A Historical Perspective

Recent Developments in Green Chemistry: Legislation

In April 2007, the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) began a Green Chemistry Initiative to promote innovation, create new jobs, and keep people safe from harmful substances. After gathering input from over 600 participants, including industry leaders, community organizers, and scientists, Cal/EPA created a series of options of ways to reduce the effects of toxic chemicals on people and the environment. In September 2008, following advice from the Cal/EPA, California legislature passed two landmark bills focused on promoting Green Chemistry. California was the first state to pass a comprehensive Green Chemistry policy.

The bills set a precedent for Green Chemistry legislation, and states around the nation and countries around the world have been following suit. In 2008, for example, Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality began the first stage of a multi-step process entitled "Advancing Green Chemistry" in 2009, the Michigan legislature passed several bills promoting Green Chemistry innovation and development. Other states, including Minnesota, and other countries, including Canada, Spain, and China, have hosted large conferences to discuss the opportunities and applications of green chemistry on local, national, and international scales. With these initiatives and still others announced on almost a daily basis, Green Chemistry continues to grow in importance and impact on both national and international stages.