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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 1997

Contact: John P. Ximenes



Statement from the Alliance for Environmental Technology Regarding EPA's Promulgation of Pulp and Paper Industry Cluster Rule


In response to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Carol Browner's signing of the pulp and paper industry Cluster Rule, Douglas C. Pryke, Executive Director of the Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET), issued the following statement:


(WASHINGTON) - The Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET) strongly supports EPA's selection of chlorine dioxide as the technology basis for the water quality standards of the Cluster Rule for the kraft bleached pulp, paper, and paperboard subcategory. The selection of this technology option is based on extensive peer-reviewed science and is in accordance with international scientific opinion. With today's signing, Administrator Browner and the Agency have made a decision based upon a convergence of environmental protection, sound public policy, and market demand. This decision further improves water quality, eliminates ecologically significant bio-accumulation, and accelerates the elimination of fish consumption advisories.


In advance of the Agency's regulation, the U.S. industry is well along the path toward implementing the switch from chlorine to chlorine dioxide in the first stage of bleaching. Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) pulp, bleached with chlorine dioxide, will account for 47 percent of the U.S. bleached chemical pulp production in 1997.


Since the industry began its conversion toward chlorine dioxide substitution in the late 1980s, dioxin emissions have been reduced by more than 98 percent. As a result, EPA data show that since 1990, 13 states have lifted a total of 17 fish consumption advisories for dioxin downstream of U.S. pulp mills. EPA's own projections indicate that upon the industry's complete conversion to 100 percent chlorine dioxide substitution, all remaining fish consumption advisories for dioxin downstream of pulp mills will be lifted.

AET is an international association of chemical manufacturers and forest products companies dedicated to improving the environmental performance of the pulp and paper industry. AET was created to establish a clearinghouse of educational and technical resources related to chlorine dioxide and its use in chemical pulp bleaching.


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