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E-M:/ EPA acts of Persistent Wastewater Discharges



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 15:34:47 -0500 (EST)
Reply-To: epa-press@valley.rtpnc.epa.gov
Originator: epa-press@unixmail.rtpnc.epa.gov
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From: GROUP PRESS 202-260-4355 <PRESS@epamail.epa.gov>
To: Multiple recipients of list <epa-press@valley.rtpnc.epa.gov>
Subject: EPA TO REDUCE TOXIC CHEMICALS DISCHARGED INTO THE GREAT LAKES
X-Comment: U.S. EPA Press Releases


EPA TO REDUCE TOXIC CHEMICALS DISCHARGES INTO THE G. LAKES/SCROLL

FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, NOV. 2, 2000

EPA TO REDUCE TOXIC CHEMICALS DISCHARGED INTO THE GREAT LAKES

In a major action to protect the Great Lakes and the public
health of those who live near them, U.S. EPA Administrator Carol M.
Browner today took final action to ban annually up to 700,000 toxic
pounds of chemicals that are discharged into the Great Lakes and that
accumulate in fish and wildlife, including mercury, dioxin, PCB's and
pesticides. Mercury discharges alone will be reduced by up to 90
percent. EPA also has committed to develop a national regulation for
mixing zones in 2001, based on the action in the Great Lakes today.

Today's action specifically bans the discharge of the most toxic
chemicals through "mixing zones." Mixing zones refer to the long-used
practice of disposing of many toxic chemicals at a specific point on a
body of water under the theory that their dilution in surrounding
waters justifies less protective discharge standards within the mixing
zone. In fact, it has been known for some time that these toxic
discharges actually build up and threaten public health, aquatic life
and wildlife.

"The Great Lakes rank among the world's most important natural
treasures," said Browner. "Today's action will dramatically reduce
the toxic chemicals that threaten those waters. It will protect the
health of millions of American families, it will guard the purity of
their drinking water, and it will help make safer the fish they eat.

The solution to pollution is not dilution. And that is why the time
has come to phase out the practice of 'mixing zones' in the Great
Lakes."

EPA estimates that, of the approximately 600 major industrial
and municipal facilities with disposal permits in the Great Lake
basin, about half discharge toxic bioaccumulative chemicals of concern
into mixing zones. These mixing zones will be phased out over a ten-
year period in a cost-effective manner. For new discharges, mixing
zones will be prohibited immediately.

The rule authorizes limited exceptions for existing dischargers
who prove that they have already reduced their discharge of toxic
bioaccumulative chemicals as much as possible, and that further
requirements are not technically feasible or cost effective.
Dischargers must continue to meet water quality standards while
covered by an exception, and must prove they continue to be eligible
for the exception every 5 years.

Three of the Great Lakes States-New York, Ohio and
Pennsylvania-will have 18 months to adopt the rule. Five of the eight
Great Lakes states-Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and
Wisconsin-already prohibit mixing zones in the Great Lakes.

EPA has begun work on a proposal for 2001 to regulate mixing
zones for the rest of the country. Several states outside the Great
Lakes have expressed interest in voluntary prohibition of mixing
zones.

More information is available on EPA's Office of Water home page
at: http://www.epa.gov/ow , under "What's New."

R-167###


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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permits/Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)
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