Target: EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
Goal: To demand that grants promised to green chemistry programs be reinstated.
With all of the news about toxic substances in the foods we eat and the clothes we wear, it should come as no surprise that some scientists are looking for alternatives. The relatively new branch of “green chemistry” is aimed at developing processes and compounds that are environmentally safe, to replace the decades old dangerous processes that we have today. Unfortunately, the EPA has just announced that it is revoking twenty million dollars in grants that would have gone to this important field.
The twenty million dollars was supposed to go towards funding four new green chemistry facilities, an important step in a budding field. Scientists were already submitting grant proposals when the news came that the EPA was cutting off all funding for the program. No explanation has been given.
Despite the EPA’s claims that the money “may be available in the future” scientists are skeptical. One university professor said that he had never heard of a government agency pulling all of its funding for a program so close to the grant proposal deadline. The last day to submit proposals was just three weeks away when the EPA yanked its funding. Some scientists had already been working on raising funds for their projects and getting grant writers for months when the news came.
Green chemistry is an important new field because it not only takes consumer health into consideration, but the environment. And green chemistry the entire lifecycle of a product—meaning that it ensures that the compound will not become toxic when it decomposes. In an age where the environment is constantly under threat, the EPA must step up and use its resources to aid scientists who want to make the world a better place. Let your voice be heard. Speak up and let the EPA know that the green chemistry program must continue.