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Source: Chemical Market Reporter, Sept 20, 1999 v256 i12 p6.

Title: Minimum Info for CWC Compliance.

Full Text COPYRIGHT 1999 Schnell Publishing Company, Inc.

International inspectors will be given the "absolute minimum" amount of information necessary to determine whether US chemical plants are complying with the Chemical Weapons Convention, a Commerce Department official says.

The treaty, which has been ratified by the US and 125other countries, prohibits the manufacture of chemical weapons and requires monitoring of plans that make certain pesticides and industrial chemicals, including most chemicals that contain carbon.

Our goal is to have CWC inspections be quick-in and out, with a minimum amount of intrusion," says Steven Goldman, director of the Bureau of Export Administration's office of chemical & biological weapons conventions.

The Commerce Department wants American firms to provide the "absolute minimum amount of information" to prove that the declaration about the presence of CWC-covered substances they filed is accurate, Mr. Goldman says.

No one in the federal government believes any US chemical company is involved in the production of chemical weapons. However, if inspectors are to gain access to facilities in countries of concern, the US must be willing to "open our companies" to CWC-compliance and verification inspections, he notes.

The US has not yet fully implemented the treaty in the private sector. But after two proposed rules are made final, US commercial chemical plants are scheduled for inspection.

 
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