US Imports PCB's
The Jan. 1 issue of "Counterpunch" (a newsletter by Ken Silverstein and Alex Cockburn) reports that the US has overturned its 15 year old ban on the production and importation of PCBs:
"But thanks to NAFTA, Ohio Democrats, and the Commerce Dept ... as of Nov. 22, 1995, the US became a PCB-importing nation." ... "On that same Nov. day, Ottawa succumbed to US pressure and allowed Canadian firms to start trucking PCB-contaminated materials south to Tallmadge, Ohio. Here the PCBs are extracted from electrical capacitors, placed in 5,000 gallon containers and shipped to an incinerator like WTI's outside Cincinnati."
"The US govt is now ready to open its southern border to the infinitely more lucrative supply from Mexico, where an estimated 20,000 tons of PCBs are already available, and where PCB production is still lawful. The EPA had scheduled its green light for the Mexican shipments for Jan. 1, though the US govt's shut-down has forced a temporary postponement."
"For 5 years the S.D. Myers Company had pleaded with the EPA to grant an exemption from the Toxic Substances Control Act, allowing the company to import PCBs to its Tallmadge `decontamination' plant outside Akron."
" the Ohio congressional delegation led by Sen. John Glenn and Congr. Tom Sawyer (both Democrats) went to work on behalf of S.D. Myers, which expected to make nearly $100 million a year from the enterprise."
"Press coverage in the US of these important developments has been ... sparse ... NOT A SINGLE STORY ON THE END OF THE PCB BAN HAS APPEARED IN ANY US NEWSPAPER." [my emphasis added]
Yep, we can thank our lucky stars that we have a Free Press in America ;-( Unlike the ongoing Whitewater and OJ soap operas, I guess the connection between Free Trade, PCB incineration, and dioxin emissions just wasn't considered "newsworthy" by the corporate-controlled press.
It should come as no surprise that this PCB exemption is brought to you by the same Administration that, in Congressional testimony on Jan. 25, advocated amending the Clean Air Act to weaken the ban on production of METHYL BROMIDE, set for 2001.
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