If we want more evidence-based practice, we need more practice-based evidence.*

If we want more evidence-based practice, we need more practice-based evidence.*


Chapter 14 - Archives of Headlines
Community Water and Waste Control

Some of the following items are excerpts from the IRC/WSSCC publication, Source Weekly. The International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Council (WSSCC) Source Weekly News Service can be found at: http://www.wsscc.org/source.

LAUNCH OF WORLD WATER VISION TO MEET FUTURE WATER NEEDS. (Press release, Nov. 24, 1998)- The process to develop a Long-Term Vision on Water, Life and the Environment in the 21st Century was officially launched on 24 November 1998 in The Hague, the Netherlands. The World Water Vision will be presented at the Second World Water Forum: From Vision to Action, which will be organized together with an international ministerial conference from 16 -22 March 2000 in the Netherlands. The Netherlands Government gives high priority to integrated water management and is the major sponsor of the vision development. The process is being co-sponsored by the chief officers of eight UN agencies: FAO, UNEP, UNDP, UNICEF, WMO, WHO and the World Bank. See also http://watervision.cdinet.com/commissionrelease.html.   Contact: William Cosgrove, Vision Management Unit, World Water Council, c/o UNESCO, Division of Water Sciences, mailto:wjcosgrove@compuserve.com , Mr J. van Zijst, Conference Secretariat, Second World Water Forum & Ministerial Conference, c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs, mailto:hans.van.zijst@dml.minbuza.nl

STRATEGIC SANITATION APPROACH. The research project "Practical Development of Strategic Sanitation Concepts" aims to develop guidelines for the application of an integrated strategic sanitation approach in urban areas, based on a literature review, case studies and pilot project in one small town or municipality. The project is managed by GHK Research & Training, WEDC - Loughborough University, and the UNDP-World Bank Regional Water and Sanitation Group for South Asia. Funding is provided by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The project has set up a website -
http://info.lut.ac.uk/departments/cv/wedc/garnet/ssahomepage.html   - to present project background information and research outputs. Mr. Kevin Tayler, Project Manager, mailto:taylerk@ghkint.com

Agitated villagers in Tarsali, on the outskirts of Vadodara, Gujarat, have prevented attempts of the Municipal Council to severe more than 200 unauthorized water connections. Jeeps were damaged and a deputy engineer
was allegedly beaten up. The villagers had applied for water connections around 1990, but in 1995 the new government decided not provide connections outside city limits. While the villagers had paid for the initial development costs, officials claim they had not completed other formalities required to allow individual water connections. The village chief stated, however, that there was no alternative water supply as municipal sewage has polluted the village's groundwater. (Indian Express, 2 December 1998, http://www.indian-express.com/ie/daily/19981202/33650964.html )

An international donor conference in Washington has secured pledges of more than US$ 3 billion in economic aid for Palestinians, half of which is coming from the USA and the European Union. Most of the money will be
spent on infrastructure projects such as water supply, sewerage, roads and housing, but some will also go to social services and education. Another conference, to be held in France or Germany in February 1999,
will look at which specific projects will receive funding. Contact: Palestinian National Authority, mailto:info@nmopic.pna.net , http://www.pna.net/ (BBC News, 1 December 1998, http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/newsid_225000/225295.stm )

Six hundred tons of mercury have leaked from a Siberian chemical factory over the past 25 years, causing an ecological catastrophe and poisoning up to half a million people in the area. A Greenpeace spokesman likened the situation to a chemical Chernobyl. The factory, run by chemical firm Ussoliekhimprom, was electrolyzing mercury, to produce chlorine and caustic soda. It was shut down two months ago by a regional court. Local inhabitants have been poisoned after drinking river water, or by eating poisoned fish and birds, and locally grown fruit and vegetables. A clean-up program is underway. Contact: Roman Poukolov, Greenpeace Russia, mailto:greenpeace.russia@diala.greenpeace.org, http://green.rosmail.com/index.html
(Nando Times, 30 November 1998, http://www.rider.edu/users/phanc/courses/315-web/glob-env/RusChem1.htm)

WEDC is carrying out a review of research dissemination strategies carried out by the Engineering Division of UK Department for International Development (DFID) and other key water sector organizations. The project entitled "Practical Guidance on Research Dissemination Strategies" runs from September 1998 to January 1999. Contact: Darren Saywell, mailto:d.l.saywell@lboro.ac.uk (http://info.lut.ac.uk/departments/cv/wedc/garnet/allcasedissm.html)

NGO Forum for Drinking Water Supply & Sanitation is the apex networking and service delivery agency of Bangladeshi NGOs which implement water and sanitation programmes. The new NGO Forum website -
http://www.worldwaterday.org/1999/bgd.html   - concentrates on the arsenic pollution mitigation activities of the organization's Arsenic Cell. Contact: mailto:ngof@bangla.net

Pelicans roosting on the branches of Australian pines in Naples, Florida, USA, are causing potential health problems for local beachgoers. The birds are filling nearby drinking water fountains with their droppings. The situation has led for a call for the trees to be removed. One City Councilman claimed that the trees are filling with birds because their habitats are being destroyed, and that more trees would mean fewer birds per tree. City employees will begin looking at ways to address the problem without cutting down the trees.
(Naples Daily News, 3 December 1998, http://www.naplesnews.com/today/local/d193219a.htm)

New Regulations on Drinking Water Safety (Dec. 3, 1998). President Clinton announced new drinking water regulations designed to improve the safety of water supplies for 140 million Americans. The new regulations will set standards for contamination by cryptosporidium. The water-borne parasite is blamed for contaminating Milwaukee's water system in 1993, sickening some 400,000 people and killing about 100. The Environmental Protection Agency predicts that the new standards will prevent 460,000 cases of water-borne illnesses a year.

Other new rules announced by the President will require improved filtration and monitoring to reduce the amount of disinfectant chemicals in drinking water.Chlorine and other disinfectants prevent water-borne disease but have been found to cause birth defects and cancer in laboratory animals. The new rules are aimed at reducing exposure to these chemicals by 25 percent.
For more detail: http://www.fmb.org.uk/publications/masterbuilder/march99/21e.asp

Nuclear dump riles Mexico, might help Texas town. SIERRA BLANCA, Texas (Reuters) - Most people would balk at having a nuclear dump in their backyard, but most people don't live in the impoverished and isolated Texas town of Sierra Blanca. The town of 500 people sits in the arid desert of West Texas, waiting for a ticket out of poverty. Many residents hope that ticket will come Thursday when the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission will decide whether to grant a license for a proposed nuclear dump near the town to store low-level radioactive waste from hospitals, electric utilities and universities. But the $50 million project, to be developed at a site less than 20 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, has sparked a long-running diplomatic dispute with Mexico and upset a coalition of Democratic politicians, environmentalists and some local residents.

EPA to study chemical threat to drinking water. WASHINGTON (Reuters, Oct.30, 1998) - A new panel of scientists and public health experts will recommend how to protect U.S. drinking water from the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether, the Environmental Protection Agency said Friday. The chemical, which is suspected of causing cancer, is estimated to be leaking from some 20,000 underground storage tanks in California. The EPA said it would fund a $1 million pilot project in California to find ways of cleaning up contaminated drinking water supplies. The EPA will assemble a panel of experts in public health, automotive fuels and environmental science to study whether continued use of MTBE in gasoline is safe. The panel will give its recommendations to the EPA in six months.

The City of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India, known as the Detroit of India, is in the process of realizing a Rs. 300-crore (US$ 70.95 million) IT park at Taramani. The question arises, however, does the city have the social and physical infrastructure to support such an institution. The city is described as a city choking itself in its own pollution and gridlock, a city which is unable to contain a number of infectious diseases and lumpenised public behaviour, and a city which has deteriorating infrastructure. Many parts of Chennai, particularly the suburbs, get less than 70 litres per day (LPCD) of drinking water and many places are devoid of systems to treat sewage  and sewer systems. The Perungudi sewer is a disaster. The question is posited: Cannot the city at least clear its garbage? Everyday, the city generates 2,000 tonnes of garbage out of which only 1,800 tonnes is cleared. Infrastructure deficiencies include roads with potholes, unsafe drinking water, the sewage-filled waterways. Instead of planning such mega-IT projects, one engineer who has recently moved to Chennai, recently suggested "Let us talk about drinking water first." (The Hindu, 12 October, 1998,  http://lists.isb.sdnpk.org/pipermail/eco-list-old/1998-November/001460.html)

A Rs. 850-crore (US$ 201 million) Tiruppur Area Development Programme to provide water supply, sewerage and sanitation facilities to the Tiruppur neighbourhood has been finalised on a ``commercial format.'' It is the
first infrastructure project in water and area development to access private funds. The water supply component of the project involves an outlay of about Rs. 600 crores (US$ 141.9 million), and the sewage, sanitation and other aspects about Rs. 250 crores (US$ 59 million). This scheme will supply 185 million litres per day of water from the Cauvery not just to knitwear and hosiery industries, but also to the people of the Tiruppur Municipality and a string of nearby villages. About 100 million litres per day will go to industries, who will also cross-subsidise the supply to the domestic consumers in the town and villages. The project also includes a low cost sanitation for slums and a domestic sludge collection, treatment and disposal scheme. A special
feature of the entire plan is to set up a Charges Review Committee, to determine and revise the charges every three years.  (The Hindu, 13 October, 1998, http://lists.isb.sdnpk.org/pipermail/eco-list-old/1998-November/001460.html)

A man in the state of Maharashtra, India has committed suicide by setting himself on fire in protest at the repeated failure of the authorities to provide his village with clean drinking water. The 65-year old man, Devidas Lahane, had campaigned for ten years to have safe water supplied to the 3,000 slum-dwellers of Sundarkhed village, where richer villagers are able to obtain private water connections. Feeling he was getting nowhere, he vowed he would set himself on fire on a particular day if water was not made available, and he did so, after dousing himself in kerosene. (BBC news 13 October, 1998, http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_192000/192545.stm )

China has handed down its first jail sentence for environmental damage by giving a paper mill manager two years in prison for polluting water supplies. This is the first time that a Chinese has received criminal
punishment for damaging environmental resources after a clause in the new criminal law which came into effect last October. In the landmark case, a court in northern Shaanxi province sentenced the head of a local paper mill to two years in jail and a fine of 50,000 yuan (US$ 6,000) for causing heavy pollution and contaminating drinking water supplies for three days. (Inside China Today, 12 October, 1998,
http://lists.isb.sdnpk.org/pipermail/eco-list-old/1998-November/001460.html )

Authorities in China have made an urgent call for a massive clean-up of flooded areas to avoid outbreaks of disease. Vice Prime Minister Li Lanqing indicated that government and party officials at all levels
should place top priority on the campaign, with special emphasis on epidemic control. It was suggested that the most dangerous phase of the floods was near as flood waters recede, leaving behind contaminated living areas and polluted water supplies. This is especially pertinent when it is realized that 90 percent of the estimated 30,000 victims of the 1954 floods died from contagious diseases after flood waters receded.
(Inside China Today, 12 October, 1998, http://www.insidechina.com/china/news/98101218.html )

A shipment of folding toilets for hundreds of thousands of flood victims is being sent to some of the areas worst hit by this summer's devastating flooding in China. The toilet was invented by He Enxiang in Beijing, who set his mind to the problem of improving sanitation when he heard of conditions for villagers living in tents. The toilet is light and easy to transport, one person can install it in just ten minutes, and human waste is collected in bags, leaving no direct pollution to the environment. (Inside China Today, 13 October, 1998,
http://lists.isb.sdnpk.org/pipermail/eco-list-old/1998-November/001460.html )

Across India, millions of people drink untreated river or well water. In cities and towns, slum dwellers line up at water trucks for a bucket full. Water riots are common in the dry season. Even in New Delhi taps run dry for several hours each day. The causes are an exploding population, industrialization and agricultural development. In 1947, every Indian had access to 180,000 cubic feet (5094 cubic litres) of water annually. By 2001, about half that amount will be available for each person. Part of the problem is the pattern of rainfall in much of India, which is dry for nine months of the year, then deluged during the monsoon. In just 200 hours during those three months, India receives 80 percent of its annual rainfall. All but 20 percent of that rain simply washes out to sea. Environmentalists suggest a return to age-old methods of capturing and storing rain to ease the water crisis. Traditional water storage tanks, pits and wells fell into disuse when the government began building big dams and canals in the 1950s. (See also Source, no. 34). (Yahoo News, 14 October, 1998,

Water in this municipality is being supplied by Water Tankers, not ecause of water shortage, but because of recurrent problems which lead to contamination of the municipal water supply. Causes mentioned include: leakages as a result of corrosion in old water and drainage pipelines, unauthorized connections, and failure by residents to replace more than 20-year-old galvanized iron water pipelines for connections. It is evident that the Vadodara Municipal Council is struggling to come to grips with this persistent problem affecting the municipal water supply. (Indian Express, 15 October, 1998, http://www.indian-express.com/ie/daily/19981015/28850934.html

The authorities in Amman have arrested two senior officials in the Water Ministry in connection with the pollution of the city's drinking water system last month. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Munzir Khleifat and his assistant Saad al-Bakri, will be questioned about how the city's drinking water became contaminated with weeds and worms. An investigation into the state of Amman's water supply found a main treatment plant was responsible for the pollution and led to the resignation of the Water Minister, Munzir Haddadin. (See also Source, no. 26, 17 August 1998 and no. 27/28, 31 August, 1998).
(BBC news, 20 September, 1998, http://lists.isb.sdnpk.org/pipermail/eco-list-old/1998-November/001460.html)

Abdul Rehman Khan points out that corruption, which is rampant in almost all the transitional and developing countries, has not been formally recognized as one of the main reasons for the failure to provide sustainable water and sanitation. He argues that until and unless the issue is addressed, nothing will work. Therefore he is interested in setting up a discussion group on "Corruption in Infrastructure Provision" so that the issue can be openly discussed, debated, and researched. To become an active member of the proposed group send the
following details (Name, Professon, Postal Address, and E-mail to: mailto:abdulrk@psh.brain.net.pk ).
Contact: Abdul Rehman Khan, 36, G-II, Hayatabad, Peshawar 25100,
Pakistan, tel: +92 91 817138/816766, mailto:abdulrk@psh.brain.net.pk
(E-mail message from Abdul Rehman Khan to the Low Cost Sewerage Discussion Group, October 18, 1998)

Karachi is now facing the daily problem of water shortage which has led to the growth of private water companies, locally known as "water mafias". The city requires more than 700 million gallons (3.15 billion
litres) of water each day, only about half of which is supplied by the government. The shortfall however is being met by private water companies which officials accuse of tapping into public water reserves and destroying the piping network. Farooq Sattar, chairman of the state-owned Karachi Water and Sewerage Board has suggested that these companies destroy the piping system and also pay off municipal water employees to close valves in certain areas. He also believes that the private water companies of enjoy army protection for their business which earns more than PKR 7 billion (US$ 128.3 million) a year. One thousand gallons (4546 litres) of water from the private firms costs between 250 and 500 rupees (US$ 4.58 - 9.16) depending on the area. The
private water companies own and maintain a fleet of more than 5,000 water tanker trucks which criss-cross the city day and night providing it with water. (Dawn, 12 October, 1998, http://lists.isb.sdnpk.org/pipermail/eco-list-old/1998-November/001460.html )

GESI, the Global Environmental Sanitation Initiative, a global activity of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), has its own web site now. The site, which is maintained by IRC, provides
information in the field of environmenta l sanitation and hygiene: internet links, tools and publications, as well as background information on GESI itself. The site is not completed yet, so more information will be added regularly to it by the WSSCC, including the Environmental Sanitation Working Group, and IRC. Contact: Dick de Jong, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, mailto:jong@irc.nl   (http://www.wsscc.org/gesi/ )

The World Bank approved on 15 October, 1998, US$ 66 million in funding for the Malawi Second Social Action fund Project. The project finances communities to identify subprojects, such as the building of schools,
health clinics, and roads; forest-planting, small irrigation works and water boreholes, which the communities then construct and develop themselves. The project aims to provide important infrastructure and temporary employment, which is vital for helping the poorest Malawians to meet their basic food, water, education, health and transport needs. Contact: Clair Hervey, World Bank, Washington, tel: +1 202 4738294 or
John Chikopa, World Bank, Lilongwe, tel: +265 780611 (World Bank Group News Release, no. 99/1971/AFR, 15 October, 1998, http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/extme/1971.htm )

At the Alexandra Civic Organisation Housing Workshop, held on 11 October 1998, it was agreed to continue with the campaign to oppose the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and to extend water rights to all in Alexandra.
The workshop discussed the crisis in housing and the provision of services in Alexandra and identified civic campaigns to address these problems. Participants noted the poor standard of services, including broken sewerage pipes, lack of refuse removal, leaking water pipes, taps and toilets. There was extensive discussion on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, in particular the R6 700 million (US$ 1,177.19 million) currently being spent on the Mohale Dam, that is leading to increased water tariffs in Gauteng and taking up resources that could be used to fix leaking taps and pipes, extend services to all residents and create jobs. It was agreed that Alexandra Civic Organisation will continue with the campaign to oppose the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and to extend water rights to all in Alexandra, including the following: 1. To respond
to the World Bank's Inspection Panel, which found no connection between the project and the poor state of water services in Gauteng; 2. To build alliances with other civil society organisations to put a halt to the building of more expensive and unnecessary large dams in Lesotho; 3. To call for a lifeline of 50 litres per person per day for free and for increasing tariffs for higher usage and to encourage people to pay for water used in excess of the lifeline amount; 4. To initiate a programme to fix leaking pipes and taps and extend services to all in a manner which creates local jobs. Contact: George Dor, 60 Isipingo Street, Bellevue East 2198, South
Africa, tel: +27 11 648 7000, mailto:george@sn.apc.org   (E-mail message dated 13 October, 1998, forwarded by Anna Weekes, mailto:samwu@wn.apc.org)

Professor Kader Asmal, MP, the South African Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry recently gave a press conference to launch a company to promote the export of South African Water Expertise and Technology
Abroad. The not-for-profit company,  initiated by South Africa's Water Research Commission, aims to export the country's expertise in equipment used in tracking rainstorms, in low technology sewerage treatment and the development of cleaner production methods in textiles, petrochemicals and power generation among others. The initiative will allow organization such as Rand Water and Umgeni Water to participate. The next step is to mandate a (still-to-be-elected) committee to register the company and develop a business plan. The aim is to
establish the company as a going concern early in 1999. Two possible names for the yet to be named company are: Water Promotions of South Africa and Water South Africa. ( http://www.bibim.com/anc/nw19981014/12.html  
http://lists.isb.sdnpk.org/pipermail/eco-list-old/1998-November/001460.html )

CEMETERIES POLLUTE WATER SUPPLY (BBC news, 20 October 1998). The long-term effect of decomposition on water is unknown. A team in the UK from the Environment Agency and the British Geological Survey is investigating the extent to which decomposing human remains contaminate the water supply. The group aims to gauge the effects of graveyards on water supplies to make sure that local authorities can enforce a European Union directive concerning the quality of groundwater, which is due to come into affect next year.
Contact: National Groundwater and Contaminated Land Centre, mailto:ngwclc@environment-agency.gov.uk
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_197000/197410.stm )

SOUTH AFRICA: 1996 CENSUS (WATER AND SANITATION) RESULTS. (ANC daily news briefing, 21 October 1998)-  According to the 1996 census results which were recently released in Pretoria, 45% of South African households had a tap inside their dwellings. Published under the name Statistics SA, the document
indicates that 20% of households use a public tap, and 13% used a dam, river or stream. Ninety-eight percent of Indian households had taps in their homes, 96% of whites, and 27% of blacks. At the time of the census in October 1996, 51% of households had flush toilets, 32% used pit latrines, 5% buckets and 12% had no toilets at all. Fifty-two percent of households had refuse removal at least once a week.  

NITRATE POLLUTION LINKED TO BEDROCK. (UC Davis news, 16 October 1998)- Researchers from the University of California, Davis, working in a central California watershed have determined for the first time that
high levels of nitrates are released as crumbly bedrock weathers year after year. Until now, the contamination has been blamed on agricultural and industrial pollution. But exposed rock deposits around the world contain as much as 20 percent of the planet's total nitrogen, the researchers calculated, and geology might be a significant contributor in some places. Other researchers contend that farming and industry still represent a threat to drinking water, and even natural contamination must be treated if the nitrate levels exceed public health
standards. The findings of the research by UC-Davis were published in the October 22 issue of Nature
Contact: Dr. Randy A. Dahlgren, mailto:radahlgren@ucdavis.edu  

INDIA: 25 MILLION DRINK UNSAFE WATER. (Deccan chronicle, 27 October 1998)- Palat Mohan Das, director of the Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission, recently said that sources of water supply for more than 25 million people in India contain fluorides and arsenic compounds beyond permissible limits. He added that there was an urgent need to improve and protect the quality of drinking water supply given the prevalence of gastro-entric disorders. A recent survey in six States in India revealed that there was hardly any surveillance of the water quality. Though groundwater was generally felt to be safe, about 30-40% of the samples of even deep borewells were found to be bacteriologically unsafe at some point in a year.
Contact: Name : Shri Palat Mohan Das , Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission, mailto:jstm@water.nic.in , fax: +91-11-4364113 http://lists.isb.sdnpk.org/pipermail/eco-list-old/1998-November/001460.html.

INDIA, ANDHRA PRADESH: GASTRO-ENTERITIS/CHOLERA OUTBREAKS. (Deccan herald, 16 October 1998)- Deaths have been reported from rural areas throughout the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh since monsoon broke out in June 1998. And yet when gastroenteritis and cholera hit the outskirts of Hyderabad city, the Government was caught napping. Official records put the number of dead due to gastro-enteritis this season at 873 with half of the number in Adilabad alone, the most sparsely populated district. Of 75 municipal
water samples taken, more than 60% of the did not meet standards for bacteriological water quality.

PAKISTAN, KARACHI - LIMITED PROGRESS TOWARDS NINE GARBAGE STATIONS. (Dawn, 21 October 1998)- The establishment of nine "garbage transfer stations" in Karachi, Pakistan, under the solid waste management programme remains in the doldrums as the respective civic agencies are not ready to accept the responsibility for the project. The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) also called tenders for the civil development work a few months back, and various private companies submitted their bids, but the process remains at a stand still because of the dispute among the concerned civic agencies. The city generates about 6,000 tons solid waste daily, of which 3600 tons (60%) was removed, while 2400 tons remains uncollected every day.  http://lists.isb.sdnpk.org/pipermail/eco-list-old/1998-November/001460.html.

THREE-YEAR-OLD GIRL PERISHES IN UNCOVERED MANHOLE IN KARACHI, PAKISTAN.   (Dawn, 13 October 1998, and 19 October 1998)- A three-year-old girl who had gone missing in the evening was found dead in a manhole next morning in Bhitai Colony, Karachi. Most of the manholes in the settlement, administered by the Korangi Creek Cantonment Board (KCCB), have no covers. Children often fall into them and are sometimes rescued during the day. The KCCB has since temporarily covered some of the manholes and has promised to improve the collapsed sewerage system. As many as 44,000 manhole covers are needed in various parts of Karachi as these are either broken or are uncovered. The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) indicated that of the 44,000 manhole covers, 5,000 were to be placed during the previous year, 18,000 covers were required in the current year, while the remaining 21,000 covers were required for those localities which had recently been handed over to the KWSB. http://lists.isb.sdnpk.org/pipermail/eco-list-old/1998-November/001460.html.

Holland America fined in Alaska pollution case. ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters,Oct. 9, 1998) - The owner of Holland America Line cruises will pay a $1 million fine and give $1 million in restitution to a national park fund for water pollution violations under a plea agreement approved by a federal judge Thursday. The $1 million fine to be paid by Hal Beheer BV, the Dutch company that owns Holland America, will be split between the federal
government and the former employee who reported the violations to the U.S. Coast Guard, according to the sentence approved by U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland. Hal Beheer pleaded guilty in June to charges that one of its ships illegally dumped oily, unprocessed bilge water into Alaska's Inside Passage in 1994 and failed to report the discharge.

The Environmental Health Program site has a fresh new look (30 September 1998) The Environmental Health Program site has a fresh new look, focussing on the theme "Health and Environment - Partners for Life". The new design will make it easier for users to find the information they need. EHP has also added new features to the site, includng "Who we are", and a detailed site map. More features will soon be coming on line as well. The Environmental Health Program site contains a wide range of information on human health and the environment, including: ultraviolet radiation, drinking water, tobacco, smoking, air quality, occupational radiation exposures, consumer products, child safety, EMF, chemicals, cosmetics, mammography, x-rays, and more.
For more information, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ehp/ehd/

Toxic chemicals dumped in U.S. waterways. WASHINGTON (Reuters, Sept. 11, 1998) - Industry discharged 1 billion pounds of toxic chemicals into U.S. waterways from 1992 to 1996, and the Mississippi River was the most heavily used dumping site, public interest advocates said Friday. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group charged in a report that many of the chemicals are known to cause health problems, including cancer and birth defects, and called for more information about them. "Millions of Americans rely on our waterways for drinking water sources, and swimming and fishing destinations. Without more complete information on the use and release of toxic chemicals, the public is left in the dark, and we cannot protect ourselves," said U.S. PIRG advocate Allison LaPlante.

Report says less Superfund money for waste cleanups WASHINGTON (Reuters, Sept 4, 1998) - An increasing amount of Superfund money set aside for cleaning up the worst U.S. hazardous waste sites is being spent on administrative costs and support functions, a government report said. The new data about the Environmental Protection Agency's program triggered fresh calls from congressional Republicans for an overhaul of the Superfund program, which was budgeted this year at $1.5 billion. But Democrats and EPA officials contend that administrative costs are unavoidable in planning and preparation to remove hazardous materials from large tracts of soil and groundwater.

Steelmaker USX to pay $54.9 mln in pollution case. USX Corp., the biggest U.S. steelmaker, has agreed to pay $30 million to clean up the Grand Calumet River in Indiana as part of a $54.9 million environmental settlement, the Justice Department announced on August 5, 1998. Federal and state authorities had accused USX of illegally discharging waste water contaminated with PCB's, heavy metals, oil and grease, benzene and other polluting substances that kill fish and harm migratory birds, the department said. The USX plant in Gary, Ind., is the largest steel making plant in the United States.

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