the worldwide struggle
   to save our planet

   ongress passed the National Environmental
Policy Act of 1969 by a unanimous vote.
This landmark legislation directs that "to the
fullest extent possible, all agencies of the
Federal Government shall recognize the worldwide
and long-range character of environmental
problems and, where consistent with the foreign
policy of the United States, lend appropriate
support to initiatives, resolutions and programs
designed to maximize international cooperation
in anticipating and preventing a decline in the
quality of mankind's world environment."

September 1974
     Technology makes our lives
     easier, healthier and more
abundant, but it also heavily
impacts the natural world. Our
survival depends upon the
biosphere, a closed system
in which organic and inorganic
matter are continuously recycled
to sustain life. Worldwide
environmental problems cannot
be solved by one nation: every-
body is downwind or down-
stream from everyone else.

The 1972 United Nations
Conference on the Human
Environment in Stockholm
marked the first coordinated
effort by the nations of the
world to alleviate their common
ecological problems. The
conference focused on develop-
ing uniform international
pollution control standards and
promulgated a list of priorities
to protect the environment. It
also served to underscore some
of the major differences between
the industrial nations and the
developing countries. The
economic demands of developing
nations often conflict with efforts
to protect the environment.

Conquering pollution on a
global scale will be an enorm-
ously complex task. It means
creating new concepts,
institutions, measures and
controls, and developing strong
motivations. The challenges
are great—so are the stakes.
The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) is in a unique

position to stimulate this
worldwide movement of environ-
mental renovation and reform.

Through its Office of Inter-
national Activities (OIA), EPA
works with other countries on
the entire range of environ-
mental problems including air
and water pollution, noise,
toxic substances, solid waste
disposal, radiation, natural
resources and the impact of
environmental policies on world
trade. OIA collaborates in all
this with the Department of
State and other U.S. Govern-
ment agencies as is appropriate.
Currently OIA concentrates on:
   •  data collection and analysis
   •  technology transfer
   •  investigations of certain
     long-range environmental
   •  exchange of technical
     information and personnel
     to keep updated and to
     prevent duplication of  effort
   •  cooperative research and
     action programs to prevent
     or minimize pollution.
OIA works through multilateral
organizations, bilateral programs,
Special Foreign Currency
programs  and  international
exchanges to carry out these
vital  activities.

A major portion of our overseas
involvement is with multilateral
organizations. EPA works
primarily with the UN and its
specialized agencies, NATO's
Committee on Challenges of
Modern Society and the
Organization of Economic
Cooperation and Development.
OECD comprises the major
industrial nations of the free
world and focuses on the
economic and trade effects of
environmental policies.

   Economic  Commission
      for Europe (ECE)

   Intergovernmental Maritime
      Consultative Organiza-
      tion (IMCO)

   International Atomic
      Energy Agency (IAEA)

   NATO's Committee on
      Challenges of Modern
      Society (CCMS)

   Organization of Economic
      Cooperation and Devel-
      opment (OECD)

   The Common Market

   The UN Environment
      Program (UNEP)

   UN  Educational, Scientific
      and Cultural Organiza-
      tion (UNESCO)

   World Health Organization

   World Meteorological
      Organization (WMO)

Multilateral Activities

EPA's work with multilateral
organizations covers a broad
spectrum of action projects.
Some examples:

EPA operates the WHO Inter-
national Reference Center for
Air Pollution Control, analyzing
and publishing data from WHO
international laboratories. EPA
assists WHO in developing and
publishing air  pollution criteria
and improving methods of
analysis and data reporting.

Supports the UN Law of the
Sea Conference.

EPA assists IMCO  in:
  •  preventing oil spills at sea
  •  resolving the extent of
     coastal and port state
     jurisdiction to establish and
     enforce environmental
  •  establishing resource and
     pollution control jurisdic-
     tion over the continental
     shelf and  deep seabeds
  •  managing coastal migra-
     tory and anadromous fish

EPA supports OECD in promot-
ing the "polluter pays" principle,
which means that nations should
not subsidize pollution control
costs or use environmental
standards to erect non-tariff
barriers. That way environ-
mental policies will not exert
a harmful impact on world trade
patterns. With EPA assistance,
OECD also studies:
   • the economics of trans-
     boundary pollution
   • better methods of gather-
     ing and disseminating data
   • studying pollutant levels
     in order to develop
     emission standards
     consonant with available

EPA and NATO's CCMS com-
bine their efforts on toxic waste
disposal projects, water pollu-
tion programs and an air
pollution study designed to
encourage other countries to
adopt a common management
approach to air pollution
control. EPA specialists also
lead projects to develop low
pollution motor vehicles,
advanced wastewater treatment
and better river basin management.

EPA actively supports the UN
Environmental  Program  in  its
efforts to  establish a  global
monitoring system, an
Information Referral Service, and
other projects of international


Bilateral Programs
EPA's Office of International
Activities works directly with an
increasing number of nations
in spot investigations, long-term
research, joint control projects
and information or visitor
exchanges. Major programs
have been developed with our
hemispheric neighbors. The
historic Great Lakes Water
Quality Agreement launched
both the United States and
Canada on a massive campaign
to restore this giant natural
resource. EPA is also helping
Canada to maintain the quality
of the Red, Rainy and St. Croix
Rivers and to ameliorate air
pollution in the Detroit-Windsor
metropolitan region. The two
countries are devising oil spill
contingency plans for coastal
and other boundary waters.

EPA  has collaborated with
Mexico in monitoring air pollu-
tion, training water quality
experts, exchanging technical
information, staging hemispheric
ecology seminars and conducting
joint meetings to assess pollution
along our common boundary.
EPA is working hard to fulfill
a pledge for a less salty
Colorado River.

The  U.S.-Soviet Environmental
Agreement is a major undertak-
ing for EPA. The program was
initiated with exploratory visits
and work is now underway in the
fields of air, water, marine and
agricultural  pollution.
Japan and EPA exchange ideas
and information in a multitude
of areas: advanced wastewater
treatment technology, solid
waste management, photo-
chemical smog and air quality
standards among others.

Projects with other countries
include: longitudinal investiga-
tions of health effects of mercury
exposure at the Almaden
mercury mine in  Spain;
eutrophication studies  of the
Sea of Galilee; and exchange
of data on  stack gas  scrubbing
technology with Romania. A
U.S./ West German Environ-
mental Agreement has just
been completed and both
countries are now in the process
of identifying areas of coopera-

            In a joint project with Canada,
            EPA is studying the water
            quality of the Great Lakes.

            In Spain, working with mercury
            mine officials, an EPA team is
            investigating health effects of
            mercury exposure.

            A  layer of polluted air over
            the Kremlin is an example of
            the similar pollution problems
            shared by the Soviet Union and
            the United States.

                                        -•     -

International Technology
An active exchange  of  envi-
ronmental technology is being
conducted to provide EPA and
American industry a better
understanding of  pollution
control  and energy-related
technological developments
abroad; an example is the  study
to "Assess the  Impact of  Multi-
national  Corporations on  Inter-
national Pollution Control  Activi-
ties."  This study  is intended  to
analyze any barriers  and incen-
tives to global innovation  in en-
vironmental technology.
EPA  conducts with  five
countries cooperative programs
ranging from basic research on
a given pollutant  to  interdisci-
plinary  experiments  in regional
planning throughout  an entire
watershed.  These programs arc
financed with foreign currencies
owned by  the  United States
which must  be spent in the host
country.  They  merge scientific
and resource capabilities of the
U.S. and the foreign country.
   • A  study  of  marine pollu-
    tion in the Adriatic  and
    Baltic Seas which  parallels
    U.S.  programs in Puget
    Sound, the Great  Lakes
    and Chesapeake Bay.
  • A  U.S.-Polish expedition
    to  measure pollution  levels
    in the Himalayas by  glacier
    core  analysis.  Perennial
    glaciers add  new layers of
     ice every year; by  looking
     at  the  laminations, glaci-
     ologists can  tell what
     poisons were absorbed
     when and  in what
  •  A study of shallow Lake
     Tunis, fouled by garbage
     from Tunis and Carthage
     for 2,000 years, which may
     be applicable to the renewal
     of certain  American lakes
     of this type.
  •  An assessment of the en-
     vironmental  damage caused
     by  the Aswan Dam.

Others include  research  into
the  significance  of  lead and
mercury in the  environment,
the  toxic  effects  of sulphur and
nitrogen  oxides,  control of
industrial  effluent and ways to
use  or dispose  of industrial and
municipal sewage sludge.

Top left: Traffic-free zones
successfully being used in
European cities are of interest
to EPA.

Left: Oil spills in the Adriatic
sea are  being studied in a joint
U.S.-Yugoslavia project.

Above:  The Yugoslav-U.S.
project  uses this hydro-
biological research ship.

Shallow Lake Tunis, polluted
for some 2,000 years, provides
baseline data for EPA
researchers which may be
applicable in renewing
American Lakes.

 Visitor and Information Exchange
The Visitor and Information
Exchange Program briefs foreign
government officials, scientists,
journalists, industrialists,
community leaders and student
groups. Comprehensive
environmental tours have been
arranged for Austrian,  German
and Taiwanese delegations.
These three countries made
intensive studies of EPA before
recommending national
environmental programs to
their governments.

As  plans for national programs
develop, EPA is called  on  to
provide "source documents."
Arrangements have been made
with 24 countries and 8
international organizations
to receive EPA reports on
microfiche; in exchange, EPA
receives about 1200 reports a
year from abroad. EPA has
printed a bibliography of world
environmental laws, soon to be
followed by bibliographies on
environmental management and
the economic impact of pollu-
tion control. EPA has  actively
assisted the UNEP information
referral service in studying
systems and hardware for  a
compatible, worldwide  informa-
tion referral service and
steps toward coordinated
international action to save the
earth. We must move faster to
clean up our own environment
and help other nations do the
same. Already international
organizations are developing
action programs  and 13
countries now  have agencies
specializing in pollution analysis
and control.

EPA bears a heavy responsi-
bility to advance  this
effort. We have the resources
and the expertise. Other
countries look to us for advice,
moral support and technical
assistance. We will have an
enormous impact in  shaping the
quality of our planetary environs
for years to come. But we have
just begun.
 The activities cited in this
 pamphlet do not ordinarily   ?
 create headlines but they do  (--
 constitute the necessary first

         The reader is free to quote or reproduce any part
         of this  publication  without  further permission.


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