The very function of a sealing device dictated the FSA's change in focus, according to Chris R. Swonger, FSA Government Affairs chairman and senior vice president for government relations at the Washington office of Smiths Group, a global advanced technologies firm.
“The primary role of a sealing device is to seal—to prevent leaks and emissions,” Swonger said. “With the ongoing concerns about climate change, the FSA has much to contribute in this most important area. We share our customers' commitment to upholding high standards of environmental compliance.
“There's a lot we can contribute to environmental policymaking,” he said. “We can tell government regulators what is technically feasible and what is technically challenging, and how seals have evolved.”
The FSA has developed four key strategic points to advance its new role, according to the news release. These are: Influence & Advocate, Educate, Lead and Collaborate.
The association's primary areas of focus will be technology, safety, environmental compliance, quality and best practices for sealing, it said.
“All member companies have unique technologies, which they bring to market every day,” the FSA said. “Through the new efforts of the FSA, member companies can have the added benefit of having their technologies in front of key influencers and policymakers in Washington and the World Trade Organization.”
The FSA's first goal will be to persuade the WTO to include sealing devices in its determinations of Commercial Economic Available Technologies in setting environmental compliance policies, according to Swonger.
The WTO, he explained, has ongoing negotiations to identify technologies that will be defined as environmental goods for the sake of environmental compliance. Seventeen countries, including the U.S., are involved in the negotiations, Swonger said.
“We are presenting the role sealing devices play in preventing leaks and emissions,” he said. The FSA has joined with the European Sealing Association in advocating that seals should be included on the WTO's list, he said.