Promote Science and Sustainability in Public Policy

ACS Policy Priority

Science can lead to better understanding of new solutions to many of society’s problems including environmental and health issues. In order to achieve this, the best science should be available to, and used by, government officials when making decisions. To achieve confidence in government decisions that depend upon science and technology, science must be considered in an open and responsible manner. ACS supports efforts to

  • Encourage environmental decisions that promote sustainable resource usage and waste prevention in an economically viable chemical enterprise.
  • Foster the development and adoption of green products and processes by industry, academia, and government.
  • Assure appropriate, balanced use of voluntary and regulatory measures in achieving environmental, health, safety, and security goals and promote the responsible use of science in environmental management.
  • Encourage appropriate global harmonization of environmental, health, and safety initiatives to promote science and technology around the globe.
  • Promote institutions and guidelines to assure that governments make appropriate and open use of scientific and technological information in making policy decisions.
Statement Position
Biomonitoring Supports collection of biomonitoring data to better identify, understand, and communicate the potential risks associated with chemical exposures. Encourages the development of biomonitoring methodology to track the fate of chemicals, their exposure pathways, uptake mechanisms, and trends in human exposures.
Chemical Risk Assessment and Regulatory Decision Making
Supports risk assessments based on sound science and protective of human health and environment. Supports the commercial chemical enterprise providing the information necessary to conduct risk assessments while protecting confidential business information. Encourages green chemistry and engineering to support sustainability goals
Climate Reviews the science and recommends action on reducing greenhouse gases as well as climate change adaptation strategies. Encourages continued research and funding into the effects of climate change, while also emphasizing the importance of educating the public on the issue.
Endocrine Disruption Endorses expanded education and research, and the development of more effective methods for reducing exposures of humans and the environment.
Forensic Science Calls for scientific rigor in forensic science and for its integration with the broader scientific community. Supports evaluation and improvement of forensic analytical methods. Supports high quality forensic science education, outreach and standards.
Hydraulic Fracturing Recommends that states consider regulations similar to those issued by DOI to control significant contamination of ground water and to promote recovery and recycling of hydraulic fracturing fluids. Research should be conducted on fracking and its impacts from a life-cycle perspective, its uses compared to replacement resources, methane emissions at fracking sites, groundwater contamination, less hazardous fracking fluids, and characterization of and methods for treating and disposing of liquid returns from fracking.
Inherently Safer Technology (IST) Encourages federal support for research and development to expand IST options and usage.
Peer Review: Ensuring High-Quality Science Urges support for scientific peer review processes that evaluate based on both intellectual merit and broader impacts. Supports reviewer freedom from interference in scientific merit assessments. Recommends periodic evaluation by federal agencies and stakeholders of the process effectiveness and efficiency.
Regulation of Laboratory Waste Supports reform of regulations that are intended for large-scale chemical manufacturing so that they are better suited for application to laboratories.
Scientific Insight and Integrity Supports the use of insightful, comprehensive, scientific and engineering input to the development and evaluation of policy options. Encourages scientific integrity policies that help the federal government obtain and integrate scientific assessments into policy development and implementation.
Sustainability of the Chemical Enterprise Defines the concept of sustainability in the context of the chemical enterprise. Supports government incentives for sustainable technologies
Water Treatment and Conservation
Supports US government action that develops water-use guidelines and initiatives; encourages advancements in water reduction, treatment, and reuse technologies; protects groundwater resources; and prevents discharge of toxic substances into ground and surface waters.