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February 10, 1994

Contact: Noreen Figueroa

AET Formally Submits Chlorine Dioxide Risk Assessment At EPA Hearing

(February 10, 1994, Washington, D.C.) -- At today's public hearing on the proposed EPA cluster rulemaking for the pulp and paper industry, the Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET) will formally present the findings of its risk assessment on the environmental effects of bleaching.

"At modem American pulp and paper mills, chlorine dioxide is a solution for dioxin and other persistent, bio-accumulative, toxic substances in mill waste water," said Dr. Robert Huggett, one of the assessment authors. Dr. Huggett, professor of marine science at The College of William and Mary, is a member of the National Research Council and a member of an EPA Science Advisory Board. Dr. Huggett will be one of two scientists to speak at the hearing on AET's behalf.

The assessment, "A Review and Assessment of the Ecological Risks Associated with the Use of Chlorine Dioxide for the Bleaching of Pulp," was prepared by a panel of five scientists and followed the EPA's Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment.

The best indicator of success is ecosystem vitality. A study at a mill in Alberta, Canada, the most comprehensive assessment of fish health and reproduction ever conducted, showed the benefits afforded by chlorine dioxide bleaching are quite significant. "The analysis shows no indication of harmful effects on the fish or their reproduction rates," said Doug Pryke, AET's Executive Director.

For a copy of AET's public hearing testimony, the chlorine dioxide assessment or further comment, please contact Ms. Figueroa.