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The Planet

March 1998, Volume 5, Number 2


    Follow the Bouncing Bill
    You should put in some guide re: the dates (approximate) when Senate and
    House bills come up for a vote.
    -- Sarah Johnson
     Vermont Chapter

    Good suggestion. Unfortunately, our deadlines and the sometimes last-minute
    scheduling of votes make it difficult to do that. But you can always call the
    Sierra Club's Legislative Hotline at (202) 675-2394 for the latest news on Club
    priority campaigns.
    You can also check out our daily action alerts on our Web page at  

    The Wrong Mask
    In the Jan./Feb. issue of The Planet, the little boy in the picture on the left of
    page 1 is not wearing a gas mask. He is wearing a face mask attached to a
    nebulizer, a device that delivers medication to the wearer.
    -- Robert R. Marble
    Rio Grande Chapter

    Ouch! We stand corrected.

    Does Free Trade Equal Trade Secrets?
    You missed the worst of it in your article, "Why the Club Says No to NAFTA
    Expansion" (Nov. 1997). The worst is ISO, the International Organization for
    Standardization. This approach makes the environmental "management" data a
    trade secret. Not only can the public not see it, but also, letting that
    information out leaves the informant in jeopardy of criminal prosecution.
    -- Marvin I. Lewis
    Pennsylvania Chapter

    Mr. Lewis makes a good point. Trade agreements can override domestic
    environmental laws and make them subservient to the edicts of international
    standard-setting organizations (such as ISO). ISO now has a new regime, ISO
    1400l, for corporations to use to manage their environmental responsibilities,
    but none of the data on what really happens has to be disclosed. Nor do ISO
    companies, in fact, have to be in compliance with pollution control laws (they
    just have to "say" they intend to comply). As these two steps march in lock-
    step, they could add up to major moves in the wrong direction.
    Mr. Lewis is also right to worry about proposals to shield audited information
    from the public, but that is not necessarily tied to ISO 1400l.
    -- Michael McCloskey
    Sierra Club Chairman 

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