“The new location is very conducive to getting things done in town,” explained HCPA president and CEO Steve Caldeira. “Now, we can visit The Hill and talk to members of Congress about issues that are important to our industry.”
During HCPA’s Capitol Hill Day on May 2, attendees will be briefed on the association’s public policy priorities before being taken to Capitol Hill for a series of strategic, face-to-face meetings with key members of Congress and their staff.
“We need our representatives in Washington to understand the economic power of our $180 billion industry that employs 200,000,” explained Caldeira. “Capitol Hill Day gives us the opportunity to tell Congress where our member companies are located in their congressional districts as well as our industry’s economic impact in each state.”
HCPA staff spent plenty of time on Capitol Hill in recent weeks and months working to get the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) reauthorized.
“PRIA Reauthorization has been a bipartisan effort in both chambers of Congress,” noted Caldeira. “There were some hiccups along the way, but we worked with our members, allied trades and NGOs to get it done.”
On March 8, PRIA Reauthorization was signed into law by US President Donald J. Trump. The move reauthorizes PRIA through 2023. How did HCPA manage to get PRIA Reauthorization accomplished in Washington’s partisan climate? According to Caldeira, it required the same efforts HCPA has always relied on; i.e., thoroughly educating members of Congress, not to mention EPA and other agencies abut its most important issues. HCPA will use the same strategy to continue working toward implementation of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.
Last month, HCPA noted that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently met a key milestone of the Act with the release of the updated Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory listing. According to HCPA, a major finding of the update is that only 47% of the chemicals on the current TSCA Inventory (86,000) are currently in commerce. In addition, more than 80% of the chemicals in commerce have identities that are not confidential business information.
At the state level, HCPA is in litigation with New York over ingredient labeling and disclosure. As the case works its way through the system, the association is working with like-minded trade groups to introduce a solution at the federal level.
A Full Schedule
While HCPA members take time to visit with Congressional members during the mid-year meeting, key personnel from critical government agencies will also take time out to make presentations during the three-day event. For example, US EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler will give an update on issues and attendees will get the chance to voice their concerns in a Q&A session. EPA assistant administrator Alexandra Dunn will also make a presentation.
The mid-year meeting opens with a general session featuring Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the recent New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller “Contagious: Why Things Catch On.” Berger has spent more than 15 years studying how social influence works and how it drives products and ideas to catch on.
After the general session, HCPA will offer five specialized tracks that will give attendees the chance to focus on non-technical priorities that are important to their careers and business. Tracks include legal, communications and public affairs, regulatory reform, diversity and inclusion and business operations.
“Our specialized track format represents a new way of thinking and a new way of addressing and delivering ROI for our attendees,” explained Caldeira.
In another new event, Mark Vergnano, president and CEO of Chemours, will discuss the state of manufacturing in the US, the need for the industry to invest in R&D, and why his company is committed to growth through higher-value chemistry. That session will be followed by a panel titled “Public Policy Challenges & Opportunities in 2019 and Beyond,” which will bring together allied trade association CEOs to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing household and I&I products and the overall chemical supply chain.
Division & Retailer Sessions
Of course, all seven of HCPA product divisions will have programs of their own and there will be plenty of networking opportunities, including a one-hour presentation by Dan Williams, author of “Tales from the Networking Community: Networking, Like Life, is a Process, Not an Event.”
Prior to the closing social event on Friday, May 3, HCPA will conduct a special retail engagement session. The association notes that retailers’ chemical policies continue to have significant influence on HCPA members. The Supplier Ingredient Review (SIR) Group, an industry consortium, is leading suppliers’ actions to make practical improvements in the third-party computer-based system that retailers rely on to implement their chemical policies. The “Mind the Store” campaign and its annual report card provides a powerful incentive for retailers to adopt and enhance chemical policies. Retail engagement speakers are Chris Cassell, director of corporate sustainability, Lowe’s Home Improvement; Dee O’Reilly, AVP, L’Oréal and SIR group chair; and Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
A new location in Washington DC, new sessions and new networking opportunities with regulators and legislators, underscore that HCPA is committed to building relationships as it expands its membership, too.
“We continue to protect, promote and enhance the household and commercial products industry and the lives of consumers and workers who use our members’ products,” said Caldeira. “We work well alone, but we work better together.”
To register for Impact 2019, the HCPA mid-year meeting, visit www.thehcpa.org