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from Global Response October 24, 2001

Dear Members of Global Response's "Quick Response Network:"

Below are the articles (promised in my message yesterday) about the life and
death of Digna Ochoa, human rights lawyer in Mexico.

Several members have asked for an email address for President Fox.  We don't
have one, and we strongly encourage you to send your letter by regular mail
(we sent you a model letter in yesterday's message) for maximum impact.

You can also send an automated fax from this website:


Human Rights Lawyer Shot Dead in Mexico
Ochoa Defended Many Who Accused Military of Torture; Colleagues Threatened

Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
October 21, 2001

MEXICO CITY, Oct. 20 -- One of Mexico's leading human rights lawyers,
who had been kidnapped and threatened in the past for her defense of
clients alleging torture by Mexico's military and security services, was
found shot to death in her office.

Digna Ochoa y Placido, 37, a former nun, was found Friday with gunshot
wounds to her face and legs. A note found beside her threatened activists at
the Mexico City organization where Ochoa had done much of her work, the
Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center.

"She was a role model for all human rights defenders," the Rev. Edgar
Cortez, a Jesuit priest who runs the center, said at a memorial service
today attended by more than 100 people. "This act was a clear aggression
against the entire human rights community."

Mexico has a grim record of human rights violations, especially
involving the military. Human rights activists here generally work in
an environment of harassment and intimidation.

As a lawyer handling high-profile cases that often caught international
attention, Ochoa had received numerous death threats and was kidnapped twice
in 1999.

In one of the abductions, she was tied to a chair in her home for
nine hours while her captors interrogated her about her clients and their
possible connection to guerrilla groups. They opened a canister of natural
gas and left her to die, but she managed to free herself.

Perhaps Ochoa's best-known clients at the human rights center were
Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera, two ecologists from Guerrero
state who have been jailed since May 1999 on weapons and drug convictions.

Human rights activists say the two were arrested simply for challenging the
government and powerful private logging interests. Montiel and Cabrera have
received several prestigious environmental awards while in prison.

Montiel and Cabrera say they were tortured for several days by Mexican
soldiers. Ochoa was an outspoken critic of the military's history of
torture, killings and disappearances.

In 1999 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a resolution
urging the Mexican government to protect Ochoa. Amnesty International
and the American Bar Association presented Ochoa with awards for her work.

Last year, facing more threats, Ochoa left the human rights center and moved
to Washington, where she worked for the Center for Justice and International

She returned to Mexico this year and was representing two brothers
accused of planting bombs that exploded outside a Mexico City bank in
August. The brothers are suspected members of a small Marxist guerrilla
group. Their first court appearance was scheduled for Monday. Ochoa's
friends called the timing suspicious.


Mexican Human Rights Lawyer Is Killed

Ginger Thompson
New York Times
October 21, 2001

One of Mexico's most prominent human rights lawyers was found shot to
death in her office here on Friday, bringing criticism of the
administration of President Vicente Fox from environmentalists and
rights advocates.

The lawyer, Digna Ochoa, 37, was a longtime advocate at the Jesuit-run
Miguel Agustin Pro Center for Human Rights. She was perhaps most widely
recognized for defending two jailed peasant farmers considered by Amnesty
International to be "prisoners of conscience." The two men, Rodolfo Montiel
and Teodoro Cabrera, protested logging by local political bosses and were
imprisoned in May 1999 on dubious gun and drug charges. They have lost
numerous appeals despite official findings that they were arbitrarily
detained and then tortured.

Ms. Ochoa, winner of Amnesty International's Enduring Spirit Award, had been
menaced by death threats for years, often in notes devised from newspaper
clippings that appeared under her door. In 1999, she was kidnapped and
beaten. Two months later, she was tied, blindfolded and tortured in her home
for nine hours. No arrests were made in the attacks.

Hoping the danger would pass, Ms. Ochoa spent several months outside Mexico.
She returned home in April, formally separating herself from the human
rights center but continuing to pursue high-profile political cases.

A number of her clients were accused of being members of guerrilla
organizations. Among them were two brothers accused in August of planting
small bombs near automatic bank teller centers in well-to-do neighborhoods
in Mexico City.

New threats against Ms. Ochoa began appearing in September. An
obscenity-laden note found Friday next to Ms. Ochoa's body warned former
colleagues at Miguel Agustin Pro that they could be next. Ms. Ochoa, a
native of the gulf coast state of Veracruz, had been shot at close range in
the head and thigh.

In a news conference on Saturday, investigators said they believed that Ms.
Ochoa's killing was political. Colleagues from across the world said that
her death stained the political transition being led by President Vicente

"This is a horrible, tragic blow to human rights protection in Mexico,"
said Curt Goering, deputy executive director of Amnesty International
U.S.A. "The rhetoric of the Fox administration indicated that he was
prepared to deal with human rights issues differently than in the past.
Well, in the aftermath of an event like this, that rhetoric rings hollow."

Mr. Fox, whose election last year ended the 71-year rule of the
Institutional Revolutionary Party, had promised not only to open
investigations into past abuses of power but also to root out corruption
within the government. His commitment to ending torture by the military and
federal law enforcement agencies was applauded by human rights advocates
around the world.

However, 10 months after the start of Mr. Fox's presidency, his promise  to
create a truth commission remains unfulfilled. Human rights officials were
alarmed when Mr. Fox appointed a military general as attorney general. Hopes
for real changes in the culture of impunity grew dim as months passed
without any significant reversals in the fate of prisoners like Mr. Montiel
and an Army brigadier general, Jose Francisco Gallardo.

General Gallardo was arrested in November 1993 on charges of slandering the
armed forces by criticizing abuses against civilians. The charges were
dismissed a year later, yet he remains in prison.

"President Fox seems to be more concerned about keeping the military happy
than he is about stopping their abuses," said Alejandro Queral of the Sierra
Club, which has supported Mr. Montiel's defense.

A statement issued by the Interior Ministry lamented Ms. Ochoa's murder and
reiterated the government's commitment to human rights.

Edgar Cortez, director of the Miguel Agustin Pro Center, was not encouraged.
At a memorial Mass for Ms. Ochoa, he called the killing "an ominous sign"
that impunity continues to undermine justice.

cited several recent incidents of assaults on human rights investigators in
Chiapas, including one lawyer whose home was set on fire and another who was
nearly run down by a speeding vehicle. Mr. Cortez said that law enforcement
agencies conducted only half-hearted investigations into such attacks.

"The general atmosphere of threats and violence has never been quashed," he
said. "Digna's murder is only the most heinous in a series of troubling


More than 80 NGOs demand an expeditious investigation into the assassination
of Digna Ochoa

The crime, ³directly damages the struggle for the enforcement of human
rights in Mexico,² they stated

Claudia Herrera Beltran
La Jornada
October 20, 2001

The assassination of the lawyer Digna Ochoa immediately mobilized more than
80 non-government organizations, to demand a public pronouncement by
President Vincente Fox regarding this fact, an expeditious independent
investigation to clarify it, as well as the effective protection of human
rights and its defenders in Mexico.

The national and international NGOs classified the homicide as a ³serious
step backwards² in the attempt to construct a different society in Mexico,
and signaled that this ³seriously questions² the government compromise in
advancing the enforcement of human rights in the country.

³The harassment, threats and execution, as well as the ineffectiveness
and/or lack of political voluntary of the justice apparatus in clarifying
this type of fact and penalizing those responsible darkens the hopes of
society for a process of democratization in the country,² they warned in a
statement which was sent out a day after the assassination.

Among the organizations that signed the letter were the Mexican chapter of
Amnesty International, Global Exchange, the Mexican League for the Defense
of Human Rights, the Fray Francisco de Vitoria Human Rights Center, the
Social Communication Center (Cencos), the Mexican Academy of Human Rights,
and the Christians for the Abolition of Torture.

General Condemnation

The 82 groups expressed their profound pain and condemnation for the
execution of this defender of human rights, which occurred last Friday in a
location in the Roma quarter.

This crime, they stated, is a direct offence to the struggle for the
enforcement of human rights in Mexico and in any other place, and that the
violent silencing of a voice that was always committed to the defense of
victims constitutes a serious step backwards in the search for a different

They indicated that it very disturbing that these cases of harassment,
threats, and intimidation of defenders of human rights continue in different
regions of Mexico, like what happened to the director of the Fray Bartolome
de la Casas Human Rights Center, Marina Patricia Jimenez.

With this motive, they urgently demand the immediate establishment of
policies that guarantee the work and protection of the defenders of human
rights, in accordance with the declaration released by the General Assembly
of the United Nations.

In the specific example of Ochoa they demanded a pronouncement from Fox, and
that the federal and capital governments immediately recognize a report on
the investigations of the denouncements of threats and harassment of those
who have been victims, as have many of the lawyers of the Human Rights
Center Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez.

In the General Office of Justice in the Federal District an investigation of
an expeditious and independent means was requested, in accordance with
Mexico¹s international obligations in these matters, so that those
responsible be judged and punished in conformance with the current justice

The complete and effective protection for all defenders of human rights in
Mexico was also requested, specifically for the lawyers of of Pilar Noriega
and Barbara Zamora, family members and teams of colleagues, as well as the
members of the Miguel Agustin Pro Center.

In addition, it was requested that Mexico fulfill the recommendations
formulated by national and international human rights organizations in terms
of the protection of defenders, with the intention of establishing effective
means of protection in favor of this sector of frequently threatened

At night, many of the NGO representatives agreed to carry out protests.
Erendira Cruz, the director of Cencos, signaled that the first of the them
will be a meeting in front of the Secretary of Government, this Monday at 4
pm, with the intention of pressuring the authorities to carry out an
exhaustive investigation of this case.

Cruz indicated that this crime ³is a strong blow² to the non-government
organizations that have fought for the democratization of the country, which
will have serious implications because it represents a transgression to the
process of transition which Mexico is experiencing.

Between the organizers of the protest in front of the Secretary of
Government, Rosario Ibarra de Piedra, president of the Eureka Committee, was
in attendance, as well as members of the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center
and the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Center.


Chronicle of threats and harrassment against human rights defenders linked
to the Human Rights Center Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez

Claudia Herrera Beltran
La Jornada
October 20, 2001


17th of August. David Fernandez, the Director of the Miguel Agustin Pro
Center of Human Rights, received two anonymous death threat calls, one at
his residence and the other on his cellular phone. Days before an interview
with Fernandez had been published in which he alluded to signs of a dirty
war in Mexico due to some actions in which the military had been involved.

2nd of October. Jose Lavanderos, a lawyer who is part of the defense team
for presumed Zapatistas, received deaths threats by telephone.


13th  of January. One day before traveling to Washington to attend an
audience with  the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to address
issues at the Center, Rocio Culebro received death threat calls.

10th of August. Pilar Noriega and Digna Ochoa, members of the presumed
Zapatista defense team, received written death threats with the following
messages: ³All members of the PRODH will die, especially this pair of

7th of October. Threats were made against Noriega and Ochoa before they
traveled to Washington to participate in audiences with the ICHR.²

9th of October. Threats were received against Victor Brenes, Jose
Lavenderos, and Enrique Flora, members of the defense team for imprisoned
Zapatistas, and David Fernandez, director of the Center.


9th of August.  Digna Ochoa is kidnapped outside of her home. She is held
for around four hours.

3rd of September.  Three threatening letters arrive at the Center.

8th of September. Four envelopes containing threats are found in the Center.

5th of October. Digna Ochoa finds her electoral credential, stolen from her
on the day of her kidnapping, in her private residence.

13th of October. An anonymous bomb threat is found in the Center

28th and 29th of October. The house of Digna Ochoa is broken into. She is
blindfolded and subjected to an interrogation in which she is questions
about the Center¹s supposed links to the EZLN, EPR and  ERPI. On the same
day the offices are broken into and a table cover on one of the desks the
words ³Power of Suicide² are written in red.

17th of November. The International Court of Human Rights requires that the
Mexican government adopt, without any delay, any means necessary to protect
the lives and personal integrity of Ochoa and other members of the Center.


31st of January. There are two more anonymous death threats against members
of the Center. These are sent in the context of a visit to the ninth
Military Region of Llano Grande, to verify the progress of the
investigations regarding the assassinations of three Mixteco Indians and the
rape of two indigenous women. In these days a hearing pertaining to the case
of the two imprisoned ecologists Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera was
also to take place.

August. Digna Ochoa travels to the United States in interest of her personal

25th of September. The PGR begins investigations into the threats.


March. Digna Ochoa returns to the country.

9th of May. The PGR notifies the Center that the previous investigation of
this case has been put in the reserve archives with the intention of being
reactivated if new evidence is found.

31st of May. The Mexican government informs the ICHR that it has adopted the
recommended methods and asks that the application of the methods be
suspended because the threats have not continued. Three months later it
would reiterate its request.

22nd of August. The Court finds that the methods have attained their goal,
because there has been no objection in removing them.

19th of October. Digna Ochoa is found dead.

Paula Palmer, Executive Director
Global Response
PO Box 7490
Boulder CO 80306
Tel. 303-444-0306
Fax. 303-449-9794
Website: www.globalresponse.org

Mission:  Global Response empowers people of all ages, cultures, and
nationalities to protect the environment by creating partnerships for
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destruction.  Global Response involves young people as well as adults in
these campaigns, to develop in them the values and skills for global citizen
cooperation and earth stewardship.

NEW!  Now you can make donations online at: www.globalresponse.org.

from World Wildlife October 24, 2001

Your hard work has paid off!  More than 18,000 emails from
Conservation Action Network activists helped convince Congress to
increase funding for tigers, rhinos, elephants, great apes, and
neotropical migratory birds from $3.25 million in fiscal year 2001 to
$7 million for fiscal year 2002.  The sorely needed funds will be used
for conserving protected areas, preventing poaching, monitoring
populations, translocating animals, and mitigating conflicts between
animals and people.

Please take a moment to thank your representative and senators for
voting for the measure.  Let them know that there is a strong
constituency for conservation of these creatures.

**********************TAKE ACTION NOW!****************

To send the message at the bottom of this email as it is to your
representative and senators, hit "reply" to this email and then
"send."  We will fill in the names and addresses and automatically
send the messages for you.

However, we urge you to greatly increase your impact by adding your
own thoughts to your message.  Personalizing your message only takes a
minute; see below for details.


Log in to your Personal Action Center --
http://takeaction.worldwildlife.org/login.asp -- with your email
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have a new password emailed to you.)

Once you are in your Personal Action Center, click on "Thank Congress
for Increasing Funding for Rhinos, Tigers, and More" and follow the
instructions for adding your own thoughts to your messages.  


Forward this email to your friends and colleagues and encourage them
to enroll in the Conservation Action Network.  Ask them to take part
in this campaign as well as efforts to:

*  prevent oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,

*  advocate for release of a management plan for a new national
monument, and

*  encourage Congress to increase funding for international programs
that empower people to sustainably manage and use their natural

*********************LETTER TEXT******************
Dear Representative/Senator,
[the names and addresses of your representative and senators will be
automatically inserted]

Thank you for supporting funding for the Multinational Species
Conservation Fund as part of the Interior Appropriations for FY 2002.
This funding will go a long way towards conserving Asian and African
elephants, rhinos, tigers, great apes, and neotropical migratory

These funds are urgently needed.  Failing economies, civil unrest, and
growing poverty have undermined the capacity of many governments to
protect their wildlife heritage.  While African elephants and Indian
rhinos are doing better in some areas-thanks to the past support of
Congress-the population of Asian elephants in the wild is still
declining.  In addition, four of the five species of rhino are under
severe pressure, and fewer than 6,000 tigers remain.  Great apes
suffer from habitat destruction and hunting for the bushmeat trade.  
And many neotropical migratory birds are listed as endangered or

The Multinational Species Conservation Fund has been extremely
effective in arresting the decline of some animal populations and in
encouraging local and international matching contributions from
governments and private organizations.  However, the number of
proposals for antipoaching efforts, habitat preservation, public
education, and control of smuggling has far outstripped the number of
projects that can be funded.  Now, with the increased support that
Congress has approved, the future of these magnificent creatures is

I urge you to continue to support this essential program in the
future. Thank you.


Your name and address
will be inserted here

***********************END OF LETTER TEXT*********************
Direct any questions about the WWF Conservation Action Network to
The Conservation Action Network is sponsored by World Wildlife Fund-
US.  Known worldwide by its panda logo, WWF is dedicated to
protecting the world's wildlife and the rich biological diversity
that we all need to survive.  The leading privately supported
international conservation organization in the world, WWF has
sponsored more than 2,000 projects in 116 countries and has more than
1 million members in the United States.  WWF calls on everyone --
government, industry, and individuals -- to take responsibility by
taking action to save our living planet.

World Wildlife Fund
1250 Twenty-fourth Street, NW
Washington, DC  20037

from ETC Group October 24, 2001

ETC Group (formerly RAFI)
Wednesday, October 24, 2001

On the Centenary of a Famine:
Food Sovereignty

In a period framed by the World Food Summit of 1996 and the Summit's
rescheduled review in 2002, ETC Group looks back at the same span of years
one century earlier as history lesson and as portent.  These years
(1896-1902) marked an era of devastating global famine when no less than 30
million people died in circumstances strikingly similar to those we face
today-trade liberalization (i.e., "globalization"), climatic change,
(corporate) colonialism, and a set of new technologies promising, once
again, to feed the hungry.

Progress since the World Food Summit of 1996 will now be reviewed by Heads
of State in 2002.  Perhaps it is nothing more than a footnote of history but
the same span of years a century earlier (1896-1902) encompassed one of the
worst famines in history.  At least 30 million lives were lost because the
colonized countries were denied national food security in favour of
international commodity trade.  On the eve of a new global trade round
within which agriculture will top the menu and in preparation for the Food
Summit review next year, small farmers' and civil society organizations are
calling for Food Sovereignty - the supremacy of food production and
consumption over trade and economic policies.  History shows that their
demands are justified...

At the end of the 19th century - while Great Britain and the United States
advanced the untried virtues of laissez-fâire capitalism, industrial
technologies, and the draconian triumph of colonialism - the
newly-constituted 'Third World' suffered through the most awful series of
calamities since the Black Death smothered the globe five centuries before.
From Northeast Brazil to Southern Africa, Central India and Northern China,
no fewer than 30 million people died in a world with barely one-sixth of
today's population.  In Morocco and in the Horn of Africa, one-third of the
people perished.  One million were lost in Brazil's Northeast.  Ten million
died in China.  Nineteen million starved to death in India.  Though the
disaster remains unparalleled in modern history, the tragedy went virtually
unnoticed in the salons of London and the saloons of Washington.1

The calamities took place during an astonishing era of trade liberalization
("globalization") that began with the repeal of Britain's Corn Laws and
ended with the onset of World War I.  This was a time of massive economic
growth, enormous progress in steamship and rail transport, labour migration,
and the establishment of global commodity and capital markets.2  The
ascendancy of laissez-fâire capitalism in 1846 also coincided with the Great
Hunger in Ireland and its demise in 1914 heralded the beginning of the end
of colonial empires.

According to the politicians of the era, the rural poor died of 'natural
causes'.  A blistering sequence of El Niño/La Niña events battered the
tropics and reverberated even into the farmlands of Europe and North
America.  The closing quarter of the century witnessed two horrific global
famines (connected by a string of smaller or regional events) between
1876-79 and from 1896 to 1902.  Unlike earlier El Niño cycles, however, the
peasants found their traditional coping mechanisms dismantled by remote
imperial bureaucracies. The new steam and communications (telegraph and
cable) technologies that had promised to bring relief were used instead to
suck food stocks from the fields of the hungry to the larders of their
rulers oceans away.  Without their bidding or understanding, farmers became
part of the Nineteenth century's global market economy.3

Exactly 100 years after the last great famine cycle - in a period framed by
the first Food Summit of 1996 and the Summit's rescheduled review in 2002,
the poor are confronted with a new era of globalization, corporate
colonialism, the first shocks of Global Warming, and a set of new
technologies promising, once again, to feed the hungry.  The comparisons are
depressingly familiar...


Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (formerly RAFI)

from Natural Resources Defense Council October 24, 2001

Natural Resources Defense Council's


October 24, 2001

Please do not reply to this message. See the instructions below for
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1) Legislative Watch
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The information in this bulletin is also available on our website at
http://www.nrdc.org/legislation/legwatch.asp. The web version links to
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tools or subscribe to Earth Action, our biweekly activist bulletin.


This is a status report on congressional action on the environment. To
make new or updated sections easy to find, we've highlighted them
= N O T E ! =


The discovery of anthrax in some Senate and House office buildings, as
well as in local postal facilities handling congressional mail,
dominated headlines and preoccupied congressional leadership during
the last couple of weeks. Both chambers closed their office buildings
and sent most of their staff home during environmental analysis and
decontamination. With minimal staff, members resumed work this week on
appropriations, economic stimulus, and anti-terrorism bills.
Meanwhile, on 10/17, Congress approved yet another continuing
resolution to keep the government running, this time until October 31.



= N O T E ! =
Senate Democrats are considering infrastructure funding projects as
part of a $30 to $40 billion economic stimulus plan. Environmental
groups, among others, are pushing for a major boost in funding for
projects that would create jobs and help protect the environment, such
as water infrastructure projects that would ensure cleaner water, mass
transit projects such as high-speed rail, energy-efficiency projects,
and improvements to national parks. As an alternative to the
Democrats' infrastructure funding package, the Republican-controlled
House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 3090, a $100 billion bill
meant to stimulate the economy primarily through tax cuts. The House
is expected to approve the bill on 10/24.

= N O T E ! =
As of 10/24, Republican senators have abandoned their two-week tactic
of blocking appropriations bills until the Democrats agree to approve
more of President Bush's nominees to the federal bench. This frees the
Senate to approve the Foreign Operations funding bill (H.R. 2506),
which President Bush has threatened to veto because of language that
overturns his executive order banning federal funds for international
family planning organizations that promote or perform abortions. The
Senate bill also contains an additional $295 million in funding for a
new international program to promote cleaner energy and energy
conservation. Senate funding for the Global Environment Facility,
which provides grants for projects that combat global warming and
promote sustainable development worldwide, has been increased only
slightly above last year's levels in the Senate bill. The
House-approved Foreign Operations funding bill includes a $25 million
cut in funds for the Global Environment Facility.

= N O T E ! =
On 10/17, both the House and the Senate approved the conference report
for the Interior funding bill. The bill, H.R. 2217, includes a ban on
oil and gas development in national monuments, and also would deny
funds for studying oil and gas development in sensitive coastal waters
where offshore oil drilling is currently off-limits. The bill retains
language, however, that would increase the number of cruise ships
entering Glacier Bay National Park, allow the weakening of hardrock
mining protections, and undermine environmental safeguards for
national forests. Language restricting oil and gas leasing in the
eastern Gulf of Mexico was dropped, allowing the Bush administration
to move forward with drilling in a new area that could adversely
impact Florida beaches. The bill is now headed to President Bush's

The Bush administration and Congress recently agreed to a $686 billion
cap on discretionary funding for next year. Even though the overall
cap is set, individual allocations for each of the 13 appropriations
bills are not yet final. Differences exist between the House and
Senate versions of funding bills for the Department of Energy, the
Environmental Protection Agency, and energy and water infrastructure
projects. Funding may be cut in several of these areas to pay for
increased military and other security expenditures.

On 9/13, the Senate approved S. 1215, its bill for next year's funding
of the departments of Commerce, Justice, and State. Although the
Senate included just over $3 billion for the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (which manages ocean, coastal and fisheries
programs), the Senate cut funds for addressing polluted coastal
runoff. The Senate, however, improved language in the bill that could
have hindered federal efforts to develop a system of protected marine
areas. The House approved its version of the funding bill (H.R. 2500)
on 7/18.

On 8/2, the Senate passed, by a vote of 94-5, its $7.75 billion EPA
funding bill (S. 1216), which includes full funding for the agency's
federal enforcement efforts. The bill was amended by Sen. Boxer (D-CA)
to require the EPA to take immediate action to protect children from
arsenic in drinking water. On 7/30, the House approved its $7.5
billion EPA funding bill (H.R. 2620) after amending it to prevent the
Bush administration from delaying or weakening the new tougher
arsenic-in-drinking-water standard issued in January by the Clinton
administration. Language that would have hindered efforts to address
global warming was removed from the bill, but an amendment to restore
$25 million for the EPA's federal enforcement activities failed by a
vote of 188-214. Other provisions remaining in the House bill weaken
efforts to provide protections against radon, pesticides, and
hazardous wastes.

On 7/19, the Senate passed the Energy and Water spending bill, which
includes Sen. Stabenow's (D-MI) proposal to ban oil and gas drilling
in the Great Lakes for two years. In committee, the Senate improved a
provision inserted in the House bill by Rep. Latham (R-IA) that would
have blocked efforts to save three endangered species on the Missouri
River by preventing the federal government from releasing water in the
spring to restore more natural conditions (the Senate compromise would
allow water to be released in the spring). The House passed its
version of the energy and water bill on 6/28 by a vote of 405-15.
Among its troubling provisions, the bill authorizes $1 million in
studies on an expensive California water project that would destroy
environmental resources while failing to provide funds for
environmental restoration. Both bills, however, reject Bush
administration proposals to cut funding for renewable energy, with the
Senate providing a significant increase over last year.

On 7/12, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $60 billion for
transportation funding (S. 1178). The bill includes an objectionable
rider that would give away a large parcel of environmentally sensitive
land on Admiralty Island in Alaska for possible development. On 6/26,
the House approved its transportation funding bill (H.R. 2299). For
the first time in six years, this bill does not include language
blocking the federal government from considering whether vehicle fuel
economy standards should be increased.

For a step-by-step guide to our annual odyssey through resolutions,
reconciliations and appropriations, see NRDC's budget process fact
sheet (http://www.nrdc.org/legislation/fbudg.asp).


Clean Air and Energy

= N O T E ! =
Sen. Jeffords (I-VT), chair of the Environment and Public Works
Committee, has announced that he will hold two hearings on S. 556,
which he co-authored with Sen. Lieberman (D-CT), that seeks to reduce
four types of power plant emissions. The first hearing is scheduled
for 10/25 and the second for 11/1. The bill would impose mandatory
cuts in carbon dioxide pollution, unlike the Bush administration's
three-pollutant power plant proposal which does not address reducing
carbon dioxide emissions. The administration's proposal represents the
reversal of a Bush campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide, a key
greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. No action has been
taken on the House companion bill (H.R. 1256), which was introduced on
3/27 by Rep. Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Boehlert (R-NY).

On 10/10, Senate Majority Leader Daschle (D-SD) directed Sen. Bingaman
(D-NM), chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, to
develop energy legislation that could be enacted this year. Sen.
Bingaman is expected to include energy infrastructure security
provisions as part of the legislation he sends to Sen. Daschle. Senate
Republican leaders plan to offer their own version of an energy bill,
called the Homeland Energy Security Act, as a counter to Sen.
Daschle's and Sen. Bingaman's bill. This bill will likely call for oil
drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and provide insurance
and immunity for nuclear power plants.

On 10/2, the Senate unanimously blocked efforts to attach unrelated
provisions to the Defense Authorization bill (S. 1438), paving the way
for passage of this legislation. Since 9/24, Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) had
been trying to attach the entire House energy bill (H.R. 4) or Sen.
Murkowski's (R-AK) energy bill (S. 388) as an amendment to this bill,
which would have opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to
drilling and provided massive subsidies to the oil, coal, gas, and
nuclear industries. Strong opposition to Sen. Inhofe's proposed
amendment delayed S. 1438's passage for at least a week.

Prior to 9/11, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Committee began consideration of higher vehicle fuel economy
standards. On 8/2, Sen. Kerry (D-MA) held a hearing on the recent
National Academy of Sciences report on the importance of raising fuel
economy standards. The committee is expected to consider a bill (S.
804) introduced by Senators Feinstein (D-CA), Snowe (R-ME), Schumer
(D-NY), and Collins (R-ME), which seeks to tighten corporate fuel
economy standards for sport utility vehicles and light trucks. The
bill would require that SUVs and other light trucks increase fuel
economy to 27.5 mpg by model year 2007, expand the current fuel
economy standards to trucks weighing between 8,500-10,000 pounds by
2007, and raise the fuel economy of the federal government's fleet by
6 mpg. SUVs and light trucks currently use 43 percent more gasoline
per mile than the average car. H.R. 1815 is the House companion bill.

On 8/2, the House approved its version of an energy bill (H.R. 4) by a
vote of 240-189. The House passed four separate energy bills out of
four different committees, and combined them into one bill of more
than 500 pages that does little to create a sound, balanced energy
policy. Rather, the bill would provide tens of billions of dollars in
subsidies to the coal, oil, gas and nuclear industries, open the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other sensitive areas to oil and
gas drilling, weaken environmental protections for other public lands,
do little to improve fuel economy standards, and starve renewable
energy and energy efficiency programs of needed funding.

NRDC's report, A Responsible Energy Policy for the 21st Century
(http://www.nrdc.org/air/energy/rep/repinx.asp), outlines the
components of an alternative energy policy -- one that can meet the
nation's energy needs without destroying wilderness or rolling back
environmental safeguards.


Clean Water

= N O T E ! =
Both Sen. Harkin (D-IA) and Sen. Lugar (R-IN), chair and ranking
minority member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, respectively, are
developing different farm bill proposals, both of which should be
released during this session of Congress. Environmentalists are
working to ensure that these bills increase funding for farm
conservation programs and do not weaken standards for factory farms.

= N O T E ! =
The House Resources Committee postponed until late October any
consideration of H.R. 1985, Rep. Calvert's (R-CA) bill to reauthorize
a federal and state partnership in California that provides water for
urban and agricultural users, as well as for wildlife and habitat
restoration. Environmentalists oppose the Calvert bill because it
would upset the balance of this critical partnership, and could
jeopardize the environmental restoration that was expected to result.
The Calvert bill would allow the construction of new dams in
California without appropriate review, and could give agricultural
water users priority over the environment. A similar bill introduced
by Sen. Feinstein (D-CA), with many of the same problems as the
Calvert bill, has been markedly improved through negotiations with
Sen. Boxer (D-CA). In the House, Rep. Miller (D-CA) has introduced a
bill, H.R. 2404, which would reauthorize the program without harmful
anti-environment provisions. Environmentalists support the Miller

On 10/5, the House approved a $70 billion farm bill (H.R. 2646) by a
vote of 291-120, after rejecting an amendment by Rep. Kind (D-WI) and
Rep. Boehlert (R-NY), supported by the environmental community, that
would have transferred $1.9 billion per year from commodity subsidies
to farm conservation, wetlands restoration, and wildlife habitat
programs, without weakening environmental standards for factory farms.
An amendment by Rep. D. Miller (R-FL) and Rep. G. Miller (D-CA) to
decrease sugar subsidies and apply the savings to Everglades
restoration failed. The Bush administration criticized the House bill
because of its high price tag, large subsidies, and failure to help
the small farmer, but indicated support for Sen. Lugar's proposal,
which would be less expensive and reduce commodity subsidies.

On 9/27, the Senate confirmed Bush nominee Mike Parker to run the Army
Corps of Engineers. Environmental groups are concerned about positions
Parker has taken in the past that indicate he does not value the
environmental mission of the Corps.

Facing strong opposition from Sen. Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Boxer
(D-CA), Donald Schregardus withdrew his nomination to head the EPA's
enforcement office on 9/10. Among other issues, the former head of
Ohio's environmental protection agency faced criticism for the state's
inadequate enforcement of many federal environmental laws.


Global Warming

On 8/2, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bill (S.
1008) introduced by Sen. Byrd (D-WV) and Sen. Stevens (R-AK) that
creates a framework for the United States to develop a comprehensive
program to reduce pollution that contributes to global warming. The
bill also provides more than $4 billion over 10 years for research to
develop clean, alternative energy sources.

On 8/1, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the State
Department authorization bill, S. 1401. An amendment offered by Sen.
Kerry (D-MA) that urges the administration to continue to engage in
international negotiations to reduce global warming pollution passed
unanimously. The Senate bill is similar to the House-approved bill to
reauthorize the State Department (H.R. 1646) that contains language,
added by Rep. Menendez (D-NJ), which urges the United States to reduce
greenhouse gases and continue to participate in international
negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol.


International Environmental Protections

On 10/9, the House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 3005, a
trade promotion bill introduced by the chair of the committee, Rep.
Thomas (R-CA). The bill grants "fast track," or expedited, authority
to the president to negotiate new trade agreements. Environmental,
consumer, social justice, and labor groups oppose this bill because it
fails to ensure adequate environmental and labor standards and could
undermine current protections. The bill, which is supported by the
Bush administration, is similar to fast track legislation that was
rejected by Congress in 1997 and 1998, except that it provides even
fewer positive labor and environmental provisions, while offering more
restrictions on public safety and environmental protection. On 10/3,
the ranking minority members of the committee, Rep. Rangel (D-NY), and
Rep. Levin (D-MI), introduced their own trade bill (H.R. 3019), which
has stronger congressional oversight and environmental standards.


Marine Mammals

On 10/11, the House Resources Fisheries Conservation subcommittee held
a hearing on marine mammal issues, including the use of low frequency
active sonar by the Navy, which could harm whales and other marine
life. The Navy wants to deploy this sonar worldwide, but needs a
permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service. Numerous
scientists, as well as environmental and animal rights groups, have
joined forces to oppose the use of this sonar, both because of the
grave risks it presents to marine mammals and the inadequate
information that the Navy currently has about its impacts on marine



On 10/3, Rep. Barton's (R-CA) House Energy and Air Quality
subcommittee approved a bill (H.R. 2983) to reauthorize the
Price-Anderson Act until 2017. This act, which provides federal
insurance for nuclear power plants in case of an accident, is a huge
subsidy to the nuclear industry. Environmental groups oppose
reauthorization because it would encourage more nuclear power plant
construction without addressing nuclear waste contamination. It would
also shift responsibility for the full cost of nuclear power plant use
from the nuclear industry to taxpayers.


Public Health

On 10/3, the House Science committee approved Rep. Ehlers' (R-MI) bill
(H.R. 64), which creates the position of deputy for science and
technology at the Environmental Protection Agency. Environmental
groups are concerned that this position could be used in a political
manner to undercut the science conducted at the agency and the
policies adopted as the result of it. Environmentalists have also
expressed disappointment that the bill fails to address major
scientific shortcomings at EPA, including significant reliance on
industry studies and external review by advisory committees that are
often dominated by industry representatives and researchers.


Public Lands

On 10/2, the Senate passed the Defense Authorization bill, S. 1438.
The House version, H.R. 2586, which passed on 9/25, includes
provisions that would allow the expansion of Fort Irwin in the
California desert, but would imperil the survival and recovery of
federally protected endangered species, such as the desert tortoise
and Lane Mountain milkvetch. The House bill would end the conservation
of 110,000 acres of wildlands in the California Desert, including
lands Congress has identified as meriting wilderness protection.
Environmentalists are pushing to provide for additional funding to
protect the tortoise and for the designation of new protected areas so
that the desert can be protected while supporting military readiness.


For information on the environmental voting records of members of
Congress, see the League of Conservation Voter's National
Environmental Scorecards at http://www.lcv.org/scorecards/index.htm


2) About Our Bulletins/How to Subscribe & Unsubscribe

NRDC distributes three bulletins by email. To subscribe to any or all
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A project of the Natural Resources Defense Council

from Rainforest Action Network October 24, 2001

It has been a big week so far for Citi activists! From coast to coast, Citi
has been called to task for being the #1 funder of fossil fuel and
deforestation projects. With colorful visuals and catchy chants,
demonstrators let Citi know that as long as they are financing the "fossil
fuel chain of destruction", we will be there to speak up for those
communities and ecosystems they leave in their destructive wake.

1) Summary of Action in DC on Monday
2) Summary of Action in San Francisco on Wednesday
3) Press Release on Wednesday's Action
4) Action Alert for OCP Pipeline


On Monday October 22nd, dozens of students from around the US gathered to
protest Citigroup's role as the #1 funder of the fossil fuel industry. The
protest followed a Staples demonsration 1 block away calling attention to
Staples selling of old growth forests and complete lack of recycled
products. The combined protest was an exciting merging of campaigns
targetted corporations who lead the pack in deforestation and climate
change. Protestors marched from Staples in unison to the Citibank on 14th
and G street in a colorful and joyous procession. Students called attention
to the ongoing protests in Ecuador in resistance to the Citi-funded OCP
pipeline. Student leaders demanded that Citi stop financing global warming
projects like OCP and Peruvian Camisea pipleines and start funding solar
energy alternatives. Calling attention to the fossil fuel "chain of
destruction", speakers pointed out that climate change is not at all
intangible to thos living at the poinnt of extraction of fossil fuels.
Radical cheer leaders from Grinnell university in Iowa rallied the crowed as
colorful sun masks and a giant Sun puppet graced the demo. Speakers at the
demo included Vanessa Pierce and Matt Ewing with the Hot 'n Bothered Climate
Campaign, Phil Radford and Mark Von Topel with Powershift and Patrick
Reinsborough with Rainforest Action Network. 12,000 postcards were then
presented to the Citibank branch which were signed by students pledging to
never use citi's financial services until the company cleans up its act.
The sun, happily showed its support of the protestors as students cut up a
giant Citibank credit card and chanted "not with my money"!



Lunch time in the financial district in San Francisco looked a bit different
today as activists led a noisy and colorful march from Citigroup Center to
the Ecuadorian Consulate to protest the OCP oil pipeline in Ecuador. As a
financial backer of the oil consortium, Citi was reminded loudly once again
that it bears responsibility for the destruction this project leaves in its
wake. The OCP pipeline will transect 11 protected natural areas in Ecuador
and double the country's capacity for oil exports. This will inevitably lead
to more drilling in prostine areas of the Amazon forest. Communities along
the pipeline route, after having exhausted every legal venue, began to
blockade contruction machinery last week. Communities have voiced anger and
concern about the host of social and environmental ills that have
accompanied past pieplines including destruction of the forest, loss of
longterm economic prospect from ecotourism, disease and pollution
accompanying the refineries, and more. Actions were organized around the
world today in support of the communities in Ecuador. From India to Germany,
from San Francisco to Australia, actions targetted the investors in this
project and let the government of Ecuador know that the international
spotlight will continue to shine on OCP and the brave activists resisting it
on the ground.

In San Francisco, local activists marched with signs bearing messages such
as "Amazon Oil is a crude investment" and "Citibank #1 in Rainforest
Destruction". They were joined from Ramiro Chumpi Washikiat, representative
of the Achuar people of the Sotuhern Ecuadorian Amazon. The Achuar fear that
their traditional indigenous land is directly in the cross hairs of new oil
exploration which will begin as soon as the pipeline is completed. Ramiro
spoke of the need for international pressure to call attention to the plight
of Indigenous people in the Amazon and around the world at the hands of
multinational corporations like Citibank. Also speaking was Henry Clark from
West County Toxics Coaltion who is a representative from the town of
Richmond, speakig ot the concerns of people living in the shadow of
refineries around the world. In the last few years, Richmond has formed an
alliance with the town of Esmereldes in Ecuador, exchanging information
about health and environmental issues in living around a refinery. The
communities suffer some of the country's highest rates of cancers and skin
ailments resulting from the chronic contamination of the adjacent refinery.
Mr. Clark spoke of the enormous power of communities banding together to
speak with one voice against the powerful interests who profit off of
people's misery and environmental contamination. Other speakers included
Ilyse Hogue from Rainforest Action Network,  Kevin Koenig from Amazon Watch,
and Gopal Dayeneni of Project Underground. At the culmination fo the rally,
Ramiro and Kevin were received by offcials at the consulate bearing a letter
regarding the economic, social, and environmental concerns related to the
OCP pipeline.





For Immediate Release: October 24, 2001

Contact: Ilyse Hogue, Rainforest Action Network (415) 398-4404, Kevin
Koenig, Amazon Watch (202) 256-9795
Gopal Dayeneni, Project Underground (510) 705-8981

Investors Urged to Pull Out of Oil Pipeline in the Ecuadorian Amazon

World Wide Demonstrations Planned in 15 Cities on October 24:
Focus on Citigroup in San Francisco

Photos, and background available www.amazonwatch.org
<http://www.amazonwatch.org> & www.ran.org <http://www.ran.org> Video B-roll
Available Upon Request

WHERE: Citigroup Center, Sutter and Sansome to Ecuadorian Consulate, 235
Montgomery Street

(San Francisco, CA) - At noon today, environmental and human rights
activists in San Francisco join their counter parts around the world in
protesting the financial backers of a controversial new heavy crude pipeline
running from the Ecuadorian Amazon to the refinery town of Esmeraldas on the
Pacific Coast.  The project threatens dozens of communities and fragile
ecosystems along the proposed route and will double the country's oil
production from the Amazon region3/4home to hundreds of isolated indigenous
communities and pristine rainforest.

In San Francisco, groups are spotlighting Citibank (Citi), the largest bank
in the world and top funder of destructive fossil fuel projects. Activists
call upon Citi, a financial backer of the OCP consortium, to use its
influence to stop the OCP pipeline and to cease funding of all
environmentally and socially destructive projects in endangered ecosystems.
"The pipeline affects 11 protected areas in Ecuador and is a threat to
endangered species and critical rainforest ecosystems of global
significance," said Ilyse Hogue, global finance campaigner for Rainforest
Action Network.  "We hold Citi responsible for the ecological devastation
this project leaves in its wake."  International groups are also targeting
WestLB, Germany's largest publicly held bank and lead arranger for nearly
$900 million in financing for the billion-dollar project.  Demonstrations
and media events were held today in Los Angeles, Quito, Washington DC,
Barcelona, London, Munster, Dusseldorf, Munich, Milan, Zurich, Warsaw,
Sydney and Canberra. Groups are urging the investors to walk away from
financing this harmful project and instead invest in clean energy

Last week, dozens began peaceful blockades to stop construction along a
segment through the Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve - home to some 450
species of birds. In the city of Esmeraldas where work was halted by the
city council for failure to follow environmental regulations,
Afro-Ecuadorian communities also protesting the new pipeline that would
double the amount of crude processed there.  The communities suffer some of
the country's highest rates of cancers and skin ailments resulting from the
chronic contamination of the adjacent refinery.  "We stand in solidarity
with the communities in Ecuador resisting this pipeline. After thirty years
of oil exploitation, it's strikingly clear that oil has brought ecological,
social, and economic ruin," said Kevin Koenig, Oil Campaigner with Amazon
Watch. "Oil has trapped the country in a downward spiral of debt and

Prominent Ecuadorian and international environmental and human rights
organizations are calling for the cancellation of the OCP project and a
moratorium on all new oil exploration in the country's ecologically and
culturally sensitive areas.

# # #


Last week, dozens of women and children engaged in a peaceful blockade to
stop construction of Ecuador's new oil pipeline that threatens to devastate
the country's rainforests and local peoples. Resistance has also come from
Afro-Ecuadorian communities who bear the brunt of the toxic contamination
from neighboring oil refineries. These actions are part of a long-term
struggle to stop this pipeline and all destructive oil extraction in the
Amazon Basin and to take a stand against environmental injustice.

The pipeline will allow Ecuador to double its current oil production,
setting off an unprecedented boom in new oil exploration. This is likely to
cause the irreversible loss and destruction of some the country's last
remaining old growth rainforests and territories of isolated indigenous
peoples.  As currently routed the pipeline will devastate 11 protected
forest areas including the Mindo Nambillo Cloudforest Reserve - home to some
450 species of birds.

An increase in oil production of this magnitude threatens communities living
near refineries and processing facilities in the coastal province of
Esmeraldas.  These communities, the majority of which are Afro-Ecuadorian,
have some of the highest rates of cancer and respiratory, skin, and stomach
illness in all of Ecuador as a result of the chronic air, water, and soil
contamination produced by the refineries.

Prominent Ecuadorian and international environmental and human rights
organizations are calling for the cancellation of the OCP project and a
moratorium on all new oil exploration in the country's Amazon region. The
Ecuadorian government, the OCP consortium, and the financiers have failed to
fully assess or disclose the long-term impacts of the new OCP pipeline on
ecologically and culturally sensitive areas in the Amazon region or the
coast.  The government squashed all public debate on these concerns by
closing the public review process a mere three weeks after the release of
the 1,500-page Environmental Impact Assessment and fast tracking licensing.

Ecuador's oil exports are primarily destined for consumption in the United
States, particularly in California.  Not only does this pipeline threaten
fragile areas and local communities, it further increases our reliance on
oil - the main fossil fuel responsible for climate change.  We must call on
the involved financial institutions to stop bankrolling destruction of the
Amazon and environmental injustice and urge them to invest in renewable
energy alternatives - not Amazon crude!

CALL/FAX the Ecuadorian Embassy in DC :
Tel. 202-2347200 Fax 202-667-3482
Let them know that the world is watching to insure that these activists are
allowed to voice their dissent in safety. Tell them that you are a potential
eco-tourist who doesn't want to see Ecuador's spectacular forest reserves
like the Mindo-Nambillo Cloud Forest threatened by the OCP pipeline.

Call the NY offices of Loan Arranger, German bank West LB at 212-852-6000.
Tell them to cancel the project and redirect their
investments towards renewable energy development that will help the people
of Ecuador without threatening biological and cultural diversity.

CALL Citi's investor relations :
1-888-250-3985 and dial 0 until you reach a human operator
Tell them to use their influence to halt this destructive project and to
stop funding destructive activities such as fossil fuel development and

For a full background info on OCP and oil development's destructive legacy
in Ecuador See Amazon Watch's Report "The New Heavy Crude Pipeline in
Ecuador: Fueling a Second Oil Boom in the Amazon" at www.amazonwatch.org.
Also, see http://www.ran.org/ran_campaigns/citigroup/cs_ocp.html

from Friends of the Earth October 24, 2001

GE Food Alert 3 (ge-food-alert-3@iatp.org)    Posted: 10/24/2001  By  jvogt@iatp.org



The House Ways and Means Committee approved a revived Fast Track
international trade bill (H.R. 3005) Oct. 9 on a near party-line
vote.  H.R. 3005 contains a provision to require that U.S. trade
negotiators seek a ban on labeling of genetically engineered
ingredients (p. 14). This would set up consumer labeling as an
"unjustifiable trade
restriction" - especially regarding genetically modified
foods-threatening many consumer labeling regulations with being
overturned through trade challenges. Under this bill our efforts to
label GE foods will become illegal barriers to trade!

The floor vote on this version of Fast Track legislation is expected in the
next couple of weeks, but it could occur as soon as this week. We cannot
allow this sneak attack on our right to know about genetically engineered
foods to go unchallenged.



CALL 1-800-393-1082 and tell your representative to oppose H.R.
3005 and its provision to seek a ban on labeling of genetically
engineered foods.


CALL THE CAPITOL SWITCH BOARD at: 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to
your representative.

- Alert prepared by Friends of the Earth -
For more information on genetically engineered foods, see
To get involved locally in our campaigns, email: larcher@foe.org.
Friends of the Earth is a member of Genetically Engineered Food Alert

from Global Response October 24, 2001

Dear Members of Global Response's "Quick Response Network:"

If you haven't yet written a letter to help the people of Cajamarca, Peru,
stop construction of a gold mine at the source of their watershed, please
read this Environmental News Service article (web link below).

A disastrous spill of cyanide and heavy metals from a gold mine in Ghana has
killed hundreds of fish and birds and poisoned the drinking water of all the
villages along the River Asuman.  This disaster realizes the worst fears of
the people of Cajamarca, who are struggling to defend their watershed
against mining plans by the powerful Newmont Mining Corporation and the
World Bank.

To read the excellent article on the Ghana spill, see:  "Cyanide Spill
Ghana's Worst Environmental Disaster" (October 24, 2001) at:

For the text of the Global Response Action Alert on behalf of the people of
Cajamarca, Peru, and address of officials at Newmont Mining Corporation and
the World Bank (IFC), please see:
http://www.globalresponse.org/gra/current.html.  Let's do everything we can
to prevent in Peru the devastating toxic spills that have occured in Ghana
and at other goldmines around the world.

ACCRA, Ghana, October 24, 2001 (ENS) - Villages in the Wassa West District
of Ghana's western region have been hit by the spillage of thousands of
cubic metres of mine wastewater contaminated with cyanide and heavy metals.
The cyanide-laced waste contaminated the River Asuman on October 16 when a
tailings dam ruptured at a mine operation owned by the South African
company, Goldfields Ltd.

Hundreds of dead fish, crabs and birds can be seen littering the banks of
the river. Others float on the surface of the river which is the only source
of drinking water for Abekoase, Huni and surrounding villages.

(For the full story, see http://ens.lycos.com/index.html. )

Paula Palmer, Executive Director
Global Response
PO Box 7490
Boulder CO 80306
Tel. 303-444-0306
Fax. 303-449-9794
Website: www.globalresponse.org

Mission:  Global Response empowers people of all ages, cultures, and
nationalities to protect the environment by creating partnerships for
effective citizen action.  At the request of indigenous peoples and
grassroots organizations, Global Response organizes international
letter-writing campaigns to help communities prevent environmental
destruction.  Global Response involves young people as well as adults in
these campaigns, to develop in them the values and skills for global citizen
cooperation and earth stewardship.

NEW!  Now you can make donations online at: www.globalresponse.org.

from Greenpeace October 25, 2001

Greenpeace's Clean Energy Now Campaign Weekly Good News
update - "Positive Energy"


According to a report released on October 17th by the
European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) and
Greenpeace in Berlin, Solar power could provide energy
for more than 1 billion people, creating over 2 million
jobs by 2020. The report also said
that by the year 2040, solar energy could be providing
26% of global energy needs.

The report "Solar Generation" shows that solar photovoltaics
have the potential to make a major contribution to the
future of a secure global electricity supply, and efforts to
prevent climate change. Greenpeace International is calling
on world governments to provide renewable energy to
2 billion of the world's poorest people in the next
decade. Even using conservative estimates, this report
shows solar energy is able to fulfill a large part of this
demand, and while creating millions of jobs.


In a stealth action last week at its business meeting,
the California Energy Commission (CEC) passed a resolution
that suspends important statutory environmental protections
in the power station development process that were set up
under pieces of past legislation.  The upshot is that the
Commission may be citing several thousand megawatts of new
simple-cycle gas-fired plants that are far dirtier and
inefficient than they would be if cited in accordance with
the law.  The Commission is using for its authority
(surprise) an executive order by Governor Davis that
allows suspension of the restrictions that would "prevent,
hinder, or delay the prompt mitigation of the (energy
crisis) emergency." It appears this move is being driven
by the California Power Authority's desire to have several
thousand megawatts of peaker power available to it.

Please call the three CEC Board members who voted
for this resolution and ask them to reconsider it in
the interests of our health and the climate. Their
phone numbers are:

William Keese, Chair - 916 654-5000
Art Rosenfeld  - 916 654-4930
Robert Pernell - 916 654-5036


Encouraging news on the solar front -- the San
Francisco Chronicle has endorsed the two solar power
ballot measures that Greenpeace's Clean Energy Now! team
and allies have been working hard to promote. The paper
concluded, "bond money for solar and renewable energy makes
sense . . .  The measures are a smart way to spread the
city's energy bets in the wake of this spring's costly power
shortage. Up to a quarter of city government's power needs
could be met with panels atop parking garages, schools, or
libraries. Instead of relying on a few big producers, the
city can tap its own rooftop array of panels or wind
turbines. Vote yes on B and H."

Since the Chronicle said it, it must be true!
So if you live in San Francisco Vote Yes B & H.

The "Positive Energy" newsletter and the web site,
www.cleanenergynow.org, will give you good news about
ways to achieve clean air, climate justice and renewable
energy solutions to our current energy crisis.

Want to do more? Become a Greenpeace member today!

from the Wilderness Society October 25, 2001

* Thursday, October 25, 2001

Dear Wild Alert Subscriber:

Utah's isolated Pilot Range is an area richly deserving of Wilderness
designation.  But the Pilot Range Wilderness Act, a bill before the
U.S. House, would do anything but protect the area, and undermines the
Wilderness Act itself.  The bill could come to the House floor as soon
as next week.  

Please CALL your Representative and ask them to OPPOSE H.R. 2488.  
Faxes and emails aren't being received because congressional offices
are still closed due to the anthrax threat.  But calls to the Capitol
Hill switchboard, (202) 224-3121, are being forwarded to district

(Look up your Representative at http://tws.ctsg.com/wac/legDirectory/,
where you can also find district office phone numbers.)

The Pilot Range, located in the Great Basin on the Utah-Nevada border,
is an outstanding example of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in
northwest Utah deserving of wilderness protection.  Described as
"spectacular" by the BLM, the Pilot Range includes alpine ridges and
meadows, pinyon-juniper forest, sage-covered slopes cut by rocky
canyons, and rare perennial streams.  

It is home to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and
mule deer, as well as Utah's only population of threatened Lahontan
cutthroat trout.  Visitors can still see the wagon tracks of the
Donner Party, which passed through the area in 1847.

On October 3, the Pilot Range Wilderness Act, H.R. 2488, was voted out
of the House Resources Committee and could go to the House floor for a
final vote at any time. Introduced by Rep. Jim Hansen (R-1/UT), H.R.
2488 has so many severe defects that the term "wilderness" in its
title is a misnomer.  

While some amendments were made, the bill remains a terrible template
for Utah wilderness.  As currently drafted, the bill omits key areas
that should be protected as wilderness and contains several provisions
that undermine the Wilderness Act of 1964 and permit damaging
activities in wilderness.

1) H.R. 2488 designates only 23,000 acres of wilderness in the Pilot
Range and inexplicably cuts off more than 20 square miles of Pilot
Peak's wild bench lands, lands that just last year Utah Gov. Mike
Leavitt, then-Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, Box Elder County, Utah
BLM, and Resources Committee Chairman Hansen himself all agreed should
be designated as wilderness.

2) H.R. 2488 has unprecedented military access language far exceeding
any previous wilderness legislation, creating a so-called "wilderness"
where the Air Force can build or install new structures,
communications installations, or other developments, and conduct a
variety of aerial training exercises with no restrictions whatsoever.

3) H.R. 2488 explicitly denies a federal water right for this desert
wilderness and its wildlife, which includes the federally listed
threatened Lahontan Cutthroat Trout.  Wilderness needs water, and this
bill needs a provision to protect water for wilderness purposes.

H.R. 2488 could come to the House as soon as next week.  If the bill
passes, it would be Utah's first-ever BLM wilderness bill.  As such,
it *must* be far better.  Please CALL your Representative at (202)
224-3121 and ask him/her to:

   - OPPOSE H.R. 2488, the Pilot Range Wilderness Act, as reported
from the House Resources Committee.  The bill will sacrifice some of
Utah's most spectacular wild places, because it:

   - Fails to designate enough wilderness in the Pilot Range,
including lands that even Rep. Hansen agreed last year should be
designated as wilderness;

   - Gives the Air Force unprecedented access to the wilderness, to
conduct unrestricted low-level training exercises which will require
the construction of roads and installation of monitoring equipment;

   - Explicitly denies a federal water right for this desert
wilderness, which is needed to assure wilderness values and provide
for fish and wildlife, including the threatened Lahontan cutthroat

Look up your Representative at http://tws.ctsg.com/wac/legDirectory/,
where you can also find district office phone numbers.

For a full list of Action Items, visit

An archive of past Wildalerts can be found at

WildAlert is an email action alert system brought to you by The
Wilderness Society to keep you apprised of threats to our wildlands --
in the field and in Washington.  WildAlert messages include updates
along with clear, concise actions you can take to protect America's
last wild places.  You are welcome to forward Wildalerts to all those
interested in saving America's wildlands.

FEEDBACK: If you need to get in contact with the owner of the list,
(if you have trouble unsubscribing, or have questions about the list
itself) send email to <action@tws.org>.

TO SUBSCRIBE: If you have been forwarded this message and would like
to subscribe to the list, visit
http://www.wilderness.org/forms/subscribe.htm or send a message to
wildalert@tws.org with 'SUBSCRIBE' in the subject line. 

Founded in 1935, The Wilderness Society works to protect America's
wilderness and to develop a nation-wide network of wild lands through
public education, scientific analysis and advocacy.  Our goal is to
ensure that future generations will enjoy the clean air and water,
wildlife, beauty and opportunities for recreation and renewal that
pristine forests, rivers, deserts and mountains provide. To take
action on behalf of wildlands today, visit our website at

from Alaska Wildlife Campaign October 25, 2001

If you haven't already sent in comments, please complete, cut & paste the
following comment form, and email it to the address below.

This past winter the State of Alaska initiated a Citizens Advisory Committee
(CAC) process to write a bear management plan for the Kodiak brown bear; a
subspecies of brown or grizzly bear whose 3,000-3,500 members live on the
Kodiak Archipelago islands in Alaska's southcentral waters.

While bear-viewing in many parts of Alaska has boomed in popularity, the
trend has somewhat by-passed Kodiak Island, even though it has some of the
best places in Alaska to see and photograph brown bears. Hunting and fishing
remain the dominant activities on the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.

The public comment period is now open, with the final product due in
December. YOUR opinion is VITAL. Although the CAC is a state process, the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will pay close attention to the CAC's final
plan. You can help the Kodiak brown bear by broadening the Refuge's
management goals to include controlled viewing and photography programs.

Please add your name & address to the following message, cut, paste and
email it to cindi_loker@fishgame.state.ak.us by October 31st

RE: Kodiak Archipelago Bear Conservation & Management Plan

*** I support opening Kodiak Island's O'Malley Creek to bear viewing;
*** I support the establishment of a controlled Kodiak Island bear viewing

(REQUIRED:  Put name and complete mailing address here)
Please email your comments immediately. The deadline is October 31st.

To learn more about Kodiak brown bears and/or to review the proposed
management plan, visit our website at www.akwildlife.org
Many thanks.

The Alaska Wildlife Alliance
Letting Nature Run Wild
P.O. Box 202022
Anchorage, AK 99520
(907) 277-0897
(907) 277-7423 Fax
email:  awa@alaska.net

from Rainforest Action Network October 25, 2001

Second e-mail this week, StopCiti fans! Although we try to minimize traffic,
there is so much going on right, we feel you need to stay informed. Topping
this week of actions that we wrote you about yesterday, we are now in
preparations for a November 7th International Day of Action. See below
for details. As you begin to prepare your actions, let sabrina@ran.org
know, so we can hook up other activists in your area with you. Also,
remember to take pictures so we can post them on our websites, and let
the world see how we have sined the light on Citi's destructive practives!


1. Call for International Actions on November 7th
2. NEW Citi and Global Warming Fact Sheet!! Download and distribute!

#1.      *** NOV 7th ***  NOV 7TH *** NOV 7TH *** *** NOV 7th ***

2 days before the WTO holds their first meeting since Seattle, pay a
visit to one of the architects of corporate globalization ....


Shine some light on what the World's Biggest Bank does with OUR money!
In fact shine the biggest light we’ve got - THE SUN!

sabrina@ran.org  415-398-4404/800-989-RAIN  www.ran.org


CITIGROUP is the world's largest financial institution made up of Citibank,
Citifinancial, Traveler’s Insurance, CitiMortgage and investment house
Salomon Smith Barney (now called Citi Asset Management). Together, these
companies make up a trillion-dollar mega-corporation that uses our money
to finance countless ecologically and socially destructive activities
around the globe.

Shining the light on Citigroup means pulling the Corporation out of the
dark ages. Citigroup has no basic social or environmental standards for
its investments. Citigroup has the dubious distinction of being #1 in:

GLOBAL WARMING. As the top funder of the fossil fuel industry, Citigroup
profits from oil and gas projects that threaten pristine ecosystems and
indigenous cultures like the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, Ecuador’s OCP pipeline
and the Camisea Project in Peru.

DEFORESTATION. Citi’s investments destroy forests from the California
redwoods to endangered orangutan habitat in Indonesia to the Amazon basin.

PREDATORY LENDING.  Citi has been repeatedly investigated by the US
government for discriminatory lending practices against poor people and people of

CRISIS and its clear that Citigroup is a bank that is out of control.

All around the world people are resisting Citi funded projects.  In Ecuador
the communities surrounding the Mindo cloud forest reserve have
non-violently occupied heavy machinery and blockaded the construction site of the Citi
funded OCP pipeline. In Peru where Citi is the financial advisor to the
Camisea project indigenous communities that live in voluntary isolation
like the Nahua and Kugapakori peoples are fighting to block oil and gas
drilling that will devastate the forests and their traditional way of
life. It’s time to do our part by exposing Citi’s cozy relationship with
big oil companies at the same time they discriminating against renewable
energy investments.

Clearly Citi’s dim practices need a little light.  Who better to provide
this much-needed resource than THE SUN!

On Nov 7th at Citi branches across North America THE SUN will be visiting
Citi and demanding Citi shift their investments in fossil fuels and other
destructive activities towards solar and renewable energy.

Shine the light of public scrutiny on Citi and let them know that until
they clean up their act we say: "Not with our money CITI!"”

To get instructions on how to make your sunny cool mask go to:

Citi has thousands of branches and offices around the US and offices
in over 100 countries around the world. Find your local subsidiary and


If you can't make it to a Citi branch, organize an educational event,
phone zap/fax blast/letter writing table or other solidarity event.

CITI is uniquely vulnerable to grassroots pressure because of their massive
consumer presence and efforts to promote the Citi brand name. They are
terrified that the word will get out about their destructive practices.
So let’s organize people to cut up their Citi credit cards, switch their
student loans, cancel their accounts and confront Citi at their local
branches! Together we can send a strong message that we demand Citi stop
profiting off the destruction of communities, our atmosphere, and endangered
ecosystems and prioritize funding for sustainable development and renewable


Rainforest Action Network, PowerShift, Hot ‘n Bothered Climate Campaign,
Free the Planet, Student environment action Coalition, New York National
Organization of Women, Inner City Press/Community on the Move


For a downloadable version of this fact sheet, see

Ilyse Hogue
ilyse@onebox.com - email
(510) 859-2639 x3330 - voicemail/fax

in solidarity for the earth,
Sabrina Alonso, Citigroup Campaign Organzier
Rainforest Action Network
221 Pine St. Suite 500 San Francisco CA 94104
415-398-4404/1-800-989-RAIN   www.ran.org

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN FOR A SANE ECONOMY - a low density announcement only
list serve about the campaign to transform the global financial system
by targeting Citigroup the world's most destructive bank.

from Save Our Environment October 25, 2001


Even though arsenic causes cancer, and despite congressional and
public opposition, the Bush administration has suspended and proposed
weakening a new rule reducing the 'acceptable' level of arsenic in
our drinking water.

The new standard of 10 parts per billion (ppb) is the result of more
than a decade of scientific reviews, public hearings, and discussions
with health experts and industry. The National Academy of Sciences
recently found that even 10 ppb may not be strict enough and presents
a risk that is 30 times higher than EPA's highest acceptable cancer
risk for drinking water contaminants.

The EPA is accepting public comments through October 31st on where it
should set the standard within a range of 3-20 ppb. Tell the
administration to stop caving in to industry pressure and to start
protecting our health by setting a stronger -- not weaker -- standard
for getting the arsenic out of our drinking water.

*********TAKE ACTION TODAY!***********

The deadline for your comments, OCTOBER 31st, is fast approaching.

We've made it easy for you to take action, and to let EPA
Administrator Whitman know you oppose the Bush administration's
decision to delay protections against arsenic in drinking water.

Dear Administrator Whitman,

I strongly oppose your decision to suspend and possibly weaken the
EPA'a previously announced rule lowering the acceptable level of
arsenic in our nation's drinking water from the current 50 parts per
billion to 10 ppb.

The new standard was the result of more than a decade of scientific
reviews, public hearings, and discussions with health experts and
industry. The National Academy of Sciences recently found that even
10 ppb may not be strict enough and presents a risk that is 30 times
higher than EPA's highest acceptable cancer risk for drinking water

Many public health experts have urged the standard should be even
stricter - 3 ppb. YOUR agency has determined that current technology
can detect and treat arsenic at this level, and that water utilities
are economically capable of purchasing such technology.

Delaying implementation of the standard only serves to increase
profits for polluters, such as the mining industry and other
corporate interests, at the expense of the public's health.

I urge you to reverse your announcement and set the new standard at 3
ppb. In addition, the rule should require full disclosure in "right
to know" reports sent to the public regarding the health risks of
arsenic found in their tap water at any level above 3 ppb.



For more information on arsenic and drinking water, please see:


Thanks for using the SaveOurEnvironment.org Action Center
http://www.saveourenvironment.org and working together with the
nation's most influential environmental groups in the crucial battles
to protect our air and water; our lands, forests, and oceans; our
wildlife; our children's future; and our planet's climate.

Remember, you can increase the impact of your support by encouraging
your family and friends to visit the Action Center as well. Please
use the "Tell a Friend" feature which allows you to send an e-
postcard right from the site!

from EarthNet News October 25, 2001

EarthNet News
...a project of the Center for Environmental Citizenship

October 25, 2001  
This week in EarthNet, take action to save the Stellar Sea Lions, while one of
your fellow EarthNetters has a few thoughts for a chainsaw-lover.  And don't
forget to show your environmental stripes, with a FREE envirocitizen.com email.
Sign up at http://www.envirocitizen.org/mail/

--Susie Gorden, EarthNet Editor
1. Corporate Corner: Sealing Their Fate
2. Quote of the Week
3. Letter to the Editor
4. Glimmer of Hope
5. Environmental Impacts of War: Landmines
6. Jobs, Conferences and Gatherings
7. Activist Phone Book & EarthNet News Info

Alaska's Stellar Sea Lions may go hungry this winter if the National Marine
Fisheries Service approves industry-backed commercial fishing regulations --
allowing factory trawlers to suck up fish populations in Alaska's waters.

Here's the way the food chain works.  Plankton utilizes sunlight. Fish eat
plankton. Alaska's Stellar Sea Lions eat fish. But the National Marine
Service's new commercial fishing plan is removing fishing restrictions in
Alaska faster than you can say "go fish." Not only does the plan hurt the sea
lions -- which scientists warn may soon face extinction -- but it denies
fishermen the opportunity to engage in small-scale, family-based fishing, while
encouraging the recovery of the sea lions.

There is a less-harmful Plan B.  Known as Alternative 2, this would set catch
limits and restrict fishing in critical habitat areas.  Voice your support for
Alternative 2.

TAKE ACTION NOW:  Tell the Fisheries Service to chill on draining Alaska's
waters of its fish and instead support Alternative 2 with the EarthNet Action
Center at http://www.envirocitizen.org/enet.


As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go. Be
like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction.
--Wendell Berry

In response to last week's quote:
Ms. Cook, when I hear a chain saw, I get this hollow feeling in my heart that
tells me something is wrong. See dear, I live in harmony with nature. Whether
you know it or not, and obviously, you don't, all creatures and vegetation are
closely connected. We are family ...when one of us is cut down or killed,
everyone feels it." You are now calling me a "nut" but I am a sensitive
peaceful person who is simply attuned to what is important in our lives. I feel
sorry for people like you. You are a blindfolded person in a garden of flowers.
--Lina Nicolia

And as a reminder, here's last week's quote:
"I appreciate the sound of a chain saw. To hear a chain saw in the distance as
I'm hiking along on a trail warms my heart …The sound of a chain saw means
progress. It means that man and nature are interacting in a mutually beneficial
-- Adena Cook, Public Lands Director, BlueRibbon Coalition, March 2001,
BlueRibbon Magazine

Got something to say?  Send your letters to mailto:earthnet@envirocitizen.org
We reserve the right to edit for length, clarity, and purpose.

After a two-year struggle, the Deni Indians of the Brazilian Amazon won formal
recognition of their rights to their traditional land -- saving it from logging
and mining. The decision was announced earlier this month, and secures one of
the world's few remaining ancient forests.  Check out
http://www.greenpeace.org/pressreleases/forests/2001oct19.html for more

Our examination of the environmental impacts of war continues -- this week
looking at landmines.

Around the world, the environment has been used systematically to win conflicts
and kill innocent people. The use of landmines is one of the starkest examples
of this.
Landmines have killed at least 5,000 people since the Vietnam War ended over
twenty-five years ago, and many more have been left horrendously maimed by the
thousands of landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) that litter South
Vietnam's landscape.

The figures are alarming. Worldwide it is estimated that about 65 million
landmines are scattered around the countryside, haunting local civilians on a
daily basis. Afghanistan has one of the highest concentrations of landmines in
the world. According to the UN De-mining Program (UNMAP), landmines and UXOs
last year injured or killed two or three people every day. Laden with 10
million mines, Afghanistan has been described as one big minefield. Many
international organizations are appealing to the US to leave landmines out of
the war against the Taliban, since Afghanistan may need decades to heal after
the last landmine blitz.

By using the environment to hide dangerous weapons, we have denied others a
precious right --mobility. The thousands of people fleeing US air raids in
Afghanistan may find landmines more of a deterrent than closed borders, since
many will be moving through unfamiliar areas and unmarked mine fields.

These "atom bombs" of the poor have evoked a sustained, worldwide and
grassroots response. Jimmy Carter has aggressively opposed the use of landmines
in war efforts, calling on nations to support the International Campaign to Ban
Landmines, the first international consensus on the destructiveness of these
man-made weapons. The US has not yet signed the treaty, despite the support of
137 nations in 2000.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.icbl.org/; http://www.demining.brtrc.com/;

-- Props to CEC intern, Leigh-Anne Havemann, who wrote this report

These are a sampling of the over 200 environmental and activist jobs and
internships listed at www.envirocitizen.org/enet/jobs/index.asp!

Global Response seeks an Associate Director in Boulder, CO.  Find the job
description at http://www.envirocitizen.org/enet/jobs/detail.asp?id=3592

Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark is looking for a Children's Garden Apprentice in
Dayton, OH.  Find the job description at

Earth Tones is hiring a Marketing Director in Sacramento, CA.  Find the job
description at http://www.envirocitizen.org/enet/jobs/detail.asp?id=3597

Lots more events listed at http://www.envirocitizen.org/enet/events/index.asp

WHAT: *Greening Your Campus* Weekend Training
WHERE: Chicago, IL
WHEN:  November 2-4, 2001
FOR MORE INFO: http://www.envirocitizen.org/enet/events/detail.asp?id=963

WHAT: Wildland-Urban Interface Conference
WHERE: Gainesville, FL          
WHEN:  November 5-8, 2001
FOR MORE INFO: http://www.envirocitizen.org/enet/events/detail.asp?id=811

WHAT: Shaping a Sustainable Future in Higher Education  
WHERE: Flagstaff, AZ
WHEN: November 1-4, 2001
FOR MORE INFO: http://www.envirocitizen.org/enet/events/detail.asp?id=804

U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202.224.3121
White House Comment Line: 202.456.1111
EarthNet Action Center: http://congress.nw.dc.us/cec
White House Address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20500
Senate Address: US Senate, Washington, DC 20510
House Address: US House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515
**Look up e-mail addresses in a comprehensive congressional directory at
http://congress.nw.dc.us/cec/congdir.html or http://www.vote-smart.org/ce

Write your own short articles for submission to EarthNet. We are particularly
interested in articles about student activism on your campus. The email
accounts for EarthNet News are:
For general comments: mailto:earthnet@envirocitizen.org
For article submissions or ideas: mailto:submissions@envirocitizen.org
Submit Jobs/Internships/Volunteer listings at
Submit Events at http://www.envirocitizen.org/enet/events/add.asp.

from American Lands October 26, 2001

To: All Activists
Fr: Lyndy Worsham, American Lands; Andrew George, National Forest
Protection Alliance; Tracy Davids, Southern Appalachian Biodiversity
Date: October 26, 2001

Join the November 13 National Staples Day of Action

Staples is currently doing a feasibility study to decide whether or not
they can meet the demand to phase out products made from U.S. public
lands.  Now is the time for National Forest advocates like you, to tell
Staples to stop selling paper products made from our National Forests.

Why Staples? Why Now?
Did you know that approximately one-third of the timber logged in
National Forests goes directly into pulp and paper manufacturing?  
Companies like International Paper and Georgia Pacific, are heavily
subsidized by the U.S. tax-payer to log National Forests to supply
Staples with cheap paper.  As the largest and fastest growing
office-supply store in the world, Staples needs to be pressured by
consumers in order to institute responsible paper procurement policies
to protect public lands.

In only one year, activists have caught the attention of Staples and the
media with over 200 nation-wide actions.  For example, last June, a
massive banner flew over Fenway Park in Boston while activists handed
out over 10,000 baseball cards picturing the CEO of Staples as a member
of the "Tree Cutters" baseball team.  In August, a pastor from Tanner's
Grove United Methodist Church in South Carolina, told shareholders at
their annual meeting that clear-cutting of forests is destroying his
community and that Staples has a moral obligation to sell recycled

We must get a commitment from Staples to end its practice of sourcing
commercially logged pulp from National Forests to make paper products
from virgin fiber.  Forest protection advocates would have considerably
more influence in Congress to gain support for the National Forest
Protection and Restoration Act (H.R. 1494), if Fortune 500 companies
like Staples were committed to stop buying wood from National Forests
and other endangered public lands.

Please join American Lands Alliance, Dogwood Alliance, Forest Ethics,
Free the Planet! National Forest Protection Alliance, Rainforest Action
Network, Rethink Paper, Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project,
Student environment action Coalition, and many more on November 13,
2001 by:

1.) Organizing a demonstration with a strong public lands message in
front of a Staples store near you. Perform a skit, present an award to
Staples for being the #1 forest destroyer, do a press conference, hold a
silent vigil in solidarity with the death of our forests.

2.) Organizing a "Call-In Day" on your college campus to the CEO of
Staples, Ron Sargent at 508.253.500.  Ask Staples to stop selling paper
products from U.S public lands. (Please ask callers to be polite on the

3.) Calling Ron Sargent on November 13 at 508.253.5000, on your own, if
you can't do any of the above.
To get Staples stickers, postcards, basketball cards, a "Public Lands
and Staples Action Packet," and for more information contact: Lyndy
Worsham at 828.251.9500 or lyndy@americanlands.org.  Andrew George at
828.285.8855 or andrew@forestadvocate.org. Tracy Davids at 828.258.2667
or tracy@sabp.net

Thanks for all your efforts!

from American Lands October 26, 2001

To: All Activists
Fr: Lisa Dix, American Lands Campaign
Date: October 26, 2001

UPDATE:  Interior Appropriations Bill Passes Congress

Congress approved the Fiscal Year 2002 Interior Appropriations bill last
week.  The Forest Service's overall budget was funded at $4.1 billion.  
The timber sale program was directly funded at $266.3 million, an $11
million increase from last year.  Indirect costs, such as timber trust
funds, road budgets, post timber sale forest vegetation and watershed
improvements, etc., will bring the timber sale program's funding to over
$1.4 billion.  The final Interior bill also funds the National Fire Plan
at $1.2 billion, with $209 million earmarked for hazardous fuels
reduction and an additional appropriation of $346 million for emergency
fire suppression activities.  Below is an update on some of the major
provisions of the bill, which will affect national forests in the coming

Wildland-Urban Interface
The Senate Interior bill included language, which would restrict 60% of
hazardous fuels reduction funds (or $125 million) to the wildland-urban
interface, to protect communities.  It was a major success to get
language restricting hazardous fuel reduction to the wildland-urban
interface in the Senate version of the bill.  Thanks to all who worked
to urge the Senate to include this language in their bill and to urge
the House to adopt it in the final Interior bill.  If the Senate
language had been approved this year, the Forest Service would have had
to focus the majority of its fuels reduction projects in the
wildland-urban interface.  However, the House rejected the Senate's
language in conference and offered a watered down alternative.  The
alternative takes away the requirement for the Forest Service to spend
60% of their fuels reduction funds in the interface, but states that the
Forest Service has to justify its actions to Congress if it fails to
spend these funds in the interface. The conferees agreed on the
following report language:

"The managers have not included bill language proposed by the Senate,
which required that the Forest Service spend no less than $125,000,000
on hazardous fuels reduction projects in the wildland-urban interface.  
Instead, the managers expect that the Forest Service will expend this
amount, as stated in the budget request, on projects in the
wildland-urban interface.  If the agency does not attain such levels, it
shall promptly notify the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations
and provide a report explaining why the Forest Service was unable to
expend such sums.  The managers continue to believe that an emphasis on
fuels reduction work in the wildland-urban interface is critical to
protecting the safety of rural communities."

Last year, Congress directed the Forest Service to focus most of its
fuels reduction treatments on communities at risk in the wildland-urban
interface, however, only 25% of the acres treated actually focused on
the interface.  The other 75% of acres treated were off the shelf,
NEPA-ready projects far away from communities at risk, and many were
commercial timber sales that were renamed as fuels reduction/restoration
projects.  In this next year, fuels reduction projects need to be
continually monitored to insure that fuels reduction funds are actually
being spent to protect communities.  The Forest Service must also be
held accountable for mixing commercial timber sales with restoration and
fuels reduction projects, spending fuels reduction funds to clean up
logging slash, and doing fuels reduction work in threatened and
endangered species habitat and other areas that do not need fuels
reduction work.  

Stewardship Contracting
The final Interior bill contained a rider, originally added in the
Senate, authorizing 28 additional stewardship contracting pilot
projects.  The rider states that at least nine of the stewardship
projects shall be allocated to Region 1 and at least three to Region 6.  
This is the third year that stewardship projects have been authorized on
the Interior Appropriations bill, meaning that the Forest Service now is
allowed to enter into 84 total contracts.  

Some of the contracting authorities allowed are extremely controversial.
For example, the "goods for services" authority allows the Forest
Service to give away an unlimited amount of trees to pay for
"restoration" projects.  One of the most egregious pilot projects is a
173 million board foot timber giveaway on the Clearwater and Nez Perce
National Forests in Idaho, where the Forest Service claims restoration
is needed to increase elk habitat.  Elk or their habitat is neither
threatened nor endangered in these forests.  Additionally, the Forest
Service has used the "goods for services" authority in every contract,
even though this program requires the Forest Service to test and compare
different contracting authorities.

Currently, only 25% of existing pilot projects have monitoring plans or
teams, even though the Forest Service is supposed to be monitoring and
studying the impacts and efficiency of the stewardship program.  
Congress continues to authorize more projects through the appropriations
process without requiring any new information about the projects or
their impacts.  Congress should stop authorizing new stewardship
projects through the appropriations process until the Forest Service has
completed the current projects, and produced data on the impacts of the

Forest Planning Rider
The final Interior bill contained another rider, added in conference,
which shields the Forest Service from lawsuits based solely on expired
forest plans.  Section 327 of the final bill states:

"Prior to October 1, 2002, the Secretary of Agriculture shall not be
considered to be in violation of subparagraph 6(f)(5)(A) of the Forest
and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C.
1604(f)(5)(A)) solely because more than 15 years have passed without
revision of the plan for a unit of the National Forest System.  Nothing
in this section exempts the Secretary from any other requirement of the
Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act (16 U.S.C. 1600 et
seq.) or any other law: Provided, That if the Secretary is not acting
expeditiously and in good faith, within the funding available, to revise
a plan for a unit of the National Forest System, this section shall be
void with respect to such plan and a court of proper jurisdiction may
order completion of the plan on an accelerated basis."

This controversial rider allows the Forest Service to continue projects
based on outdated forest plans from the 1980s.  The revision of forest
plans is essential to allow the Forest Service to consider the
wilderness suitability of roadless areas and to seek protection for
them, deal with growing off-road vehicle threats, integrate updated fire
plans, and eliminate old logging standards and guidelines based on
outdated science.  By exempting the Forest Service from this basic
management responsibility, Congress dramatically reduced the
environmental standards of the agency and eliminated a great deal of
accountability, public input or inclusion of the latest scientific
discoveries into the forest planning process.

Recreational Fee Demonstration Program
In the final bill, the recreational fee demonstration program was
extended for two years and the cap -- limiting the agencies ability to
charge fees at 100 locations maximum per agency -- was lifted.  
Additionally, the agencies must now seek Congressional approval for the
use of fee demonstration receipts for constructing a facility or
structure costing more than $500,000.  The Senate also insisted on
language, adopted in the final Interior bill, requiring the
authorization committees in the House and Senate to find permanent
solutions to the fee demonstration issue because "short term extensions
via the appropriations process are no longer germane."

Thanks to all for putting pressure on Congress to eliminate the fee
demonstration program.  The fee demonstration program faces increasing
public opposition due to its unreasonable economic impact on low-income
forest users, who are discouraged to use the national forests due to
admission costs.  The taxpayer not only continues to subsidize the
federal timber sale program at a loss, and now will be required to pay
additional fees for recreational purposes.  Further, the Forest Service
continues to spend funds from the fee-demo program on parking tickets
rather than on more pressing needs, such as maintenance backlog, timber
theft and resource damage caused by off-road vehicles.   

The House bill originally extended the program for four years and lifted
the cap, which would have certainly entrenched the program.  Although
the cap was lifted on sites and the program was extended for two years,
riders can no longer be attached to the Interior bill extending the
program.  This means that forest advocates have a great opportunity to
put pressure on Congress to pass an authorization bill ending the
program permanently.

from Union of Concerned Scientists October 29, 2001

Union of Concerned Scientists 
Action Alert 
October 29, 2001

Recent threats of bioterrorism have highlighted how important it is that we safeguard the effectiveness of America's antibiotics supply.  Yet Bayer Corporation is putting public health at risk.

Bayer is refusing to comply with the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) proposed ban on the use of Bayer's antibiotic, Baytril(R), in treating chickens and turkeys.

The FDA recommended the ban after its scientists found that use of Baytril(R) in chicken farming contributes to the development of bacterial infections in humans that are resistant to antibiotic treatment. Because of antibiotic overuse, infectious bacterial diseases are emerging that we may not be able to cure because antibiotics won't work.

Bayer has refused to listen to these scientific concerns and is contesting the ban.  This decision puts profits over public health.  Tell the CEO of Bayer, Mr. Helge H. Wehmeier, to withdraw Baytril(R) from the market by clicking here:  www.BayerWatch.com.  

This action against Bayer is the first initiative of a new coalition to protect our health called Keep Antibiotics Working: The Campaign to End Antibiotic Overuse.

Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists joined health, consumer, agricultural, environmental and animal protection groups in launching a coalition to educate the public and policy makers about the need to curb antibiotic resistance.  The campaign also launched an action site, www.BayerWatch.com and a linked informational site, www.KeepAntibioticsWorking.com.

An estimated 70% of all antimicrobials in the U.S. are used in healthy farm animals for purposes like promoting slightly faster growth.  Often this use compensates for unsanitary living conditions on crowded industrial farms.  Antibiotic resistance puts everyone at risk, but especially children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Due to these risks, the American Medical Association urges that "non-therapeutic use in animals of antimicrobials (that are also used in humans) should be terminated or phased out."

Please visit www.BayerWatch.com and take action today and forward this message to others you think would be interested.

If you have questions about this action alert, please contact Juanita Mendoza Keesing in UCS's Washington, DC, office by email (jkeesing@ucsusa.org) or by calling 202-223-6133.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is an independent nonprofit alliance of citizens and scientists working for sound environmental solutions. We combine scientific analysis with innovative thinking and practical policy initiatives to improve the environment in ways that preserve our health, protect our safety, and enhance the quality of life in our communities.

from Greenpeace October 30, 2001
Greenpeace Activist News Vol. 1, No. 10
30 October 2001

In this issue, the Deni are victorious, our Amazon office gets a death threat, the Star Wars 17 need your help, Japan prepares its whaling fleet for the Southern Ocean, the Rainbow Warrior sails for Qatar, protecting corn from genetic infection, and brainstorming ideas for the 17th anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India.

You can change your email address, unsubscribe from this list,
and have a forgotten cybercentre password mailed to you using
the links at the bottom of this message. Please remember to
delete these links before forwarding this message to anyone


On 16 October, the Brazilian government officially announced formal recognition of the Deni's rights to their traditional land, some 1,530,000 hectares in the remote south west of the Amazon.

This tremendous victory was helped enormously by the Greenpeace cyberactivists who sent 8453 letters to the President of Brazil and 6435 e-cards to their friends and colleagues to help protect the land of the Deni people. Thanks as well to Polecat (Steve Danielsson) and the other activists who spent hot grueling days marking out Deni territory and to the almost 500 cyberactivists to applied for positions on the Deni demarcation team. Other campaign opportunities in the real world will come up soon and we'll keep you all informed.

Although the Deni land has now been protected, many other areas of the Amazon are still under threat. The Greenpeace campaign is now focusing its attention on 2.2 million hectares west of the Xingu river, where more than 100 communities are opposed to logging operations over which they have no control.

Please send a letter to the Brazilian authorities to support the Xingu communities at:



In another development, Brazil suspended all mahogony logging and exports after Greenpeace released aerial photographs exposing widespread illegal mahogony logging on the lands of the Kayapo people. As a result of the campaign, Greenpeace Amazon campaigner Paolo Adario received a death threat. Given the organized crime interests involved in mahogony logging, Greenpeace is taking this threat very seriously.

Please send a letter to the President and Justice Minister of Brazil supporting Greenpeace's work in the Amazon at:


You can also download a beautiful Amazon screensaver at:



The 15 Greenpeace activists and 2 journalists arrested during the Star Wars missile test at Vandenburg Air Force Base in California on 14  July have now been allowed to temporarily return home. However, they have been charged with crimes with sentences for up to 6 years and the trial is currently scheduled for late November.

Please help spread the word about Star Wars by downloading a black and white poster and flyer from:


Please photocopy the poster and flyer, and put up as many copies of the poster, and distribute as many copies of the flyer as possible in the next few weeks.

If you are not living in the US, don't forget to send a letter to your local US embassy at:


Thanks to the 3952 people who have already sent letters to US embassies.

You can discuss this campaign further on the cybercentre at:



Japan's whaling fleet is expected to leave its home port of Shimonoseki around 6 November for Antarctic waters.  Japan is pushing hard for a return to large scale commercial whaling and is buying support from a number of developing countries for a crucial vote at the next meeting of the International Whaling Commission in May 2002.

Please sent a fax to the Japanese prime minister asking him to stop the whaling expedition before it leaves port from:


You can also join the new Global Whale Action Team at:


to receive detailed updates and special action alerts between now and next May.


After intense public resistance to the agenda of the World Trade Organization at its last few meetings, the controversial organization moved its annual meeting this year to the remote desert sheikdom of Qatar. Nevertheless, the Greenpeace flag ship Rainbow Warrior will be anchored near the meeting site at the Qatari capital of Doha when the meeting begins

To read the Greenpeace report on safe trade, "The Greening of Doha", you can use this link:


(Requires the free Adobe reader.)

You can read more about Greenpeace's views on International Trade at:


and follow our activities in Qatar at:



For three years Greenpeace has been warning that genetically-modified corn imported from the United States could be accidentally planted and cross pollinate. Now these fears have been confirmed. Scientists, farmers and environmentalists are pressing the Mexican government to act urgently on this serious threat to global food security by taking emergency measures. This requires stopping imports of US corn into Mexico - the most likely source of the pollution.

Please write to the Mexican agriculture minister and ask him to halt this major threat to world food supplies at:



3 December will be the 17th anniversary of the worst industrial accident in history: the release of poison gas at the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India. Although Union Carbide abandoned its facory and now has been absorbed by the huge Dow Chemical company, poisons from the factory continue to leach into local water supplies.

We are interested in your views on how to get the site cleaned up. We've set up an article on Bhopal at:


from Global Response October 30, 2001

Dear Members of Global Response:

Please take a moment to send an automated fax to Shell Oil Co., on behalf of
an African American communitiy in Louisiana, USA.  Thanks to CorpWatch for
providing the automated fax website.

October 26, 2001

Support the Families of Norco, Louisiana in Their Fight Against Shell!

For 15 years the residents of the Diamond district, an African American
community in Norco, Louisiana, have been demanding  that Shell relocate
them from their neighborhood adjacent to one of the corporation's
chemical plants. Despite the pollution,
accidents and health risks caused by the plant, Shell refuses to
relocate all the residents of Diamond.

Send a free fax Shell CEO Steven Miller! Demand justice for the families
of Norco: http://www.corpwatch.org/action/2001/027.html

Or first, read some facts:

Diamond is an African American neighborhood made up of four streets in
the town of Norco, LA, 25 miles up the Mississippi River from New

Many of the Diamond residents are descendents of the sharecroppers and
slaves that worked the land since the days before the Civil War.

Since the 1950's, Shell has devoured much of the land for its
ever-expanding industrial needs. Shell 's operations now extend to
within 15 feet of the neighborhood.

A community group in Diamond -- Concerned Citizens of Norco -- has been
battling Shell for 15 years for a fair and just relocation from Shell's
hazardous operations.

Shell has had fatal accidents, one in which a boy mowing a lawn was
burned alive when a Shell pipeline exploded. Shell never apologized and
paid the family a mere $500.

The deaths, the health risks of breathing toxic chemicals, and the
ceaseless noise from the plant have sent Diamond property values

In August of 2000, Shell made an offer to buy only half of this historic
community, excluding two of the neighborhood's four streets.

Shell is destroying this strong social fabric of Diamond. The elderly
and the sick are being divided from their primary caretakers, children
are being ripped from those that care for them. The community demands
that Shell provide fair and equal resettlement
for all of Diamond's families.

Source: Concerned Citizens of Norco.

Thank you for your support.

Paula Palmer, Executive Director
Global Response
PO Box 7490
Boulder CO 80306
Tel. 303-444-0306
Fax. 303-449-9794
Website: www.globalresponse.org

Mission:  Global Response empowers people of all ages, cultures, and
nationalities to protect the environment by creating partnerships for
effective citizen action.  At the request of indigenous peoples and
grassroots organizations, Global Response organizes international
letter-writing campaigns to help communities prevent environmental
destruction.  Global Response involves young people as well as adults in
these campaigns, to develop in them the values and skills for global citizen
cooperation and earth stewardship.

from American Oceans Campaign October 30, 2001

URGENT Action Alert-- Comments on Arsenic Standard

The comment period on the Bush Administration's proposal
to withdraw the EPA-finalized arsenic standard of 10
parts per billion ends TOMORROW. Take action today
in one of two ways:

1. If you don't have much time...
Go to http://actionnetwork.org/ct/l7qqAsY1uqDl/safe-drinking-water
and comment on-line. There is a sample letter already
included that you can embellish, or simply write your

2. If you would like to send in more substantive comments...
Consider signing on to the sign-on letter below. The
letter was  
developed by drinking water experts with the Campaign
for Safe and Affordable Drinking Water. Please send
all sign-ons to Lynn Thorp at lthorp@cleanwater.org
by 12 pm EST TOMORROW. (Please do not simply reply
to this message to sign-on.)  

W-99-16-VI Arsenic Comments Clerk  
Water Docket (MC-4101)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20460


RE: EPA Rulemaking on Drinking Water Standard For Arsenic

Dear EPA Official:  

We are submitting this letter in response to EPA's
Federal Register notice of October 5, 2001 and to present
our views on the Environmental Protection Agency's
("EPA") current rulemaking on arsenic in drinking water.
We believe that EPA did not have the legal authority
to suspend the final arsenic rule that the agency issued
on January 22, 2001. Therefore, the 10 parts per billion
("ppb") standard should have remained in effect, and
the agency should have implemented the rule  
according to the regulatory schedule established in
the final rule. Furthermore, in accordance with the
Safe Drinking Water Act's ("SDWA") anti-backsliding
provision, EPA only has the legal authority to revise
the 10 ppb standard downward in any future rulemaking.
Based on the best available scientific information,
EPA should set any new Maximum Contaminant Level ("MCL")
for arsenic at 3 ppb. While this standard  
presents a risk that is at least 10 times higher than
EPA's highest acceptable cancer risk for drinking water
contaminants, the agency has already determined that
a 3 ppb standard is "feasible, " meaning that the technology
exists to detect and treat arsenic in drinking water
at this level, and that water utilities are economically
capable of purchasing the technology required for such
actions. The results of the reviews that EPA initiated
also support a 3 ppb standard. Therefore, EPA should
set the new MCL for arsenic at 3 ppb.  

The EPA Did Not Have The Authority To Suspend The Final

In January 2001, EPA promulgated a rule for arsenic
in drinking water that set the MCL at 10 ppb. This
long-awaited rule was the result of years of analysis
and based on decades of accumulated information. On
March 23, 2001, the new administration suspended the
long-overdue 10 ppb standard for arsenic in drinking
water. In April, claiming that the arsenic rule was
highly controversial and based on poor analysis and

uncertain science, the EPA began a new rulemaking process
in which the agency planned to set a new standard between
3 ppb and 20 ppb. In the same notice, EPA also initiated
three reviews of EPA's past regulatory decision-making
process on arsenic.  

EPA failed to comply with required rulemaking procedures
when it undertook these actions. The agency also failed
to cite any new scientific information as justification
for the suspension of the new rule. In short, the agency
had no legal authority to suspend the duly promulgated
rule. Therefore, the 10 ppb standard should have remained
in effect and on schedule to be implemented according
to the timelines established in the January 2001 rule.

If EPA intends to amend the rule that established the
10 ppb standard, then the agency must undertake another
rulemaking to modify the 10 ppb arsenic standard. This
rulemaking must, of course, comply with all of SDWA's

EPA Must Increase or Maintain Protections Against Arsenic
In Drinking Water

When EPA revises a drinking water standard, SDWA requires
that the new standard maintain or increase protections
for human health provided by a drinking water standard.
In its January 2001 rule, EPA established a standard
of 10 ppb for arsenic. Therefore, in the final rule
that EPA promulgates in February 2002, the agency must
comply with SDWA's anti-backsliding provision and set
a standard that is at least as  
protective as that 10 ppb standard.  

In this rulemaking, EPA should increase the protection
from arsenic in drinking water by lowering the MCL
to 3 ppb. Under SDWA, EPA must set MCLs as close to
the health-based goal of zero for carcinogens as is
"feasible", unless the costs of a standard outweigh
its benefits. In the January 2001 rule, EPA estimated
that the costs of the rule equaled or exceeded the
benefits of the rule in setting a standard. Given the

findings of the three review panels, EPA will have
to substantially increase its estimate of the benefits
of lower arsenic levels in drinking water. These estimates
should result in a cost-benefit analysis that favors
a 3 ppb standard.  

Reviews Dispel Any Controversy, Demonstrate Need For
Stronger Standard Than 10 ppb  

The administration stated that the10 ppb standard was
controversial because EPA had rushed the rule through
at the last minute, and consequently that EPA had failed
to conduct the appropriate analysis. However, the January
2001 arsenic rule was the product of a two-year rulemaking
process that analyzed decades of scientific studies.
That fact notwithstanding, the administration presented
two main arguments in favor of suspending the rule.
The administration claimed that EPA's rule relied on
uncertain science in estimating health risks (i.e.
the risk of dying from cancer or contracting non-cancer
health effects) related to arsenic and that it used
inaccurate cost estimates for treating arsenic (i.e.
EPA underestimated costs associated with treating

The administration initiated a regulatory process that
included a: 1) possible modification of the January
2001 rule, 2) National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review
of the scientific studies that EPA will use in assessing
arsenic's health impacts (2001 Update) ; 3) EPA's Science
Advisory Board (SAB) review of EPA's estimates of the
benefits of lower levels of arsenic in drinking water
(SAB) ; and 4) National Drinking Water Advisory Council
(NDWAC) review of EPA's cost estimates for treating
drinking water (NDWAC) . These reviews found that EPA
underestimated risks, presented a "credible" cost estimate,
and may have underestimated the benefits of less arsenic
in drinking water.  

NAS Review Found That EPA Had Vastly Underestimated
The Cancer Risk Of Arsenic  

The NAS review found a dramatically higher risk of
fatal cancer at even a 3 ppb standard than EPA estimated
in its final rule, or than EPA typically allows for
drinking water contaminants regulated by SDWA. EPA's
least protective (highest risk) standard for carcinogenic
drinking water contaminants is 1 in 10,000, meaning
one person in every 10,000 risks dying of cancer from
drinking a regulated drinking water contaminant. EPA's
most protective standard protects 1 in 1,000,000  
people from the risk of dying from cancer caused by
such contaminants.  

The NAS found that EPA vastly underestimated the risk
of fatal cancer caused by arsenic in drinking water.
In EPA's final rule, the agency estimated that there
was a .06 - 2.99 in 10,000 risk of contracting a fatal
cancer at 10 ppb. According to NAS, the risks are far
greater than estimated by EPA. Using central point
estimates-which do not reflect the potential risks
experienced by the most exposed, or vulnerable, populations-the
NAS derived the following risk estimates:  

As the chart above demonstrates, even if EPA sets the
arsenic standard at 3 ppb, the risk of contracting
a fatal cancer is still far higher than EPA normally
accepts when setting drinking water standards for cancer-causing
contaminants. The NAS also confirmed that EPA's use
of a linear dose-response .

curve was appropriate. 2001 Update, 9. Furthermore,
the NAS endorsed EPA's use of studies conducted in
Taiwan, as appropriate for determining the risk of
cancer related to arsenic ingestion. 2001 Update, 11.

The NAS concluded that there is also evidence of non-cancer
health effects from ingesting arsenic. The NAS found
that "chronic exposure to arsenic in drinking water
might [] be associated with increased risk of high
blood pressure and diabetes" and that "even small increases
in relative risk for these conditions at low doses
could be of considerable  
public-health importance." 2001 Update, 58. The NAS
stated that there is evidence of adverse reproductive
and developmental effects, including infant mortality,
spontaneous abortions, stillbirths and premature births.
2001 Update, 26-27, 56. The NAS acknowledged that more
should be conducted on these impacts. The review found
that there is also evidence of adverse respiratory
effects from ingesting arsenic. 2001 Update, 29, 56.
The NAS also noted that arsenic's "effect on immune
function merits further study." 2001 Update, 58.  

NDWAC Review Found That EPA Had Done A "Credible" Job
Estimating Costs  

The NDWAC cost review panel found that EPA had "produced
a credible estimate of the cost of compliance" with
the arsenic rule. NDWAC, 2. The panel did recommend
that EPA consider alternative treatment technologies
that could potentially decrease treatment costs. NDWAC,
6. The panel also listed other factors that EPA should
analyze, which could further decrease costs. NDWAC,
17 . The panel recommended that  
EPA use a capital cost multiplier of 1.8 for large
systems rather than EPA's use of 3.33 capital cost
multiplier they had used. NDWAC 29, compare 23. The
panel noted that regenerative activated alumina has
"significantly higher" unit disposal costs than activated
alumina), NDWAC 22. It further recommended that EPA
assume the use of disposable activated alumina as a
treatment technology rather than the regenerated activated
alumina, NDWAC, 31. and it discussed the possibility
of the  
practical use of treating arsenic with point-of-usetechnologies
NDWAC 34,35.  

SAB Review Found That EPA Had Underestimated The Benefits
Of Reducing Arsenic In Drinking Water  

The SAB health benefits review panel found that EPA
should have increased the monetary benefits derived
from lower levels of arsenic in drinking water. SAB,
5. In its final rule, EPA failed to quantify the benefits
associated with reducing incidence of any non-cancer
health effects through lowering levels of arsenic in
drinking water. However, the SAB found evidence that
even at low levels of exposure, there is substantial
evidence that arsenic causes cardiovascular and cerebrovascular
diseases, endocrine effects (diabetes), reproductive
effects, and respiratory diseases. SAB, 7. The SAB
also noted that, while data was "somewhat sparse,"
there was similar concern about arsenic's impact on
neurological functions. SAB, 7. In summary, the SAB
recommended that EPA consider valuing the benefits
of reduced incidence of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension,
skin cancer, prostate cancer, nephritis and nephrosis,
and respiratory disease. SAB, 5, 7-8.  

The SAB also criticized EPA's determination that the
value the public would attach to of avoiding nonfatal
bladder cancer was the same value they would assign
to avoiding a case of chronic bronchitis . SAB, 5,
17. The SAB cited one study that examined the value
people were willing to pay to avoid contracting nonfatal
cancer that resulted in a value 20 times more than
EPA's estimates. SAB, 17. If EPA incorporates the
SAB's findings into this current rulemaking, then the
agency's valuation of the benefits of reduced nonfatal
cancers as a result of lower arsenic levels in drinking
water should substantially increase.  

The SAB also highlighted two other factors that may
have led EPA to significantly underestimate benefits.
SAB, 18. First, EPA failed to quantify the "extent
to which arsenic removal is a joint product of water
treatment together with the removal of other contaminants."
SAB, 18. Second, two of the three EPA cost estimate
case studies for large systems may have overestimated
costs because they did not account for  
alternative low-cost options to treatment that would
allow the systems to meet the stronger MCL. SAB, 18.
Importantly, the SAB also rejected the City of Albuquerque
cost estimates for disposal of arsenic saturated media
and other costs related to its transport. The SAB noted
that the city did not appropriately analyze the data,
adjust for potential confounding factors or consider
all variables. SAB, 19.  

We strongly urge the agency not to discount the value
of future benefits. This is a highly controversial
practice that implements the ethically abject notion
that the lives of future generations are worth less
than those of people who are currently living. In other
words, the lives of our children and grandchildren
are worth less than our lives. Further, it also suggests
that the lives of people who are currently living,
but who are threatened by a disease with a long latency
are also worth less than those who die of another type
of illness. However, if the agency determines that
it must employ a form of discounting, then we urge
the agency to maintain is position stated in the January
2001 rule that EPA will incorporate any such adjustments
only in its sensitivity analysis.

Two other issues related to estimating benefits and
costs also merit attention. First, we urge EPA to include
the benefits of reduced arsenic exposure in their cost-benefit
analysis. The American public is well aware that arsenic
is a poison. After EPA lowers allowable levels of arsenic
in drinking water, whenever a person drinks a glass
of water, or when they see their child drinking water,
they will feel more at ease  
knowing that they are better protected from arsenic-related
disease. EPA should quantify and incorporate this benefit
into its analysis.  

Second, we support EPA's use of an income elasticity
of one when estimating the value of a statistical life.
Real life experience supports EPA's recognition that
the value of a statistical life should increase in
proportion to income. EPA used this figure as an upper
bound estimate in its January 2001 rule , and various
economic analyses support its continued use.  

Even using EPA's original cost-benefit analysis, the
benefits could have equaled the costs. Reanalysis using
the SAB's conclusions demonstrates that EPA's cost-benefit
analysis inaccurately overemphasized the costs of protections
against arsenic, compared to the benefits of less arsenic
in drinking water. Therefore, in the upcoming rulemaking,
EPA's cost  
benefit-analysis should show benefits exceeding costs.

Overemphasizing Costs Relative To Benefits Results
In Weak Standard

SDWA normally requires EPA to set enforceable drinking
water standards (Maximum Contaminant Level, "MCL")
at a level that is feasible (i.e. drinking water systems
can meet this standard, taking into consideration the
costs and current technological capabilities). EPA
determined that an MCL of 3 ppb is feasible. However,
EPA set an MCL of 10 ppb standard by using a provision
of SDWA that allows EPA to set an MCL above the  
level of feasibility if EPA determines that the costs
of an MCL outweigh its benefits.  

However, the results of the review panels demonstrate
that EPA's analysis overemphasized costs, relative
to benefits. Even using these biased estimates, EPA
found that the costs could justify the benefits, at
the high end of the benefits and low end of the costs.
The information contained in these reviews demonstrates
that EPA likely erred in setting a weaker standard
for arsenic than is typically required for drinking
water contaminants under SDWA.  

EPA Should Set A Standard Of 3 ppb For Arsenic In Drinking

Congress declared under SDWA that EPA should use the
"best available, peer-reviewed science and supporting
studies." The NAS, NDWAC, and SAB reviews incorporate
this body of information into three reports. The conclusions
and recommendations of these reports support a 3 ppb

standard. EPA has determined that 3 ppb is feasible.
Therefore, EPA should establish a 3 ppb standard for
arsenic in drinking water.

EPA Should Retain Provisions for Consumer Confidence

The January, 2001 rule contained important provisions
for arsenic reporting in Consumer Confidence Reports
(CCR's). These reports are enable consumers to learn
information that can help them protect their families,
especially more vulnerable people, from potential health
threats and to become advocates for cleaner, safer
drinking water. These provisions should remain with
identical timelines in the final rule.


Visit the web address below and tell your friends about
this important issue!


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