Rep. D’Amelio, Sen. Kane Tour Chemtura Corporation in Middlebury; Meet with Company Officials

July 18, 2008

State Representative Anthony J. D’Amelio, and state Senator Rob Kane Thursday toured the Chemtura Corporation’s world headquarters in Middlebury and met with company officials to discuss the 2009 session of the Connecticut General Assembly and how legislation that may be proposed could affect the company.

During their visit, the legislators met with Chemtura Chairman and CEO Robert Wood, David Sanders, Chemtura’s Director of Advocacy, and Vice President for Government Relations Lloyd Moon.

The Chemtura Corporation is one of the three largest producers of the chemical deca polybrominated diphenyl ether, commonly known as deca-PBDE. A measure to ban the use of the substance was approved by the state legislature’s Environment Committee during the 2008 legislative session, but died in the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, said Representative D’Amelio, R-71st District, and Senator Kane, R-32nd District.

Deca-PBDE was the sole focus of a 10 year risk assessment conducted by the European Union. It also has been analyzed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Academy of Sciences and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. All reached the same conclusion: that deca-PBDE does not pose a risk to human health or the environment and is safe for continued use, the legislators said.

“If Connecticut bans deca-PBDE, neighboring states that do not restrict use of the substance will try to convince Chemtura officials to move their world headquarters to their states, placing the jobs of the approximately 600 state residents currently employed at Chemtura at risk. If the legislation should pass next year, it could force another major employer to leave our state – even though there is no credible evidence that would justify a statewide ban on deca-PBDE,” Representative D’Amelio said.

“It was a great privilege to tour the Chemtura facility and meet with so many of its hardworking employees, many of whom reside in nearby communities,” said Senator Kane. “With nearly 600 employees, Chemtura has developed a strong partnership with the Town of Middlebury. I am very much committed to making sure that as a state we do everything we can to help reinforce this partnership. Deca-PBDE is the most widely-studied and most effective flame retardant on the market today. It is one of the components used in the manufacture of mattresses, upholstered furniture, televisions and computers. It is not a toxic substance.”

“Deca-PBDE is an effective, safe flame retardant which has been credited with saving countless numbers of lives – including the 309 passengers and crew aboard an Air France aircraft that overshot a runway in Canada in 2005. The plane crashed and burst into flames. Everyone escaped unharmed because the flame retardant slowed the spread of fire,” Representative D’Amelio said. “When flame retardants are not present, fires can ignite and spread rapidly, leading to significant loss of life – which is what happened in the tragic Rhode Island nightclub fire in 2003.”