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Industry Must Report Deadly Dioxin Under
Community Right To Know Law. EPA proposal
grants petition by Oil Refinery Network


Date sent:        05 May 1997 15:56:48
Send reply to:    Conference "env.justice" 
From:             macleana@RTK.NET
Subject:          DIOXIN VICTORY Press release!
To:               Recipients of conference 

From: Alair MacLean 
  RTK.NET Mail 291237  May  5 17:11:27 1997
Forwarded Message 
  RTK.NET Mail 291231  May  5 17:00:43 1997

Dear Oil Refinery Activists,

The EPA has granted our petition to add Dioxin to TRI list! This will be in the Federal Register this week. Here is a draft release to send out to target your local Dioxin emitters--refineries, incinerators!

GO FOR IT! and send us the clips!

Denny Larson, CBE
415-243-8373, ext. 212

--DRAFT FOR YOUR USE--PLEASE ADAPT & RELEASE LOCALLY--

For immediate release Tuesday, May 6, 1997

For more information contact Denny Larson, CBE/NORAN: 415/ 243-8373, ext 212 (ADD YOUR NAME & PHONE NUMBER).

Industry Must Report Deadly Dioxin Under Community Right To Know Law EPA proposal grants petition by Oil Refinery Network

Industries across the country will be required to report releases of the most toxic pollutant ever invented for the first time under federal right-to-know laws, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed today as it granted a dioxin petition filed by Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) of California on behalf of oil refinery communities. CBE coordinates the National Oil Refinery Action Network (NORAN) which unites communities, workers, shareholdersThe action comes only a week before a first-ever series of public meetings to bring world-class independent scientists together with government, community members and health care workers around a response to the dioxin threat in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"Every day another industrial neighbor, mother, fisherman, doctor, and nurse asks why dioxin is already in us at dangerous levels, and when solutions to stop exposing us to this deadly by-product will be put in place." said Denny Larson of CBE. "EPA took a big step toward telling us where dioxin comes from - now let's talk about making it stop."

Dioxin is the common name for a group of twenty-eight chemicals that are either banned or are unwanted by-products of recent manufacturing methods using chlorine. It is "one of the most, if not the most, potent reproductive/developmental toxicant known" according to EPA's response to CBE's petition. Cancer, birth defects, reproductive effects including endometriosis, slow learning, immunological effects and other serious health problems have been linked to dioxin exposure. A 1994 EPA draft health assessment concluded that dioxin levels already present in the average American's body are at or near levels which may cause some of these effects.

In San Francisco Bay, health warnings are in effect for dioxin contamination of fish that many low income families rely upon for food, harbor seals have extremely high levels of PCBs (a class of chemicals which includes some dioxin like compounds) in their blood, and monitoring shows that significant amounts of dioxin still enter the Bay from many sources. Twenty-seven sources of ongoing dioxin emissions have been identified in the Bay Area.

EPA's proposal to grant CBE's petition will be published in the Federal Register in about one week, and was received by CBE yesterday. In it the agency proposes to add all twenty-eight chemicals with dioxin like toxicity to the list of toxics for which industries must report releases to air, water and land in the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act. However, EPA postponed action to revise a loophole exempting facilities which release less than 10,000 pounds of dioxin per year. EPA said in 1994 that all sources released only 7 to 57 pounds, and now seeks comment on this issue.

EPA's action responded to a petition by CBE requesting that it require petroleum refineries nationwide to report how much dioxin they release. The petition was filed on behalf of people who live near refineries in many parts of the country, after CBE and the National Oil Refinery Action Network presented new findings that refineries are a dioxin source during the Citizens Conference on Dioxin in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in March, 1996. At that time, 350 Network members, refinery neighbors and others from around the country sent a letter to President Clinton seeking refinery dioxin testing. The petition was filed by CBE in August, 1996 following discussions with EPA officials. EPA was required by law to respond within 180 days.

Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) is a not-for-profit multiracial environmental group with 7,500 California members. CBE helps people who are threatened by industrial pollution in our urban communities to gain more power for improving our health and environment, using science, law and community organizing. The National Oil Refinery Action Network (NORAN) is a project of CBE that unites communities, workers, responsible shareholders, and others working to make oil industry cleaner and safer.

END

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Source: RTK Net, Washington DC

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