Enviros are pushing for a moratorium on new chip mills in the Southeast, calling on Tennessee and other states to follow the lead of Missouri, which decided last week to ban new chip mills for two years while a study is conducted on their environmental and economic impact. Large timber companies are increasingly clear-cutting forests in the Southeast to feed the noisy mills, which make woodchips used in particle board and other products. The chip-mill industry is virtually unregulated, say enviros, and they are asking Vice President Al Gore to call for regional moratorium on new mills. More than 120 chip mills have opened in the Southeast since 1985, according to the Dogwood Alliance, an enviro group.