United States
                    Environmental Protection
                               Office of Water
  November 1997
The Environmental and Health Benefits of the Final
Pulp and Paper "Cluster Rule" and the Incentives
     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing final rules that will reduce and prevent
     water discharges and air emissions ofdioxin and other toxic and hazardous pollutants by pulp,
     paper, and paperboard mills. These rules are being issued jointly under the Clean Water Act and
     the Clean Air Act and are commonly referred to as the "Cluster Rule. "
     Environmental and Health Benefits
     The final "Cluster Rule" achieves significant
     reductions in the amount of pollutants in the
     wastewater discharged by the mills affected by
     this rule:

     >  96% reduction in dioxin and furan

     >  96% reduction in dioxin and furan loading to
        sludges (for land disposal)

     >  99% reduction in chloroform

     The final rule also calls for changes that
     significantly reduce the amount of pollutants
     that are  emitted to the air from pulp and paper
     mills. These changes include:

     >  59% reduction of all toxic air pollutants

     >  47% reduction in reduced sulfur (the
        primary source of objectionable odors)

     >  49% reduction in volatile organic
        compounds (precursors to smog)
                                Reducing the amount of pollutants released to
                                the environment benefits public health and the

                                >  73 rivers and streams become cleaner

                                >  Ultimately, all dioxin fish consumption
                                   advisories associated with the 96 pulp and
                                   paper mills affected by this action will be

                                Incentives to Surpass Baseline Requirements
                                An important feature of this rule is a new
                                program that encourages individual mills to
                                install advanced pollution prevention
                                technologies or make process changes that
                                further reduce releases of pollutants beyond the
                                limits set by this rule. By enrolling in this
                                program, called the Advanced Technology
                                Incentives Program, mills will be granted
                                additional time to incorporate new technologies
                                or change manufacturing processes in return for
                                more advanced pollution prevention and
                                protection controls.
         37% reduction in particulate matter