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OPPT NEWSBREAK Monday, 04 January 1999

OPPT NEWSBREAK                          Monday, 04 January 1999

                 Today's "Toxic News for the Net"
           Brought to you by the OPPTS Chemical Library


"Blast Cuts Gas Service In the Pacific Northwest [National News
Briefs]."  New York Times, 04 Jan 99, A11. 
     The explosion of an underground pipeline Saturday left nearly
     10,000 people in northeastern Oregon and southeastern
     Washington without natural gas service.  The blast occurred on
     the Umatilla Indian Reservation and resulted in no injuries. 
     West of Walla Walla, Washington, the Red Cross opened a
     shelter.  Repairs are expected to take three days. 

"Cambodia Town's 'Luck' Leaves Illness in Its Wake."  New York
Times, 04 Jan 99, A3. 
     Last week, Cambodian soldiers in Sihanoukville began sealing
     hazardous waste from Taiwan in barrels to return to Taiwan. 
     Testing of the ``compressed ash" from Formosa Plastics Corp.
     showed high levels of mercury.  Villagers are reporting
     symptoms including headaches, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. 
     They unknowingly exposed themselves to the toxics in the waste
     pile, believing it only to be a lucky, unexpected source from
     which to salvage plastic bags and strings to use in their
     homes. The waste has been accessible for one month.  Some
     villagers of Bet Trang, who were ordered to evacuate, say they
     have not been tested or treated.  Soldiers and port workers
     who were tested showed no evidence of poisoning.  Villagers,
     waiting on the Government's okay to return to Bet Trang,
     continue to report symptoms, none of which have been
     positively linked to waste exposure. 

"Cost of Replacing Underground Tanks Sinks Some Gas Stations." 
Washington Post, 04 Jan 99, B1, B5. 
     EPA's December 22, 1998 deadline for upgrading or replacing
     underground storage tanks with significant leak potential has
     passed.  EPA spokeswoman, Ruth Podems, says enforcement of the
     1988 regulation will first focus on the compliance or fining
     of large companies.  Meanwhile, mom-and-pop run gas stations
     have been closing in Western Maryland and on the Eastern
     Shore, unable to finance improvement or replacement, despite
     loan programs offered by many states.  A spokesman for the CBM
     Construction Co. says that many of the tank replacements are
     underway in Northern Virginia. 


"Gas From Grill Sickens 6 in Chillum Home."  Washington Post, 04
Jan 99, B5. 
     Using a charcoal grill to produce heat in their home resulted
     in the hospitalization of six people.  Blood tests revealed
     that they all were suffering from high levels of carbon
     monoxide in their blood.  Conditions of the victims is not

"Explosion Destroys Buildings in Wythe County [Metro In Brief]." 
Washington Post, 04 Jan 99, B3. 
     No injuries were reported from the explosion of a natural gas
     line yesterday in Wytheville, Virginia.  However, the
     resulting fire destroyed two buildings and suspended
     electrical and gas service to "several thousand people".  A
     leak in the United Cities Gas line, transporting gas from East
     Tennessee Natural Gas and Virginia Gas preceded the explosion. 
     Judy Moss, spokesperson for United Cities said that company
     officials are expected to complete a bypass line today.

                            INTER ALIA

"Nanny of the Year [Inside the Beltway]."  Washington Times, 4
January 99, A6. 
     The Science & Environmental Policy Project, which ``promotes
     science--not hype" said it was "`pleasantly surprised' to now
     find an ally in the Guest Choice Network, a nationwide
     coalition of food service and beverage companies committed to
     providing a full menu of dining choices."  Guest Choice has
     announced its 1998 "`Nanny of the Year'" awards (``nannies"
     are ``a growing fraternity of food cops, health care
     enforcers, vegetarian activists and meddling bureaucrats who
     know what's best for you").  Among the winners of the Public
     Disservice Awards was the Department of Transportation ``for
     ordering commercial airlines to create peanut-free buffer
     zones to protect peanut-allergy sufferers, despite
     acknowledging that to suffer an allergic reaction, one must
     actually eat a peanut."  ABC News Online was awarded a Power
     of The Press Award ``for reporting that perfumes can be toxic
     to the liver and kidneys and that they may trigger migraines
     and asthma in some people, without offering a shred of

* All items, unless indicated otherwise, are available at the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxics Substances (OPPTS)
Chemical Library
Northeast Mall, Room B606 (Mailcode 7407)
Washington, D.C. 20460
(202) 260-3944; FAX x4659;
e-mail for comments: 
(Due to copyright restrictions, the library cannot provide
photocopies of articles.)

* Viewpoints expressed in the above articles do not necessarily
reflect EPA policy.  Mention of products does not indicate

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