House Joint Resolution No. 20
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Joint Resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the state of Montana encouraging that Montana industries using chlorine processes that result in the formation of dioxins phase out the use of chlorine as industrial feedstocks by the year 2020 and that the department of environmental quality and the environmental quality council be requested to identify affected industries, operations, and businesses and to examine the options for reducing or eliminating the use of chlorine processes that result in dioxin byproducts.
WHEREAS, dioxin is the unintended byproduct of industrial processes involving chlorine, and international peer-reviewed scientific research demonstrates that dioxins are persistent in the environment, bioaccumulate in living tissue, and are transgenerational through the placenta and breast milk in humans; and
WHEREAS, three of the largest sources of dioxin are incineration of materials containing chlorine, bleaching of pulp and paper with chlorine, and the entire life cycle of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic; and
WHEREAS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) draft reassessment of dioxin in 1994 documented that dioxin compounds cause several types of cancer and may, at extremely low levels, cause other serious health effects, such as reproductive impairment, learning disabilities, developmental injuries, birth defects, diabetes, endometriosis, and immune system impairment; and
WHEREAS, the United States Assistant Surgeon General and the Administrator for the United States Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Department of Health and Human Services, states that dioxins have undergone extensive toxicological studies, and results have shown that dioxins cause numerous human health effects; and
WHEREAS, the ATSDR recognizes that certain populations, such as the elderly, persons with chronic illnesses, people of reproductive age, infants, and children, are more sensitive to the effects of dioxins; and
WHEREAS, the National Cancer Institute states that the incidence of cancer has increased 18% and that mortality from cancers has increased 7% since 1971; and
WHEREAS, ATSDR has established that Vietnam veterans exposed to dioxin in agent orange have exhibited higher rates of cancer and other serious health effects and that their children have higher rates of birth defects; and
WHEREAS, a report by the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems at Queens College, City University of New York, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that dioxin can be transported through the air and deposited more than 1,000 miles from its source as it moves through the air as vapor or attached to dust particles; and
WHEREAS, the EPA stated that the greatest human exposure to dioxin is the consumption of meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products; and
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization stated in 1988 that because dioxin accumulates in breast milk, an average breast-fed baby in industrialized communities already ingests up to 100 times more dioxin than is tolerable for a healthy adult; and
WHEREAS, the World Bank, American Public Health Association, International Joint Commission on the Great Lakes, United Methodist Church, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Minister's Expert Advisory Committee of Canada, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and Intergovernment Forum on Chemical Safety of the United Nations have publicly recognized that byproducts of chlorine industries are dangerous to public health; and
WHEREAS, the people around Alberton, Montana, were forced to evacuate their homes and be treated for chlorine gas exposure because of the Montana Rail Link spill of 129,000 pounds of chlorine that was intended to be used in a pulp and paper mill for bleaching purposes, which results in the release of dioxins; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of this state have opposed the incineration of chlorinated substances in cement kilns and the bleaching of paper using chlorine because of the potential release of dioxins; and
WHEREAS, toxic pollution costs society hundreds of billions of dollars each year in expenses for health care, diminished productivity, waste disposal, and remediation of contaminated sites and ground water; and
WHEREAS, a healthy population, a clean environment, and efficient nonpolluting technologies are essential to a sound economy; and
WHEREAS, pollution prevention is more cost-effective than remediation.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That in order for state government to protect public health, industries in Montana that are using chlorine processes that result in the formation of dioxins be identified and encouraged to phase out the use of chlorine as industrial feedstocks by the year 2020 and that the Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Quality Council be requested to identify affected industries, operations, and businesses and to examine the options for reducing or eliminating the use of chlorine processes.