From: sjimerfield@sw-center.org
Sent: Monday, September 20, 1999 1:24 PM
To: tortuga@sw-center.org
Subject: BIODIVERSITY ALERT #196
Original-recipient: rfc822;tortuga@sw-center.org               CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
                        http://www.sw-center.org
                           ALERT #196 7-30-99

FOSSIL CREEK UPDATE

EPA WARNS TUCSON'S GROUNDWATER SUPPLY MAY
BECOME SUPERFUND SITE

AMPHI SCHOOL SITE ADDED TO SONORAN DESERT
PROTECTION PLAN

SILENT SPRING 2: THE TERMINATOR TREE

FOSSIL CREEK UPDATE

The battle continues to restore full flows to Fossil Creek, a
rare 14 mile perennial stream that has been dammed for
90 years by the Arizona Public Service Company (APS)
The hydroelectric plants, which the Fossil
Creek water fuel, produce only .02 percent of APS'
profits.

Negotiations between APS and a group of environmental
organizations is ongoing, while the Center for
Biological Diversity proceeds with a more aggressive
campaign. The Center has notified the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission, US Fish and Wildlife Service,
and US Forest Service we will sue for violations of the
ESA and the National Forest Management Act.

APS executives say that they will decommission the
plants if the costs and liability of doing so can be
eliminated. After earning profits from the dam for over
90 years, APS is refusing to pay the price of cleaning
up after itself.
_________________

EPA WARNS TUCSON'S GROUNDWATER SUPPLY MAY
BECOME SUPERFUND SITE

The Environmental Protection Agency warned in a July 14
letter that groundwater contamination is moving toward
dozens of city wells and four University of Arizona
wells. The EPA also announced that they are considering
placing the source of the contamination on
the Superfund National Priorities List.

Based on results from the site inspection completed
in April 1999, the EPA concluded that the, "Mission
Linen Site poses a significant threat to public health,
welfare, or the environment." A groundwater sample
collected from the supply well found
tetrachloroethylene (PCE) at a concentration of 11,000
part per billion (ppb), the federal maximum in drinking
water is five ppb.

The Tucson regional aquifer is one mile downstream from
the site. Approximately 53 active groundwater
production wells are located down gradient from the
site. These wells provide water for approximately
600,000 people in the City of Tucson and for the University
of Arizona.

The size and extent of the PCE plume emanating from
Mission Linen has not been defined or controlled. The
Center has requested that a current stormwater
detention basin project be put on hold until Army Corps
completes a new Environmental Impact Statement which
accurately addresses the cumulative effects of the PCE
plume, surface and groundwater contamination, hazardous
material remediation, and cleanup as they relate to Tucson's
drinking water.
_________________

AMPHI SCHOOL SITE ADDED TO SONORAN DESERT
PROTECTION PLAN

The Amphitheater School District's 73-acre high school site
in pygmy owl habitat has been added to Pima County's
plan to protect Sonoran Desert habitat. The site's
future for development is currently under judicial review.

The conservation plan proposes to allocate $500 million
to buy hundreds of thousands of acres to preserve
riparian areas, ironwood forests, ranch land, and
mountain parks. Upon the completion of studies to determine
the most ecologically important areas, the county could
then move forward in purchasing these lands.

Although it's just a small portion of what will be
needed to make the plan a reality, Rep. Ed Pastor D-AZ,
is attempting to obtain $100,000 in federal funding to
help the plan get started. The county has set aside
$1.5 million, and Congressman Jim Kolbe has obtained $1
million for the plan.
_________________

SILENT SPRING 2: THE TERMINATOR TREE

Shell and Monsanto are developing a new tree for the
future, known as the "GM Tree." This tree will not
provide food for bugs, birds, or mammals. This tree
will not have flowers, produce pollen, or yield any fruits
whatsoever, it won't even reproduce itself. They claim
the tree will be the perfect timber producer. Their vision
is huge plantations of sterile, fast-growing, bug-proof
trees. They claim this will relieve, the pressure on
natural forests to produce the worlds demand for lumber.

However, current lumber producing
plantations do not even come close to relieving the
pressure. Ecologists and environmentalists are
concerned that GM Tress will only increase the demand to
replace vast acres of natural forest with lifeless trees.

Field testing of these trees has already begun in the
United States and Europe. What would spring be like in
a future with out biologically diverse forests? No
birds chirping, no cicadas buzzing, and no squirrels
and chipmunks calling, just silence.

___________________________________________________________
Shane Jimerfield
Assistant Director
Center for Biological Diversity
Tel: 520.623.5252, ext 302              Fax: 520.623.9797
PO Box 710, Tucson AZ 85702-0710              http://www.sw-center.org

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