improve by 10 to 30 percent. Further, it states that the greatest improvement will be found in a particular area, the central Appalachian region.
The United States and other nations will stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that prevents dangerous interference with the climate system. The level should be achieved within a time frame that allows ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, that ensures food production is not threatened, and that enables economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
The single milestone for this goal states that U.S. emission of greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and halogenated fluorocarbons—will be reduced to 1990 levels by the year 2000. This is an emissions goal that President Clinton has endorsed, although it was originally established as a non-binding target in the Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992). However, it is not clear how this goal relates to the larger goal of "… prevent(ing) dangerous interference with the Earth's climate system." Nor is there any linkage in the milestone between U.S. actions and those of other nations, as suggested in the goal statement.
The wastes produced by every person and business will be stored, treated, and disposed of in ways that prevent harm to people and other living things.
The first milestone for safe waste management involves an emissions goal for dioxin emissions from hazardous, medical, and municipal solid waste incinerators. The second waste milestone concerns emissions of mercury and other harmful pollutants from the same source categories. Unlike the other milestones for safe waste management, which are primarily concerned with contamination of land, these milestones focus on releases into the air. These sources, which are subject to federal permit requirements managed by EPA's waste programs, represent an estimated 80 to 90 percent of known dioxin and mercury emissions.
Milestone three concerns confirmed releases from underground storage tanks. Milestone four involves toxic wastewater injected into deep Class I wells, while milestone five focuses on so-called high-risk wastewater injection in shallow Class V wells. All three utilize emissions goals and/or federally mandated practices/standards as a means to define "safe." In all cases, the emissions goals are quantitative. In one case, injection of toxic wastewater in high-risk shallow wells, the practice is to be eliminated. The notion of high risk, of course, is subject to further clarification.