Cablegate: Chemical Safety and Emergency Preparedness Workshop In
RR RUEHCN RUEHVC
DE RUEHGH #0589 2530736
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 100736Z SEP 07
FM AMCONSUL SHANGHAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6252
INFO RUEAEPA/EPA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 6715
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1403
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0881
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SHANGHAI 000589
STATE FOR OES-I- ANN COVINGTON
EPA FOR INTERNATIONAL - MCASKILL
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV PREL PHUM CH
SUBJECT: CHEMICAL SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS WORKSHOP IN
1. Summary: Over 100 Jiangsu Province Environmental
Protection Bureau (EPB) officials, representing both the
provincial and local EPBs, attended a Chemical Safety and
Emergency Preparedness Workshop in Nanjing on August 21-22. At
the workshop, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
trainers provided technical training on chemical safety and risk
management planning, and emergency prevention, preparedness and
response. The workshop was sponsored by the U.S. EPA, ConGen
Shanghai, Jiangsu Environmental Bureau and four major U.S.
chemical manufacturers who were eager to spend their Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) budget on increasing the capacity of
the municipal EPB officials. The success of the workshop
demonstrated that there can be successful cooperation between
the U.S. and Chinese governments as well as the private sector
on such technical issues. End Summary.
2. In cooperation with the U.S. EPA, ConGen Shanghai and the
Jiangsu Environmental Bureau hosted an August 21-22, Chemical
Safety and Emergency Preparedness Workshop in Nanjing. The
training was financially supported by four major U.S. chemical
manufacturers interested in using their sizeable CSR budgets to
increase the capacity of the local EPBs.
3. Over 100 EPB officials, both local and provincial attended
the two-day workshop. The first day of the workshop focused on
chemical safety and risk management planning. US EPA trainer
Mary Wesling, outlined the laws and regulations in place in the
United States and the experiences US EPA has had with
enforcement. She also demonstrated available software and
international programs. The second day focused on emergency
prevention, preparedness and response. Harry Allen, the second
US EPA trainer, provided numerous case studies for the audience.
Both days of the workshop closed with extensive
question-and-answer sessions that illuminated how eager EPB
officials were for information. The workshop also included a
presentation on the present state of chemical safety and
emergency preparedness in Jiangsu by Nanjing University
Professor Li Aimin.
Working in Concert
4. The workshop was sponsored by four major U.S based chemical
manufacturers, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, Rohm and Haas, and
Arch Chemicals. The companies were interested in providing
financial support for the training for two major reasons: 1)
concern about lack of capacity within the local EPBs and the
impact it has on equal enforcement; and 2) available Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) budgets.
5. In early 2007 Congenoffs were approached by representatives
of several U.S.-based chemical manufacturers who were looking
for ways to engage with the local EPBs in Jiangsu Province,
where many of them have their manufacturing facilities. They
were concerned that the EPBs lacked the capacity to handle a
major chemical spill and that the uneven enforcement of existing
regulations made a major accident a real possibility.
6. Many multinational corporations have large CSR budgets for
China, but the tenuous existence of many NGOs, and the resulting
lack of capacity, has left many companies looking for creative
ways to spend their CSR budgets. The representative of one
sponsor said that he was interested in the training, but more
than that, desperate for a responsible outlet for his CSR budget.
7. The success of the workshop demonstrated to all involved
that there are possibilities for cooperation between the U.S.
and Chinese officials, as well as industry representatives. The
sponsoring companies all felt that the workshop was a worthwhile
endeavor and their CSR money well-spent, while the EPB officials
were enthusiastic about the safeguarding techniques they had
learned and were eager to implement these techniques.