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American Chemistry Council

CHEMTREC History - A Timeline

1918 – The Manufacturing Chemists Association (MCA), the original organization that subsequently became the American Chemistry Council (ACC), formed a committee whose members devoted themselves to the improvement of containers used in shipping liquid chemicals. The need for an industry-wide effort had been highlighted by a series of railway accidents involving shipments of corrosive liquids vital to the WW I war effort.

1932 – MCA began its comprehensive program of Safety Manuals and Safety Data Sheets. Each data sheet set forth the physical and chemical properties of the product, its hazards, instructions on safe handling and first-aid treatment, required labeling or identification, and methods of unloading and emptying various types of containers.

1969 – The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) met with MCA to determine the best approach to developing a reporting and response system for emergency situations involving chemicals in transport.

1970 – MCA’s Board of Directors authorized the establishment of CHEMTREC (CHEMical TRansportation Emergency Center), a system that would provide chemical specific information to emergency responders around-the-clock. Members of MCA authored over 1,600 chemical cards representing the chemicals most frequently involved in transportation.

September 5, 1971 – CHEMTREC was in full operation.

1980 – The Administrator of the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) of USDOT formally recognized CHEMTREC as an approved source of information and advice relating to chemical and other hazardous materials incidents.

1989 – The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and CHEMTREC executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) stipulating that CHEMTREC would assist the DOD in responding as quickly as possible to an incident or accident involving DOD munitions or explosives.

1995 – The U.S. Army Chemical Biological Defense Command (CBDCOM) and CHEMTREC executed an MOU stipulating that CHEMTREC would assist CBDCOM in responding as quickly as possible to an incident or accident involving “hazardous industrial chemicals.”

September 11, 2001 – CHEMTREC provided critical information to the New York City Police Hazardous Materials Team as they evaluated the potential effect of chemicals contained in the collapse of the World Trade Towers.

2002 – The Chemical Sector Information and Analysis Center (ISAC) was created through an agreement between the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)’s National Infrastructure Protection Center and the ACC, with a request made by the FBI for CHEMTREC to operate the ISAC.  

2003 – CHEMTREC started offering extended service protocols (ESP), including Global Authorization to customers who needed more than basic CHEMTREC services.

2006 – CHEMTREC hosted the first International Emergency Response Summit in Miami, FL, USA.

2010 – CHEMTREC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with like-organizations in South America.

2012 – CHEMTREC signed an MOU for mutual assistance with the National Registration Center for Chemicals (NRCC) of China.


 Historic CHEMTREC Photos