funding for the environmental, health, and safety (EHS) implications of nanotechnology research, while encouraging and promoting promising applications of this technology.

The undersigned organizations believe strongly that federal research must be undertaken according to a thoughtful strategy, or roadmap, that deploys research dollars in a way that is strategically targeted, carefully coordinated, and actively managed. While the National Nanotechnology Initiative and its member agencies are currently engaged in a number of efforts to identify EHS-related research needs, the National Academy of Sciences is particularly wellsuited to undertake the development of an overall roadmap for federal research, as it has done previously for airborne particulate matter research. We believe that the Academy, taking into account ongoing related efforts and working with and through NIEHS, will be able to promptly develop a research strategy and roadmap for addressing the EHS implications of nanotechnologies. Therefore, we respectfully urge you to support an FY07 appropriation of $1,000,000 allocated through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency title in the Interior Appropriations bill to NIEHS. Our suggested report language is as follows:

The Committee has included $1,000,000 for NIEHS in conjunction with the National Academy of Sciences to undertake to develop a roadmap and strategy for the federal government for environment, health, and safety research needed to support the safe development and use of nano-scale materials and nanotechnologies.

We appreciate your consideration of this request. For further information, please call Mr. Terry Medley, Global Director, Corporate Regulatory Affairs, DuPont, at (302) 773-3191, or Ms. Karen Florini, Senior Attorney, Environmental Defense, at (202) 387-3500.

Sincerely,

Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., Altair Nanotechnologies Inc., Arkema, Inc., BASF Corporation, Bayer, Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc., Degussa, DuPont, Environmental Defense, Foresight Nanotech Institute, Houston Advanced Research Center, Lux Research, Inc., NanoBusiness Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, PPG Industries, Inc., Sasol North America, Union of Concerned Scientists

cc: The Honorable George Allen (via facsimile)
The Honorable Mark L. Pryor (via facsimile)
The Honorable Ted Stevens (via facsimile)
The Honorable John Warner (via facsimile)
The Honorable Ron Wyden (via facsimile)

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