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EPA's statement on Pulp/Paper cluster rule

  Here is what EPA has to say about their cluster rule....looks
  like they're anticipating criticism with a "pre-emptive" 
  spin on their PR....
       The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a rule that 
  will virtually eliminate dioxin discharges into waterways and reduce 
  many other toxic pollutants into air and water from the nation's pulp 
  and paper mills that produce bleached paper products.  This action 
  will protect the health of millions of American families who live near 
  pulp and paper mills.
       EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner said, "Today we are taking 
  significant steps to protect the health of millions of American 
  families from contaminated air and water from pulp and paper mills.  
  This action puts us well on our way to cleaning up more than 70 rivers 
  and streams throughout the nation." 
       Today's action for pulping and bleaching mills will result in:
         A 96 percent reduction in dioxin, resulting in undetectable 
  levels to waterways; 
         A nearly 60 percent reduction in toxic air pollutants, equal 
  to160,000 tons annually.   Volatile organic compounds, precursors to 
  smog, and odor-causing sulfur emissions will be reduced by nearly 
  half.  Particulate matter will be cut by 37 percent;
         The expedited cleanup of 73 rivers and streams around the 
  nation due to reductions in discharges of toxic pollutants.
       To encourage individual mills to achieve even greater reductions 
  beyond the requirements of the rules, EPA is setting up a first-ever, 
  innovative voluntary incentives program.  Mills volunteering for the 
  program will be subject to more stringent reductions, but, in return, 
  receive rewards for their participation, such as additional compliance 
       Today's rule also adds flexibility because it is  a coordinated, 
  simultaneous effort under both the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air 
  Act that allows mills to select the best combination of pollution 
  prevention and control technologies to achieve pollution reductions.  
       Dioxins can cause cancer, reproductive effects, immune response 
  and skin disorders.  One way dioxins are produced is by the addition 
  of chlorine to the pulp and bleaching process.  The new rule announced 
  today will eliminate the use of elemental chlorine in the bleaching 
       Approximately, l55 pulp and paper mills around the country will 
  be affected by the air pollution controls.  The rule applies to paper 
  and paperboard-producing mills, referred to in the industry as the 
  kraft, soda, sulfite, and semi-chemical mills.  Of those 155 mills, 96 
  that bleach pulp to make paper are also affected by the water 
  discharge limits.     	 
       Today's rule will eliminate, over time, all dioxin-based fish 
  advisories that have been attributed to the mills, particularly 
  benefiting subsistence fishers who depend primarily on fish for food. 
       EPA estimates the industry will need to invest approximately $1.8 
  billion in capital expenditures to be in compliance with these 
  combined rules.  Other proposed alternatives would have cost the 
  industry an additional billion dollars or more. 
        The rules and additional information are available on the 
  Internet at: http://www.epa.gov/OST/pulppaper.  The rules are expected 
  to be published in the Federal Register in mid-January.               
  R-164	       	    	      ###