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September 25, 1995

Contact: Noreen Figueroa

New Report Documents Industry's Environmental Success Story

(September 25, 1995 -- Duluth, MN) A new report formally presented to the International Joint Commission at last night's public hearings, documents the North American pulp and paper industry's virtual elimination of dioxin resulting in the dramatic progress in the eco-system restoration of the Great Lakes Basin.

The report by the Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET), titled "Five Great Reasons Why We Care: The Pulp and Paper Industry's Virtual Elimination Strategy," details the success the industry has achieved in preventing pollution by using new methods to manufacture paper. Key to this strategy has been the adoption of an innovative bleaching process called Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF).

"ECF is a milestone in eco-system restoration," said AET's Executive Director Doug Pryke, as he presented the paper to the Commissioners. "The pulp and paper industry has demonstrated proven leadership in addressing water quality concerns in the Great Lakes Region and nationwide."

Since 1988, dioxin discharges from US and Canadian pulp mills have decreased by 96 percent. In fact, dioxin fish advisories for waterbodies downstream of US pulp mills have dropped by more than 50 percent since 1990 -- and are a small and diminishing percentage of the total affected waterbodies in the country, according to US Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental and health authority data. Over the last five years, 13 states have lifted fish consumption advisories for dioxin on a total of 17 waterbodies downstream of US pulp mills.

"ECF is an enlightened industrial response to an environmental concern," Mr. Pryke added. "New science, a proven environmental track record, and support by the US EPA and Environment Canada demonstrates that ECF is without rival in terms of pollution prevention."

AET is an international association of 19 chemical manufacturers and forest products companies dedicated to improving the environmental performance of the pulp and paper industry.

The full report and an executive summary are available from AET by calling 1-(800) 999-PULP or through AET's web site on the Internet via