potential areas for future re-
EPA's Office of International
Activities (OIA) is involved in
many broad ranging and
dynamic programs that are
designed to allow for EPA
participation in international
decision making on
worldwide environmental
issues; provide EPA with the
benefits of institutional and
technological environmental
innovations in  other nations,
and share the knowledge and
experience obtained
domestically with other

This report describes one of
OlA's international programs
that has been instrumental in
addressing several areas of
EPA's needs while fostering'
valuable professional
relationships with
environmental scientists

/s/ Alice Brandeis Popkm
Since 1971 the U.S. Environ-
mental Protection Agency
has cooperated with a
number of other countries in
its Scientific Activities Over-
seas Program to pursue re-
search and development in
environmental controls

This program, like the char-
acter of the environmental
movement itself, is  world-
wide. It transcends ideologi-
cal and national boundaries.
It has brought together
scientists, physicians, engi-
neers, and administrators in
a common pursuit—to pre-
serve and enhance the quali-
ty of the environment.

Scientific Activities Overseas
began with funds from ex-
cess foreign currencies lar-
gely acquired through sales
of U S  farm products under
the Agricultural Trade Devel-
opment and Assistance Act
of 1954 (Public Law 480).
From its inception this histor-
ic Act has pursued several
goals. It has sought not only
to develop export markets for
U.S. farm goods but also "to
improve the foreign relations
of the United States, and for
other purposes"

The excess foreign currency
generated through these
sales has been put to work in
a constructive way not fore-
seen by the original authors
of the Act, supporting envir-
onmental research and de-
velopment for the United
States in half a dozen coun-
tries. This report outlines the
history of the EPA program,
describes some representa-
tive projects, and indicates
Because the majority of the
projects are being carried
out in Poland, the work of
scientists and engineers in
that country have been dealt
with in detail.

As a measure of the success
of the program, it might be
noted that the Polish govern-
ment is now making direct
contributions into a special
account to assure that this
research will continue. Since
U.S.-owned zlotys in Poland
were largely used up by the
mid-1970's, a bilateral mone-
tary arrangement, the Maria
Sklodowska-Curie Fund, was
established that extended
the life of the cooperative
scientific program in that
country through 1981. Polish
contributions to this joint fund
match U  S  contributions
from U.S.-owned zlotys, with
each country obligating and
depositing approximately
614 million zlotys (about $31
million). The obligation of
such money into the joint
fund expired December 31,
1976 when the zloty went off
the U S. excess foreign cur-
rency list.


EPA's Research
Well before the United Na-
tions held its first Conference
on the Human Environment
in Stockholm in June, 1972,
there was widespread recog-
nition that pollution was an
international problem.

In 1969 Congress passed, by
unanimous vote, the National
Environmental Policy Act di-
recting that all Federal agen-
cies "shall recognize the
worldwide and long-range
character of environmental
problems and, where con-
sistent with the foreign policy
of the United States, lend
appropriate support to initia-
tives, resolutions, and pro-
grams designed  to maximize
international cooperation in
anticipating and  preventing a
decline in the quality of man-
kind's world environment"

Shortly after its creation, on
December 2,1970, the U S
Environmental Protection
Agency continued a far-
reaching program of scientif-
ic cooperation with other na-
tions to encourage and pro-
mote research in pollution
control. The mechanism that
made this possible was an
accumulation of  excess,
non-convertible currency
over the years in certain
countries purchasing Ameri-
can products, chiefly farm
exports under Public Law

EPA has supported environ-
mental research  in Poland,
Yugoslavia, Tunisia, Egypt,
India, and Pakistan through
its Scientific Activities Over-
seas Program by means of
this special foreign currency.
The program is administered
by the Agency's Office of
International Activities

This research covers a
broad range of investigation
including air and water pollu-
tion control, the health ef-
fects of pollutants, radiation
studies, the impact of pollu-
tion on vegetation, sludge
disposal, and management
of animal wastes

EPA-financed engineers
have developed methods of
removing wastes from textile
plant discharge water. Under
the Agency's direction,
scientists have found and
analyzed historic airborne
pollution in distant glaciers,
and have drawn important
conclusions from this about
the nature of global pollution
Biologists also are finding
new information about up-
take of heavy metals by veg-
etables  from the soil in in-
dustrial  regions where air
pollutants settle in the

There are several broad phil-
osophies that underlie this
program of environmental
research around the world
One is that by supporting
such investigation, the Uni-
ted States furthers its own
interests in a direct and con-
crete way. Many of the indi-
vidual projects are carried
out in industries identical to
those found in this country,
such as coal mining, textile
manufacture, copper smelt-
ing, and power generation
stations, and the results of
environmental research
elsewhere can be applied
to industry here In addition,
research involves areas of
public health, such as waste-
water treatment and the pro-
tection of the public from
toxic effects of pesticides,
that are common to all na-

Another rationale involves
global environment. In the
20th century, pollution
crosses international borders
without a passport. Scientists
have found DDT in the
tissues of penguins in  the
Antarctic, and sulfur mist in
Norway blown from coal-
burning power plants in
countries many miles distant.
Because these  problems cut
across national and political
lines, affecting people ev-
erywhere, it has been  United
States policy to cooperate
with other nations in a  variety
of ways to control such pollu-
tion. By supporting research
abroad, and the mutual ex-
change of American and for-
eign scientists visiting  re-
search centers, the United
States as an advanced in-
dustrial nation has manifest-
ed its concern and its willing-
ness to cooperate in dealing
with this international problem

Historically there is prece-
dent for such international
scientific cooperation.  The
Mutual Education and  Cultu-
ral Exchange Act of 1961, for
example, provided financial
support for a broad spectrum
of visits and  interchanges of
specialists between the Uni-
ted States and  other coun-
tries, of studies  and re-
search, by Americans  and
nationals of other countries,
including participation in
scientific and technical
meetings here and abroad. In
this and in PL 480, Congress
acknowledged the value of
strengthening ties to other
nations through financial aid
of various types in peaceful

The EPA's Scientific Activi-
ties Overseas Program is
therefore a continuation of a
broad policy that has been
pursued for many years by
the United States, an expres-
sion of the idea that science
knows no boundaries, that a
laboratory in Warsaw or Cai-
ro or Cincinnati can discover
new methods of pollution
control that will benefit all

Following is a description of
some examples of research
under the Agency's SAO

At this writing there were
more than 30 separate pro-
jects in environmental re-
search being conducted by
scientists, engineers, and
physicians in Poland under
the Agency's SAO program.
This represented 62 percent
of the total projects support-
ed by EPA around the world.

In several ways Poland
serves as a model country
for the SAO program. First,
the nation has a tradition of
scholarship and scientific re-
search dating back more
than six centuries to the
founding of the Jagiellonian
University of Cracow. Poland
has produced two figures in
the history of science whose
contributions were epochal:
Nicolaus Copernicus, the
Renaissance mathematician
and astronomer, and Maria
Sklodowska-Curie, co-
discoverer of radium and
polonium. Since World War II
the Government of the Polish
People's Republic has ac-
tively supported research
that is directly applicable to
the industrialization and mo-
dernization of the country,
and the intellectual climate is
highly receptive to support
and encouragement from the
United States. Research is
conducted by more than 100
institutes in various branches
of government.

To deal with environmental
problems the Polish  Parlia-
ment has organized the Min-
istry of Administration, Local
Economy and Environmental
Protection. Its activities in-
clude protection against wa-
ter and air pollution, waste
treatment, noise and vibra-
tion prevention, and protec-
tion and recultivation of soils.

The Research Institute on
Environmental Development
(RIED) coordinates scientific
cooperation of all Polish re-
search institutions with EPA

Poland's climate, topo-
graphy, and industrial base
all present challenging con-
ditions in environmental stu-
dies. For example, the coun-
try suffers from a chronic
shortage of water, ranking
20th in Europe in its water
resources. This means that
during periods of low rainfall,
pollution in rivers and
streams is heavily concen-
trated, and as a result water
protection is a pressing en-
vironmental problem.

The topography of Poland
includes a long range of
mountains on its southern
and southwest border, des-
cending north through foot-
hills to a fertile plain in the
central region. Lying at the
base of the mountains is
Silesia, rich in coal and other
mineral deposits and the in-
dustrial heart of the nation.
This means that the major
rivers and streams flow al-
most immediately from the
mountains through the most
industrialized sector, where
they are contaminated be-
fore reaching farmlands on
the plains. Scientists and
public health officials are
therefore confronted with an
unusually severe problem in
water pollution that begins
close to the source of a ma-
jor watershed.

The rich Silesian industrial
complex, which resembles in
several ways the coal-and-
steel producing areas of
eastern United States, also
has problems in air pollution.
It is in this region that many
of EPA's environmental  re-
search projects are located.
Several of EPA's projects are
associated with POLTEGOR,
an acronym for Polish Mining
Technology, (Polska Techni-
ka Gornicza)  This large
organization conducts re-
search and operates pilot
operations in  opencast  min-
ing, earthmoving, and related

EPA and POLTEGOR jointly
sponsored a Polish-U.S.
symposium, "Environmental
Protection of Openpit Coal
Mines," at Denver, Colorado
in May 1975 with the assist-
ance of EPA's Region VIII
staff. Another symposium, on
legal and administrative sys-
tems in environmental pro-
tection, is scheduled to be
held in 1977 in Poland under
auspices of the Ministry of
Administration, Local Econo-
my and Environmental Pro-
tection. EPA also works
closely with the Polish Insti-
tute of Meteorology and Wa-
ter Management, where it
has 11 projects; the RIED,
and the Ministry of Agricul-
ture. A joint Symposium on
Wastewater Treatment and
Sludge Disposal was held in
Cincinnati in February, 1976
with participants from Po-
land, EPA, several American
universities and the Ameri-
can Iron and Steel Institute.
Discussions focused on sev-
en water-related research
projects being conducted  in

Coal  Industry and
Poland has very large coal
reserves—an estimated total
of 100 billion tons plus 30
billion tons of brown coal

The fuel plays a significant
role in Poland's economy,
and the country ranks as the
world's third  largest exporter
of coal Coal-burning power
plants accounted for about
95 percent of Poland's elec-
trical generation in 1972, vs.
only 2 percent from  hydro-
electric plants Thanks to the
abundance of this fuel, Po-
land has been able to export
electricity in recent years to
Czechoslovakia and the Ger-
man Democratic Republic

The intensive development
of the country's coal industry
of course carries an environ-
mental cost—in air pollu-
tion, mine drainage, under-
ground water contamination,
and problems in disposal of
coal ash, Polish authorities
accordingly have devoted
much effort to environmental
controls on coal combustion
and its byproducts. Approxi-
mately $1.5 million of EPA's
SAO funds are involved cur-
rently in such research in
cooperation with POLTE-
GOR in Poland

One of the most visible prob-
lems is the ash and slag
wastes from coal-fired power
plants  The volume of the
wastes is large and grow-
ing—from nearly 12 million
metric tons annually in 1975
to an estimated 30 million
tons by the year 1990 POL-

TEGOR scientists and engi-
neers in cooperation with
EPA have made remarkable
strides in demonstration pro-
jects for storing this ash and
slag with appropriate envir-
onmental safeguards.

In one experiment, these
wastes have been deposited
in two open sand pits created
by surface mining operations
at Kotlarnia and Goguszo-
wice. POLTEGOR specialists
are monitoring the sites to
prevent adverse effects of
the wastes on water resour-
ces. The factors considered
include climate, drainage
and soil chemistry. A number
of monitoring wells have
been drilled to help deter-
mine chemical effects of the
waste on the subsoil.  Ulti-
mately these two sites will be
entirely reclaimed with top-
soil and plantings of various
grasses, shrubs, and trees
and made into attractive,
ecologically desirable areas.

A related project, in coopera-
tion with POLTEGOR, is the
reclamation of the so-called
spoil stack—a mixture of
waste ash and clay over-
burden—from the Turow
mine in southwestern Po-
land This is the largest
opencast lignite mine in the
country, producing 24 million
tons of brown coal annually,
and its volume of waste to-
tals more than 70 million
cubic meters a year. It is
estimated that by the  time
the Turow operation is com-
pleted in the year 2020, the
external waste stack will
cover an area  of more than
7,000 acres to a depth of 320
meters. The waste initially
was distributed at ground
level, but due to its increas-
ing height, stacking ma-
chines must now be used.
These toxic spoil stacks re-
semble problems found in
coal fields in the United
States and the development
of a reclamation technology
is therefore of special inter-
est. Specialists at the Turow
operations now are conduct-
ing a three-year program to
establish farm crops for hu-
man consumption on re-
claimed spoil stacks Scien-
tists will measure the uptake
of metals by these crops and
also will measure the effects
of air  pollution from a nearby
power plant. So a once-ugly
blight  on the landscape is
being  turned into healthy,
productive land

A third project with POLTE-
GOR seeks to develop me-
thods  for reclamation of the
alkaline  ash piles from power
plants that burn brown coal
(lignite) and bituminous coal.
Again, this work is of special
relevance to utilities in the
United States because pow-
er plants now operating here
have produced large ash
"ponds" with undetermined
groundwater contamination.
The anticipated growth of
coal-fired power stations in
the United States, particular-
ly in the Northern Great
Plains, is expected to aggra-
vate the problem

Sites in Poland involved in
power plant ash reclamation
include one at Konin in cen-
tral Poland concerned with
fly ash from the combustion
of the low-grade brown coal.
Another at Halemba in south
central Poland is dealing with
ash from the burning of bi-
tuminous coal. These wastes
present serious environmen-
tal problems not only be-
cause of their potential for
polluting underground waters
and adjacent soils but also
the atmosphere since winds
carry away dusts and chemi-
cal materials from the sites

To stabilize the ash deposits
and convert them to useful
land, POLTEGOR specialists
have successfully planted a
variety of grasses and trees
under controlled conditions
in numerous plots. With fertil-
ization, there is generally a
good growth of grasses and
nitrogen-producing species
of plants such as alfalfa, with
yields equal to those on
neighboring farmland If rain-
fall is normal, it is anticipated
that economically productive
crops can be harvested on
these reclaimed sites In
1977 POLTEGOR scientists
will evaluate various crops
grown on the ash  deposits
and will be directing their
project toward production of
food for both humans and
farm animals

The  Polish efforts in recent
years to manage coal wastes
have not been without  prob-
lems. The projects menti-
oned have required the ex-
tensive use of soils,  fertilizer,
plant husbandry, and analy-
sis. But it is clear from
achievements thus far that
this pressing environmental
challenge not only can be
met  but even turned to ad-
vantage by the conversion of
wasteland to valuable  farm-
land and forests. In the pro-
cess the POLTEGOR teams
have shown that nature can
be enlisted to help convert
such sites from eyesores
and environmental hazards
to attractive, productive
areas.  It is an experiment
from which U.S. industry can
draw valuable lessons


Cutting  Costs
in the

The manufacture of textiles
is an important industry in
Poland, with production
valued at more than 95 billion
zlotys in 1972 (about $359
million at the official ex-
change rate that year), 7.5
percent of the country's total
industrial production.

Like textile  manufacture in
the United States, this indus-
try discharges wastewater
with widely varying physical
and chemical characteris-
tics. Much of this wastewater
is colored and is high in oxy-
gen-demanding properties
which endanger the quality
of the streams and rivers
where it is discharged. The
effluent also varies in its
acidity or alkalinity and may
contain substances difficult
to remove by conventional
treatment methods.

In 1973 EPA and the Polish
Institute of Meteorology and
Water Management, Cracow
Division, began investigating
treatment of textile waste-
water by means other than
conventional biological me-
thods. Since cities in Poland
charge textile plants for puri-
fying their wastewater, with
fees directly related to the
quantity and quality of the
waste purification, this can
represent a substantial
budget item for an industry
Research to achieve lower
costs is therefore considered
a sound investment. Polish
textile technology does not
differ markedly from its coun-
terpart in the United States,
and the benefits of research
may therefore be applied
equally well here.

The Polish team set out in
1972 to evaluate several
techniques of removing co-
lor, detergents and other
stubborn pollutants from tex-
tile wastewater after primary
and secondary treatment
They kept in mind  not only
the effectiveness of the me-
thods but their cost.

The project was set up on a
pilot scale near the municipal
treatment facility and a textile
plant in Andrychow, 40 miles
southwest of Cracow, in col-
laboration with a laboratory
at Cracow Polytechnic Uni-
versity The plant produces a
variety of textiles from cotton
and synthetic fibers, and a
host of chemicals are used  in
manufacture including many
dyes (reactive, vat, naphthol,
indigo, sulfur and disperse)
as well as detergents and

Initially, municipal  wastewat-
er is mixed with textile efflu-
ent because the bacterial
action of the sewage actually
helps to break down the con-
taminants in the factory
waste. At Andrychow the mix
is on a one-to-one ratio. After
conventional treatment at the
municipal plant, various
types of advanced (tertiary)
treatment are used to re-
move the most persistent
textile pollutants.

The EPA-Polish team inno-
vated by taking seven differ-
ent types of advanced treat-
ment, installing them at one
site, and then comparing
their cost and effectiveness
on the scene The seven
processes were ion ex-
change, carbon absorption,
chemical coagulation, ozo-
nation, chlorination, filtration
and reverse osmosis. Inves-
tigators ran treatment me-
thods both in parallel and in

Among the more important
results of this work was the
development of a new pro-
cess in chemical coagula-
tion—multimedia filtration.
Normally this requires four
tanks, but at Andrychow the
work was performed in one.
The process removes solids
without sedimentation by
means of a technique termed
"upflow contact filtration"
which reverses the normal
gravity-fed procedure. The
technique provides signifi-
cant savings, costing about
50 percent less than conven-
tional methods and requiring
less time An EPA paper on
the system will be published
later in 1977.

Since all such methods are
developed under joint U.S.-
Polish government auspices,
the findings of this project
are openly available to the
public without restriction.
This  applies to all projects in
every country under the Spe-
cial Foreign Currency pro-

I  V  \Z_<^JX

Energy and
Protein from
Animal Wastes

The production of pork is an
important industry in Poland.
Not only is this a major
source of food for the popu-
lation but Polish hams are
exported around the globe
and have become significant
earners of hard currency
Exports to the United  States
alone in 1975 were  valued at
more than $74 million Po-
land raises more than 20
million pigs a year, and total
exports of ham exceeded
38,000 metric tons in  1975

For these reasons, large farm
operations devoted exclu-
sively to swine have become
common in Poland, and it is
not unusual to find State-
owned farms of 10,000 to
35,000 pigs operated by agri-
cultural cooperatives.

At the same  time, the animal
waste load from such large
operations represents an en-
vironmental problem that has
compelled authorities to con-
struct special wastewater
treatment plants exclusively
for swine farms The present
method of treating this waste
is both expensive and re-
quires a heavy input of
energy and chemicals, and
authorities therefore have
been exploring ways to turn
the waste into useful bypro-
ducts to offset treatment

Scientists know, for example,
that methane gas can be
derived from wastewater,
thereby providing a fuel for
various purposes Engineers
working in the U S -Polish
SAO project  are seeking the
optimum method of obtaining
methane and using it to heat
water at swine farms, which
can help to make them more
self-sufficient in energy

At the same time investiga-
tors also will be  exploring
ways to recover protein from
the waste. By biological
treatment they plan to recov-
er protein which can ulti-
mately be fed back to the
pigs  after processing and
removal of certain contami-
nants like heavy metals.

A third use  of the wastewater
is for irrigation of crops. The
end product of the waste
treatment plants now is suit-
able  for irrigation, but it would
be much more valuable for
this purpose if it contained
certain nutrients now re-
moved during purification
such as phosphorus, nitro-
gen and carbon.

So the real  challenge to
scientists is to determine the
correct treatment that will
make possible all these valu-
able  uses from a product that
now  is considered chiefly an
expensive environmental
burden. The idea of food,
fuel,  and fertilizer from animal
waste holds great appeal
both  for emerging nations
and for U.S feedlot opera-


e-s   T  i,.> ^ «^  «

tor Industry
As indicated earlier, Poland
is a nation poor in water
supply. At the same time, its
heavy industry—like those in
other countries—must use
large amounts of water for
cooling and other purposes.
Poland's rivers are already
heavily polluted, and this
presents an environmental
and economic dilemma.

It means that in some cities
such as Walbrzych in Upper
Silesia, with a population of
100,000, industry now actu-
ally uses sewage for cooling

To cope with this problem
the Technical University of
Wroclaw has been cooperat-
ing with Polish industry and
municipalities on treatment
of such sewage to render it
of adequate quality for use in
factory processes.

Under another EPA project,
investigators have been
working to determine the
most efficient method of ren-
ovating water from city sew-
age treatment plants so it
can be recycled back to in-

There are extensive opera-
tions in Upper Silesia in
copper and steel manufac-
ture and also in mining, and
the Oder River and its tribu-
taries suffer from heavy pol-
lution as they flow through
the Wroclaw area. This
means that among other
things the wastewater must
be neutralized and cleansed
of phenols and heavy metals
before it can be reused.
Now under construction and
scheduled for completion in
June, 1977 is a pilot plant to
treat 2,000 cubic meters of
sewage per day for industry
in Walbrzych. The cost of this
facility will total approximate-
ly $500,000,  and its output
will chiefly be used as cool-
ing water in  a glass and
china factory.

In a second  phase, a larger
plant with a capacity of
20,000 cubic meters of water
per day is also planned for
completion in 1978 on the
Palecznica River in the same
city This facility, costing ap-
proximately $3 million, will
provide not only cooling wa-
ter for a coke plant but also
about 10 percent of its output
will be used  by boilers in the
electric generating  plant for
the same industry.

The use of renovated water
is of growing interest in other
industrialized nations be-
cause heavy industry, partic-
ularly steel plants, require
enormous amounts of cool-
ing water at a time when this
resource is becoming
scarce. The  Sparrows Point
Plant of Bethlehem Steel Co.
at Baltimore, Maryland, for
example, uses 115 million
gallons a day of treated sew-
age water for cooling pur-

Because of Poland's unusu-
ally severe water shortage,
combined with its heavily
industrialized southwestern
region, the country  is there-
fore serving as a "worst
case" model and testing
ground to stimulate research
in recycling water, and the
results of these projects will
be of value everywhere to
industry and municipalities
faced with similar problems


 The SAO program responds
 to local needs in each coun-
 try where it operates. Thus,
 scientists are studying water
 renovation and recycling not
 only in Poland but for food
 processing in Egypt, where
 water is also a precious re-
 source. Similarly, eutrophica-
 tion  in the Lake of Tunis is
 under investigation to assess
 the potential benefits of di-
 verting sewage from that im-
 portant body of water in Tuni-
 sia In Yugoslavia, research
 is being conducted on water
 pollutants such as silicates,
 heavy metals, and acid dust
 In Pakistan, biochemists are
 studying sewage water and
 sludge to establish control
 measures for protection of
 public health and marine life

 At the same time the pro-
 gram also remains flexible to
 adapt to new domestic priori-
 ties such as land reclamation
 in strip mining and synthetic
 fuel production The emer-
 gence of the energy problem
 also has made this a special
 consideration in future re-

 The  need for energy conser-
 vation of course already was
 being reflected in certain
 projects, such as research
 on management of wastes
 from animal feedlots It is a
 factor in systems achieving
 lower costs of wastewater
 treatment, since energy is a
 function of such costs

 In another area, the need for
 more food to feed a growing
 population is a part of future
 research For example, ef-
forts in Poland under SAO to
restore the fertility of lands
despoiled by mining are not
only environmentally desira-
ble but may open up new
acreage to the production of
crops and livestock As not-
ed earlier, the experience of
the POLTEGOR organization
in land restoration can be of
special usefulness to U S
planners in the exploitation of
surface coal in regions such
as the Great Northern Plains

However, the mam thrust of
future research under the
SAO program will be a conti-
nuation of those lines of in-
vestigation already appar-
ent—in areas already identi-
fied by each nation as impor-
tant to deal with its own par-
ticular environmental prob-

The United States will con-
tinue to benefit from the fruits
of such research As this
report has emphasized,
many of the problems under
investigation are shared by
American industry and
American cities, and the
knowledge gained in pollu-
tion control overseas will be
freely available here



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Official Business
Penalty for Private Use
                                     Postage and
                                     Fees Paid
                                     EPA 335
                                                                                           Third Class