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E-M:/ Model resolution leads the way on PBT's - IJC work cited asimpetus

Enviro-Mich message from Tracey Easthope <tracey@ecocenter.org>

The resolution below, which could serve as a model for counties 
throughout the country, was passed in California.  Activists there 
tell us that the Great Lakes, particularly the work of the 
International Joint Commission, was part of the impetus which led to 
the resolution.  The IJC is referenced in the document.

This was passed unanimously by the Alameda County Board of Supervisor 
in northern California on 29 Jan. 2002.




Whereas, a group of pollutants known as Persistent, Bioaccumulative 
Toxins (PBTs) are toxic, persistent in the environment and accumulate 
in the food chain, and these characteristics, along with the ubiquity 
of PBTs in the worldwide environment, pose public and environmental 
health risks;

Whereas, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) 
has established a list of 12 priority PBTs, including dioxins, PCBs, 
mercury and its compounds, lead and others, some of which have been 
linked to increased cancer risk, harm to children, infants and the 
unborn, disorders of the immune, developmental, endocrine, hormonal, 
and reproductive systems, as well as other human health problems;

Whereas, US EPA's June 2000 reassessment of dioxins health effects 
estimates that the general public's exposures are near levels that 
may cause adverse health effects;

Whereas, County residents who consume fish from the Bay are at 
additional risk, as PBT contamination in fish reaches health advisory 
levels throughout the San Francisco Bay, and San Francisco Bay fish 
consumers are predominantly low income and people of color;

Whereas, low income people and people of color are more likely to 
live near a source of PBT pollution;

Whereas, workers often face disproportionately high exposures to 
toxic substances found in their work places;

Whereas, Certain PBTs have been linked to adverse effects on water 
quality and aquatic ecosystems, and the San Francisco Bay is listed 
by the US EPA as impaired by PBTs;

Whereas, PBTs have been detected in measurements of treated waste 
water discharged from pollution sources in the Bay Area and state and 
local water quality agencies may, as a result, come under a federal 
mandate to implement new local controls of these pollution sources;

Whereas, sources of new PBT pollution are varied and include 
industrial and commercial processes and products as well as 
residential activities and certain facilities that are PBT sources 
are of special concern for neighboring communities;
Whereas, other PBTs exist whose chemistry, sources, concentrations 
and health effects are as yet poorly understood or unknown, which may 
add to the toxic health effects of US EPA's priority PBTs, and for 
which no regulatory standards exist;
Whereas, respected expert associations and agencies including the 
California Medical Association, the American Public Health 
Association, the United Nations Environment Program, the 
International Joint Commission of the U.S. and Canadian governments, 
and The California Water Resources Control Board have agreed upon the 
need to reduce or eliminate PBTs in the environment;

Whereas, pollution prevention is recognized as the strategy most 
highly protective of public and environmental health and most 
effective in reducing and eliminating releases of PBTS, and 
cost-effective pollution prevention options as well as 
environmentally preferable treatment practices and technologies exist 
for many PBT sources;

Whereas, in 1991, the County of Alameda has expressed its support for 
such pollution prevention activities through the establishment of a 
County Service Area to address lead in the form of lead-based paint 

Whereas, PBT exposures can be reduced through procurement, design, 
operation, work practice and disposal decisions that reduce or 
eliminate releases of PBTs;

Whereas, exposure to PBTs is a clear threat to public and 
environmental health, local PBT contamination has a disproportionate 
impact on children, low-income and minority communities,  PBT 
exposure affects all residents of the County of Alameda and the Bay 
Area; and pollution prevention strategies exist that can be 
implemented by County government and by others within the County of 

Now Therefore, be it:

Resolved, that the County of Alameda considers PBT pollution 
prevention a high priority for action to protect public and 
environmental health, and intends by this resolution to encourage the 
reduction and where feasible, the elimination of PBT emissions; and 
be it

Further Resolved, that the County of Alameda intends to implement PBT 
pollution prevention practices wherever practicable in County 
operations and will promote such pollution prevention practices in 
County-based facilities and health care institutions, other 
government facilities, businesses and households in the County; and 
be it

Further Resolved, that the County of Alameda establishes the Alameda 
County PBT Committee with the mission to advise and make 
recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and to the agencies on 
PBT pollution prevention policies and practices; and be it

Further Resolved, that the PBT Committee shall be chaired by the 
Director or designee of the Environmental Health Department and 
composed of the Directors or designees of the Public Works Agency, 
General Services Agency, the Fire Department and other appropriate 
county offices, and shall seek the participation of the Alameda 
County Medical Center, the Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention 
Program, which shall meet as needed and shall seek the participation 
of stakeholder groups; and be it

Further Resolved, that the County of Alameda will work with other 
government agencies, industry and the public on pollution prevention 
efforts to protect environmental and public health and to implement 
plans to reduce PBT releases at their sources; and be it

Further Resolved, that the County of Alameda is committed to 
assisting businesses in obtaining technical and financial assistance 
for the reduction and where feasible, the elimination of PBTs; and be 

Further Resolved, that the County of Alameda is committed to 
protecting workers' jobs and therefore will pursue PBT reduction 
practices that do not cause workers to become unemployed and 
relocated; and be it

Further Resolved, that the County of Alameda forwards this 
resolution, and encourages other Bay Area counties and cities to 
adopt a similar resolution.

AYES-  Supervisors Carson, Lai-Bitker, Miley,Steele, & President Haggerty - 5
NOES-  None
R. Bailey, Deputy Clerk  of the Board of  Supervisors,
County of Alameda, California

Approved as to Form by
Tamara M. Wiggins
County Counsel

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