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Re: E-M:/ TRI Deficiency



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Enviro-Mich message from John Rebers <jrebers@nmu.edu>
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Julie - here's my $.02 worth - pounds emitted can be measured with a fair
degree of certainty. If you know how many tons of coal are burned in a
power plant, you can make a reasonable estimate of the pounds of mercury
emitted into the air. In other cases, instruments are available to directly
measure the concentration of a compound emitted as it passes from the
stack. On the other hand, risk measurement has a lot of uncertainties. Who
decides how risky the 300 lbs of mercury emitted by Irresponsible Power,
Inc. are? There are a lot of factors between emission and human exposure
that are uncertain, and uncertainty about exposure routes, debate about
human health effects, etc. I'd rather trust the companies to report
something that can be measured objectively, like pounds of toxins, and
leave the subjective and important decisions about relative risks to others.

Note - TRI data and it's interpretation is relevant to efforts in Michigan
to use this data.

At 03:26 PM 10/23/98 -0700, you wrote:
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>Enviro-Mich message from MUCC <mucc@mucc.org>
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>
>Alex and others:
>
>I am writing my master's thesis on the deficiencies of the Toxic Release
>Inventory, specifically the futility of reporting pounds of emissions
>instead of risk.  I plan to show that the purpose for enacting EPCRA and
>TRI was to inform citizens of the health risks in their community due to
>industry, and that the TRI fails to meet this requirement because pounds
>emitted does not equal risk.
>
>I was wondering if you had any literature on this topic.
>
>Thanks,
>
>Julie Metty
>131 West South Street
>Williamston, MI 48895
>517/346-6452
>
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John Rebers
Department of Biology
1401 Presque Isle Avenues
Northern Michigan University
Marquette, MI  49855
906-227-1585 (office)
906-228-3617 (home)
906-227-1063 (FAX)
e-mail address: jrebers@nmu.edu

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