Environmental Health News

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  • Garden Mosaics projects promote science education while connecting young and old people as they work together in local gardens.
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  • In August 2002, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board voted to ban soft drinks from all of the district’s schools

#2 - Group Sues EPA A Second Time To Control Lead In NJ's Air, 07-Dec-1986

For the second time, the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national
environmental organization, has sued the US Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) for failing to meet deadlines for controlling lead
emissions in NJ. In 1982, the organization sued the EPA for missing the
1980 deadline set by the Clean Air Act and a new deadline was set for
1984. NJ is one of 4 states (NJ, AL, IN, and NE) that do not have
approved plans for lead. One source, The U.S. Metals Refining Company,
a Carteret smelter, has held up approval for a plan in NJ. The plant
exceeds ambient air standards for lead even when not in operation
because large quantities of lead have settled on the ground. The
smelter has been the subject of 6 years of consent orders and a
$215,300 fine last winter. The company plans to permanently close the
smelter in Oct. 1986 and has been ordered to study the steps needed to
bring lead emissions down to acceptable levels.

--Peter Montague

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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION FINES TMI $40,000 FOR VIOLATIONS

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently fined the
operator of the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant (PA)
$40,000 for violating government rules for cleaning up debris from the
1979 accident at the plant. According to the director of the NRC's
Office of Inspection and Enforcement, the violation, involving
equipment on a crane, was another, more serious example of previous
failures to follow government specifications. The error was put in the
third most serious of five categories.

--Peter Montague

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EPA PULLS LICENSE OF PESTICIDE ORIGINALLY OK'D ON PHONY DATA

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued emergency orders
barring the sale or use of the widely used pesticide, dinoseb, because
the chemical causes "a very serious risk" of birth defects. Between 7
million to 11 million pounds of dinoseb is sprayed each year as a weed
killer on soybeans, cotton, potatoes, peanuts, alfalfa, snap beans,
peas, grapes, almonds and other crops. The agency found that there is a
threat of birth defects to pregnant field workers exposed to the
chemical and that dinoseb can cause sterility in exposed men. An
estimated 45,000 workers, including 3,000 women are exposed to dinoseb.
Uniroyal Chemical Company, one of the producers of dinoseb, said the
company felt it was safe when used as directed on the label, but that
they were aware of, but had not yet seen, the new EPA studies on health
effects. A spokesman for Uniroyal said his company planned to ask the
EPA for a hearing on its decision and hoped it could keep dinoseb on
the market after changing the label. Dinoseb was one of hundreds of
pesticides permitted on the market on the basis of safety tests
conducted by Industrial Bio-Test Laboratory, a concern later found to
have submitted many flawed or fraudulent reports on its procedures and
results.

--Peter Montague

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PIONEERING EFFORT BEGINS IN NJ, TO CONTROL NON-POINT-SOURCE POLLUTANTS
IN NAVESINK RIVER

Federal, state and local agencies are joining forces in an effort to
clean up the Navesink River in northeastern Monmouth County, NJ. It is
the first attempt at controlling nonpoint source runoff--water
pollution from sources other than discharge pipes. The Navesink has no
municipal or industrial discharges, instead, runoff--from city and
suburban storm drains and nearby horse farms--pollutes the river. Some
horses are allowed to roam into streams in the watershed and piles of
manure wash into the Navesink's tributaries. Storm runoff can carry
with it dog and cat waste. Boating wastes may be a secondary source of
pollution. The Navesink project will concentrate on trying to change
public habits that add to the nonpoint pollution in the river.

--Peter Montague

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SULFUR FROM SMELTER IN MEXICO BRINGS ACID RAIN TO WESTERN U.S.

According to spokesmen for the Environmental Defense Fund, (EDF) sulfur
emissions from the recently opened smelter in Nacozari, Mexico, across
the border from AZ, will boost the acids in western rainfall back to a
level known to damage the environment. Sulfur dioxide emissions in the
West, mostly from copper smelters in AZ and other southwestern states,
peaked in 1981 and then fell drastically with the lagging copper
market. The level of acidity in rain hundreds of miles downwind in the
Rocky Mountains also fell. The Mexican government has agreed to place
costly pollution controls on the Nacozari plant by 1988 and the US has
imposed controls on American smelters. The spokesmen said when all the
planned controls are in place, sulfur dioxide emissions in the
Southwest will decline markedly.

--Peter Montague

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EPA SEEKS CONTROL OVER WOOD STOVES, CITING HEALTH RISKS FROM CANCEROUS
AIR POLLUTION

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that it will propose
rules to limit emissions from new wood burning stoves because smoke
from wood burning stoves is a significant source of air pollution (15%)
in the nation and emits compounds that could cause cancer. The agency
estimated that 12 million wood stoves were now in use and 800,000 more
were being sold each year.

--Peter Montague

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Descriptor terms: nuclear regulatory commission; fines; tmi;
enforcement; compliance; remedial action; nuclear power; epa;
emissions; wood stoves, air pollution; cancer; limits; regulations;
regulation; bans; pesticides; birth defects; dinoseb; industrial
biotest laboratory; uniroyal chemical company; testing; fraud; food
safety; agriculture; nj; navesink river, monmouth county, nj; water
pollution; non-point sources; epa; al; in; ne; nrdc; lawsuits;
emissions; lead; clean air act; us metals refining company; az;
smelting; sulfur; sulfur dioxide; acid rain; edf; criteria; studies;