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GARN TO CO-SPONSOR BILL REQUIRING U.S. TO REQUEST ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES BEFORE FUNDING PROJECTS

Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, says the United States should require environmental review of developments it helps fund abroad - some of which are destroying the world's rain forests while creating unfair competition for U.S. businesses.

He offered the opinion while announcing that he is co-sponsoring a bill to require the United States to request an environmental study on loans for roads, dams and other projects, on which its representative to international development banks must vote."While these banks intend to help development through these projects, sometimes their efforts damage the environment and worsen hardships on local people," he said.

An example, he said, is the World Bank's $500 million support of the Narmada Valley Development Project in India, which will dam that country's largest west-flowing river - but will also displace more than 2 million people, flood 900 square kilometers and wipe out 3,000 hectares of India's dwindling forest cover.

Garn added, "Foreign nations using U.S. tax dollars should be required to comply with the same rigid environmental standards with which we comply."