Coalition of Northeastern Governors Coalition of Northeastern Governors
Coalition of Northeastern Governors

Other Issues of Interest

TPCH - Toxics In Packaging Clearinghouse

The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) was established by the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) in 1992 to assist states that adopted the CONEG-developed Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation. That legislation, adopted by 18 states as of 1998, requires reductions in the amount of four heavy metals (specifically, mercury, lead, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium) in packaging and packaging components sold or distributed in these states. The laws, which aim to phase out the use and presence of these four metals, require certificates of compliance and allow for certain exemptions (which must be approved by the individual states).

The TPCH provides a cost-effective administrative process for both states and the private sector; and it offers companies that operate in multiple states the opportunity for consistent interpretation of state laws. For states that have enacted the model legislation, the TPCH provides a forum to encourage consistent interpretation and simplified administration of individual state laws. For companies seeking to comply with the laws in these states, the TPCH offers a centralized location for obtaining information about the state laws and for filing requests for exemptions and/or clarifications. Enforcement responsibility rests with the individual states.

While the driving force to reduce toxics in packaging originated with the Northeastern states, the model legislation has become a nationally and internationally recognized standard. Accordingly, in 1998, administration of the TPCH moved from the CONEG Policy Research Center to the 50-state Council of State Governments and is now located at the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (NERC) in Brattleboro, Vermont. NERC performs all administrative functions of the Clearinghouse on behalf of member states.

For further information about the model legislation and the TPCH, visit its web page: www.toxicsinpackaging.org.