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National Sediment Inventory Released

>Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 18:14:24 -0500
>From: Merritt Frey <cleanwaternt@igc.org>
>Organization: Clean Water Network
>Reply-To: cleanwaternt@igc.org
>Sender: owner-cleanwater-info@igc.apc.org
>Subject: National Sediment Inventory Released
>To: cleanwater-info@igc.org
>Content-Length: 5351
>We're forwarding an update from the Coast Alliance on the national
>sediment inventory.  For more information, contact the Coast Alliance at 
>--CWN staff
>Fellow clean water/clean sediments fans,
>For your information, the Coast Alliance has pulled together a press
>release to respond to EPA's release of the long-awaited national
>sediment inventory. They list 96 waterways that are most severely
>If any local groups are interested in issuing a similar release, please
>feel free to use all or part of what follows. Also, for the list of
>impacted waterways, you can check EPA's web page
>(http://www.epa.gov/OST/Events/sedlist.html) or call Nevette at Coast
>Alliance (202) 546-9554. Also, feel free to list Nevette or myself as
>The New York Times has already written on the issue, but we don't think
>it has been picked up in any local markets so far.
>Jackie Savitz
>Environmental Groups Applaud EPA's Sediment Inventory Report Calls for
>Pollution Prevention and Cleanup
>WASHINGTON-- Coastal groups around the country today applauded the
>Environmental Protection Agency's release of the long-awaited report on
>toxic contamination in sediments.  The report, a three volume inventory
>of contaminated sediments was requested by Congress in 1992, and was
>released late last week, three years behind schedule.
>Pollution released into rivers, lakes, bays and estuaries often settles
>onto the mud that lines these waterbodies. Fish live and feed on or in
>these muds, and take-up many of the contaminants. According to the EPA,
>consumption of contaminated fish is a major source of human exposure to
>toxic chemicals such as mercury and dioxin.
>Besides listing water-bodies that are most impacted by contaminants, the
>inventory also includes the following findings:
>* Roughly 37 million pounds of chemicals are discharged by point sources
>(factories and power plants and sewage treatment plants) each year.
>* The most signifcant source of toxic pollutants to sediment are sewage
>treatment plants, which receive toxic wastes from industrial facilities.
>* Following sewage treatment plants, other major sources are organic
>chemical manufacturers, pulp and paper industries, and metal products
>and machinery companies, in that order.
>* Chemicals with characteristics that make them likely to contaminate
>sediments include the pesticides toxaphene and hexachlorobenzene,
>silver, dioxin, dichlorobenzidine and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's).
>* The areas most likely to have polluted sediments from point sources
>include the mid-Atlantic coast, southern piedmont, Great Lakes, Ohio
>Valley, California coast and northwestern Washington state.
>"Toxics in America's sediments are both a legacy of the industrial age,
>and an ongoing problem" said Beth Milleman, an expert on sediment
>contamination and former Executive Director of the Coast Alliance. "This
>report shows that our waters won't be safe to fish and swim in until we
>address the problem from the bottom up, starting with the sediments
>which line all of our waterways."
>"The site inventory shows that in many areas, sediments are beyond safe
>levels of contamination, making fish consumption dangerous" said
>Jacqueline Savitz, a toxicologist, and Executive Director of the Coast
>Alliance. "The need for pollution prevention and criteria for assessing
>sediment contamination has never been more clear."
>A coalition of environmental organizations led by the Coast Alliance has
>been encouraging EPA to release the Inventory for nearly two years. In
>early December, the Alliance placed the Inventory's release as a top
>priority, and asked that it be released immediately. "This is a roadmap
>and a major milestone on the road to clean sediments and safe fish,"
>Savitz added. "The next steps will be to finalize criteria for assessing
>the toxicity of sediments, and for Congress to use this new report as a
>guide to start cleaning them up."
>The Coast Alliance is an environmental research and education
>organization, dedicated to protecting ocean resources and the nation's
>four coasts. The Alliance coordinates a national network of more than
>300 grassroots organizations working to prevent water pollution and to
>protect coastal areas.
>Copies of the EPA report can be obtained by calling NCES 800 490 9198.
>Copies of the Coast Alliance's 1996 Citizen's Summary can be obtained by
>calling 202-546-9554.
>This message was sent by the Clean Water Network.  If you would
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>Kathy Nemsick           I       Merritt Frey
>National Coordinator    I       Outreach Coordinator
>202-289-2395            I       202-289-2421
Environmental Assoc. for Great Lakes Education
394 Lake Ave. South, #308
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 726-1828
email: lakes@cp.duluth.mn.us
Debbie Ortman and Jan Conley
Check out our new web sites:
EAGLE: http://www.cp.duluth.mn.us/~lakes/eagle.html
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