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January 15, 2008

Wisconsin Representative Requests Assistance in Creating Registry

Lynn L. Bergeson

In a December 3, 2007, letter, to the Secretaries of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS), and Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Wisconsin State Representative Terese Berceau (D) asks for their assistance in creating a policy “to address potential environmental problems associated with the emerging field of nanotechnology.” Berceau refers to the ordinance adopted by Berkeley, California, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP), and proposes a reporting system and creation of a registry in Wisconsin “including addressing areas that are simply not yet fully defined in an emerging and growing technological field.” Berceau states that whether the registry is created by rule or legislation “is best determined with the guidance of the regulatory agencies dealing with similar issues today — in public health, environmental protection, and consumer protection.”