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January 2007

Assistance center aids environmental law compliance for border crossing

For businesses involved in shipping regulated materials across borders, a new web-based EPA-sponsored Compliance Assistance Center has been developed.

The border center's new chemical import-export issues website provides information for importing and exporting a variety of chemicals, including toxic substances and hazardous waste. The site has information on existing international agreements and regulations, and includes a news section to keep buyers, sellers and transporters aware of the latest developments.

The website, maintained by an EPA grantee called The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), is one of the 14 EPA-sponsored centers. Each center explains real world environmental compliance issues relevant to a specific industry sector or issue. The centers deliver information in plain language, with an emphasis on what the regulated community needs to know to get in and stay in compliance. Existing centers address: agriculture, auto repair and auto recycling, chemicals, federal facilities, health care, local government, metal finishing, paints and coatings, printed wiring board, printing, and transportation.

The centers are celebrating 10 years of helping regulated facilities, particularly small businesses and local governments, understand and meet environmental regulations. In a decade, the number of centers has grown from three to 14, and together they attract more than one million visitors a year. In a recent centers' survey, 78 percent of regulated businesses and governments said they had improved their environmental management practices as a result of using the critical information provided by the centers.

The import-export issues website is www.bordercenter.org/chem/index.cfm and the National Compliance Assistance Center’s website is www.assistancecenters.net.


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