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PCBs burned in the South make their way up to the Great Lakes

  PCBs and Houston Incinerators
  **ChemWaste at Port Arthur and Rollins at Deer Park brought millions of
  pounds of PCBs Mexico and Canada into the US in June. Neil Carmon, Air
  Quality Chair for the Lone Star Chapter, believes these were nearly pure
  PCBs and dielectric fluids.
  What will happen? Incineration releases PCBs, since the process is not
  perfect. The by-product is dioxin, known to have far-reaching lethal
  effects on human health. Two incinerators on either side of the Houston
  urban area will have a significant impact on Houston air quality.
  Burning 500 million pounds at 99.9999% destruction removal equivalence
  (DRE) may release 5,000 pounds of PCBs if the dielectric fluid is one
  million parts per million; 3,750 pounds of PCBs released at 750,000 ppm,
  and 2,500 pounds PCBs at 500,000 ppm PCBs. Dielectric fluids range from
  50% - 100% pure PCBs (or 500,000 - 1,000,000 ppm). We do not need any
  more PCBs in the air, water, food chain or ecosystems. Incineration will
  certainly release PCBs since it ain't perfect, and the potential is for
  far more PCBs to be released than this conservative calculation.
  99.99999% is based upon a Trial Burn using a surrogate chlorinated
  compound-NOT PCBs-and this is pie in the sky as far as incineration
  FACT SHEET And key points. Greenpeace USA/Mexico and other folks help
  draft the following consensus FACT SHEET and key points:
  Fact Sheet
  PCB Incineration: A Risk to Community Health and the Environment
  Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a dangerous class of chemicals
  which bioaccumulate in the body and cause a range of adverse health
  effects, including cancer, immune suppression, reproductive damage,
  birth defects, and fetal death. PCBs also accumulate in the environment
  and move toward the top of the food chain, contaminating fish, birds,
  and mammals, including humans. Because of the extreme toxicity of PCBs
  and their persistence in the environment, the Toxic Substances Control
  Act (TSCA) was passed by Congress in 1974; it outlawed the manufacture
  and import of PCBs and developed a plan for the phaseout of PCBs in
  industrial processes. The Clinton Administration recently lifted the ban
  on the importation of PCBs, giving the faltering incineration industry
  new PCB fodder for its flames. Now, unlimited quantities of PCBs can be
  imported and burned from any country in the world. This PCB importation
  is occurring just as new, promising non-incineration technologies for
  PCBs are becoming available and as the United States is in negotiation
  with other countries to reduce the production, formation, and release of
  persistent organic pollutants into the global commons.
  In the U.S., PCBs have been disposed of primarily by incineration. When
  PCBs are burned, they create dioxin, a potent toxic chemical with a wide
  variety of adverse health effects. A recent EPA report states that the
  average body burdens of dioxins and PCBs among U.S. citizens are already
  sufficient to place all of use at or near those levels at which human
  health effects are known to occur. Because of their danger, PCBs are
  incinerated at facilities that can purportedly achieve a 99.9999%
  destruction removal equivalence (DRE). However, this DRE is not measured
  during daily, routine operations when actual PCBs are being burned,
  instead they are measured during a one-time-only "trial burn" of
  selected substitute chemicals under carefully controlled conditions.
  The Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board expressed
  concern about this saying: "Research on (incinerator) performance has
  occurred only under optimal burn conditions and sampling has, on
  occasion, been discontinued during upset conditions, which take place
  with unknown frequency. Even relatively short-term operation of
  incinerators in upset conditions can greatly increase the total
  incinerator emitted loadings to the environment."
  There are five incinerators permitted under TSCA to burn PCBs. They are
  Aptus, Inc. in Coffeyville, Kansas and Aragonite, Utah, Chemical Waste
  management in Port Arthur, Texas, Rollins, Inc. in Deer Park, Texas and
  Weston, Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The health threats to the
  local communities surrounding these incinerators are great, but other
  areas of the country are threatened as well. A report released last year
  by the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems concludes that
  emissions from incinerators in Texas, Florida, Utah, and Louisiana are
  migrating long distances and contaminating the Great Lakes. Indeed,
  scientists have found that dioxin and PCBs are found at extremely high
  levels in the breast milk of Inuit women of northern Quebec, hundreds of
  miles from the nearest known source.
  While incinerator stack emissions are a dire concern, fugitive
  emissions, chemicals which escape during transportation, storage, and
  processing, may be an even greater problem. The EPA Science Advisory
  Board cautions that "...fugitive emissions and accidental spills may
  release as much or more toxic material to the environment than the
  direct emissions from incomplete waste incineration." These emissions
  emanate from leaky valves, vented storage tanks, tank transfers, and
  spills. For example, in Canada, one PCB incineration facility is
  estimated to have released 75 pounds of PCBs into the environment during
  1994. Fugitive emissions account for more than 98 percent of this total
  PCB release. 
  By their very nature, PCBs are difficult to burn. They are thermally
  stable, resistant to oxidation, acids, bases and other chemical agents
  and have excellent heat conducting properties. This is why they are used
  in electric transformers and capacitors.
  There are viable alternatives to PCB incineration. In fact, some
  countries have rejected incineration altogether as a means of hazardous
  waste disposal. For example Australia relies on the Eli Eco-Logic
  hydrogenation process, which was developed in Canada, and on
  base-catalyzed dechlorination, which was developed in the U.S. In the
  non-incineration remediation methods which are also in use include
  base-catalytic dechlorination, super-critical water oxidation, and
  mediated electro-chemical oxidation. In fact, EPA just approved the
  first portable, non-incineration PCB remediation technology for use
  anywhere in the U.S. in mid-March.
  PCBs, dioxin, and DDT are long-lived toxic chemicals known as persistent
  organic pollutants (POPs). Because of their toxicity and persistence in
  the environment, they have become the subject of international
  negotiations. In October 1995, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. agreed to
  work jointly to address POPs. PCBs were the first selected chemical by
  the Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC). In January 1996, the
  list was expanded to include mercury, DDT, and chlordane. In the future,
  the CEC will extend the action plan to include all priority pollutants
  targeted by the United Nations Environment Program. Last November, more
  than 100 countries agreed to take international action to develop a
  global, legally binding instrument to ban the manufacture, use, and
  trade of POPs, which include dioxin and PCBs. That commitment was
  reaffirmed at a recent meeting in Canberra, Australia where countries
  called for immediate action, stating that no additional research is
  Action does not mean incineration, or other technologies that increase
  the release of dioxin and PCBs. Therefore, the U.S. should not be
  encouraging policies which promote the release of dioxin and PCBs into
  the environment. The importation and incineration of PCBs will result in
  higher PCB and dioxin exposures for the U.S. population, which is
  already overburdened. Importation will inevitably lead to greater
  exposures for the communities along the transport routes and those
  living near the incinerators. Appropriate on-site disposal, using
  non-incineration technologies, can minimize, to the greater extent
  possible, exposures for everyone.
  Key Facts about importing PCBs for incineration
       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. 
       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 may manufacture any polychlorinated
  biphenyl after two years after January 1, 1977." "Manufacture" is
  defined to include "import into the customs territory of the United
       Incinerators permitted under TSCA to burn PCBs are located at: 
            Coffeyville, Kansas (Aptus, Inc.) 
            Aragonite, Utah (Aptus, Inc.) 
            Port Arthur, Texas (Chemical Waste Management) 
            Deer Park, Texas (Rollins, Inc.) 
            West Chester, Pennsylvania (Weston, Inc.) 
       PCBs, when incinerated, release dioxin (including the most deadly
  dioxin called 2,3,7,8 -tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or TCDD) and
  dioxin-like chemicals, the most toxic chemicals known. 
       Like PCBs, dioxins cause a range of adverse health effects and
  bioaccumulate. 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.Several alternative methods of PCB disposal
  that do not produce dioxins are under active development and are showing
  promise. **