GreenYes Digest V97 #56

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Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:58:49 -0500

GreenYes Digest Sun, 16 Mar 97 Volume 97 : Issue 56

Today's Topics:
(Fwd) another subject
Atlanta area environmental practices?
GreenYes Digest V97 #55

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Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 17:07:46 +0600
From: "John Reindl 608-267-8815" <>
Subject: (Fwd) another subject

Dear List Members -

Bob Kirby of the Clean Washington Center is looking for information on
case studies on the use of recovered glass as a construction aggregate.

I consider Bob the foremost expert on the technical aspects of
recycling glass for non-container uses. Bob and his organization - the
Clean Washington Center -- are a fountain of information on glass
recycling. I strongly urge anyone who can send him information
to do so at his mail address below:

Thanks much!!

John Reindl, Dane County, WI

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Bob Kirby ( wrote in part:

"Case studies in glass aggregate"

We are going to be producing a report of case studies in the use of
recycled glass as a construction aggregate. The case studies will be in
a standard format, including site, application, quantity, specifications,
contact names, sources, processing, gradation, etc.

We'll be documenting six projects in the State of Washington and at least
three outside the state. The in-state projects are really not a problem,
since the use has become fairly common here. We're looking for good
projects outside of Washington. We would like a range of uses under
the general category of "construction aggregate," e.g. road base,
drainage blanket, utility trench fill, retaining wall backfill, etc. I know of
one well-documented project in Oberlin, Ohio.

Please let me know if you know of well-documented projects using glass
in construction applications (no glassphalt, please). We need real, not
speculative, uses.

Also, this is not meant to be a discussion about economics. We have
found that to be a completely local issue, dependent upon sources,
geography, solid waste tip fees, demographics, processing capacity,
etc. etc. It's about material properties in a specific context.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(608)267-1533 - fax
(608)267-8815 - phone


Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 10:59:22 -0700
From: (Carolyn Chase)
Subject: Atlanta area environmental practices?

I thought this would be of interest to folks going to Atlanta...interesting
to check into the local reality in Ted Turner's home town area -

Atlanta's largest sewage-treatment plant has habitually
engaged in unlicensed dumping into the Chattahoochee River,
according to a federal and state report released on 3/12.
On 1/21, plant workers washed "thousands of gallons of goopy
black sludge" into the river by hosing it down a storm drain.
Prompted by the "spill," the US EPA and the state Environmental
Protection Division performed an audit which concluded that the
incident was not accidental, but commonplace, according to EPA
inspector Chetan Gala. Indeed, "plant operations received grades
of unsatisfactory or marginal in every category evaluated."
The report also found that digester tanks, which contain
bacteria to break down raw sewage, may "have never been cleaned."
The 1/97 incident occurred when a digester tank overflowed.
Mayor Bill Campbell (D) last month announced plans to turn
the city's water and sewer systems over to private management.
Atlanta is already paying $7.2 million annually in water
pollution-related fines (Charmagne Helton, AtlantaJOURNAL-
"Despite pleas for less driving in greater Atlanta to meet
clean air laws," state highway officials on 3/12 said they will
seek "hundreds of millions" of dollars in new road projects,
including the "controversial" Outer Perimeter.
Thirteen of metropolitan Atlanta's counties are in violation
of federal ground-level ozone standards. Although no new
projects are supposed to be approved until the Atlanta Regional
Commission develops a better clean-air plan, "a loophole in the
law" would allow projects to go forward as long as environmental
studies are done by the end of the year. Transportation
officials are working "frantically" to complete those studies on
as many projects as possible (David Goldberg, AtlantaJOURNAL-

Greewire 3/14/97

Carolyn Chase, Editor, San Diego Earth Times,
Please visit ;-)

Tel: (619)272-7423 (SDET)
FAX: (619)272-2933
P.O. Box 9827 / San Diego CA 92169

'You've got to conserve what you can't replace'
Support C-QUAL
Californians for Quality of Life, Citizen's Political Action Committee
P.O. Box 9212, San Diego CA 92169

"Every citizen is involved in politics; it's just that some people do
politics, some have it done to them."


Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 23:41:39 -0600
From: "Susan K. Snow" <>

Pardon me for being off-topic, but anyone who is concerned about the
environment and potential damaging health effects from manmade chemicals
and a few natural ones should be interested in EPA's just released
report on current research about endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Anyone who has read the book, OUR STOLEN FUTURE, has a basic idea of
what manmade chemicals have the potential to alter hormones in the
bodies of laboratory animals, wildlife and other mammals, and in some
cases, people. OUR STOLEN FUTURE was released in 1996 by Dutton Press
and is written by 2 scientists and an award-winning journalist who has
made the scientific studies readable. The authors are Theo Colborn,
John Peterson Myers and Dianne Dumonoski.

Now, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency have released their interim report on current research
about endocrine disruption and it is available on line.
Susan Snow
For Release: Thursday, March 13, 1997
>EPA Releases Interim Report on Current
>Research About Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today is releasing an interim
>review of existing scientific research on endocrine disruptors --
>certain chemicals and other environmental agents suspected of
>disrupting the hormonal or endocrine systems of humans and animals.
>The report concludes that animals and wildlife can be adversely
>affected by these chemicals and that despite limited data on the
>effects on humans, the potential risks, especially to young children,
>warrant further research.

>Entitled the "Special Report on Environmental Endocrine Disruption: An
>Effects Assessment and Analysis," the interim assessment includes a
>review of nearly 300 peer-reviewed studies that examine the effects of
>a number of chemicals on the endocrine systems of humans, laboratory
>animals and wildlife. The report was prepared by a technical panel of
>EPA scientists assembled by the Agency's Risk Assessment Forum.
>"The studies we reviewed demonstrate that exposure to certain
>endocrine disrupting chemicals can lead to disturbing health effects
>in animals, including cancer, sterility, and developmental problems,
>among others," said Dr. Robert Huggett, EPA Assistant Administrator
>for the Office of Research and Development.
>"The findings contained in our assessment send a strong signal for
>more research on the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals,
>particularly into their possible effects on humans, where we currently
>do not have enough information to conclusively determine the potential
>risks of existing exposures," said Dr. Huggett. "At EPA we have
>already begun to prioritize our research efforts so as to build on our
>knowledge of these effects and improve our understanding of potential
>implications for our children and our future."
>Under the 1996 Food Quality and Protection Act and the newly amended
>Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA has recently established an advisory
>committee with representatives from industry and other major
>stakeholders to develop a cooperative screening and testing program
>designed to identify chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system
>and determine the risk they may pose to human health and the
>environment. The Agency and its scientists also are developing a
>national research strategy to help establish priorities within the
>Office of Research and Development, provide a framework for regulatory
>programs within EPA and coordinate efforts among other Federal
>agencies through the President's Office of Science and Technology
>Policy. Based on this draft strategy, work on various aspects of
>endocrine disruptors is ongoing at EPA's research and development
>laboratories, and throughout various offices and programs.
>Additionally, in an effort to tap scientific expertise outside the
>Agency, the Office of Research and Development has plans to award a
>series of competitive research grants on endocrine disruption to
>academic and not-for-profit institutions during fiscal year 1997. The
>Agency also is funding a more extensive effort by the National Academy
>of Sciences to examine the scientific literature on endocrine-related
>chemicals in the environment and publish that review later this year.
>The first part of EPA's interim assessment provides a general
>discussion on the endocrine system and how chemical or other potential
>"endocrine disruptors" may alter the normal function of hormones in
>humans and animals. Subsequent chapters summarize the findings of
>studies that examine the link between endocrine disrupting chemicals
>and a range of health effects, including cancer, harm to male and
>female reproductive systems, and thyroid damage. While these effects
>have been seen in numerous animal studies, the report notes that, with
>few exceptions, evidence of these kinds of effects in humans is
>limited. Exceptions mentioned in the report include incidents of
>occupational exposure and exposure of pregnant women to the drug DES
>Specifically the report highlights the need for more information on
>the intensity, frequency, and duration of human exposure to chemicals
>that have been demonstrated to disrupt the endocrine systems of
>animals. The report notes the need for more research on the effects
>of chemical mixtures with endocrine disrupting potential, and calls
>for a strengthening of specific cause-and-effect data. In the
>wildlife studies reviewed, the report concludes that it should be
>determined whether the adverse effects seen in animals at various
>sites are confined to isolated areas or are representative of more
>widespread conditions. Other recommendations and data gaps identified
>in the report address the need for chemical screening guidelines, and
>for more exploration into the potential effects of endocrine
>disruptors in sensitive populations, including children. Also
>included in the report is an interim position from EPA's Science
>Policy Council that states that the Agency will use evidence of
>endocrine disruption to prioritize testing needs, which will improve
>EPA's ability to reduce risks and may lead to regulatory action.
>To obtain a hardcopy of EPA's interim assessment, reporters can
>contact Denise Kearns at 202-260-4376. The public can order the
>report from EPA's Office of Research and Development at 513-569-7562.
>It also is available on the Internet at
>R-40 ###


Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 14:40:04 -0600
From: RecycleWorlds <>
Subject: GreenYes Digest V97 #55

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On 3/15/97, my good friend Roger Guttentag ... the economist ...showed =
that even a 20th century "scientist" can remain unnaturally preoccupied =
with the search for the holy grail.=20

To be provocative, Roger opins along the lines that:

"A resource management model for residual materials, I assume, would say =
that these materials should flow to the end point that can utilize them =
as a resource at the lowest cost to the system that manages them (based =
on the public or private infrastructure that is available for that =
system to use). Let's take ONP as an example. We would all prefer to =
see that ONP is productively utilized for its fiber content. However, =
because the value of paper fiber is determined by commodity market =
forces, it can happen from time to time (some may say even right now) =
that the total (current) cost to recycle paper as fiber exceeds the =
competive cost to dispose of it. Even worse, what if future market =
forces causes the value of ONP's BTU content on a per ton basis to =
exceed its per ton value as fiber? On an open market basis the answer =
would be to base your decision on the pricing signals that these markets =
are sending. Residual materials should be allowed to flow freely in =
response to the markets that are economically preferable. New market =
equilibria may be created as a result of these material flows perhaps =
resulting in better pricing for fiber in the long run."

This is balderdash. I should know: For I'm a card carrying 'conomist, =

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to feast my eye on that grail as much as =
Monty Python. But, let's get real here. The market price reflects just =
one small smidgeon of reality. And, here's the fatal point: there is no =
silver bullet to "scientifically" fill out the canvas. =20

True others are right now marching off on a crusade to Jerusalem like =
the EPA life cycle study going on right now that's supposed to do the =
job right. But, Bill Franklin -- remember the Keep American Beautiful =
study -- is in there steering from the cabose, so I wouldn't hold my =
breath for any accurate answers. =20

The bottom line is that because any such a study is both EXPENSIVE and =
built upon assumptions subject to wide INTERPRETATION, the bad guys will =
almost always get control and produce a preordained conclusion. =
Responsible and unbiased people will NEVER drive this show.

Moreover, and this ought to be the fatal blow -- even if for the sake of =
argument those limitations were not true -- the answer is not =
preordained by Moses: but rather wise policy (mindful of, but not =
totally dominated by, market prices with all its inherent limitations) =
can lead any number of outcomes to the promised land of being =
economically optimal.=20

In the last analysis, all we've got to work with is INFORMED and =
EXPERIENCED policy interventions based upon best guesses interposed in =
the political battlefields. Sure it would be "nice" if it t'weren't so. =
But it is. =20

Let's face the music and not waste any more time playing with our =
private parts. It's a political war we're engaged in and the sooner we =
recognize that the better. We need to keep markets keenly in mind in =
mapping wise policies, but that ought not necessitate fetishes. The =
market is not an alter and does not justify anyone genuflecting to it, =
facing East before morning minstrations or anything else of the sort. =20

Success on organizing society to better achieve a sustainable future in =
which opportunities and rewards are equitably distributed will depend =
upon our ability to reduce abstractions into concrete, primal and =
immediate terms, persistence and follow through. Not on any more of this =
economic clap trap.

Peter Anderson

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Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 09:21:12 -0700
From: (Carolyn Chase)


(Paper give at Persistent Organic Pollutants Conference,
December 5, 1996 Chicago, Illinois)

I think we often fail to understand each other's positions because we
don't try to put ourselves in their shoes. So, I'd like to start by
asking you to imagine yourself in this hypothetical situation. The
example is deliberately stereotypical - any resemblance to real persons
is entirely coincidental.

Imagine yourself to be a worker in a chemical plant. You have a steady
job that pays well and twenty years' seniority. If you lose this job,
you know in your heart that you will not get another like it; in fact you
will be lucky to retain half your present purchasing power and you will
lose your pension, benefits and the dignity and pride that go with being
able to provide for your family a reasonably comfortable life. You have
been told by the company in meetings, that the success of the new
production facilities under construction are the only hope that this
plant will remain open at all. On the other hand, you also have some
health concerns related to the production of certain materials at the
plant and you don't know if you entirely trust the management to protect
either your health or your job. There do not seem to be many options
open to you, however. Your understanding of production economics, labour
relations and occupational health is highly effective, but generally at a
practical get-the-job-done level. You have not necessarily given a lot
of thought to political decision making processes or environmental
ethics. One day you arrive at work to find several million dollars'
worth of construction equipment sitting idle and a couple of hundred
construction workers standing around, unsure of what to do next. You
hear that an environmental group has won a court order halting the new
production facility from being built. How would you react?

This debate is only partially about who is right, and who is wrong, about
toxic pollution levels or economic impacts. Much more fundamentally, it
is about how society will make decisions about sustainability, and who
will pay the price of those decisions. Will it be those who have the
deepest pockets or will it be those who can get the best press?

To those of you who feel most sympathetic with environmental activists, I
would say this: We in the labour movement are your best friends and your
strongest allies in the search for a sustainable future. Workers have
been the "canaries in the mine" for society, and the corpses of our
brothers and sisters have identified most of the chemicals that you are
now campaigning to rid the environment of. However, if you attack us in
our workplaces, if you fail to understand the jobs issue, you will create
a confrontation that you cannot win. You will force us into an alliance
with our employers and you, we, society and the environment will all be
the losers.

To those of you who sympathize most strongly with the business side, I
would say this again: We in the labour movement are your best friends
and your strongest allies in the search for a sustainable future.
Workers depend on your economic success for our jobs and our future. We
understand that as long as there is industrial activity, there will be an
environmental impact: There is no "clean" production; only "cleaner"
production...the second law of thermodynamics will get us in the end.
However, if you continue to treat us as commodities instead of human
beings, if you continue to shed jobs at every opportunity using the
excuses of globalization, automation, downsizing, mergers, and
contracting out; if you continue to poison our bodies and then fight our
attempts to obtain even workers' compensation in return, you will have to
forgive us for being somewhat skeptical when you promise to save our

At the recent National Convention of the CEP, a resolution was passed
calling for the creation of a "Just Transition Program". If society must
make some tough choices about which economic activities we are willing to
continue and which we are willing to forego, a structured transition or
"just" transition program is necessary, if the costs of those decisions
are to be shared fairly. For it is absolutely clear that without such a
plan, the people that will pay 99% of the price of change will be the
workers in the affected industries and the communities that rely on the
income of those workers. Capital can write off losses, collect insurance
in some cases, and re-invest elsewhere. Workers do not have there kinds
of options. Without a "Just Transition Program" you guarantee conflict,
and possibly violent conflict. That is your choice.

There is no future for our unions and the legitimate interests of our
members by throwing our lot in blindly with either environmentalists or
employers. We have our own legitimate perspective. We must however, do
a better job of articulating it.

If we fail to preserve the environment, we face global catastrophes. On
the other hand, if we ignore economic and social needs, we will face
catastrophe of a different sort. It is clear that major structural
changes in the way society and the economy operate must take place if we
are to move towards sustainability. These changes will cause massive
shifts in employment patterns. Workers, their families, and their
communities must not be asked to bear 100 per cent of the costs of a
transition to sustainability.

What would such a "Just Transition Program" provide for ?
1. Protect the purchasing power of workers and their families.
2. Facilitated transition of environmentally displaced workers to new
3. A re-definition if necessary, of the term employment to reflect the
principles of sustainability.
4. Support for communities dependent on sunset industries.

How will we win a just transition? First, by setting our own house in
order. Second by working within the organizations we already have, or
belong to, or are affiliated with. Third, by explaining our position to
the public. Fourth, by educating our members and finally, by building
alliances with environmental groups or employers who accept the "Just
Transition" concept as a pre-condition to debating any question of
environmental change.

Since we all still rely on an economic system that rewards production,
consumption, and growth over sustainable practices we may have to find a
way of defining the "value" we place on the environment as well as on
social needs. This value may or may not be fixed in terms of dollars,
but somehow, it must be real value in "God's currency " if you will.

Our present governments seem unresponsive to environmental concerns and
certainly to labour's concerns. Yet, environmental issues consistently
place high in public opinion polls asking people what is important to
them. We have a problem if industry is moving public policy in one
direction, while environmentalists are moving public opinion in the
opposite direction. This is a recipe for confrontation, and possibly a
violent one. Working people are caught in this confrontation,
"sympathetic to the one side, but dependent on the other".

Are some environmentalists just alarmists? Does "good science" show us
that our problems are really minor? Experience in the occupational
health field has taught trade unionists that when scientists disagree,
the worst case scenario usually turns out to be closest to the truth. In
any case, if we want to guarantee the worst case scenario, the best way
to do that is to pretend that problems do not exist.

Sustainable development theory says that we must meet the "needs" of
today's generation without compromising the ability of future generations
to meet their needs. "Needs" does not just mean economic needs and
environmental needs, but includes social needs as well.

What we are asking for, fundamentally, is that public policy be set by
the public and not just by those with the best press or the deepest
pockets. The debate about what exactly we mean by sustainability is also
a debate about what we mean by democracy.

For example, sustainability does not mean that economic concerns override
all others. But neither does it mean that environmental purity is the
only consideration when we make decisions as a society. Suppose that I
discover a drug that will cure cancer, or AIDS. Suppose that the
manufacture of this drug will create an extremely toxic waste that I
cannot dispose of, that I can only store. Do you suppose that society
will tell me not to make it? Would you?

People who are desperate are not worried about the environment. Right
now, Canada and the U.S. have a lot of desperate people, the result of
deliberate government policy decisions. Are we going to tell desperate
and worried people and communities that their factories, mines and mills
must close for the good of the environment? Perhaps we can, but only if
we can tell then what will happen, and what they will be doing,
afterwards. And what happens when the generation and accumulation of
wealth by the few no longer produces jobs so that the rest can earn a
small share in that wealth? Perhaps we need some new ground rules for
society, again in the form of public policy set by the public.

Remember that our members make their living working in so-called "toxic
production", and therefore this debate means more to us than just an
academic discussion about economics and the environment. The sustainable
operation of these facilities is as important an issue to us, as it is to
any other group. We are stakeholders, and important ones, in this
question and we are pleased to participate in your process.

The planet earth has been compared to a spaceship. It is a finite
environment, with finite resources on board, and no new supplies coming
in. I will therefore conclude with this thought: On spaceship earth,
there are no passengers, only crew. You, me, all of us - we are that
crew. It is time for some decisions. We must decide wisely,for this may
be our last chance to do so.
Brian Kohler
National Representative - Health, Safety and Environment
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
350 Albert Street #1900
OTTAWA Ontario K1R 1A4

Carolyn Chase, Editor, San Diego Earth Times,
Please visit ;-)

Tel: (619)272-7423 (SDET)
FAX: (619)272-2933
P.O. Box 9827 / San Diego CA 92169

'You've got to conserve what you can't replace'
Support C-QUAL
Californians for Quality of Life, Citizen's Political Action Committee
P.O. Box 9212, San Diego CA 92169

"Every citizen is involved in politics; it's just that some people do
politics, some have it done to them."


End of GreenYes Digest V97 #56