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NEWS BRIEFS Another major oil spill lurks just around the corner in Alaska, according to a report issued by the Alaska Wilderness League (AWL), in concert with several other groups. Preventing the Next Valdez: Ten Years After Exxon's Spill, New Disasters Threaten Alaska's Environment outlines current practices threatening another spill. These include lax regulatory oversight of the oil industry, an aging 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline badly in need of repair, and skirting of the double-hulled tanker provision in the 1990 Oil Pollution Prevention Act. For a copy of the report, call AWL at (202) 544-5205. To maintain adequate supplies of fresh water, Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority should begin preserving aquatic ecosystems, concludes a new National Research Council report. With an annual population growth rate of 3%, "the area's inhabitants will almost assuredly live under conditions of significant water stress in the near future," the report finds, stressing that water quality continues to deteriorate because of polluted runoff and wetland loss. The NRC recommends a regional approach to boosting freshwater supplies. For a copy of Water for the Future, call (800) 624-6242. Suburban sprawl in the Atlanta metropolitan area is widening the gap between the region's wealthy and poor, according to study by Clark Atlanta University's Environmental Justice Resource Center. Sprawl Atlanta: Social Equity Dimensions of Uneven Growth and Development reports that residents living within zip code boundaries where the majority of the population is nonwhite are exposed to an average of 208.6 pounds of toxic releases annually, versus 38.2 pounds of toxic releases for zip code areas with majority white populations. The study concludes that many government policies, including transportation and energy, have

subsidized the sprawl without accounting for its effect on the region's poor. For a copy, call (404) 880-6911, or access Abnormal tooth development may be an indicator for low-level dioxin exposure, concludes a Finnish study. Six years after measuring concentrations of 50 toxic polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons in the milk of nursing mothers, scientists examined the molars of their breast-fed children. They found that 17% exhibited soft, discolored teeth, and that these defects occurred more frequently in children exposed to higher levels of dioxins and furans. (Alaluusua, S.; et al. Lancet 1999, 353, 206)

Amidst calls by animal welfare groups for EPA to halt the high production volume (HPV) chemical testing program, a review by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine finds that sufficient data already exist for performing basic hazard assessments for most of the 2800 HPV substances. As a result, the physicians committee is asking EPA to delay any testing until all data have been adequately reviewed and nonanimal test methods can be validated. The goal of the HPV testing program is to obtain basic health and ecological effects data on all chemicals produced or imported in volumes greater than 1 million pounds per year. For a copy of the report, call (202) 686-2210. Although the greenest 1999 car is electric, this year's Green Guide to Cars & Trucks gave high ratings to a number of gasolinepowered vehicles. The guide

lauded Ford Motor Co. and Honda for increasing their nationwide sales of cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles with emissions below regulatory limits. To compile the ratings, researchers from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy considered the environmental performance of automobile manufacturing facilities, as well as assessing the fuel efficiency and tailpipe emissions of every 1999 model year vehicle. The guide will be sold in bookstores and can be obtained by calling (202) 429-0063. Genuine incentives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions could result from using a "cap and trade" program, claims Resources for the Future, a nonprofit environmental group. In a short position paper available on the Web at http://www.weathervane.rff, the group states that "a well-designed domestic trading program for carbon dioxide could be established by 2002." Under such a program, the proposal shows the price of gasoline rising by 6 cents per gallon in 2002. To compensate consumers for higher energy prices, permits should be auctioned—not allocated—and the proceeds returned by the federal government to households, the group finds. People in the news. The American Chemical Society's Division of Environmental Chemistry has presented its 1999 Graduate Student Awards to David Adamson, University of Iowa-Iowa City; William Arnold, The Johns Hopkins University; Hiroshi Awata, Texas Tech University; William Bedsworth, University of California-Berkeley; Robert Bruant, University of Arizona-Tucson; Paul Brunciak, Rutgers University; Elizabeth Butler, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Martin Johnson, University of MichiganAnn Arbor; Tarek Ladaa, Clemson University; Brian Mader, Oregon Graduate Institute; Heath Mash, Ohio State University; William Mills, University of IllinoisChicago; Tammy Taylor, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Eric Vrijenhoek, Yale University.