New data concerning the levels of StarLink corn protein in processed foods have been submitted to EPA from Aventis Crop Sciences, and are being made publicly available. The new information appears to confirm the Agency's assessment that the process of wet-milling corn effectively eliminates StarLink protein from finished food products such as corn oil, corn syrup, alcohol and corn starch. The data also appear to provide new information on the potential levels of StarLink corn protein in finished food products derived from the corn dry-milling process. According to Aventis' findings, for test products made from 100 percent StarLink corn, the dry-milling process denatures but does not completely eliminate the presence of StarLink protein in the finished food products. EPA will carefully evaluate this new information as it continues to review Aventis' pending request to authorize StarLink corn in the human food supply.
The new information is likely to be an important addition to the growing body of scientific data on the potential allergenicity of StarLink corn protein. EPA sought guidance concerning the scientific assessment of StarLink corn in the food supply from the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) in a Nov. 28, 2000 meeting. The Dec. 5 report for this meeting stated that additional data were needed to more accurately assess the potential exposure to StarLink corn protein in finished food products. Aventis' new data appear to indicate that potential exposure to the StarLink corn protein in finished food products is significantly lower than previous estimates.
Pending a comprehensive evaluation of all scientific information available on human health concerns related to StarLink corn, EPA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are continuing to coordinate an aggressive Federal effort, in cooperation with growers, millers, the food industry and Aventis, to divert StarLink corn away from the human food supply. USDA has been very successful working with growers and seed companies to ensure that bags of corn seed intended for the 2001 growing season are tested for the presence of StarLink corn and are not planted if found to contain StarLink. FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are continuing their investigation of cases in which people reported experiencing allergic reactions from eating corn products. Results of this investigation are expected later this Spring and will be made publicly available.
EPA will use the Aventis data as well as the results of the CDC
work and all other available data related to StarLink in
evaluating the company's tolerance petition. EPA will continue to
make all new information available to the public and will obtain
appropriate scientific peer review as part of any decision. The
federal government is committed to ensuring that the U.S. food
supply is safe for all citizens. The new information on StarLink
corn submitted by Aventis is available at
WEST VIRGINIA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO WASTE, DRUG CHARGES
On April 19, Ricky L. Willis of Waverly, W.V., pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and of illegally disposing of toluene, a hazardous waste, in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Last year, the defendant attempted to manufacture methamphetamine and knowingly illegally disposed of wastes produced in the illegal drug manufacturing process by dumping it into a sanitary facility that emptied onto the ground behind his home.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation
Division, the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection,
and the Parkersburg Narcotics Task Force. The case is being
prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Charleston, W.Va.
FLORIDA WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGAL STORAGE OF CHEMICALS
On April 16, Liliana Guzman-Haynes, formerly of Miami, Fla., pleaded guilty to violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The defendant was an owner of Olympic International Freight Forwarders, Inc., a South Florida freight company that shipped chemicals to Latin America.
In 1997, four cargo pallets of chemical containers that were originally consigned to Olympic International in 1991 and l992, were discovered dumped in western Dade County, Fla. The containers were in extremely poor condition and contained carcinogens, acids, and poisons such as acetone, nitric acid, ethyl ether, nitrobenzene and toluene which presented a significant fire and explosion hazard. Over a period of several years and through several different companies and locations, the chemicals were illegally stored by Guzman-Haynes.
When sentenced, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. In addition, the plea agreement requires Guzman-Haynes to make restitution of $29,095.54 to the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resource Management for costs associated with the cleanup and disposal of the chemicals.
EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of
Transportation's Office of Inspector General, the county
Environmental Crimes Unit, the Miami-Dade Police Department's
Environmental Crimes Unit, the Dade County State Attorney's
Office and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's
Division of Law Enforcement investigated the case. It is being
prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami.
NEW JERSEY LABORATORY WILL PAY $1-M FINE FOR CONSPIRACY
On April 12, Caleb Brett U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of London-based Intertek Testing Services, Inc., was sentenced to pay a $1-million fine and serve three years probation for conspiring to mislead EPA investigators about a scheme to falsify chemical analyses involving hundreds of millions of gallons of reformulated gasoline (RFG).
In its plea, the defendant admitted involvement in a scheme to change data on tests of reformulated gasoline samples from 1995 through 1997. The data changes made it appear as if the gasoline met EPA standards for cleaner burning fuel, when it did not. Approximately 200-300 million gallons of the substandard gasoline were distributed in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Cleaner burning RFG is required by EPA in some states to reduce air pollutants that can cause a variety of respiratory diseases.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation
Division and the U.S. Postal Service with the assistance of the
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and EPA's
National Enforcement Investigations Center. The U.S. Department
of Justice prosecuted the case.
NEW PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE FROM EPA'S OFFICE OF POLICY, ECONOMICS, AND INNOVATION
OPEI has issued two new reports focusing on economic incentives and sector-based approaches to environmental management. Summaries and information about obtaining copies are provided below.
The United States Experience with Economic Incentives for Protecting the Environment
Over the last 20 years, and particularly during the past decade, economic incentives are being increasingly used to control pollution and improve environmental and health protection. This report assesses the role of economic incentives for controlling environmental pollution. It documents hundreds of uses of economic incentives for controlling pollution at all levels of government to both supplement and substitute for traditional regulatory approaches.
The report concludes that economic incentives provide unique benefits for environmental management, produce greater cost savings compared to traditional regulatory approaches, and have wide applicability for specific environmental problems.
To obtain a printed copy, send an email request to email@example.com. To obtain a copy electronically, go to http://www.epa.gov/economics. Click on "Our Publications" and scroll down to the report title. Any comments or questions about the report should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learning to Listen: A Cooperative Approach to Developing Innovative Strategies
A partnership involving EPA, the State of New Jersey, the batch chemical industry, and other interested stakeholders demonstrates that working together is key to environmental progress. The Stakeholders of the New Jersey Chemical Industry Project focused on finding innovative ways to maintain or improve environmental quality while lowering costs of complying with environmental requirements.
Through this process, they developed compliance assistance materials to help facilities understand their environmental responsibilities, a first-of-its-kind effluent trading program to help facilities comply with local discharge requirements more cost-effectively, and an analysis of recycling opportunities for manufacturing processes.
In addition, an incentives-based program was developed that rewards facilities for exemplary environmental performance. Known as New Jersey's Silver and Gold Track program, it served as the prototype for EPA's National Performance Track program. This report describes these and other results, as well as lessons for success learned along the way.
To obtain a printed copy, send an email request to:
email@example.com. To download a pdf copy electronically,
go to: http://www.epa.gov/emergingstrategies/njcip/lessons.pdf.
EPA EXTENDS COMMENT PERIOD FOR METAL PRODUCTS AND MACHINERY REGULATION
On January 3, 2001 (66 FR 424), EPA proposed effluent limitations guidelines and pretreatment standards for wastewater discharges associated with the operation of new and existing metal products and machinery facilities. The original comment period was 120 days, ending on May 3, 2001. In todayÆs Federal Register, EPA extended the comment period 60 days and it will now end on July 2, 2001.
The agency estimated that as many as 100,000 facilities in 18
industrial sectors would be affected by the rule. The proposal is
expected to reduce by millions of pounds the pollution discharged
by industry. The proposal has been criticized as being too costly and because
it focuses too much on the general metals industry, but could
also apply to specific industries, such as the printed wiring
board manufacturers, whose wastewaters are different.
Be sure to check here first to find out what to add to your to do list for the next few weeks. (While helpful, please note that this list may not be inclusive of all deadlines affecting your facility and should not be relied upon as your only source of information.)
May 4, 2001: Existing sources subject to the hazardous organic NESHAP for the synthetic organic chemical industry must comply with 40 CFR 63 Subparts F and G by this date (40 CFR 63.100(p)(1) and 63.100(p)(1)(ii), and 63.100(p)(2))
May 15, 2001: Producers, importers, and exporters of Class II controlled substances must submit a report to EPA on the production, import, and export of those chemicals during the previous quarter. (40 CFR 82.13(n))
May 19, 2001: Semiannual reports are due for sources subject to organic hazardous air pollutant emission controls under 40 CFR 63, Subpart G, for synthetic organic chemical manufacturing industry production processes. (40 CFR 63.152(c)(1) and 63.152(d)(1))
May 26, 2001: Employers subject to process safety management
standards must update and revalidate the hazard analysis of their
process conducted pursuant to 29 CFR 1910.110(e)(1). (29 CFR
BP AMOCO FINED FOR CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATIONS IN KANSAS
BP Amoco has agreed to pay a $804,700 civil penalty for violating the Clean Water Act by dumping over 162,000 gallons of oil into the Marais des Cygnes River in Osawatomie, Kan., disrupting the city's water supply for 38 days. The discharge in January 1994 was caused by a break in a pipeline owned at the time by the ARCO Pipeline Co., a company now part of BP Amoco.
Oil spills pose a potentially serious threat to human health and the environment. It may take years for an ecosystem to recover from the damage caused by an oil spill.
BP Amoco also agreed to spend at least $145,300 on a supplemental project involving reconstruction improvements to the city's water intake. The case was investigated by EPA's Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan.