Sacramento Sustainability Forum 2.0

SSF 2.0 is a public engagement & education platform empowering the community to create a more sustainable society.

2012 June: Green Chemistry Initiative

Hortensia Muniz, P.E.

Ms. Muniz is a Senior Hazardous Substances Engineer for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. Ms. Muniz has been involved in the environmental field for over twenty three years in environmental restoration and policy setting, with experience in both the private and public sectors.  In recent years, Ms. Muniz has been one of the principal drafters of the Safer Consumer Products (“Green Chemistry”) regulations for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.  Prior to this, Ms. Muniz worked on hazardous waste management issues, including: transfer facilities, used oil, rejected shipments of wastes, financial assurance, and permit appeals.  Earlier in her career, Ms. Muniz was responsible for leading and coordinating Site Assessments, Remedial Investigations, Feasibility Studies, and Engineering Evaluations and Cost Analysis.  For a brief period, Ms. Muniz partnered with a consulting firm and provided engineering support on contaminated sites that had been mismanaged and required extensive negotiations with state and local regulatory agencies.  Ms. Muniz graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering.

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 Joseph H. Guth, J.D., Ph.D

Dr. Guth serves as both the Legal Director for the Science & Environmental Health Network and as a Research Scientist in the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health and in the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry.

Joe is a member of the New York State Bar, has a law degree from New York University, a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Madison, Wisconsin, and an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Joe has worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York City, doing both litigation of Clean Water Act citizen's suits and toxic chemicals regulatory policy advocacy; as a litigator in private law firms in New York in the areas of environmental torts, intellectual property and products liability; and as a Vice-president of intellectual property for Chiron Corporation, a biotechnology company in California. Joe has been Executive Director of the California League for Environmental Enforcement Now, a coalition of environmental groups and law firms in Oakland, California, and also a Senior Policy Analyst for the Center for Environmental Health in Oakland, California, working on chemicals policy reform.

Joe serves as a member of Cal/EPA's Green Ribbon Science Panel, which advises Cal/EPA on the Green Chemistry Initiative.  He also serves as a member of Cal/EPA’s Cumulative Impacts and Precautionary Approaches Workgroup, which focuses on implementing California's Environmental Justice Action Plan.  He is also a past member of U.S. EPA's National Pollution Prevention and Toxics Advisory Committee (NPPTAC), which advised EPA on its implementation of U.S. laws governing toxic chemicals.

The central goal of Joe’s work is the transformation of the law so that it will promote preservation of the earth rather than accept environmental destruction as a byproduct of economic growth. Key areas that this work draws from include property law, the public trust doctrine, law of the commons, ecological economics and precautionary principle theory.

Joe also works to achieve comprehensive reform of chemicals policy in California and in the United States, which involves intensive study of the REACH legislation in the European Union, the proposed federal Safer Chemicals Act of 2011 and the California Green Chemistry Initiative.


 Mark McLeod

Mark McLeod, has served four years as Executive Director of Sustainable Business Alliance (SBA). SBA is a 501 C6 alliance of businesses in Berkeley/Oakland, CA, committed to "Think Local First" and to honoring the Triple Bottom Line -- the Environmental Bottom Line, the Social Bottom Line, and the Financial Bottom Line. SBA, in collaboration with Oakland Grown, has spent much of 2011-12 developing a complementary currency that can be used only in indie-and-locally-owned businesses.  The goal of this program is to keep currency flowing within the community of indie-and-locally-owned businesses, since that currency becomes more valuable every time it is spent and re-spent within the community. SBA is a very active member of the and Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).

The national umbrella organization for Think Local First business networks around the country.  SBA is also an enthusiastic member of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) -- a Washington, DC-based organization which serves as a voice for progressive businesses and business associations around the country. Mark sits on the ASBC Board of Partners.  The ASBC advocates in Congress and the White House for progressive public policy (such as our topic this evening --  reform of public policy related to use of toxic chemicals in American manufacturing and agriculture) that will improve the arena within which progressive businesses operate.