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  This is something that many of you should be interested in. This email
  was sent to me by Dr. Neil Carman.
    ...Susan Snow
  Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter
  For Immediate
  For Legal Questions:
  Tuesday, July 8, 1997                      
  Howard Fox, SCLDF (Washington, DC), 202-667-4500
  For Scientific & Political Questions:
  Neil Carman, Sierra Club
  Texas), 512-472-1767
  Charlie Cray, Greenpeace (Chicago), 312-563-6060
  Rick Hind, Greenpeace (Washington, D.C.), 202-462-1177
  Jane Williams, California Communities Against Toxics, pager 
  AUSTIN, July 8—The Sierra Club won a major legal victory July 7 
  when a three judge panel with the United States Court of Appeals for 
  the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco struck down an import rule issued 
  March 18, 1996 by the federal Environmental Protection Agency that
  allowed the importation of the dangerous chemicals PCBs—polychlorinated
  biphenyls—to the United States for incineration.  
  The Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (an independent organization) 
  filed a petition on March 28, 1996 asking the court to set aside the 
  new regulation on the grounds that it violated a 1976 law under the 
  Toxic Substances Control Act passed by Congress.
  Chief Judge Proctor Hug, Jr. ruled that ... “this case involves the 
  authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to 
  promulgate a final rule which allows for the importation of 
  polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the United States for 
  purposes of disposal.  The principal issue in this case is whether 
  EPA’s rule allowing importation of PCBs for disposal violates the 
  statutory prohibitions concerning PCBs contained in section
  6(e)(3)(A)(i) of the Toxic Substances control Act (TCSA), 
  15 U.S.C.   SS 2601-2618  (1982  & Supp. 1987).  We hold ... that 
  the rule violates the statute.” Joining Chief Judge Hug in the 
  unanimous ruling were Circuit Judges Thomas M. Reavley and Edward Leavy.
  The position of the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and many other 
  organizations and scientists is that incineration is the most dangerous 
  possible way to dispose of PCBs because the incineration process
  produces dioxins and furans, the most toxic chemicals known. 
  Organizations in Mexico and Canada have registered their opposition to
  PCB incineration—whether in their own countries or abroad—with their
  national governments.
   “Burning PCBs is dangerous and unnecessary no matter where you do it.
  There is no justice in polluting communities and the global environment
  with dioxin,” said Charlie Cray of Greenpeace. 
  Neil Carman of the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter emphasized, “Safer
  alternatives are becoming available that do not involve incineration and
  release of dioxin. In fact there are at least five alternative disposal
  technologies coming into the marketplace and some involve portable,
  non-incineration PCB remediation technology for use anywhere in the U.S.
  and abroad.”
  LaNell Anderson, a Sierra Club member and resident of Channelview,
  Texas, near the Deer Park ncinerator, summed it all up: “This decision
  makes me hopeful that justice will finally prevail.”
  Both the Mexican and Canadian borders were opened in 1996 to allow PCB
  importation for incineration in the US and now this practice will cease
  very quickly. PCB imports were also expected from many other foreign
  nations. Containment and safer disposal technologies will promote the
  safest approach to PCB remediation.
  Howard Fox of SCLDF argued the Sierra Club’s case in November. Several
  intervenors also filed opinions siding with the EPA including
  Environmental Technology Council, S.D. Myers, Inc., and Chemical Waste
  Management, Inc.
   °° Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a dangerous class of chemicals
  that bioaccumulate in the body and cause a range of adverse health
  effects including cancer, immune suppression, reproductive damage, birth
  defects, and fetal death.
  °°  Prenatal exposures to even very low amounts of PCBs can result in
  lower IQs, according to a study of 212 Michigan fifth graders who have
  been studied since birth by scientists at Wayne State University     in
  Detroit.  Mothers of the children had consumed contaminated fish from
  Lake Michigan.  Joseph L. Jacobson and Sandra W. Jacobson, “Intellectual
  Impairment in Children Exposed to Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Utero,”
  New England Journal of Medicine Vol. 335 No. 11, September 12, 1996,
  °°  PCBs accumulate in the environment and move toward the top of the
  food chain, contaminating fish, birds, and mammals, including humans.
  °°  PCBs are the only chemical that Congress singled out for phase-out
  under the Toxic Substances    Control Act (TSCA) of 1976.
  °°  TSCA requires that “no person many manufacture any polychlorinated
  biphenyl after two years after January 1, 1997.”   “Manufacture” is
  defined to include “import into the customs territory of the      
  United States.”
  °°  Commercial hazardous waste incinerators fully permitted under TSCA
  to burn PCBs are located at:
  Deer Park, Texas (Rollins, Inc.)
  Port Arthur, Texas (Chemical Waste Management)
  West Chester, Pennsylvania (Weston, Inc.)
  Coffeyville, Kansas (Aptus, Inc.)
  Aragonite, Utah (Aptus, Inc.)
  °°  PCBs, when incinerated, release dioxin (2,3,7,8 -
  tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or TCDD) and dioxin-like chemicals, the
  most toxic chemicals known. A small amount of unburned PCBs also
  °°  Like PCBs, dioxins cause a range of adverse health effects and
  °°  The EPA’s recent Dioxin Reassessment indicates that dioxin levels in
  the bodies and breast milk of the average American are already at levels
  of concern.
  °°  Dioxin (2,3,7,8 TCDD) is known to cause cancer at 5 parts per
  trillion in lab rats, and the EPA has known this fact since at least
  1979 according to court records.
  °°  Dioxin (TCDD) was recently classified as a known human carcinogen by
  a panel of 25 scientists  convened by the International Agency for
  Research on Cancer (IARC) during a February 1997 meeting at Lyon,
  France.  The IARC was established in 1965 by the World Health
  Organization.  Dioxin (TCDD) is  300,000 times more potent than DDT,
  which was banned in 1972.  The IARC panel took into account 
        1) “that TCDD causes cancer in multiple organs in experimental
        2) “that it has been shown to act in animals by a
  mechanism that is likely also to operate in humans;”  and 3) “that
  tissue concentrations  of TCDD are similar both in heavily exposed human
  populations in which an increased overall cancer risk was observed and
  in rats exposed to carcinogenic doses.”
  °°  Several alternative methods of PCB disposal that do not produce
  dioxins are under active development and are showing promise.
             modem:  512.462.0633