Corean Reynold was recently appointed the Director of Nightlife Economy for the City of Boston, where she brings a wealth of experience and a passion for fostering an equitable and thriving nightlife ecosystem.
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Roundhead Brewing Company
Don’t miss our upcoming Government Affairs Forum with Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg. Register now!
9:45am - 11:00am
Bank of America
Learn about new ways of utilizing the professional apprenticeship model to create diverse, sustainable, and scalable talent pipelines.
10:00am - 11:30am
Designed for mid-level managers and supervisors, this new certificate program addresses workplace well-being through unique, innovative, and actionable methods.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
Our Economic Inclusion Committee provides strategic support around research, policies, and programs that are focused on building equal opportunity.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For nearly 30 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
We support small business through public policy initiatives, events designed to connect small businesses in Greater Boston to their peers and established business leaders, professional development offerings, and free small business advising.
Explore our mission and values to better understand how we are leading the business community forward.
Our member directory is your resource to discover, connect, and engage with Boston’s businesses from every industry and sector.
July 10, 2023
Dear Chair Decker and Chair Cyr,
On behalf of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and its 1,200 members, I write to provide testimony on H.2197 and S.1356, An Act to protect Massachusetts public health from PFAS. The Chamber acknowledges the pervasive use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) poses a complicated public health problem for Massachusetts and supports efforts to reduce PFAS exposure. As legislators contemplate public policy solutions to limit exposure to PFAS in drinking water and consumer products, I take this opportunity to provide feedback from the business community on the challenges facing producers and distributors related to PFAS.
As you know, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to evaluate the impacts of PFAS nationwide and move forward with limits of PFAS in drinking water. These EPA efforts demonstrate the size and complexity of historical PFAS use and the need for national efforts to confront the issue.
Patchwork, state by state regulations that differ substantially make compliance difficult and confusing, especially for distributors and manufacturers with international supply chains.
H.2197 and S.1356 contain several proposals to begin to limit PFAS contamination and use in products in Massachusetts. These bills give the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) tools to mitigate PFAS exposure in drinking water, monitor PFAS in consumer products, and educate the public on PFAS and the health impacts of exposure. These are laudable goals. However, given the complexity of supply chains and the still evolving ability to test and detect various PFAS substances, any legislative effort to regulate PFAS should reflect the practical realities of the state of PFAS testing and detection, avoid burdensome requirements that may be difficult to implement, and recognize the additional regulatory costs imposed on employers. In this context, we offer the following feedback on areas of the legislation that are problematic for employers.
Costly Mandated Testing
A burdensome aspect of this legislation is mandated testing for unintentionally added PFAS in specific categories of products, outlined in subsection (i) of section 4 of each bill. This requirement is imposed on all products in these categories offered for sale regardless of manufacturers’ or distributors’ use of control processes such as restricted chemical lists or supplier certification requirements to control for unwanted chemicals. PFAS tests often cost hundreds of dollars each and the mandate could result in millions of total costs for thousands of products in Massachusetts. Instead of mandated testing for all products in these relevant categories, the legislation should empower DEP to conduct compliance tests to verify that they do not contain intentionally added PFAS, or create other flexible compliance mechanisms, such as periodic sample testing or pre-approved suppliers.
The reporting requirements outlined in subsection (f) of section 4 of the bill create a major burden for businesses. Requiring universal product code level reporting will result in tens of thousands of data entries for any company that does not yet have access to viable PFAS alternatives. In addition, requiring the specific Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS RN) for all PFAS compounds also presents a challenging requirement, particularly when a chemical formulation is proprietary or trade secret information of a supplier. Currently, the legislation does not consider circumstances in which a manufacturer or distributor may not have access to the necessary CAS RN information under these scenarios.
State Specific Labeling
Another example in the legislation of burdensome regulation is state specific labeling requirements for products with intentionally added PFAS. State specific labeling in general is incredibly disruptive and costly to national and global supply chains that may lead to increased carbon emissions and waste. This requirement is also redundant given the legislation creates a publicly accessible reporting platform to collect information about all products that contain intentionally added PFAS. A state specific labeling requirement should be eliminated in favor of the publicly available online data portal administered by DEP.
“Intentionally Added” PFAS Threshold
Finally, the legislation should be clear on a PFAS threshold that would indicate that PFAS is intentionally added, as opposed to unintentional or incidental contamination. Other states such as California adopt a ppm threshold for specific products, including children’s products. The threshold creates an enforceable metric while allowing for the possibility of unintentional PFAS contamination – a frequent occurrence.
Adopting this threshold in Massachusetts conforms with other major states regulating PFAS in consumer products, easing the burden of interstate compliance. A threshold is also a predictable and concrete metric for manufacturers while also assisting DEP in enforcement.
Thank you again for your consideration. Please reach out with any questions.
James E. Rooney
President and CEO
Download the letter