Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Major Toxic Reductions Sought by 1995

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Major Toxic Reductions Sought by 1995

Article excerpt

MAJOR TOXIC REDUCTIONS SOUGHT BY 1995

As part of a broad outline of priorities for environmental protection into the 21st century, EPA Administrator William Reilly recently called for the reduction of emissions of toxic chemicals into the environment by one-third by the end of 1992, and 50 percent by 1995, through a combination of voluntary, legislative, and regulatory measures.

Reilly issued the challenge at a recent meeting of the National Press Club, where he released a report by the agency's Science Advisory Board (SAB),c calling for a reassessment of the current system of environmental policymaking and greater attention to ecological threats.

Reilly said that the agency is currently compiling a list of the 15 or so toxics posing the greatest environmental and health risks.

"The list is likely to include a number of heavy metals such as lead and mercury, as well as certain volatile organic compounds of concern across several (EPA) programs," he said.

Without giving many details on how the reductions would be achieved, Reilly said it would be done "through the most cost-effective methods possible." He cited the agency's past success with efforts to phase out chlorofluorocarbons, and recent negotiations with nine chemical and petrochemcial firms to reduce butadiene emissions by 80 percent through voluntary actions (see related item). …

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