VILLAGERS DENOUNCE EPA'S OK FOR PCB TREATMENT ON SAIPAN

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SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (October 19, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Peaceful demonstration have spread across Saipan over concern about the approval given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for "on site" treatment of contaminated soil.

The EPA has "conditionally approved" the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' request to treat "on-site" the 20,000 tons of soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB.

PCB is a manmade chemical that is suspected of causing cancer in humans.

Tanapag Action Group officials have "strongly denounced" the EPA's decision and demanded that the PCB-laced soil, which is stockpiled in the coastal village of Tanapag, be shipped to the U.S. mainland for proper treatment and disposal.

The contamination was caused when PCB fluid leaked from capacitors, apparently used at the Army's Kwajalein Atoll military installation in the 1960s, and then shipped to Saipan.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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