Genetically Enhanced Plants Could Clean Up Toxic Waste Sites

© 1999 by Linda Moulton Howe

June 24, 1999 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ­ The United States is currently the world's largest producer of hazardous waste, approximately 275 million tons annually. The Environmental Protection Agency maintains an inventory of more than 38,000 uncontrolled waste sites. Those include 1,400 on the National Priorities List (NPL) - which are abandoned waste storage or treatment plants and mining and weapons manufacturing facilities. Those 1400 sites pose the greatest threat to public health and the environment. The projected cleanup costs for these NPL sites using existing physical and chemical methods will be approximately $750 billion. That's nearly one trillion dollars.


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