News updates Essay

* On Jan. 7, U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein gave final approval to the $180 million settlement (SN: 5/19/84, p. 314) between makers of Agent Orange and representatives of veterans who claim their exposure to it in Vietnam injured them or their offspring. Veterans’ lawyers were awarded $9.2 million for fees and expenses — far less than the $40 million they sought.

* The Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will extend its regulation of hazardous wastes to cover dioxin in all its forms, not just the highly toxic 2,4,7,8-TCDD. Related chlorinated dibenzofurans and -phenols will similarly get the “acute” hazard designation, meaning production of a kilogram or more per month of wastes contaminated with these chemicals will require that the generator meet federal laws. Nonacute hazards are regulated only if production reaches 2,000 kg per month.