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1. SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY HONORED AT NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM FOR INDOOR ENVIRONMENT IMPROVEMENTS, 2. EPA PARTICIPATES IN FIRST ANNUAL INTER-AMERICAN AIR QUALITY DAY, 3. ATRAZINE EVALUATION DEADLINE EXTENSION, 4. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE PLEADS GUILTY TO ATLANTIC OIL DUMPING, 5. SHIP’S CHIEF ENGINEER SENTENCED FOR FALSE WASTE OIL RECORDS

Release Date: 08/08/2002
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Press Advisory

              Following are some Agency developments which may interest you. If you need more information on any of these subjects, call the appropriate contact.

FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2002
SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY HONORED AT NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM
FOR INDOOR ENVIRONMENT IMPROVEMENTS

Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824/milbourn.cathy@epa.gov


On Thursday, Aug. 8, at 5 p.m., at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C., 21 schools and school districts from around the country will receive awards for adopting programs to improve indoor air quality in their buildings. The awards will be presented at EPA's 3rd Annual Tools for Schools National Symposium. The schools being recognized used EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools kits to improve air quality. At the event, EPA will honor schools and school districts with the annual Excellence Awards and seven school- based programs with Special Achievement Awards for creating a healthier environment for students and staff. For more information about this ceremony and program, go to: www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/ or call 1-800-438-4318 and ask for the Tools for Schools Road Map. Reporters are welcome to attend the award ceremony and the symposium. The award winners are: Buist Academy for Advanced Studies, Charleston, S.C.; City and Borough of Juneau School District, Juneau, Alaska; Delaware Joint Vocational School, Delaware, Ohio; Eanes Independent School District, Austin, Texas; East Dubuque Community School District #119, East Dubuque, Ill.; Hamden Public Schools, Hamden, Conn.; Huber Heights City Schools, Huber Heights, Ohio; Independence Missouri School District, Independence, Mo.; Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, Ky; Mandan Public School District, Mandan, N.D.; Mesa Public Schools, Mesa, Ariz.; Nassau County Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Westbury, N.Y.; Northwest Air Pollution Authority, Mount Vernon, Wash.; Norwich Public Schools, Norwich, Conn.; Plano Independent School District, Plano, Texas; Reading School District, Reading, Pa.; San Francisco Unified School District Indoor Air Quality Policy Implementation Committee, San Francisco, Calif.; Sharon Public Schools, Sharon, Mass.; Township of Ocean Board of Education; Oakhurst, N.J.; Washington State University Cooperative Extension, Spokane, Wash.; and Williamson County School System, Franklin, Tenn.
EPA PARTICIPATES IN FIRST ANNUAL INTER-AMERICAN AIR QUALITY DAY

David Deegan 564-7839/deegan.dave@epa.gov

EPA is recognizing the first annual Inter-American Air Quality Day, to take place on Aug. 9. EPA and Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology (INE: Instituto Nacional de Ecologa) will join with several organizations including the Inter-American Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering, the Pan American Health Organization and the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association in efforts to raise public awareness about how air pollution affects health and how local actions can improve the air not only locally, but throughout the Americas. While many people are aware of outdoor air pollution, studies have revealed that air pollutants indoors may be present at greater levels than in outdoor air. In many developing countries the risk from indoor air pollution is one of the most critical public health threats that the population faces. To help raise public awareness on Inter-American Air Quality Day, EPA is providing information to these organizations. Materials include the “Tools for Schools” kit and the “Smoke-Free Pledge,” both of which are available to the public at: https://www.epa.gov/air/indoorair/index.html. EPA has also provided Spanish language materials to help improve the quality of life and environment for people throughout the Americas, available at: https://www.epa.gov/iaq/ets/espanol.html and https://www.epa.gov/airnow/aqikids/spanish/index.html. To learn more about Inter-American Air Quality Day go to: http://www.aidis-usa.org/ .
ATRAZINE EVALUATION DEADLINE EXTENSION

David Deegan 564-7839/deegan.dave@epa.gov

On Friday, Aug. 9, EPA is expected to seek judicial approval to amend a consent decree to extend the deadline for completion of the Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision (IRED) for review of the herbicide atrazine. Previously, EPA was expected to complete the IRED for atrazine on Aug. 3. However, due to the recent submission of additional data, various workload issues and the time required to give them adequate analysis, the Agency and the Natural Resources Defense Council jointly agreed to request that the court extend the deadline for the IRED to Jan. 31, 2003. As part of the request the Agency has committed to prepare a revised IRED by Oct. 31, 2003. Also, EPA will fully consider new information on potential risk to amphibians. Throughout this process, EPA will seek extensive public and scientific involvement, including inviting scientific peer review, holding stakeholder meetings, and providing opportunity for public comment. Announcements of the various meetings will be published in the Federal Register and posted to EPA’s website. Additional information on atrazine is available at: https://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/reregistration/atrazine/ .
ENFORCEMENT WRAP-UP
Luke C. Hester 202-564-7818/hester.luke@epa.gov
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE PLEADS GUILTY TO ATLANTIC OIL DUMPING

In the seventh major case against a cruise line for dumping at sea, Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. (NCL), pleaded guilty on July 31 and agreed to pay a $1 million fine and an additional $500,000 to environmental community service projects in South Florida. In its plea, NCL admitted to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by misleading the U.S. Coast Guard. For several years, NCL concealed the illegal discharge of oil-contaminated bilge waste into the Atlantic Ocean from the SS Norway and at least one other ship by making false statements in the ships’ oil record books. After the dumping was reported to EPA by an NCL employee, the company conducted an internal audit and has cooperated with the government’s investigation. Dumping oily bilge waste into the ocean can harm fish and other aquatic life. In several previous cases, the Royal Caribbean and Holland America Cruise Lines both paid multi-million dollar penalties for releasing oil into the sea. The NCL case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the United States Department of Transportation-Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the Miami-Dade Police Department Environmental Investigations Unit and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

SHIP’S CHIEF ENGINEER SENTENCED FOR FALSE WASTE OIL RECORDS

Pyeong Gab Jung of Korea, chief engineer of the Motor Vessel Cygnus, an automobile transport ship, pleaded guilty on July 25 to making false waste oil disposal statements in the ship’s record book. He was immediately sentenced to serve three months in prison, following which he will be deported to Korea. Jung fraudulently recorded in the ships’s oil record book that waste oil was being incinerated in the ship’s incinerator when, instead, it was being discharged into the Pacific Ocean via a secret bypass hose. The Cyngus is owned by Feng Lee Maritime Corp. of Panama City and is operated by Fujitran Corp. of Japan. At the time of the release, it was under charter to ToyoFuji Shipping Co., Ltd., a company jointly owned by Toyota Motor Co., Toyota Shipping Co., Ltd. and Fujitrans Corp. The discharge of oil into the ocean can be harmful to aquatic life. Federal charges, which are merely an accusation, have also been filed against the ship’s first assistant engineer, Duk Jo Jung, for his alleged role in concealing the illegal discharge of oil from the Cygnus. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Coast Guard, the FBI and the Washington State Department of Ecology. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Portland and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.


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