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Emerging Contaminants Work Group


ECOS Publishes Report on Emerging Contaminants

In January 2010, ECOS published the Green Report, "State Experiences with Emerging Contaminants: Recommendations for Federal Action." The report contains a set of detailed case studies outlining state experiences with addressing emerging contaminants, including state laws and regulations as well as agency studies, programming, and prioritization decision-making processes. The report outlines some of the challenges states face in addressing the thousands of chemicals present in the U.S. environment, including risk communication. Recommendations from the ECOS Cross-Media Committee are also included in the document for how federal agencies might help states further address emerging contaminants. Notes are appended to the report that detail the committee's recent outreach to the federal government advocating for increased nanomaterials risk research and state-federal consultation. The report was funded in part through a cooperative agreement with U.S. EPA's Office of the Chief Financial Officer. The ECOS Emerging Contaminants Work Group contributed to the report.

Committee Publishes Tool to Prioritize Contaminants of Emerging Concern

The Cross-Media Committee, working closely with the ECOS Emerging Contaminants Work Group, recently finished developing a Tool to Prioritize Contaminants of Emerging Concern. The document is intended for use by environmental agency leaders and suggests key criteria for prioritizing emerging contaminants so that agencies can more readily use their limited resources to identify and address priority substances. The tool is merely suggestive of considerations that may aid the prioritization process and is flexible for being adapted to accommodate the unique needs and circumstances of individual agencies.


The ECOS Emerging Contaminants Work Group is composed of ECOS members and their designees. The group affords a states-only forum where officials can focus on issues regarding emerging contaminants, including pharmaceuticals and nanomaterials. Founded in 2009, the group produces recommendations and collaborative work products and serves as a subgroup of the ECOS Cross-Media Committee. The group enjoys participation from a number of states and is currently chaired by Doug Fine of Massachusetts.


The ECOS Emerging Contaminants Work Group recently completed a number of work products, including:

The group also recently began an outreach effort to federal agencies in order to advocate for increased funding for nanomaterials risk research (see letter here). Representatives of the Cross-Media Committee and the Emerging Contaminants Work Group recently met with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and members of the federal Nanotechnology and Environmental Health Implications Working Group. Notes from the October 2009 meeting are available here.


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