Earth   Day

   Earth Day  special in its
   first incarnation  in 1 !)7():
special now as we approach
its 2Qth-anniversary
observance on April 22.
1990. This  issue of EPA
JotirnaJ is (Indicated to Earth
Day and  its meaning then
and now.
  President George Bush
leads off  the issue with an
article that  reflects his
perspective on the
environment at home  and
abroad. EPA Administrator
William  K.  Keilly follows
with a piece articulating a
goal  that  lie feels should
become a key focus of the
nation's environmental
init iatives:  pollution
  An article by ]•',}'A /ounuil
writer Jack  Lewis desc:ril)es
I!K! spirit and character of  the;
first  Earth Day. and an
accompanying feature
surveys a group of people
who  were key environmental
players in  1070 and also
reports on what they are
doing now. Former U.S.
Senator Gaylord Nelson, the
founder of Earth Day.
outlines the legacy of Karth
Day as he sees it.
  Next is a series  of articles
looking back and  looking
ahead, occasioned by this
20th anniversary of the "year
of the environment." For in
addition to Earth  Day, other
environmental landmark
events helped to make  1970 a
special year: in particular.
the birth of EPA;  the
establishment of the
President's Council on
Environmental Quality and
tin environmental impact
review program (both
mandated by the  National
Environmental Policy Act of
1970); and the passage  of the
Clean Air Act of that year.
The authors are EPA's first
Administrator, William D.
Ruckelshaus; the  first
Chairman of the President's
Council, Russell K. Train:
former Congressman Paul G.
Rogers, who was involved in
the deliberations leading to
the 1970 Clean Air Act; and
two activists who figured
prominently in 1970 Earth
Day events—Denis Hayes,
who beaded the national
Environmental Teach-In
office that coordinated Earth
Day. and Edward W. Furia,
who directed Philadelphia's
Earth Week program.
  Next, illustrating the
burgeoning activity that may
make 1990 another year of
the environment, an article
by Journal writer Roy  Popkin
reports on the growing
commitment within the
entertainment  industry to
promoting environmental
  Two articles report  on
subjects that demonstrate
how dramatically the
environmental agenda has
changed since 1970. First.
John S. Hoffman and Robert
Kwartin from EPA's Global
Change Division write about
ongoing efforts to design
refrigerators that art: free of
chemicals that damage the
stratosphere and to make this
new technology available in
developing countries.
Second, Joel S. Hirschhorn. a
Senior Associate at the
Congressional Office of
Technology Assessment.
explains the steps needed if
American industry is to
adopt a preventive approach
to industrial waste rather
than the traditional effort to
control waste at the
  Then Paul ami Anne
Ehrlich, a husband-and-wife
team of environmentalists,
describe the nature of the
environmental crisis in their
view and outline an
approach for dealing with it.
Next, providing an industry
perspective, Jerald terHorst,
Director of National Public
Affairs for the Ford Motor
Company, gives a rundown
on efforts to clean up a major
pollution source, the
  The phenomenon of the
"Greens" in West Germany
and other European countries
is explained in terms of its
political dynamics by  Konrad
von Moltke. a senior fellow
at The Conservation
Foundation and former
Director of the Institute for
International Environmental
Policy in Bonn. In a related
article, Bowdoin College
professor John Rensenbrink
discusses the prospects for a
Greens movement in  the
United States.
  This issue of the magazine
concludes with a report on
the clean-up tasks
confronting another
industrialized society—the
Soviet Union—authored  by
Alexei Yablokov, a key
environmental official in that
country. D
                                                                                         New York City's Fifth Avenue
                                                                                         was closed to motor vehicles
                                                                                         for Earth Day 1970.
                                                                                         The result was one of the
                                                                                         biggest people jams in the
                                                                                         city's history.

                               United States
                               Environmental Protection
                               Office of
                               Communications and
                               Public Affairs
                           &EPA JOURNAL
                               Volume 16,  Number 1
                               January/February 1990
                               William K. Reilly, Administrator
                               Lew Crampton, Associate Administrator for
                                 Communications and Public Affairs

                               Leighton Price, Editorial Director
                               John Heritage, Editor
                               Karen Flagstad, Assistant Editor
                               Jack Lewis, Assistant Editor
                               Ruth Barker,  Assistant Editor
                               Marilyn Rogers, Circulation Manager
EPA is charged by Congress to
protect the nation's land, air, and
water systems. Under a mandate of
national environmental laws, the
agency strives to formulate and
implement actions which lead to a
compatible balance between
human activities and the ability of
natural systems to support and
nurture life.
   EPA /ournaJ is published by the
U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency. The Administrator of EPA
has determined that the
publication of this periodical is
necessary  in the transaction of the
public business required by law of
this agency. Use of funds for
printing this periodical has been
approved by the Director of the
Office of Management  and Budget.
Views expressed by authors do not
necessarily reflect EPA policy. No
permission necessary to reproduce
contents except copyrighted photos
and other  materials.
  Contributions and inquiries
should be  addressed to the Editor,
EPA Journal (A-107), Waterside
Mall, 401  M Street, SW.,
Washington, DC 20460.
What I Believe About the
by President George Bush

Pollution Prevention; An
Environmental Goal for  the
by William K. Reilly

The Spirit of the First Earth
by Jack Lewis

The Legacy  of Earth Day
by Gaylord Nelson   10

Looking  Back;  Looking
  by William D.
  —The Council on
  Environmental Quality
  by Russell E. Train  ia

  —The Clean Air  Act of
  by Paul G. Rogers  21

  —Earth Day: One View
  by Denis Hayes   24

  —Earth Day: Another View
  by Edward W. Furia  >_~

The Stars Take on  the
Environmental Crisis
by Roy  Popkin  ;jt)

The Changing Agenda:
  —Re-Inventing the
  by John S. Hoffman and
  Robert Kwartin   ;i2

  —Preventing Industry
  by Joe! S. Hirschhorn  ;){>
Thinking About Our
Environmental Future
by Anne and Paul
Ehrlich  40

Cleaning Up the Auto: A
Rough Ride
by Jerald F. terHorst  43

The Greens of Europe:
A New Environmentalism
by Konrad von Moltke  4(i

Do the Greens Have a Future
by John Rensenbrink   ~ut

A Perspective from Another
Country: The Soviet Task
by Alexei Yablokov   50
                               Front Cover: Earth Day 1970: A
                               scene in Washington, DC. Photo by
                               Dennis Brack, Black Star.
                               Design Credits:
                               Ft on Fcirrah
                               fames fl. Iiigrum
                               Robert Flcimijjan
                               The text of EPA Journal is prinfrj
                               on recycled paper.
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What  I  Believe
About the
by President George Bush
  Last summer, I took my 13-year-old
  grandson on a fishing trip to Jackson
Lake, Wyoming. The memory of that
day lingers—the two of us casting our
lines, sinking long, flashy spinners deep
into the crystalline water. After some
effort, we caught a few Mackinaw trout
and let them go. But the real catch was
for our eyes.
  From our small boat, we watched elk
warily emerge from the forest at dusk to
drink at the lake. And rising out of the
forest in the distance were the
Tetons—jagged,  immense, snow-capped,
invincible. No words,  no photo, no
painter could do them justice.
  Of course, there was a time when all
of North America was as primitive and
pristine as Jackson Hole. But aside from
protected areas like the Grand Tetons,
the buffalo hunters and the  settlers
changed the face of the land, forever.
 We no longer enjoy the luxury
 of leisurely action.
 Environmental protection must
 become a higher priority for
 us all.
The exploitation of natural resources
was a natural way of life for the
pioneers. In fact, it was the only way of
life. So our ancestors did what they had
to do to build a great nation, simply
assuming that the  land offered a
limitless bounty.
  Today, of course, we know better.
And knowing better, we must act better.
  President Teddy Roosevelt declared
80  years ago that  nothing short of
defending this country in wartime
"compares in importance with the great
central task of leaving this land even a
better land for our descendants than it
is for us." He was one of the first to
perceive that nature is not an infinite
resource. Environmental destruction in
National Paik Service photo
one place on Earth can have serious
consequences for other, sometimes
remote, parts of our planet. In fact, some
scientists  compare the Earth to a single
organism, a living system whose ability
to survive depends on its overall
  It is not possible to restore our
environment to a perfectly natural state.
Yet we've also learned that a growing
economy  can only  be sustained with a
healthy environment. This requires a
balance—trade-offs, tough decisions,
careful planning, exact studies, and
creative proposals.
  Seeking that balance,  environmental
leaders like Senators Ed Muskie,
Howard Baker, the late Henry Jackson,
and others put aside party differences in
the late 1960s to craft landmark
comprehensive environmental
legislation. On January 1, 1970,
President  Nixon began the new decade
by signing the National  Environmental
Policy Act into law. All the historic:
environmental laws of the 70s followed
this bold step: the Clean Air Act. the
Clean Water Act, and the laws
regulating pesticides, toxic: substances,
and hazardous wastes.
  It was also roughly 20 years ago that
EPA began its historic mission under
the strong leadership of Hill
Ruckelshaus. And in this same tradition
Bill Reilly brings to EPA his own
distinctive brand of
leadership—leadership based on both
environmental expertise and real
  In the first year of this
Administration, we've taken on many
tough environmental problems. On June
12, I announced ways we can use  the
market  to reduce emissions of acid rain.
urban smog, and toxic air pollution—all
included in the first major overhaul of
                                                                                                   EPA JOURNAL

      Tston National Park,
the Clean Air Act to be proposed in
more than a decade.
  Later in the year, we called for $710
million for Clean Coal Technology: a
ban on nearly all uses of asbestos by
1997; and a ban  on the export of
hazardous waste. In addition, we've
accelerated our leadership on global
change, proposing  a 28-percent increase
in global environmental research and
offering to host an  international
conference next  fall to negotiate a
framework treaty on global change.
  But the federal government is only
part of the story. Twenty years ago, the
environmental movement  was gaining
strength  in the city halls and state
capitols of our nation, as well as in
Washington. And the new commitment
to a cleaner, safer environment wasn't
just confined to  government. It grew
from the bottom up—not just from
school boards, city councils, and state
legislatures—but from millions of
  Americans came together as
environmental volunteers—
spontaneously, almost instinctively—to
save the Earth. And it was this
movement that created the first Earth
Day on April 22,1970. Earth Day began
as a spectacular  movement of citizen
leadership. It has become an American
tradition, worthy of future generations.
  A president quickly learns to see
policy in the broadest terms possible.
Urban and housing policy must he-
related to transportation, transportation
policy to energy, energy policy to
agriculture, and so on. Applying this
same perspective,  one cannot fail to see
that deforestation,  ozone depletion.
ocean  pollution, and the threat of global
warming interconnect to challenge our
future. We no longer enjoy the luxury of
leisurely action. Environmental
protection must become a higher
priority for  us all.
   If our  response is to be effective, then
all the nations of the world  must make
common cause in  defense of our
environment. This is a message I took to
Sierra C/uO photo

the peoples of Europe in May. In Main/..
West Germany, 1 said that my
generation remembers a world ravaged
by war. And, of course, Europeans have
rebuilt their proud cities and restored
their majestic cathedrals. But I told
them: "What  a tragedy  it would be if
your continent  were again spoiled, this
time bv a more subtle and insidious
// our response is to be
effective, then all the nations
of the world must make
common cause in defense of
our environment.
danger—that of poisoned rivers and acid
rain." 1 told them of America's
environmental tragedy in Alaska. I
noted that countries from France to
Finland suffered after Chernobyl, and
that West Germany is struggling to save
the Black Forest, the bottom line is
this:  Environmental destruction respects
no borders.
  When I suggested that the United
States and Western Europe  extend a
hand to the East, the people of Europe
on both sides of the Iron Curtain
responded with enthusiasm. Since then,
working with my  counterparts  in
Western Europe, we have readied
agreements to share our environmental
technical and regulatory knowledge
with Eastern Europe.
  I hope these agreements become a
model not just for Europe, but  for the
world. And I am determined that in the
1990s, the United States of  America will
continue to assume responsibility by
                                        President Theodore Roosevelt, an early
                                        environmentalist, loved hiking and
                                        camping. In this 1903 photo, he is shown
                                        with John Muir, who founded the Sierra
providing world environmental
  At home, we've brought to my
Administration outstanding
environmental professionals, like
Michael Deland, who chairs the
important Council on Environmental
Quality. We've broken new ground by
declaring that pollution  prevention is
our ultimate goal. For too long, we've
focused on clean-up  campaigns and
penalties after the damage is done. It's
time to reorient our policies to
technologies and processes that reduce
or prevent pollution—to stop it before it
starts. In the 1990s, pollution
prevention must go to the source.
  To save the Earth will require our best
efforts. Everyone must volunteer to
help. Business, labor, and consumers
must cooperate. Environmentalists and
industrialists must be partners, not
adversaries. Local communities, large
and small, must enlist. And so must
families—we all can  learn  to generate
less waste and to recycle the wash1 that
we do produce. In fact, those families
that do recycle have  found  it makes
economic, as  well as ecological, sense.
  Finally,  there is one simple thing that
you can do on Earth  Day, regardless of
your age or ability. I  ask you to join me
in sowing  a legacy of cleaner air and
more beautiful horizons. I ask you to
perform a  simple act. 1 ask you to  plant
a tree.
  You don't have to be a poet or a
painter to  appreciate a tree. Trees  cuul
the Earth on a summer's day. They quiet
the noise of a freeway. They provide a
natural wind break in winter. And every
tree makes  America a little  greener, a
little more like the verdant  nation  the
Pilgrims knew.
  I hope that  Earth Day will once again
demonstrate that solutions to
environmental problems are emerging
from the good will, generosity,  and
vision of the American people. We have
already given the world so much. Let's
give the world an example of
volunteerism and environmental
leadership on April 22, 1990, and  in the
vears to come. Q

Pollution  Prevention:
An  Environmental  Goal
for  the  90s
by William  K.  Reilly
   Despite their popularity, national
   celebrations of anniversaries often
turn out to be what the eminent
historian Daniel Boorstin has called
"pseudo-events"—long on hype and
nostalgia, short on substance.
  Earth Day 1990  should be an
exception to that rule. The 20th
anniversary of Earth Day, like the first
Earth Day on April 22, 1970, marks a
turning point in the history of our
relationship with  planet Earth.
  In 1970, as a result of mounting
public concern over environmental
deterioration—rivers on fire, cities
clouded by soot, waterways choked by
raw sewage, automobiles pumping out
some 20 times the smog-producing
emissions of today's cars—we began as
a nation to address the most obvious,
most acute environmental problems.
  The National Environmental Policy
Act was signed by President Nixon on
New Year's Day 1970. In short order,
the Clean Air Act of 1970 was  passed.
In December  1970 EPA was created. The
Clean Water Act of 1972 soon followed.
Because these readily identified
environmental problems were so
immediate, so obvious, it was relatively
easy to see what had to be done and to
summon the political will to do it.
  As more environmental laws were
enacted, they shared a common
approach: They authorized EPA to
develop rules and regulations that
dictated, to a large extent, how our
society would control its pollution and
other wastes.
  The regulations defined treatments for
wastes, set discharge; limits, mandated
proper disposal methods, and provided
enforcement authorities. For the most
part, this command-and-control
approach achieved dramatic successes
in reducing discharges of pollutants
from point sources. In other words, the
substantial environmental investments
       is Administrator of EPA.)
made by the American people paid off
  Yet the achievements, as significant as
they are, have been overtaken by new,
growing environmental challenges and
expectations.  As the technology
improved to detect ever-smaller levels
of contamination,  and as we learned
more about the health and
environmental problems associated with
pollution, we found  that deeper cuts  in
pollution were necessary. True to the
theory of diminishing returns, reducing
the  remaining increments of pollution
proved more difficult and more
expensive than the initial ones.
  New problems also surfaced. Few can
forget  the drama with which Love Canal
entered the public consciousness. The
tragic story of the  Love Canal
community, built above an abandoned
hazardous waste dump, resulted in the
Superfund program to clean up
improperly disposed-of hazardous
          An outfall. Despite progress in
          controlling such point-source
          discharges, we still face
          massive pollution problems.
wastes. This program added a huge new
task to EPA's already ambitious
mandate. From the inception of
Superfund until now, EPA has devoted
tremendous effort to the regulation and
cleanup of hazardous wastes.
  The big picture emerging from the
first two decades of environmental
protection is one of a nation investing
considerable money and effort in a basic
problem: how to cope with all the
wastes generated by our modern
industrial society.
                                                                                                  EPA JOURNAL

  And now the entire world is
confronted by alarming new discoveries
of global environmental problems
urgently requiring attention. Despite our
best efforts at pollution control, this
country still faces a massive
accumulation of waste here at
home—and accelerating devastation of
nature abroad.
  Global warming, stratospheric ozone
depletion, acid rain, deforestation, soil
erosion, species extinction, habitat
destruction: This daunting array of  new
environmental challenges not  only
could overshadow  environmental gains
already  recorded, it could destabilize
Garbage—one of the major challenges for
pollution prevention. Here, barges bring
solid waste from New York City to Fresh
Kills, the world's largest landfill.
the very natural systems which sustain
human life on Earth.
  For all these reasons, I believe the
dawning of the third environmental
decade finds us at a historic turning
point—a time when we must find a new
approach to meeting our needs. If we
don't, we may seriously compromise the
ability of the poor to improve their
standard of living and of future
generations to meet their needs. We
must find ways to continue economic
growth and progress without irreversibly
depleting the natural capital of the
  I am encouraged that today  our
institutions and our people seem ready
to accept a new ethic, a new sense  of
stewardship on behalf of the
environment. And  right at the heart of
this is a new approach to managing
waste: pollution prevention.
  Pollution prevention must become a
fundamental part of all our activities, all
our initiatives, and all our economic
growth. Increasingly, businesses are
recognizing that pollution prevention
can save them money. As the magazine
The Economist recently suggested, good
growth will be "green" growth.
  Jim MacNeill, Secretary General to the
World Commission on Environment and
Development, recently laid out his
vision of sustainable development. It's
"not the type of growth  that dominates
today," he  wrote, "but growth based on
forms and processes of development
that do not undermine the integrity of
Pollution prevention must
become a fundamental part of
all our activities,  all our
initiatives,  and all our
economic growth.
the environment on which they
  As MacNeill points out, an essential
condition for sustainable development
is that a nation's basic stock of
ecological capital not decrease over-
time;  in other words, developed and
developing countries alike musl learn to
live on the interest of the earth's stock
of renewable resources, without
encroaching further on the principiil.
Doing so, MacNeill believes, will
require a significant reduction  in llu>
energy and raw-material content of
every unit of production. And to
accomplish this, the nations of the
world will have to adopt far-reaching
strategies aimed at abating and. rumv
importantly, preventing pollution.
  Finding creative approaches  to
pollution prevention is a priority for
EPA; it's also the theme  of EPA's Earth
Day 1990 celebration. My intent is that
as time goes by, the  pollution
prevention ethic will work its way into

                                                                                          Envin                  first
                                                                                          dealt \
                                                                                          too vis

                                                                                          obvio:                 isxt
the fabric of our society, becoming an
integral part of our way of life.
  How can pollution prevention
contribute to sustainable development?
An obvious example, and one that is
close to home  for all of us, is municipal
solid waste—garbage.
As the magazine The
Economist recently suggested,
good growth will be "green"
  By now, most Americans are well
aware of the growing burden the garbage
glut is placing on the nation's landfills
and other disposal facilities. But along
with the disposal problem, we must also
pay attention to the supply side of the
equation—the insupportable drain on
natural resources represented by the
millions of tons of trash that we throw
away every day.  Much  of that waste
could be saved through pollution
prevention and recycling—preserving
resources at the front end and returning
expended resources to  productive use at
the back end.
  EPA has set a goal of achieving a
25-percent reduction in the nation's
waste by 1992. This is  a realistic
national  goal if everyone;
contributes—government, business, and,
especially, consumers.
  Thus,  in designing products, business
executives need to design  for waste
reduction: to think not  just about how a
product will be used, but also about
how long it can last and what will
happen  to it when its useful life  is over.
  Manufacturers and distributors need
to eliminate unnecessary packaging.
  And we all need to rethink the
wisdom of disposable, "use-once-and-
throw-away" products, however
convenient they may seem.
  On the household level, we need to
start composting our kitchen garbage
and yard waste, if possible. At the very
least, each of us should begin to
separate our garbage according to local
recycling programs. The transition to
recycled materials is an  important part
of limiting encroachment on natural
capital. It's no coincidence that
countries that have already made
considerable progress in recycling
aluminum, steel, paper,  and glass are at
the top of the list of international
economic performers.
  At EPA, we're doing our part by
looking for ways to  encourage markets
for recycled and recyclable materials.
For example, we've issued federal
procurement guidelines  that require the
federal government, as well as state and
local governments using federal funds.
to purchase recycled paper and building
materials, used oil,  and  retreaded tires.
We're also trying to set an example for
others by  instituting our own
Agency-wide waste-minimization and
paper-recycling program.
  But more  is needed. The nation may
need new legislation to  foster markets
and  incentives for recycled materials.
We also may need  new disincentives to
unnecessary waste generation, such as
excessive packaging of consumer
products. Several bills that would
address pollution prevention and waste
minimization are now pending in
Congress; and the Bush  Administration
is drafting its own "Pollution Prevention
and Recycling Act," which will offer a
comprehensive approach to prevention.
  In placing such strong emphasis on
pollution prevention. 1 am not calling
for a retreat from environmental
regulation or  from vigorous
enforcement.  Pollution prevention
complements and reinforces the
continuing efforts to ensure proper
waste treatment, disposal, and cleanup.
  What I am  saying is that until now,
our nation's laws and  regulations have
concentrated  almost exclusively on
waste treatment and waste cleanup. As
vital as these  efforts are, they can
achieve only  a limited amount of
environmental protection. In fact, the
biggest environmental gains we have
made have been in the handful of cases
when industry has phased out or found
substitutes for problem substances. The
banning of DDT in the early  1970s is
probably the best-known  example.
Another is the drastic  reduction of lead
in gasoline; since EPA began its efforts
to remove lead from gasoline, lead
levels in the ambient environment, as
well as  in people's blood, have dropped
  Borrowing from the  late Rene Dubos,
EPA's slogan  for Earth Day 1990 is.
"Think globally; act locally. You can
make a  difference." The Agency is
thinking globally and acting  locally by
applying the concept of pollution
prevention to its existing  programs in a
number of very down-to-earth ways. For
example, the  water program is
emphasizing pollution prevention and
conservation as it develops guidelines
for controlling industrial  wastewater
pollution. EPA is also  identifying and
incorporating pollution prevention
techniques in its permitting activities.
  We have put together a state grant
program to support state and local
pollution-prevention programs. We're
changing our  enforcement policies to
encourage defendants  to make
fundamental alterations in products and
processes, in  addition  to coming into
compliance with end-of-pipe standards.
  EPA  is also establishing a Pollution
Prevention and Recycling Awards
program to honor the best national
                                                                                                          EPA JOURNAL

              James Douglas photo Woodfin Camp, Inc
prevention and recycling efforts. And
the Agency has set up a Pollution
Prevention Information Clearinghouse to
help ensure that successful prevention
practices are shared as widely as
  Finally, we're dramatically increasing
our support for environmental
education. Some of the most intractable
pollution problems confronting  us are
from decentralized sources—pollution
that does not come out of a smokestack
or a pipe, but results from the activities
of millions of Americans going about
their daily lives. Car  tailpipe emissions,
                                        the use and release of CFCs, agricultural
                                        and urban run-off, indoor air pollution,
                                        the use and disposal of consumer
                                        products containing toxic
                                        substances—all are examples of big
                                        pollution problems generated by
                                        millions of small sources.
                                          In a speech last fall in Spokane.
                                        Washington, President Bush said that
                                        The biggest environmental
                                        gains we have made have
                                        been  when industry has
                                        phased out or found
                                        substitutes for problem
"through millions of individual
decisions—simple, everyday, personal
choices—we are determining the fate of
the Earth." We are all responsible for
the environment, the President said, and
"it's surprisingly easy to move from
being  part of the problem to being part
of the solution."
  Over time, the best way to help
people become part of the solution is
through  education and information that
increases their understanding of the
environment and helps encourage a
national ethic of individual
responsibility. 1 recently created an
Agency-wide Environmental Education
Task Force to work closely with the
states  to develop an environmental
education program. The task force is
charged  with developing a strategic
plan, sponsoring an Environmental
Youth Forum, and  participating in the
development of national environmental
education legislation. Environmental
education, when combined with
legislatively  created market incentives.
could have a powerful influence on
millions of individual choices and
prevent a great deal of pollution.
  EPA is also sponsoring the first
National Minority Environmental Career
Conference on April 9. 1990. at  Howard
University in Washington. DC. The
conference is the lead activity in EPA's
Earth Day celebration  and will offer
expanded opportunities  to minorities for
education and employment in
environmental fields.
  Through education, consumer
demand, and improved technological
innovation, 1 am convinced that we can
find ways to  manufacture products and
provide services while using less energy
and raw materials, and while reducing,
if not eliminating completely, the
generation of waste. This will bring us
closer to attaining a sustainable
economy for future generations  to enjoy.
  My wish for Earth Day 1990,
therefore, is  that this celebration will
help to bring about a national
commitment  to pollution
prevention—through the actions of
millions of individuals finding ways to
prevent, recycle, or  reduce waste.
  The national goal for the 1990s and
beyond should be to push technology to
its limits, with the ultimate objective of
creating an efficient, sustainable
society—a society that will preserve the
environmental legacy ami productivity
of our nation and our pi,met for
generations to come. -

                                     The  Spirit  of
                                      the  First  Earth Day
                                      by Jack Lewis
April 22, 1970, a Wednesday,
was a glorious spring day in
most parts of the country.
In the waning months of the 1960s,
I environmental problems were
proliferating like a many-headed hydra,
a monster no one could understand let
alone tame or slay. Rampant air
pollution was linked to disease and
death in New  York, Los Angeles, and
elsewhere as noxious fumes, spewed out
by cars and factories, made city life less
and less bearable. In the wake of Rachel
Carson's 1962 best-seller, Silent Spring,
there was widespread concern over
large-scale use of pesticides, often near
densely populated communities. In
addition, huge fish kills were reported
on the Great Lakes, and the media
carried the news that Lake Erie, one of
America's largest bodies of fresh water,
was in its death throes. Ohio had
another jolt when Cleveland's Cuyahoga
River, an artery inundated with oil and
toxic chemicals, burst into flames
by spontaneous combustion.
  In a response commensurate with the
problem, an estimated  20 million
Americans gathered  together on April
22, 1970, to participate in a
spectacularly  well-publicized
environmental demonstration known as
"Earth Day." The rallies, teach-ins,
speeches, and publicity gambits almost
all went smoothly, amid a heady and
triumphant atmosphere that was further
enhanced by perfect spring weather. But
the  months leading up to Earth Day had
been frantic, and  the success of the
event had been unpredictable up to the
very last moment.
  Such uncertainty is endemic when
volunteer effort is the driving force
behind any activity, let alone one as
ambitious as Earth Day 1970. Some of
the grassroots activists who coordinated
the work of thousands of Earth Day
volunteers had come to the
environmental cause rather late, after
                                      (Lewis is an Assistant Editor of EPA
cutting their teeth on other political
issues of the 1960s, such as civil rights
and the anti-war movement. Others,
however, had been intensely involved
in environmental causes for many years.
Whatever their background, these
activists were the driving force not only
behind Earth Day, but also behind many
smaller and less publicized
environmental reforms during the
closing months of the 1960s.
  The term "Breathers' Lobby" was
coined by the Wall Street Journal in the
late 1960s to denote one of the most
prominent components of the grassroots
movement: the congeries of anti-air
pollution groups that had sprung up
over the previous decade in urban areas
across the country. GASP in Los
Angeles and Pittsburgh,  the
Metropolitan Washington Coalition on
Clean Air, the Delaware  Clean Air
Coalition, and other similar groups
started with sweat equity, then qualified
for grants and technical assistance from
the federal government. Groups focusing
on water-quality issues were also
making dramatic inroads: most notably,
the Lake Michigan Federation, and Get
Oil Out in Santa Barbara, California.
  The anti-pollution stance of these
groups, after changing the climate of
political opinion at the state and local
level, quickly permeated editorials and
editorial cartoons featured in the
nation's leading newspapers. Even
Broadway picked up the environmental
theme when the smash-hit musical Hair
lampooned air pollution with a
hilarious song called "The Air," which
ended in a choking chorus of coughs.
Readers were sampling a range of
provocative books on the environment:
The Whole Earth Catalogue, John Sax's
The Environmental Bill of Rights, Paul
Ehrlich's The Population Bomb, and
Charles Reich's The Greening of
America. Students tuned into the
counterculture were picking up
environmental messages from rock
                                                                                                    EPA JOURNAL

                                                                               Students at Cerritos Junior College in
                                                                               Norwalk, California, near Los Angeles, gave
                                                                               Earth Day a sendoff in 1970.
                                                         Julian Wasser;! 1Mb Magazine
                                                                                 Media coverage of the massive youth
                                                                               rallies of 1969—as well as the ghetto
                                                                               riots of 1965 to  1968—helped to impress
                                                                               on the American public that the United
                                                                               States had become an urban country
                                                                               with complex problems compounded by
                                                                               huge numbers of people. Early in the
                                                                               1960s, most rhetoric about the state of
                                                                               America's air, water, and other
                                                                               resources had revolved around the word
                                                                               "conservation,"  with heavy emphasis on
                                                                               To countless participants,
                                                                               Earth Day was a turning point
                                                                               in their lives which they
                                                                               remember to this day with
                                                                               awe and reverence.
the preservation of parks and
recreational areas. The word
"environment" came into widespread
use only at the end of the decade. By
then, committed activists understood
that urban environments would be the
battlefield for years to come, but they
wanted the American public: and
American political leaders to
understand that as well.
  One  prominent  politician, Gaylord
Nelson, then Senator from Wisconsin,
had been frustrated throughout the
1960s by the fact that only a "handful"
of his Congressional colleagues had any
interest in environmental issues. On the
other hand, during his travels  across the
United States, he had been greatly
impressed by the dedication and the
expertise of the many student  and
citizen volunteers who were trying to
solve pollution problems in their
  It was on one such trip, in August
1969, that Nelson  came up with a
strategy for bridging the gap separating
grassroots activists from Congress and
the  general public. While en route to an
environmental  speech in Berkeley,
California, the Senator was leafing

through a copy of Ramparts magazine
when an article about anti-war teach-ins
caught his eye. It occurred to him that
the teach-in concept might work equally
well in raising public awareness of
environmental issues.
  In September, in a ground-breaking
speech in Seattle, .Senator Nelson
announced the concept of the teach-in
and received coverage in Time and
Newsweek and on the front page of the
New York Times. Several weeks later, at
his office on Capitol Hill, he
incorporated a non-profit, non-partisan
organization called Environmental
Teach-in, Inc. He announced that it was
to be headed by a steering committee
consisting of himself, Pete McCloskey, a
Congressman from California, and
Sidney Howe, then the President of The
Conservation Foundation.
  The main purpose of the new
organization, he declared, was to lay the
groundwork for a major nationwide
series of teach-ins on the environment
early in 1970. The purpose of the
teach-ins was, in Nelson's words, to
"force the issue [of the environment)
into the political dialogue of the
country." Very quickly, Environmental
Teach-in  received pledges from the
Senator himself ($15,000), from the
United Auto Workers and the AFL-CIO
($2,000 each), as well as from The
Conservation Foundation ($25,000) and
other organizations.
  Early in December, Senator Nelson
selected a 25-year-old named Denis
Hayes, the dynamic former President of
the Stanford student body, as national
coordinator. Hayes, postponing plans to
enter Harvard Law School, immediately
set to work making plans for the
inaugural Earth Day.
  Hampered from  the start by an
extremely limited budget
(approximately $190,000), he rented an
office in Washington and gathered
around him an enthusiastic cadre of
volunteers, most of them students. The
most promising and  the most dedicated
of these were named coordinators for
various regions of the country. Working
in an  atmosphere Midwest Coordinator
Barbara Reid Alexander recalls as "mass
confusion," they were inundated each
day by torrents of phone calls and
overflowing mailbags.
  Senator Nelson's Senate staff lent its
full support and guidance to the work of
Hayes and his assistants, only a few of
whom were salaried  and those only at
meager levels. Nelson and Hayes had
already agreed that the teach-ins should,
wherever possible, be located not on
college campuses, but in public spaces
within the community, and furthermore,
that active participation should be
sought from labor unions, the League  of
 Women Voters, and other organizations.
 The latter goal was realized, but not the
 former, at least not to the extent
 originally intended.
  One masterstroke was the purchase of
 a full-page ad that appeared in the New
 York Times early in February 1970. The
 advertisement announced that on April
 22, 1970, at locations throughout the
 United States, citizens would
 demonstrate for a cleaner environment.
 Immediately contributions started to roll
 in, and better yet, the curiosity of
   The  Legacy  of  Earth  Day
   by Gaylord Nelson
        We can get a rough measure of the
        impact of Earth Day 1970 on
   the nation by asking some key
   • What changes on the political
   scene did it bring?
   • What has been achieved?
   • How did it affect public
   attitudes on environmental issues?

   • Can we see some sprouting
   seeds that might flower into a
   national conservation ethic?

     These questions can be
   answered fairly briefly.
     My major objective in planning
   Earth Day 1970 was to organize a
   nationwide public demonstration
   so large it would, finally, get the
   attention  of the politicians and
   force the environmental issue into
   the political dialogue of the nation.
   It worked. By the sheer force of
   collective action on that one day,
   the American public forever
   changed the political landscape
   regarding environmental issues.
   (Nelson, founder of Earth Day
   1970, is Counselor to The
   Wilderness Society.)
By the sheer force of collective
action on that one day,  the
American public forever
changed the political
landscape regarding
environmental issues.

  The politicians got the message.
They responded with a series of
major legislative initiatives that
have begun to move us in the right
direction. There are even glimmers
of hope that we, as a society, may
be starting to develop a
conservation ethic and that the
next generation may turn out to be
the conservation generation so
vital to our future.
  Another important change has
occurred in the past decade or
so—a change that now makes it
likely that Congress, regulatory
agencies, industry,
environmentalists, and the public
can cooperate to make
environmental  controls more
effective and less costly. For years
every major legislative initiative to
control pollution was opposed by
the affected industries on the
grounds that the proposals were
unnecessary, too expensive, or
                                                                                                      EPA JOURNAL

     unworkable. The result was
     constant confrontation. Endless
     amounts of time and energy were
     wasted on political maneuvering,
     delay, and debates over whether it
     was necessary to do anything.
     Witness the 10 years of debate
     over acid  rain.
      That kind of deadlock has
     passed. The business community
     now generally acknowledges  that
     there are serious environmental
     problems  that need to  be
     addressed. A recent statement by
     Chrysler Corporation President
     Robert A. Lut/, reflects the change:
     "The party's over. We  are making a
     mess out of our environment, and
     the sooner we clean it  up, the
      Most confrontations  in the  future
     will not be over the need to do
     something but rather over how
     much  needs to be? done, how  fast,
     and how to use market forces to
     help achieve the goal.  Many
     environmentalists will have to
     re-examine their attitude toward
     the use of  market forces. It is a tool
     too valuable to overlook.
      There remains, still,  an
     important  question. When; does all
     of this leave us?
      ! think the answer to that
     question is that we, as  a society,
     finally understand that human
     activities—many of them careless,
     irresponsible, or unnecessary—have
     created a global environmental crisis
     that urgently demands  our attention.
     This is a giant  leap forward.
   We have come to recognize that
 right now. and into the next
 century and the centuries
 thereafter, no other issue is more
 relevant to the  condition of human
 life than the status of our
 resources: air, water, minerals,
 soil, scenic beauty,  wildlife
 habitat, forests, rivers, lakes,
   If we agree that this an issue of
 fundamental consequence to us all.
 we must very soon  respond to
 some important, pragmatic
 •  How rapidly can  we make the
 necessary conversion  from a
 throw-away society to a
 preserve-and-recycle society?
 •  How do we launch  a global
 movement that  will begin to work
 changes in the way  we treat the
 planet  Earth and its resources?

  Global cooperation  is the key.
 The most  important objective of
 this 20th anniversary  celebration
 of Earth Day is  a worldwide
 demonstration of concern so
 overwhelming that it galvani/es
 the political leadership of the
 world into a monumental
cooperative effort to stop  the
deterioration of the  planet and
begin its restoration.
  The time has come to stop the
arms race  and begin the race to
 preserve the planet. Q
                                                                                Magnolia blossoms encountered through a
                                                                                gas mask. On Earth Day 1970, this Pace
                                                                                College student in New York City  used this
                                                                                symbolic gesture to warn of pollution
network broadcasting giants was piqued.
  April 22, 1970, a Wednesday, was a
glorious spring day in most parts of the
country. Newspapers such as the New
York Times and the  Washington Post
had given front-page coverage the day
before to the roster of scheduled events,
and the television networks also had
provided enough coverage to give the
impending day something of the aura of
a national holiday.
  Perhaps the most impressive
observance was in New York City,
whose mayor, John V. Lindsay,  had
thrown the full weight of his influence
behind Earth Day. For two hours, Fifth
Avenue was closed to traffic between
14th Street and 59th Street, bringing
midtown Manhattan  to a virtual
standstill. One innovative group of
demonstrators grabbed attention by
dragging a net filled  with dead fish
down the thoroughfare, shouting to
passersby, "This could be you!" Later in
the day, a rally filled Union  Square to
overflowing as Mayor Lindsay, assisted
by celebrities Paul Newman  and AM
McGraw, spoke from a raised platform
looking out over a sea of smiling faces.
In New York, as elsewhere, self-policing
demonstrators left surprisingly little
litter in their wake.
  In Washington, the focus of events
was the Washington  Monument and its
adjacent Sylvan Theatre, where
thousands of Earth Day demonstrators
congregated to hear speeches as well as
songs by Pete Seeger and other
performers. One of the most  noteworthy
statements, by Denis  Hayes, made it
clear that Earth Day was a beginning,
not an end in itself: "If the environment
is a fad, it's going to  be our last  fad ....
Wear*; building a movement, a
movement with a broad base, a
movement which transcends traditional
political boundaries.  It is a movement
that values people more than
technology, people more than political
boundaries, people more than profit."
  There was no point in marching to
Capitol Hill, for Congress—at the behest
of Gaylord Nelson and others—had
recessed so that members could  return
                                                                                                                   1 1

Paul M Schmick photo Copyright Washington Post, reprinted by permission ol the DC Public Library
 to their constituencies and address
 Earth Day rallies. Interestingly, many of
 these; politicians had to borrow prepared
 texts from Nelson  and Environmental
 Teach-in, Inc. Philadelphia, Chicago,
 Los Angeles, and most other major
 American cities were also scenes of
 Karth Day rallies; in fact. 80 percent of
 all observances  were urban affairs.
   To countless participants, Karth Day
 was a turning point in their lives which
 they remember to  this day with awe and
 reverence. "It was something magical
 and catalytical," remarked Denis  Hayes.
 "touching a huge cross-section of
 Americans." Byron Kennard, then a
 grassroots coordinator with  The
 Conservation Foundation, was also
 impressed by "one of the largest
 peaceful demonstrations in  human
 history, [an event] sacred in my
 memory." "A charmed evenl." "a joyous
 occasion." "a public-relations
 masterpiece," "foundation of a national
 environmental consciousness" were
 words of  praise  conjured by other
  Earth Day was also the foundation of
many environmental careers. Denis
Hayes and Ed Furia, who are heading
the 20th anniversary celebration of
Earth Day, are typical of many
individuals who built environmental
careers on the momentum generated
that day. One former participant. Tom
Jorling,  is today the Commissioner of
New York's Department of
Environmental Conservation: another,
John Turner,  is Director of the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife  Service. The list goes on.
  Public opinion  polls indicate that a
permanent change in national priorities
followed Earth Day 1970. When  polled
in May  1971, 25 percent of the U.S.
public: declared protecting the
environment  to be an important  goal—a
2500 percent increase over  1969. That
percentage has continued to grow,  albeit
more slowly, so it is fair to  say that the
ideals espoused on April 22,  1970,
however naive and simplistic: they  were
in many ways, have left an  enduring
legacy. They  are,  in the words of Barry
Commoner, "permanently imbedded in
our culture."  Sam  Love, who was
Southern Coordinator for Environmental
Teach-in, fully agrees: "What has
surprised me, is the staying power  of
                                                                                 1970 Earth Day participants were so
                                                                                 alarmed about the environment that some
                                                                                 thought the world couldn't survive another
                                                                                 20 years. But we did. What happens in the
                                                                                 next 20 years?
the environmental movement. A lot
people were saying this was a flash in
the pan. History has proven them
  With the founding of EPA in
December 1970, the history of the
environmental movement entered a new
phase. The Agency was fused together
from 44 organizations scattered  in nine
departments, and it gave a much
stronger profile to the federal effort  to
curb environmental decay across the
nation. Also during the 1970s, in
keeping with the stepped-up pace of
environmental reform, conservation
organizations began to take more active
stances on urban environmental issues.
These private lobbying groups soon
found that they needed lawyers,
scientists, and economists to make their
voices heard. The whole tenor of
environmental activism increasingly
took on an aura of "professionalism"
that was a far cry from the bold and
sometimes simplistic generalities
debated on Earth Day  1970.
  Yet today—despite the rise of
specialists and experts—grassroots
emotions still boil over in the face; of
clearcut local issues, such as defective
landfills or ha/.ardous medical waste,
which can quickly galvanize a
community of homeowners.
  The signs are promising that  Earth
Day 1990 will suffer from  no dearth of
volunteers or money. Its budget of
$3  million is 15 times  greater than the
budget of the 1970 event, and its scope
will be worldwide, rather than  strictly
confined to the United States and
Canada. In fact, there  is every reason to
expect that Karth Day 1990 will be an
appropriate legacy of that April day 20
years ago when, even  if only for 24
hours, people really did seem to matter
more than profit and more than
technology, o
                                                                                                           EPA JOURNAL

 Earth  Day 1990 Viewpoints

 What are some of the most
 important issues Earth Day 1990
 should emphasize? EPA Journal
 asked seven people ivho were
 leaders in the 1970 Earth Day
 observances to respond to this
 question; each was a/so asked
 what he or she is doing 20 years
 after the first Earth Day. Here are
 their answers:
 Ruth Clusen: Former national
 environmental chair for the League of
 Women Voters, she sees Earth Day 1990
 as a time for reflection on how far we've
 come and how far we've got to go.
 Although her primary interest today is
 serving on the Board of Regents of the
 University of Wisconsin, she is still
 active with the Lake Michigan-oriented
 Clean  Water Coalition and local Green
 Bay area environmental groups. Ruth
 Clusen says, "Solid waste is the major
 public concern at this time," but even
 more than  that, Earth Day 1990 "is a
 time to look at how far we have come
 and whether we have met the  promise
 of the first Earth Day. We need to look
 backward and forward  at the same
Barbara Reid Alexander: Lifestyle
changes and environmental education
are the  most important issues facing us
on Earth Day 1990, says Barbara Reid
Alexander, who 20 years ago was
Midwest coordinator at national Earth
Day headquarters.  Now associated with
the Maine Public Utilities Commission,
she urges 1990  Earth Day observers to
focus on "educating a new generation to
be environmentally concerned and
active. Having taken the first steps over
the past two decades,  we must move  on
to the next level of hard
issues—creating a  new lifestyle that
frees us from dependence on toxic
materials, plastics, and the like, and
promoting conservation. Earth  Day
should  help each individual learn what
he or she can do to make a difference."
 Sam Love: The onetime southern
 regional coordinator of Environmental
 Teach-in, Inc.,  Love is now a
 Washington film-maker with the Public
 Production Group, which produces
 films, public service announcements,
 and television releases for
 environmental groups. Like Alexander,
 Love stresses lifestyle changes: "The
 most important issue for 1990 is
 encouraging lifestyle changes, including
 conservationism. We have to move
 beyond the 1970s' general concern about
 the Earth to more specific targets, and
 we need to be more informed to do
 Lee Botts: Pollution prevention is the
 key issue today, says Lee Botts, a 1970
 founder of  the Lake Michigan
 Federation (and still a Board member)
 and currently a consultant to the
 Chicago Department of Streets  and
 Sanitation, where she is grappling with
 the problem of  how Chicago can recycle
 plastic wastes. "In 1990, we need to
 concentrate on  pollution prevention,"
 she says. "We need to take advantage of
 a major change in the attitude  of
 industry. In 1970, industry was the
 enemy; now many industries are
 working with environmentalists, as in
 our Chicago project. In 1990, we need to
 concentrate on  pollution prevention. We
 are still hung up on the contamination
 that's already there. Instead, we need to
 focus on giving up sources of pollution.
 and on prevention. We need a  new law
 like the National Environmental Policy
 Act to provide a pollution-prevention
Jack Sheehan: World-wide
environmental issues should be the
focus of Earth Day 1990, believes this
labor-union environmentalist. Twenty
years ago, he was involved in
environmental programs for the United
 Steel Workers of America, on the Board
 of the American Lung Association, and
 Chairman of the Clean Air Coalition.
 Now legislative director for the Steel
 Workers, he  is still active in both groups
 and is leading the union's efforts in
 relation to pending Clean Air Act
 legislation. "Earth Day 1970 was
 directed at our piece of the earth—the
 United States," Sheehan says. "We
 didn't even know  what we meant by our
 own problems: we weren't ready to  look
 beyond them. In the intervening years,
 we have seen that we have to deal with
 environmental problems  on an
 international level. In 1990, we need to
 use the word 'Earth' in a broader sense."

Michelle Madoff: She sees dealing with
solid waste and protecting the water
supply as key issues for 1990. In 1970,
she was President of Pittsburgh's Group
Against Smog and Pollution (GASP).
Today, as a Pittsburgh City Council
member, her  main concern "is and will
be solid waste and recycling it. With
landfills filling up and waste from
outside of Pennsylvania coming into the
state, the city government is faced with
being mandated to have a plan for the
city by next September.  By Earth Day,
we have to be well along the way to a
solution, so that's our Earth Day
priority. The second most important
issue—here and throughout the
nation—is protecting our water supply
against pollution."
Jack Winder: Individual action in
environmental matters should be Karth
Day 1990's focus, says attorney Jack
Winder, 20 years ago executive director
of the Metropolitan Washington
Coalition for Clean Air and today an
enforcement attorney for the  EPA. "The
1990 focus should be on individual
participation ... on the simple concept
that everyone can make a difference,
whether it be by recycling household
waste or by filing a lawsuit against a
polluter. The second major priority is
water pollution and related issues,
particularly protection of the water

 Looking Back;  Looking  Ahead
   Retrospectively dubbed the year of the
   environment, 1970 saw not only the
first Earth Day, but also a number of
other environmental landmarks: the
birth of EPA, the enactment  of the
National  Environmental Policy Act, the
creation of the President's Council on
Environmental Quality, and the passage
of a new  Clean Air Act establishing
national air quality standards for the
first time.
  hi the following five articles, these
landmark events are respectively
considered from the vantage point of
their 20-year anniversaries; the authors
all played prominent roles in the year
of the environment and continue to be
actively involved in environmental
by William D.  Ruckeishaus
    As we observe the 20th anniversary of
    Earth Day, it may be constructive to
 look back to the origins of EPA 20 years
 ago in order to gain perspective on the
 nature of the environmental issue today
 and to explore what the future may hold
 for EPA and the country.
  Born in the wake of the first Earth
 Day, EPA opened its doors  in
 downtown Washington, DC, on
 December 2, 1970. For the first time,
 concern about environmental pollution
 was elevated to a national issue.  The
 causes of this sudden escalation of the
 environment to the national scene were
 many and varied.
  For one thing,  color television
 saturated American living rooms, and
 the visible effect of a  yellow outfall
 flowing into a blue river, or brown smog
 against a bright blue sky was far  more
 impressive than those same images in
 black and white. On our newly colored
 TV screens,  we saw spaceships heading
 for the moon, and the subsequent
 photographs of our planet—looking so
 small and vulnerable in the
 firmament—gave us a sense of our
 limits and a concern about  exceeding
  It was no accident that our heightened
 environmental concerns coincided with
 an unpopular war in Southeast Asia.
 The impact of the Vietnam  War on
 America was dramatic and  tore at our
 spirit and our sense of ourselves. Many
 became  persuaded that a country that
 seemed  to care so little for  life in a
 far-off land might also ignore the
 environmental underpinning of life here
 at home. Modern environmentalism in
 America has always had a certain
 spiritual quality  about it. ! believe tin;
 coincidence of its rise with the Vietnam
 War both defined and contributed to
 that quality.
  Certainly in the 1960s. America had
 environmental problems. Cross
 pollution problems abounded. Raw
 sewage and industrial discharges
 spoiling our rivers were more the rule
 than the exception. Air pollution from
                                      (Ruckeishaus, KPA's first Administrator,
                                      is currently Chairman and Chief
                                      Executive Officer of Hroivning-Ferris
                                      industries, Inc.)
mobile and stationary sources was far
more intense on a per-capita basis than
today. The toxic waste issues that have
dominated the headlines in the last
decade were there in the 60s, but we
were focused on the problems we could
smell, touch, and feel: the problems that
television loved and our senses attested
to on the way to work every morning.
  In the late 60s, the public reacted to
these problems by organizing and
putting pressure on the  political system.
and as always, the politicians
responded. What ensued was the
creation of the Council on
Environmental Quality and EPA at tin:
national level. Similar agencies were
created in states all over America. A
cascade of environmental laws and
regulations followed.
                                                                             The turmoil of the early 80s
                                                                             left some deep and abiding
                                                                             scars on the Agency.
  Like few other public issues in our
history, the environment has drawn a
high level of public awareness and
commitment from the day  EPA began to
the present. Public: opinion polls over
the years  have shown the consistency of
the public's concern for a safe and clean
environment. Events in the hitter half of
the 1980s have served to raise that
concern to even higher levels. And
today, once again, we are experiencing  a
strong, predictable political response.
  The resurgence of public concern for
the environment resulted from the
emergence ot new environmental issues
during the 1988 presidential election.
Publicity  about global warming in the
summer of 1988, coupled with intense
heat and drought, followed by the
television-recorded images of medical
waste closing beaches from coast to
coast was more than the public or the
politicians could bear. For the first time
in the history of this country, the
environment became a key issue in a
presidential campaign. In 1988, the
environmental records of the two major
candidates were debated throughout the
country—from a heaving ship in Boston
                                                                                                     EPA JOURNAL

Harbor to an abandoned Superfund site
in New Jersey. Both candidates made
major speeches about the environment
and featured one another's
environmental past in their television
  Nor is  the environment strictly an
American phenomenon. Green politics
have emerged from minority status and
become a political movement to be
reckoned with in  countries throughout
Europe. (See article on p. 46.) Such
events as the massive destruction that
resulted  from a chemical spill on the
Rhine River and the nuclear disaster at
Chernobyl only served  to bolster the
emergence of the  Greens. Even in the
Soviet Union and the rest of newly
enfranchised Eastern Europe, the public
has demanded more environmental
protection, and the leaders are
beginning to respond.
  EPA sits in the  middle of this new
awareness and increased demand for
action. Like  it or not, EPA is the
repository for this nation's hope,
concerns, and frustrations about the
environment. How can and should EPA
respond  to the new forces that buffet it
on all sides  reflecting the ever-changing
concerns of  the public, the Congress, or
the special interest groups? What are its
responsibilities in  the decade to come?
What are the responsibilities of the
other institutions  in our society that
affect environmental  policy? The
answers will determine how effectively
our country and the rest of the world
respond to the increased demand for
action on  the new environmental
  Without question, today's EPA is far
different than it was in 1970. It is more
mature. It is more focused on public
health than it was 20 years ago. EPA  is
more seasoned, more bureaucratic, but
in my view, no less committed than it
was  in the heady days of the early 70s.
  Despite  that commitment, I have
concerns about the  future of EPA. The
turmoil of the early 80s left some deep
and abiding scars on the Agency. It
affected EPA's ability to interact
effectively with Congress in defining  its
mission and goals. The scandals broke
the fragile ties of  trust that must exist
between an entity like EPA and the
public if the Agency's judgments are to
be trusted and the Agency itself  is to
remain self-confident. Both public trust
and a self-confident EPA are necessary
ingredients for true  environmental
  In  addition, the turmoil—and the high
degree of politicization attendant to
it—has resulted in a stridency and
bitterness  in the environmental  debate
that was unheard of in the 70s. Too
often the focal point of public and
political rancor is EPA. Congress,
environmental groups, and industry,
pursuing their own  agendas, have
engaged in "EPA bashing" on a wide
scale. That has contributed to the
further erosion of trust in the Agency,
and in recent times has led to highly
dedicated civil servants leaving
government service.
  As the Agency became an inviting
and vulnerable public target, it attracted
the inevitable  legislative response. The
history of environmental legislation in
the 80s is characterized by a singular
lack of trust in EPA by Congress. That is
manifested in  increasingly prescriptive
legislation that strips away
administrative discretion from EPA
managers  and  often sets impossible
goals for the Agency. These goals may
gain political mileage, but their extreme
nature ensures practical failure. The
result has been missed deadlines,
unfulfilled promises of purity, failure to
achieve goals,  another round of EPA
bashing, followed by even more
stringent goals; and the spiral of
mistrust continues.
  What is so remarkable about all this is
that EPA,  when given well-defined,
realistic goals and  adequate resources,
performs as well as, if not better than,
other institutions of government. If you
look back  over the 20 years of EPA's
existence, the progress made in  cleaning
up the gross pollution problems of the
past and addressing the more difficult

issues of toxic pollution of today is
quite impressive. Of course, there have
been missteps; certainly not every
reasonable goal has been achieved, but
overall the record on the environment
in America is as good as. and probably
better, than anywhere in the world.
  Just imagine the condition of our
harbors and rivers had we not embarked
on the sewage treatment program of the
70s and the  vigorous enforcement of the
Clean Water Act in the 80s. Imagine the
skies over our major cities had we not
aggressively implemented the Clean Air
Act, controlling both smokestack
emissions and severely restricting
automobile pollution. One of the major
health threats to our society—airborne
lead—has now been virtually

Like it or not,  EPA is the
repository for  this nation's
hope,  concerns, and
frustrations about the

eliminated. We should take pride in the
fact  that we have been able to achieve
these gains.  These precedents should
give us  confidence that the new issues
that confront us—toxics and acid rain,
and  the planetary problems of ozone
depletion and global warming—can be
effectively addressed by our
government, given proper direction and
   Any doubt concerning America's
progress on  the environmental front
may quickly be erased with the
purchase of a few plane tickets. My
travels as a member of the United
Nation's World Commission  on
Environment and Development during
the 80s  took me to any number of Third
World countries where the
environmental problems make ours pale
into insignificance. In Latin America,
Africa, and Asia, the pollution problems
are so fundamental, so massive, and so
pervasive in every aspect of human  life
as almost to defy description. While that
should not deter us from addressing our
continuing environmental problems in
this  country, it should show us how
much we have achieved and provide us
with the confidence to allocate more
wisely our resources for environmental
improvement in the future.
  To achieve that wise allocation, and
consider what to do next, we need to
lower the decibel level of environmental
rhetoric in this country. The bitterness
and  anger that have characterized the
debate in recent years represent
something new, something we didn't
have in the late 60s and early 70s, and it
ought to end. There must be room in the
America of the 90s to debate these
issues and disagree about solutions to
problems without the participants being
dismissed as "tree-huggers" or "industry
  We need  to address the increasing
inability of our political processes to
make final decisions about needed
facilities for the disposal of waste in our
society. Regardless of the merits of
public  participation in environmental
decisions, the "not-in-my-backyard"
(NIMBY) syndrome is here to stay. We
need to institute processes that come to
an end, that provide closure, that ensure
the finality of decision-making without
sacrificing the quality of decisions. To
maintain the status quo is to ensure
  EPA  must re-enter the fray: EPA must
re-assert itself and help define the
environmental agenda for the future and
set realistic goals. This alone could lead
to a far more efficient allocation of what
necessarily will be inadequate
resources, and ultimately a
re-establishment of trust in EPA by the
  The process of setting these goals
needs to be based on a solid scientific
understanding of the problems we face,
a thorough  and objective review of the
solutions that are available, and  a
realistic assessment of the costs  of each
of those solutions. A very open
goal-setting process will lead to  a
greater public understanding and
acceptance  of the goals that are set and
the solutions chosen.
  Right now the  Agency, according to
its own analysis, is spending an
enormous amount of its precious
resources to control environmental
hazards that pose relatively small risks
to our society. At the same time, many
known environmental  hazards are
barely being addressed  because of the
low priority for them dictated by
Congress. Some would say the answer is
to give EPA more money. The Agency
may  need increased resources, but the
fact is there will  always be problems
waiting when those of higher priority
are brought under social control.
  As with all problems facing our
society, today's reality in  Washington  is
one of  limited resources, and choices
must be made by EPA, like  everyone
else. Congress, working with the EPA
comparative risk analysis already
available, must thoroughly re-examine
the existing allocation of resources in
terms of real health and environmental
priorities. Surely the current disconnect
between Congressionally allocated
resources and priorities to be addressed
can be remedied. It is in the best
interest of EPA,  the environment, and
the country to do so.
  As environmental demands increase
in breadth and depth, allocating
resources will become an increasingly
larger challenge  for all our elected
leaders. Let me give you an example. A
major chemical company, as a result of
its SARA Title III chemical emissions
report, has decided to reduce those
emissions by more than 90 percent by
1992. That decision will cost the
company almost $200 million. The
company has estimated that if all
industrial concerns in this country
undertook the same control program,
the total cost would approach $20
  Recently, when I asked the senior
scientists and engineers of the firm
whether they honestly believed that a
significant public health improvement
would result from that action, they
answered no. Their action stemmed
from a combination of public
spiritedness, enlightened self-interest,
and a desire to be out of the  line of fire.
The point was not whether reducing
those emissions of chemicals is a good
or bad thing. In a world of limitless
resources, it is probably something
worth doing. But in a society faced with
real and hard choices about resource
allocations, is this the best way to  spend
$200 million or $20 billion to serve
public health? I doubt it.
  These kinds of choices are being
made by  institutions and individuals in
our society every day. The choices often
involve the commitment of resources
against one devil at the expense of a
more formidable one. The dynamics of
the choices made are driven by a
combination of public opinion,
Congressional  legislative reaction, and
EPA implementation—the process that
generates public  policy. EPA cannot
escape responsibility for the  human
health or environmental implications of
the policies or the choices made as a
result of that process. The failure to
help society understand where its best
interests  lie is  no less because "Congress
made me do it."
  This is where EPA's role as educator
is important. More  knowledge about
public health or  environmental risks
exists within EPA than anywhere else.
That knowledge  must be shared. It
                                                                                                         EPA JOURNAL

should be shouted from every podium
or forum available in the hopes that
wiser policy will result.
  People need to know what their
Agency is doing and why.  and what the
intended or expected result will be.
That shared knowledge builds trust and
leads to real environmental
improvement. One of the most useful
Agency initiatives in recent years took
place in Tacoma,  Washington, in the
mid-1980s. EPA undertook a massive
educational effort to make sure that the
community understood the risks
associated with the continued operation
of a local copper smelter, how those
 The question for us really isn 't
 whether humanity will survive
 our environmental assaults. I
 think  we will.  The question is
 whether free institutions will
risks would be reduced by various
control options, and what the true
impact of those various options would
be on the continued operation of the
smelter—and thus on the community
itself. That exercise proved, very
dramatically, that when fully armed
with all the facts of a situation, the
public can and will make rational,
intelligent decisions about the
environment and the future course of
human lives.
   At the end of the educational
process, people from all sides of the
debate—environmentalists, smelter
workers, community leaders—were all
sporting buttons that read  "BOTH." The
buttons meant that the environmental
risks inherent in the operation of the
smelter could be controlled to
acceptable levels, and the community
would still have the economic benefit of
that smelter. In other words, they could
have "BOTH."
  We must constantly strive  to make
our process of dealing with
environmental risks more realistic.
efficient, and effective. If for no other
reason, let's do it to celebrate the 20th
anniversary of Earth Day. Our nation
and the world are faced with major
environmental challenges for the future.
There is broad and intensified interest
in the environment. There  is increased
demand to achieve greater  levels of
cleanup of the problems we know
about. At the same time, there is
scientific evidence of new  and
potentially serious environmental
problems yet unaddressed.
  Increased public pressure is not
restricted to the industrialized world.
Certainly, it  is very intense and
immediate here in the United States, but
in the future, the greatest pressure on
the developed world and on  the
environment is going to come from the
            IT ISN'T
         NICE TO FOUL
            IS IT?
four-fifths of the world's population in
the underdeveloped and developing
countries yearning to approximate the
standard of living now enjoyed by us.
Unchannelled and uncontrolled, that
inexorable push to economic
development will create an assault on
our environment the likes  of which we
have never seen.
  How the developed  nations, and how
we as a leader of those nations, respond
to our own challenges—and the path we
set for  the rest of the world—will say
much about what kind of world will be
left to coming generations. Ultimately.
what is at stake in free societies and
those now throwing off the shackles of
40 years, is the ability of free
institutions to solve these difficult.
complex, and emotionally  wrenching
problems. The emerging democracies
are watching us, as are the vast
populations in the underdeveloped
world.  They want to see if we can cope
with our own complexities and do it
within  the context of freedom. If we
can. our dedication to freedom will
seem increasingly attractive to them as
they struggle for an enhanced standard
of living.
  The question for us  really isn't
whether humanity will survive our
environmental assaults. I think we will.
The question is whether free institutions
will survive.
  When confronted with a choice
between authoritarianism and chaos.
people  will always choose the former.
Whether we can address our
environmental problems within a
system  of political  and economic
freedom is an open question in the last
decade of thi.s century, is freedom
indeed  the banner to which all should
repair? Certainly that is the world's
question and our challenge. At the next
observance of Karth Day, perhaps in 20
years. 1 hope we can celebrate the
success of attaining a livable
environment, enhanced development,
and expanded freedom.
Reprinted by permission Inbuftc Media Services

Looking  Back;  Looking  Ahead
The Council  on
Environmental  Quality
 by Russell  E. Train
 Today, CEQ clearly needs
 more staff and an augmented
 budget to go with it.
(7'rain, the first Chairman of ifie
Council on Environmental Quality ami
a former Administrator o/EPA, is
currently Chairman of the Hoard of
World Wildlife Fund and The
Conservation Foundation.)
   The environmental movement came of
   age in the 1970s. Fittingly, President
Nixon's first official act of the decade
was to sign into law the National
Environmental  Policy Act (NKPA). one
of the most far-reaching and innovative
pieces of environmental legislation in
our history.
  A key element of NEPA was the
creation of the Council on
Environmental  Quality (CEQ) in the
Executive Office of the President to
serve  as a focal point for environmental
policy development. I became the first
Chairman of the Council shortly after
President Nixon signed  NEPA, but my
involvement with the legislation goes
back to my tenure as president of The
Conservation Foundation.
  In the late 19(i()s. The Conservation
Foundation began to focus on building
ecological principles  into development
activities. The Senate Interior
Committee, then chaired by Senator
"Scoop" Jackson, had similar concerns,
and with  the help of The Conservation
Foundation hired Dr. Keith Cahhvell. a
professor of political science at the
University of Indiana, as a consultant.
Caldwell  originated and developed the
concept of environmental impact
analysis, which became an integral part
of NEPA. Together with the creation  of
CEQ, environmental impact analysis
requirements—obliging federal agencies
to consider environmental factors in
their decision-making processes—were
really  the heart of NEPA.
  In 1SKJ8. President Nixon asked me to
chair a task force on tin; environment to
advise him on  environmental issues.
Our principal recommendation was to
create a mechanism for developing
environmental policy within the White
House—a forerunner of the CEQ
concept. In 1969. the administration
acted on that proposal by setting up.  by
executive order, an intoragency
Committee on Environmental Quality.
chaired by the  president's science
advisor. In short, the committee worked
imperfectly and took little leadership on
environmental  matters.
  Once NEPA was signed, the Council
 replaced this interagency  committee and
 was vastly more; effective. The Council
 had the enormous task of developing
 and promulgating guidelines for federal
 agency compliance with the
 environmental impact statement
 requirement of the act. The
 environmental impact statement was a
 revolutionary concept in government. It
 brought about a radical change in the
 way government decisions were made
 because it required bureaucrats to look
 at alternatives to proposed
 actions—including the alternative of
 doing nothing—if a planned course of
 action would damage the  environment.
  We  had many  interagency struggles
 and controversies because some
 agencies were extremely reluctant to go
 along  with the process. But in fact the
 environmental impact statement opened
 up  the process of decision-making for
 input  by other agencies and the public
 in an unprecedented way.
  Early on, the Council made; the
 decision that each individual agency
 had to act as its own implementing
 authority for NEI'A requirements. That
was important because there had been
some suggestion that CEQ would
oversee all government actions and
make its own determinations concerning
environmental impacts, alternatives, and
so on.  First of all. this  suggestion was
impractical from  a workload standpoint
and secondly, it would have; meant that
individual agencies would not have felt
responsible for addressing
environmental considerations in their
programs. They would have perceived it
as someone else's job, namely CEQ's. So
from the beginning, the Council tried to
delegate authority to the agencies
themselves, focusing the Council's own
role on developing guidelines.
overseeing NEPA  implementation, and
reacting when a poor job was being
done. The Council stressed that the
agencies themselves must  keep lull
responsibility for their own
environmental performance.
  The Council had some dramatic
successes. For example, in 1970. we
recommended that the President halt
work on a barge canal  across northern
                                                                                                 EPA JOURNAL

                                                                                  Reviews of the potential environmental
                                                                                  impacts of federally aided highways were
                                                                                  one of the innovations of the National
                                                                                  Environmental Policy Act. This a.erial view
                                                                                  shows construction of an interstate
                                                                                  highway in Wisconsin.
Florida, although one-third of the work
had been completed. I sent (he
President a memorandum slating that
the environmental costs of the canal far
outweighed the benefits because it
threatened  to destroy a unique scenic:
area, a major wildlife habitat, and a
large sport  fish population. Other
adverse effects, such as pest infestation
and water pollution, also were feared.
  The President ordered work stopped
on the canal, despite strong protests
from the shipping industry and local
developers. This controversial decision
dramatically demonstrated the new
force the environmental ethic had in
government decision-making.
  Within a few years, the staff of CKQ
numbered about 54, the same si/.e as tin:
Council of Economic: Advisors. It was a
superb staff. The environment was a hot
issue at the time, and since young
people graduating  from college and  law
school were anxious to get  into the
environmental area, we had the pick ol
the crop. Bill Keilly came in as a  young
attorney and played a major role  in
developing the National Land  Use
Policy Act that President Nixon
submitted to Congress.
  But that legislation was too  far  ahead
of its time and never seriously
considered by Congress, It would have
required states, as a condition  for
obtaining federal  financial assistance, to
assume responsibility for land-use
decisions that have impacts beyond the
local jurisdiction  where the decision is
made. The hill would also have required
states, for the first time, to: protect areas
of critical environmental value such as
coastal wetlands and historic districts:
control land use around public facilities
such as airports, highway  interchanges,
and major recreation areas: and assure
                           Mike Bnsson photo

that regionally needed development,
such as water-treatment plants or low-
am] moderate-income housing was not
excluded by local governments. Though
many of these principles were
incorporated  into other laws, many
others—such as wetland
protection-- were long neglected and are
only now being given their full due.
  The Council quickly adopted the role
of developing an annual environmental
message for the President to send to
Congress. This message became the
repository for a wide  range of legislative
initiatives as  well as executive actions
in the environmental  area. The Council
had a great deal of clout through having
responsibility for putting together this
message. Under CEQ staff direction.
various interageney committees were
working on environmental problems
involving drinking water, strip  mining,
and air pollution, for  example.  Through


Acting on the recommendations of the newly created Council on Environmental Quality.
President Nixon called a halt to construction of the Trans-Florida Barge Canal in 1970.
this interaction, we wen: able to shape
an enormous number of
recommendations. The series ol
environmental  legislative proposals of
the early 1970s represented the greatest
outpouring ol legislation in any single:
subject area in  the nation's history.
  The creation  of EPA in December
1970  might he construed to indicate that
CEQ no longer  had an important role to
play.  That was  not the case in 1970, nor
is it true today. CEQ, because of its
location  in the  Executive Office of the
President, has the unique opportunity to
work  in the realm where environmental
responsibility overlaps with the
jurisdiction of other agencies. This is a
crucial role, because the environment  by
its very nature  cuts across the entire
fabric of government. Agricultural
policy, transportation policy, and energy
policy all have enormous environmental
implications. It is not easy  lor one
agency to effectively interact  with
another in this  kind of situation. EPA
has a  strong working relationship with
(he other agencies, but it is not  always
welcomed with enthusiasm. Often it is
perceived as  interfering in the exclusive
jurisdiction of another bureaucracy.
This is a hard row to hoe.
  CKQ is better able to operate in that
situation by virtue of its position in the
executive office, assuming it is given
adequate authority by the President. It
has the potential to revive the
cooperation and coordination that it
built to put together the comprehensive
environmental messages it sent to
Congress in the early 1970s, That is
where CEQ's real role lies, and it is an
extremely important one.
  Today, CEQ clearly  needs more staff
and an augmented budget to go with it.
Currently, it has a staff of only about
CEQ should not try to operate
as the Administration's voice
on the environment.
ten. one-fifth what it was in the early
1970s. This  is simply inadequate to
meet the challenges ahead. On the  issue
of global warming, for example, the
interaction between energy and
environmental policy will be critical.
CEQ could help implement an
environmentally sound energy policy by
ensuring that federal agencies are aware
of and abide by energy anil
environmental guidelines. EPA need not
abdicate any authority in the area, but I
would recommend a close working
relationship  between CEQ and EPA,
with CEQ coordinating interagency
responses. Such a relationship,
however, will be extremely difficult to
implement without a major commitment
to CEQ by the current Administration.
  CEQ should not  try to operate as the
Administration's voice  on the
environment. Such a role for CEQ
became unnecessary  when EPA came
into existence—especially when EPA is
headed by a strong environmentalist
like Bill Reilly. Michael Deland is an
outstanding choice for Chairman of
CEQ. He  is a strong environmentalist,
with a  lot of experience in the field. He
has dealt in the past  with many
controversial issues, and he is
intelligent and tough but fair-minded.
With talented environmentalists at EPA
and CEQ, and with a renewed
commitment  by the President,  the
United States will  be ready to confront
the  difficult environmental problems of
the  new decade, £
                                                                                                          EPA JOURNAL

 Looking Back;  Looking  Ahead
 The  Clean  Air  Act of  1970
 by  Paul G. Rogers
 [Rogers served as Chair of the House
 Subcommittee on Health and the
 Environment during the 1970 Clean Air-
 Act deliberations. He is currently a
 partner in (he Ian' firm of Hogan and
 Hartson in Washington/DC.)

 David F.  C-rady assisted in the
 preparation of this article.

Shortly after Earth Day 1970,
Congress enacted the landmark Clean
Air Act amendments. Progress has
been made on air quality, but much
more needs to be done. This 1963
photo shows a massive smog episode
in New York City.
    Historians of the environmental
    movement are likely to peg Earth
Day 1970 as a key turning point in the
American public's consciousness about
environmental problems. I believe that
Congress' enactment of the 1970
amendments to the Clean Air Act a few
months later was an equally significant
landmark. For the 1970 amendments
moved environmental  protection
concerns to a prominent position on
Capitol Hill, where they by and large
have remained ever since.
  It seems appropriate, as Congress is
considering new amendments  to  the
Clean Air Act, to assess what lessons
might be learned from the events of two
decades  ago.
  The juxtaposition of Earth Day and
the 1970 amendments  was no  accident.
As a representative body, Congress was
responding  to the heightened public.
concern  about environmental pollution
that was symbolized by the Earth Day
demonstrations. Some  have said that
Congress reacted to public pressure too
quickly and rushed through clean-air
legislation that was not up to the task of
responding  to real air-pollution
concerns. I disagree.
  While the 1970 amendments may
have been the first time that
pollution-control efforts obtained such a
high profile in Congress, they were not
Congress' first effort to address
air-pollution problems. On the contrary,
we drafted those amendments  to  correct
previous pollution-control strategies that
had failed. With the passage of the 1970
amendments, Congress adopted new
approaches  to regulation such  as
national  air quality standards and
statutory deadlines for compliance that
are commonplace today, but represented
a significant turning point in 1970.
  To put the 1970 amendments in
proper context, one needs to look back
at Congress' prior efforts to control air
pollution, particularly  the Air  Quality
Act of 19(J7. That statute authori/ed the
Secretary of Health, Education, and
Welfare (who then hail chief
responsibility for federal environmental
protection programs) to designate
so-called air quality regions throughout
the country; the states  were given
primary responsibility  for adopting and
enforcing pollution-control  standards
within those regions.
  Some of us involved in the enactment
of the  1967 statute had significant
doubts us to the viability of the regional
approach to air-pollution control: after
all, air contamination does not stop at

neatly defined regional boundaries.
Nevertheless, Congress as a whole and
American industry were not yet
convinced of the need for a national
strategy for pollution control; therefore,
as a first step, the 1967 statute's regional
approach became the law of the land.
  The approach was a notable failure.
By 1970, fewer than three dozen
air-quality regions had been designated,
as compared to an anticipated number
in excess of 100. Moreover, not a single
state had developed a full pollution-
control program.
  This unsatisfactory record, coupled
with the public pressures created by the
Earth Day movement, provided the
necessary impetus to convince Congress
that national air quality standards were
the only practical way to rectify the
United States' air-pollution problems.
Similarly, the record of inaction under
the 1967 law led Congress to impose
statutory deadlines for compliance with
the emissions standards authorized
under the 1970 statute, in the hope that
those deadlines would spur action.
  Thus, the two  key  provisions in the
1970 act were not a frenzied  reaction to
public pressure,  but instead were a
deliberate response aimed at correcting
the demonstrated failures of previous
regulatory efforts.
  Of course, no one would argue that
the 1970 statute  achieved all of its
objectives; the deadlines were extended,
and for the most part, the national
standards were not attained.  Yet 1
believe that history, on balance, should
judge the 1970 amendments as a major
and positive turning point in the
national environmental-protection effort.
The  1977 Clean Air Act amendments
confirm this judgment.
   For just as important as its deadlines
and innovative nationwide
standard-setting  approach was the 1970
statute's underlying purpose: to raise
the consciousness of the American
public and American business regarding
the importance of pollution control. In
enacting the 1970 statute, Congress
knew that a centra! element in any
successful approach  to air-pollution
control (and, indeed, environmental
protection generally) would have to be a
change in attitude about the value of
environmental protection.
  During the House floor debate on the
amendments, one of my colleagues
quoted a small town mayor, who (in
expressing the previous conventional
wisdom that environmental protection
and economic growth were not
compatible)  is reported to  have said: "If
you want this town to grow, it has  got to
stink." Before 1970, there were still
many persons and companies
throughout the United States who
agreed with  the mayor that pollution
was the inevitable price of progress. In
the 1970 amendments,  however,
Congress signalled its firm belief that
The 1970 amendments moved
environmental protection
concerns to a prominent
position on Capitol Hill, where
they by and large have
remained ever since.
 economic growth and a clean
 environment are not mutually exclusive
  In order to change these previously
 entrenched attitudes, it was necessary to
 get the attention of industry and the
 American people. By taking the
 then-bold step of making air-pollution
 control a national responsibility, with
 strict deadlines for compliance,
 Congress accomplished that purpose in
 the 1970 statute. Even though the
 deadlines originally imposed  in the
 1970 amendments ultimately  were not
 met, the amendments unquestionably
 succeeded in fostering a profound
 attitude shift in this country.
  A consensus has emerged from the
 experiences gleaned  under the 1970
 amendments that environmental
 protection and economic growth can,
 and must, be accomplished
 hand-in-hand. Indeed, I suspect that if
 the mayor quoted by my colleague were
 to seek election today, he or she would
 be soundly rejected at the polls. This
 attitudinal change  in American society
is itself a significant achievement for
which  the 1970 Clean Air Act
amendments deserve a share of the
  But a positive change in attitude and
assumptions about environmental
protection does not in itself clean  up
dirty air.  Congress is  still struggling
with the difficult question  of how  to
achieve that goal.  Thus it is fair to ask
what lessons the 1970 amendments
might hold for Congress as it sets about
revising the Clean Air Act  once again. I
believe several lessons may be drawn.
• Strike while the iron is hoi. While the
1970 amendments gradually evolved to
correct previous statutory initiatives that
had failed, their actual enactment  by the
full Congress was  accomplished with
unaccustomed speed. This was made
possible because of the high priority
assigned  to environmental  issues on the
public  agenda  following Earth Day.
  Today's political climate is similar.
Rising  public concerns over
well-reported environmental problems
such as acid rain,  global warming, and
fouled  beaches, coupled with the high
profile that environmental  issues took in
the 1988  presidential elections, provide
this Congress with one of the most
promising opportunities for legislative
initiatives on  clean air in recent years.
Since this positive combination of
events  is likely to have a somewhat
limited life span, Congress should seize
the opportunity—as it did  in 1970—and
act now to revise the statute.

• Avoid  artificial limits on
pollution-control efforts. Just as the
1970 amendments demonstrated
Congress' acknowledgment that air
pollution could not be effectively
addressed on a regional  level, the
current effort to amend the statute
should take into account the increasing
emphasis on the international nature of
air-pollution problems. The recent
Montreal Protocol on reducing use of
chlorofluorocarbons and our ongoing
dialogue with  Canada regarding acid
rain are but two examples  of the
growing recognition that air pollution
                                                                                                         EPA JOURNAL

Pal Matrtn cartoon
does not stop at state or regional
boundaries; it crosses national
boundaries as well.
  Just as in 1970 Congress took the
ground-breaking step of making
air-pollution control a national effort,
Congress today should not hesitate to
lay the groundwork for international
approaches to environmental issues.

•  Take;  advantage of improved
knowledge. Striking developments since
the 1970 amendments have been the
explosion of knowledge about the
nature of air pollution, and the
advanced new technologies available to
control  that pollution. The study of
pollution and the design of
pollution-control techniques were  in
their infancies in 1970. Congress did not
have the benefit of the wealth of
additional knowledge at society's
disposal today. This expanded
knowledge; base should permit Congress
to adopt compliance deadlines that are
better pegged to technical feasibility
than in  1970.
»  Follow through  irif/i oversight and
enforcement. One of the reasons the
1967 Air Quality Act failed and thus
spurred  Congress to enact a tough
national air quality program in 1970
was the  almost complete lack of
enforcement of the earlier statute. A
similar fate heft; 11 the 1970 amendments
A consensus has emerged from
the experiences gleaned under
the 1970 amendments that
environmental protection and
economic growth can, and
must, be accomplished
and has continued to plague
implementation of the Clean  Air Act
ever since (although enforcement
activity has increased somewhat in
recent years).
  Congress, of course,  can only pass
laws; it  is up to the Executive Branch to
enforce  them. It is imperative that
Congress follow through on the
upcoming amendments to the Clean Air
Act with a stringent oversight role. It
will be critical to keep the  pressure  on
in order to see to it that those who are
covered by the statute  obey it—or pay
the requisite penalties  for violations.
  Overall, the concepts set  forth  in tin:
1970 Clean Air Act amendments and
revised and strengthened in the 1977
amendments are still valid. A national
approach to air-pollution control
remains the only practical way to
respond to this problem. Indeed, as  1
mentioned earlier, the  real  question
today is not so much whether more
efforts should be ceded to more
localized governments, but the extent to
which international cooperation is
needed to fight air pollution.
  Similarly, the use of statutory
deadlines to force compliance with air
quality standards  is, if anything, more
appropriate today, given our greater
information base and technological
capabilities upon  which  to base such
deadlines. What is needed is not so
much a change in approach from the
framework of the  1970 amendments,  but
a reinvigorated commitment on the part
of government, industry, and the
population at large to  meet the new
compliance deadlines  that are likely to
be part of the Clean Air Act expected to
pass later this  year.
  As our environmental  problems
accumulate, and as our concerns about
air pollution grow broader and more
complex, we cannot afford to let the
current opportunity to amend  the Clean
Air Act go by without  success. The 1970
Clean Air Act amendments were a
watershed that paved the way for the
widespread consensus in our country
today that air-pollution control must  be
a top priority of the federal government.
Those of us who had a hand in drafting
the 1970  amendments  therefore can take
satisfaction because that  legislation has
had a positive impact  on  our nation's
environmental protection efforts. It is
now up to our successors to build  on
that foundation and make further
progress  in improving air quality in the
United States,  rj

 Looking Back;  Looking  Ahead
Earth  Day:  One  View
by Denis Hayes
   Little more than a year ago. in an
   article for EPA Journal, I  proposed
that someone seize the initiative and
organize a global Earth Day to coincide
with the 20th anniversary of the first
Earth Day. As "luck" would  have it, a
year later that someone turns out to hi;
me. Two months after the article
appeared, a dozen national
environmental  leaders asked me to take
a leave of absence from m\  legal
practice to coordinate tin; Earth Day
1990 campaign.
  At this  time  last year. Earth Day 1990
was nothing more than a concept. Now
it is a staff of 30 in Palo Alto, California;
a National Board of Directors well over
100 in number, with representatives
from every sector of American society;
an International Board  of Sponsors
spanning every continent; and a field
organization with 18 regional offices. In
little more than a year, Earth Day 1990
has gone from  the drawing board to
being a huge, global coalition
determined to turn the tide in the battle
to pull the planet back from  the brink of
ecological destruction.
  In 1970. the  goal of Earth Day, as
articulated eloquently by then-Senator
Gaylord Nelson, the true "father" of
Earth Day, was to demonstrate to
corporations, politicians, and our
somnambulant  neighbors that nobody is
immune to the  threats posed by
environmental  pollution and no one can
avoid culpability. Twenty years later,
some of the symptoms  have changed,
but the problem remains the same. Us.
  Sure, there are lots of villains to point
fingers at: uncaring corporate monoliths;
sleazy businessmen out to make a quick
buck regardless of the damage left in
their wake; and politicians too
dependent upon polluters' contributions
and more than willing to turn a blind
  However, no one is holding a gun to
our heads as we merrily drive ourselves
into the greenhouse age. Nothing short
of a society-wide commitment is needed
if we are to turn our backs on the
"disposable society" and move toward
realizing the vision of a society that
lives in harmony with  the environment.
The 20th anniversary of Earth Day is an
auspicious time to remind corporations,
politicians, and ourselves  that such a
profound shift  is needed. The
alternative is catastrophe.

The Concept

The concept of Earth Day was American
in its origin. However,  the problems that
Earth Day addresses are global in
nature. Whereas Earth Day 1970 was the
catalyst for the creation of the modern
American environmental movement,
Earth Day 1990 is designed to catalyze a
truly global environmental
movement—and to make the 1990s a
decade of striking environmental
  In 1970. the focus was on air, water;
and noise pollution. Thousands of
schools, universities, and communities
staged Earth Day events. In the past two
decades, endangered species  have been
protected, once-dead waterways have
been cleaned up, and air quality in
some areas has improved.  However,
despite notable local improvements, the
health of the planet has declined
(Hayes served us National
for Earth Day )!)/() 
largest metropolitan areas. Individuals
involved in local Earth Day 1990
coalitions are a study in diversity.
Participants range from members of
neighborhood  improvement associations
to city council representatives, from
environmentalists to civil rights
activists, from students to senior
citizens. Many have never been
involved with an environmental
campaign before.
  Supplementing our field-organizing
activities. Earth Day 1990 has developed
public-education programs to reach
people in their homes, their workplaces,
and their recreation centers. These
programs are designed to change how
people shop and affect how they vote
and raise their children. Some are
aimed at primarily a U.S. audience
while others have been adapted for use
in other countries.

To reach the next generation of leaders
with lessons that we have yet to learn.
Earth Day 1990 has developed formal
educational materials including a
Lesson Plan and Survey for students in
grades K-12 and a Campus
Environmental Audit for colleges and
universities. At the K-12 level, students
will  work with  their parents to complete

                             NYT Pictures
a survey which they can use to measure
the environmental soundness of their
homes. The campus audit will help
students, faculty, and administrators to
gauge accurately the impact their
college has on the community's
environment through the generation of
solid, medical, radioactive, and
hazardous waste as well as air and
water pollution,  procurement policies.
and dangers in the workplace.


Drawing on the examples of
anti-apartheid activists and other social
justice movements, the environmental
movement has launched an ambitious
campaign to apply environmental
concerns to  decisions in the corporate
boardroom.  1 co-chair the Coalition for
Environmentally Responsible Economies
(CERES), which includes environmental
organizations and financial institutions.
In the fall, CERES unveiled a  new
10-point corporate code of ethics,  the
Valdez Principles, which address the
damaging impacts of products and
production processes on consumers,
employees, communities, and the global
  Already, the Valdez Principles have
been endorsed by state, city, and
religious pension funds  totaling over
$150 billion in assets. In conjunction
with other coalition members, Earth Day
1990 is working with corporations, state
treasures, portfolio managers.
universities, and cities to urge the wide
adoption of the Valde/ Principles as an
effective gauge for corporate
                                              t /*
                                         Concern about pollution and other forms of
                                         environmental degradation spread across
                                         the United States in 1970. A goal of Earth
                                         Day this year is planet-wide environmental

performance and a guideline for socially
responsible investing.

Global Cities

Responding to an upsurge of municipal
environmental activism, Earth Hay 1990
lias developed the Global Cities  Project,
which offers practical assistance to city
and county authorities in expanding or
creating programs that fulfill the maxim,
"Think globally. Act locally."
  Under the Global Cities Project, Earth
Day 1990 will help cities and counties
to develop or augment existing
programs in areas such as ride-sharing,
recycling, energy and water
                                        Making a point on Earth Day 1970.
conservation, hazardous waste
reduction, and tree planting. Gities
participating in the project also will
receive an "Earth Day Project Planning
Guide" and  will be eligible to attend
project-planning seminars held
throughout the country. The response
has been enthusiastic, witli participants
ranging from Newark, N'ew Jersey, to
West Hollywood, California, to  Atlanta,

International Earth Day

(-n the international  level. Earth Day
19^90 has a growing International  Board
of Sponsors, which spans every
continent and includes two heads of
state and the leaders of  10 international
organizations, including two United
Nations agencies. Over 120 countries
have Earth Day coalitions representing
more than 1,000 non-governmental
organizations, universities, and
government agencies. Planned activities
range from an "Indigenous Peoples
Consultation on Bio-Diversity" in the
Phillipines to a "Green Train" bearing
Earth Day 1990's logo on its side as it
travels through 21 major Italian cities
testing pollution levels with its
on-board laboratory.

The Global Challenge
International Earth Day is a concept that
has come due. Global environmental
issues exemplify the interdependence of
communities around the world. If we
truly want to develop solutions to global
warming, ozone depletion, ocean
pollution, and the rest of the global
ecological horrors that we've created,
world leaders need to take the
pragmatic steps of setting aside
parochial priorities and  focusing on
threats to the global commons. Earth
Day 1990's global  campaign will
provide the politicians of the world
with compelling evidence that there
indeed exists an informed and angry
constituency that considers the health of
the planet an issue second to none.

If You Want To Get Involved

If you want to be a part  of the Earth Day
1990 process, contact our main office in
Palo Alto. Wherever you live,  our field
staff can put you in touch with a local
grassroots coordinator. For further
information, contact:

Earth Day 1990
P.O. Box AA
Stanford University
Palo Alto, California 94309
(415) 321-1990.  n
                                                                                                            EPA JOURNAL

Looking  Back;  Looking Ahead
                                     Earth  Day:  Another  View
                                     by Edward W. Furia
 So the summer of '88 was a
 kind of last straw for a lot of
 people, including me.
Copyright ?989 C/jns Benmon photo
Staunch efforts art: under way
to make the upcoming
observance of Eat Mi IX-iy as full
of in,pact as Earth Day 1970.
Here, one of the lead
organizers, Ed Furia, stands by
his group's  lo*
   Recently I experienced a sense of deja
   vu when I gave an address about
Earth Day at the Threshold National
Student Environmental Action Coalition
(SEAC) Conference. I spoke to 1,600
student leaders of campus
environmental organizations from 43
states who had  converged at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill for this conference.
  A little more  than 20 years before. I
was among a group of graduate students
at the University of Pennsylvania City
Planning School who met to discuss the
famous 1969  Seattle speech of Senator
Gaylord Nelson calling for  the first
national Earth Day. We responded by
organizing the first Earth Week, a
convocation on  environmental issues
that cut across racial, economic, and
political boundaries and, for the first
time, got ordinary people involved in
environmental issues.
(Furia was Project Director of Earth
Week 1970 in Philadelphia, jfc; is
currently President and Managing
Director of Earth Day 20'h'arfh Week
  The recent Chapel Hill SEAC meeting
was not just another conference. It was
a historic event that marked the rebirth
of environmentalism on college
campuses. It  may also have been the
first real evidence since the 1960s of a
rebirth of student political activism.
  Unlike the budding  "yuppie"
stereotypes 1  expected to
encounter—with ambitions consisting of
an MBA, a job on Wall Street, and a
BMW—these young people wanted to
change the world. They seemed every
bit as idealistic as their predecessors on
2,000 college campuses and  in 10.000
high schools  who, in  1970, took up the
challenge of Earth Day and helped drive
environmentalism into the mainstream
of American consciousness.
  What were the goals of the first Earth
Week, and how do they compare to the
goals of Earth Week 1990V
  The most widely recognized goal in
1970 was to "raise consciousness" on
college campuses about environmental
problems, but the group of students in
Philadelphia  who developed  tin;
original Earth Week also wanted to
involve the general public. 1 was hired
as Earth Week 1970's project  director,
partly because of my city planning
master's thesis, in which 1 bad argued
that no meaningful national policy shift
could be achieved without motivating
ordinary people through messages
embedded  in riveting events tb.it the
mass media could amplify.  In other
words,  if you want to change the world.
it's not enough  to be rnnicsf.  you have
to be interesting.
  The literature on communications and
behavior provided an additional insight:
Even it you succeed in getting people to
listen to your message and begin
changing attitudes, actual changes in
behavior usually don't occur unless the
message is accompanied by reinforcing
action.  In other words, it  your goal is to
change the world, after you reach
ordinary people with  your message, give
them a  way to participate.
  Thus, to  promote Earth Week 1970,
we literally developed a marketing
strategy that sold environmentalism like
Proctor & Gamble sells soap.
  Philadelphia's Earth Week program
involved every major  public and private

 institution in the region. At scientific
 symposia, experts from  universities,
 corporations, and state and local
 governments met to discuss the most
 pressing air and water pollution and
 waste disposal  issues of the day. The
 events attracted Clean Air Act author
 and then-likely Presidential candidate
 Senator Edmund Muskie, Senate
 Minority Leader Hugh Scott, biologists
 ReneDubos, Luna Leopold, and Paul
 Ehrlich,  Nobel  laureate George Wald,
 consumer advocate Ralph Nader,
 sociologist John McHale, poet Allen
 Ginsburg, Dune author Frank Herbert,
 nuclear physicist and former Atomic
 Energy Commission Chairman and
 critic, Ralph Lapp, urban planners
 Lewis Mumford and  Ian McHarg, and
 ecologist Kenneth Watt. Also  in
 attendance were several rock bands and
 other performers, including the  entire
 Broadway cast of Hair.
  The strategy worked. The
 Philadelphia Earth Week program
 became a major subject in the national
 media. It was featured twice on  the
 Today Show, for a full hour live on
 PBS, and in the CBS  Special Report that
 aired at 7 p.m. on April  22. The CBS
 crew arrived two weeks  early, and when
 host Walter Cronkite  opened the
 program, he was sitting in front  of a
 blow-up of our logo.  One-quarter of that
 one-hour news  special was devoted to
 the Philadelphia program.
  The nexv environmentalism also
 worked  for other organizers in Berkeley,
 New York,  Washington,  Boston,
 Madison, Wisconsin, and thousands of
 other American cities and towns. On
 hearing  of the Earth Day idea, civic
 groups, college  and high school
 students, garden clubs, and others began
 organizing their own  spontaneous
 events, each marked by a local vision
 about the environment. Earth Day  was
 spontaneously organized and pluralistic,
 and it was apparently the largest public
 demonstration in U.S. history, involving
 an estimated 20 million people.
  Earth Week and Earth  Day's
 implications were not missed  by
 national policy-makers. And for  a while
 during the 1970s, it appeared as  though
the United States was well on its way
toward reversing the most troubling
environmental trends. A newly created
EPA had shown it intended to enforce
the new environmental laws, billions of
dollars were being spent to reduce
municipal and industrial water
pollution, and the catalytic converter
and unleaded gasoline seemed to be
We need to move
environmentalism an order of
magnitude beyond where it
has ever been.
making a dent in urban air pollution. So
in 1979, when the prospect of
organizing a national lOth-anniversary
Earth Day was suggested to me, I said I
didn't think the need existed the way it
did in 1970. Laws had been passed,
state, local, and federal environmental
agencies were hard at work on the
problems, and  hundreds of new
environmental organizations  had been
formed. Finally, I said 1 just wasn't
interested in putting together what
would amount to a birthday party for
Earth Day.
  By the summer of 1988, things had
changed. Every day, headlines seemed
to bring news of a new environmental
catastrophe: Holes in the earth's
protective ozone layer were confirmed
by scientists; experts spoke of global
warming from  the Greenhouse Effect;
and there was  the news of medical
waste washing up on east-coast beaches.
Other evidence of ocean pollution
damage continued to mount,  including
the widely reported incident  of dead
seals washing up on North Sea beaches.
Each day brought fresh news of species
extinction, deforestation,  toxic-waste
contamination of food and water
supplies, and other insults to the
environment. It was becoming clear that
despite a 20-year effort to improve it,
the global environment was
deteriorating at an accelerating pace.
  So the summer of '88 was a kind of
last straw for a lot of people,  including
me. As a  result, when  I was asked to
organize an international  20th Earth Day
program, I agreed. Something had gone
terribly wrong since the first Earth Day,
and it had happened in spite of all the
new legislation, and the creation  of the
federal, state, and local regulatory
agencies and international bodies. It had
occurred in spite of the proliferation of
environmental organizations in the
United States and the Green parties in
  To develop a meaningful program for
the 20th Earth Day, we  felt we needed
to look both at the way governments
were dealing with environmental
problems and at how the environmental
movement itself was addressing the
  As Barry Commoner pointed  out in
his recent article in  EPA Journal, the
pollution-control approach that
governments have been using hasn't
worked. We have  failed to improve  the
environment in a really significant way
with the black boxes we have attached
to wastestreams that still end up
depositing pollutants from our oceans,
rivers, air, and land. Only  pollution
prevention seems  to have worked. Only
when we have removed pollutants in
the production process  have we
succeeded in dramatically improving
the environment: The cessation of
atmospheric testing of nuclear warheads
reduced traces of strontium 90 in
human tissue by over 90 percent; taking
the lead out  of gasoline has had similar
dramatic success.  Dr. Commoner  put it
humorously—but perfectly—during the
address he gave at the recent Chapel
Hill SEAC conference: "The first rule
about pollution is this:  if you don't let
the pollutant into  the environment, it
isn't there."
  Getting governments to acknowledge
the importance of pollution prevention
is a major goal of Earth  Day 20 and
Earth Week 1990.  On April 18,  1989,
just before last year's Earth Day, the
Earth Day 20 Foundation delivered
letters to President Bush, USSR Premier
Gorbachev, China  Premier Li Peng, and
UN Secretary General De Cuellar. The
letter, signed by Gaylord Nelson,  Barry
Commoner, Elliot Richardson, John
O'Connor (National Toxics Campaign),
Gene Karpinski (U.S. Public Interest
Research Group), Peter Bahouth
(Greenpeace), Cordelia Biddle, and me,
                                                                                                       EPA JOURNAL

called on the leaders of the superpowers
to convene an environmental summit
under the auspices of the UN and
immediately begin the process of
implementing a five-point
pollution-prevention program:

•  A total ban  on the production and use
of chlorofluorocarbons and other
chemicals that destroy the ozone layer
and the establishment of a program to
use safe alternatives.
•  Introduction of energy-conserving
power systems, such as cogenerators,
fuel-efficient vehicles, and others as
well as the use of solar-energy sources
in order to reduce carbon dioxide
emissions—the chief cause of global
•  Progressive  reduction in the excessive
use of pesticides, which are responsible
for serious health hazards, by
introducing integrated, biology-based
pest management systems and other
non-chemical  techniques.

«  Steps to eliminate toxic chlorinated
chemicals—which are responsible for
serious environmental hazards (for
example, a phaseout of the use of
chlorine  in. paper production).
•  A global ban on production processes
that threaten the extinction of species.

  To address these environmental issues
effectively, national and bilateral
strategies will not be enough. Nothing
will work short of unprecedented
multilateral treaties and accords in
which the rich nations of the Northern
Hemisphere and the poor nations of the
Southern Hemisphere agree to prevent
environmental degradation and reverse
the deterioration that has already
  Something else has gone wrong over
the last 20  years. In spite of the
achievements  and numbers of the
environmental movement (some
estimates are that 10 million Americans
belong to some kind of environmental
group), environmental
organizations—without meaning to do
so—have become primarily a group of
elites; ordinary people tend to remain
on the sidelines. "Environmentalism,"
as John O'Connor of the National Toxics
Campaign likes to put it, "needs to

become the issue of the hamburger and
Budweiser crowd, not just the issue of
the Brie and Chablis crowd." We need
to move environmentalism an order of
magnitude beyond where it has ever
In some ways, we are already
as advanced in our planning
as we were a few weeks
before the first Earth Day, and
there are still a couple of
months to go.
  As we began planning our 1990
program, the basic strategy we used
during the first Earth Week seemed to
make sense as much as ever. In other
words, first create Earth Week 1990
events  so riveting that the newsstands
and airwaves become saturated with the
message of pollution prevention and
multilateral cooperation to reverse the
environmental deterioration of the
planet. Second, provide opportunities
for ordinary people not merely to hear
the messages and witness the events
electronically, but also  to participate
directly in their communities.
  This  mass  media/grassroots dual
approach is the essence of the Earth Day
20/Earth Week 1990 program:

• An Earth Week Expo at  the Columbia
River Gorge will  provide a full week of
visually exciting exhibits, addresses by
major political and environmental
leaders, and  appearances by scores of
international celebrities, musicians, and
performers. Many communities will
hold their own local expos and use
satellite dishes at local  shopping centers
or theaters to receive daily broadcasts of
the addresses and performances  from
the Columbia Gorge site.

  The national media are also expected
to broadcast  news of the Mount Everest
Earth Day 20 International Peace Climb,
in which American, Soviet, and Chinese
climbers will rope together and attempt
to reach the summit of  Everest on Earth
Day as  a metaphor of international
cooperation to ensure survival. These
events in combination with the
thousands of local Earth Day
observations will attract millions of
viewers and participants.
• Grassroots community organizations,
led by National Toxics Campaign
chapters in 1,000 communities will join
with college, high school, and
elementary school students and their
faculties and get involved in
community-focused  programs and
events that will reinforce the messages
broadcast on the national media. The
centerpiece of the local programs will
be the "Good Neighbor" agreement
program, in which private  and public
entities  will be encouraged to sign
agreements to reduce toxic-waste
production. In  addition, local
newspaper-sponsored high-school essay
contests as well as elementary school
poster and letter-writing contests will be
held;  Girl Scout, and Boy and Cub
Scout Earth Day merit badges will be

  In some ways, we are already as
advanced in our planning as we were a
few weeks before the first Earth Day,
and there are still a couple of months to
go. The  national media—the  major
magazines as well as the TV  and radio
networks—have already devoted an
unprecedented amount of coverage to
environmental  issues;  political leaders
here and abroad are  vying with each
other  for the "Who's the greenest public
figure?" award; our mailbox bulges and
the phones ring off the hook  every time
there  is  a new article about Earth Week
or Earth Day.
  It would be nice to think that this
attention is somehow the result of the
work  of the various national  Earth Day
organizations, including ours, but 1
think  it  is  not.  Instead, it is obvious that
this is finally an idea—this idea  of
survival—whose time  has come. D

Editor's note: Readers  who wish  to
obtain more information on Earth Day
20/Earth Week  1990  activities should
Earth  Day 20
30020 Main  Street
Suite  A-1990
BelJevue, Washington  98004
(20(5J  462-1990.

The  Stars  Take  on the
Environmental  Crisis
 by Roy Popkin
    Spurred by growing concerns about
    global environmental problems, the
 entertainment industry is in the midst
 of a massive consciousness-raising effort
 on a variety of environmental issues.
 The environment is not the first social
 issue to be  adopted by show business,
 but it may well be the catalyst for the
 most far-reaching public interest
 campaign yet launched by the industry.
  Show business has had a long history
 of involvement in public affairs, dating
 back to World Wars I and II, when
 Hollywood actively promoted
 home-front activities. More recently,
 especially since the advent of television,
 the industry has fought illiteracy and
 drunk  driving and taken  on other  social
 causes. TV images have aroused
 widespread concern for the starving in
 Africa, called attention to the homeless
 and hungry here at home, and helped
 the Red Cross raise $100 million for aid
 to the  victims of Hurricane Hugo and
 the California earthquake. The
 entertainment business has a proud
 record of supporting civil liberties.
  Until recently, entertainment industry
 environmentalism was associated
 largely with a small group of stars such
 as Robert Redford, Paul Newman,
 Joanne Woodward, Meryl Streep,  and
 Judy Collins, the Ted Turner
 broadcasting  interests, and occasional
 news or educational TV specials.  But
 now Hollywood has gone green in a big
 way. Says Andy Spahn, president of one
 of the  two  major Hollywood
 organizations focusing on environmental
 issues: "We're in it for as long as  it
 takes.  They tell us we may have as little
 as 10 to  12 years to correct or reverse
 some of the most serious threats.  You
 might  say that length of time is our
 minimum commitment."
   One indication of this  commitment is
 a two-hour ABC-TV Earth Day special to
 be aired on the evening of April 22,
 starring  Barbra Streisand, Kevin Costner,
 Bette Midler, Robin Williams, Michael
 Keaton,  and others. Still other

 (Popkin  is a writer/editor in  EPA's
 Office  of Communications and Public
performers may be expected to appear at
various Earth Day functions around the
  Two Hollywood groups, the
Environmental Media Association and
the Earth Communications Office, are
spearheading the entertainment
industry's approach to creating national
and international environmental
  In general, their goal is to create a
steady stream of environmental
messages written into plot lines of
regular programs and  motion pictures,
entertainment specials, and other outlets
The communications industry
is in a unique position in its
ability to reach millions of
people around the world....
such as special events and new music
and songs. These messages are intended
to complement ongoing public service
announcements, occasional news
specials, and science programs on cable
or public television. Stars and other
industry leaders are also  being asked to
take the kinds of environmental
leadership roles that Redford and Streep
have assumed in recent years.
   The EPA Office of Communications
and Public Affairs has staff assigned to
act as liaison to producers and writers
working on scripts or treatments who
need quick information about
environmental  problems  related to the
plot lines they  are developing.
  The burgeoning interest in
environmental  concerns is already
reflected on the air and in current
production plans. For example, a recent
episode of "Murphy Brown" was
devoted to recycling. From September to
December of last year, CBS ran
one-minute "Earthquest"  reports during
prime time. "Thirtysomething" is
planning to deal with environmental
problems on several programs. Several
episodes of the ABC series "Head of the
Class" will have environmental
messages. There will be environmental
themes on "ALF," "Baywatch," "LA
Law," "My Two Dads," and other
  Turner Broadcasting System, long
heavily into environmental
programming—owner Ted Turner in
1985 co-founded the Better World
Society to produce documentaries and
air a weekly  documentary,
"Earthbeat"—is working on an animated
cartoon series named "Captain Planet."
Puppeteer Jim Henson is  working on a
children's series about nature entitled
"W.I.L.D.," and  the Children's
Television Workshop, already doing
special educational  material on natural
disasters, is also working  on
environmental programming. Olivia
Newton-John is  doing a special called
"A Very Green Environment." Musical
stars like Streisand, Quincy Jones,
Belinda Carlisle, and Newton-John are
having environmental messages printed
on their records, tapes, and compact
  The Environmental Media
Association—described by the New
York Times as the brainchild of Norman
Lear and his wife, Lyn—was formed in
June 1989 by a group of industry leaders
to complement the work of
environmental groups by  encouraging
the creative community to incorporate
environmental themes into its projects.
Its Board of Directors  includes top
executives of major studios and other
parts of the industry. According to its
President, Andy Spahn, the organization
"hopes to generate a climate of concern
about our environment and give creative
expression to the vision of a healthy
future for the planet."
  The aim of the Environmental Media
Association,  says Spahn,  "is to do for
the environment what the Entertainment
Industries Council did for seatbelts and
what the Harvard Alcohol Project is
doing for designated drivers. Roseanne
arguing with her family about  the
importance of recycling or the
characters on 'thirtysomething'
discussing cloth versus disposable
diapers can have a tremendous impact.
Hearing their favorite characters discuss
environmental issues and watching their
favorite shows grapple with
environmental themes can encourage
individuals to think about changing
their lifestyles and becoming actively
involved in environmental issues."
  The association plays a coordination
role—networking and outreach—by
contacting hundreds of writers,
producers, and others who may be
interested in anything from endangered
                                                                                                     EPA JOURNAL

 Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment world are taking a stance on
 behalf of the environment.
species to air, water, and land pollution.
For instance, environmental experts
have been brought to meet creative
staffs at major motion picture and TV
studios to give writers a sense of tin;
environmental crisis and to help
generate ideas for environmentally
conscious characters or dialogue that
could be written into plot lines.
  The  Environmental Media Association
has also sponsored a variety of forums
and other events where participants
have included EPA Administrator
William K. Reilly,  U.S. Senators Al
Gore, Tim Wirth, and Alan Cranston,
Dr. Michael Oppenheimer. expert on
global  warming and senior scientist
with the Environmental  Defense Fund.
Dr. Amory Lovins. co-founder of the
Rocky  Mountain Institute. Dr. Noel
Brown of the United Nations
Environment Programme, leaders of the
10 leading national environmental
organizations, and  the international
representatives of tin; World
Commission on Environment and
  This coming spring, the association
will co-sponsor a day-long symposium
on the  environment with the Academy
of Television Arts ami Science's. Tin;
group is also creating an environmental
resource library for the creative
community and will give annual
Environmental Media Awards  honoring
exemplary television and film
productions that deal responsibly and
effectively with environmental themes.
  Recognizing that preservation of the
environment  is a global problem, both
the Environmental Media Association
and the Earth  Communications Office
are encouraging the film and television
industries in  other countries to emulate
their efforts. The International Council
of the National Academy of Television
Arts and Sciences has formed a new
committee to serve as liaison with the
Environmental Media Association. The
Earth Communications Office is starting
offices in  Australia, West Germany.
Brazil, and the USSR, hoping to
organize media people in industrial
countries  around  the world.
  The Earth Communications Office was
founded by Bonnie Reiss, who gave up
her entertainment law practice to form
the organization after attending a
three-day  global warming conference.
The conference, she says, "transformed
my perception of  the world in  which we
live. I learned that we have an estimated
10 years to change our present course
toward the irreversible destruction of
our environment and its ability to
support life. This  shocking information
led me to  give up my entertainment law
practice to form the Earth
Communications  Office, a  non-profit
organization dedicated to getting out
environmental messages through the
mass media.
  "It is evident that the crisis at hand
demands world attention, and  action
[must be]  be galvanized. Scientific
studies ami political  action are
obviously  necessary to the
environmental movement, but  education
on a grand scale is just as crucial.
Whatever  the issue—global warming.
deforestation around the world,
poisoning of our water, acid rain, waste
disposal, off-shore drilling,
overpopulation—people must learn that
they can make a significant difference as
individuals," says Reiss.
  This is where Hollywood comes in,
Reiss and  Spahn believe. The
communications industry is in a unique
position in its ability to reach millions
of people around the world with
environmental messages conveyed
through TV, film, and radio, they point
  The Earth Communications Office is
an industry-wide grassroots,
non-partisan organization. Its core is a
Board of Directors made up of about 100
creative and concerned  leaders from
film,  music, radio, art, literature. TV.
and advertising. Says Reiss, "They are
people of conviction who understand
that our planet is critically threatened
and that  our industry can effectively
educate people and get  them to
reexamine their values."
  The organization's advisory board
represents a broad spectrum of
environmental leadership from the
United Nations, major environmental
organizations, and national, state, and
local  governments; the board is chaired
by Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, Assistant
Secretary for External Affairs at the
Smithsonian Institution. The Earth
Communications Office's hundreds of
members channel their efforts through
committees dealing with research and
education, children's outreach,  music
and radio, literary and fine arts, events
and fund raising, film and television, a
newsletter, and industry action. The
group has offices not only in Hollywood
but in New York and Nashville.
  "At the core of our philosophy," says
Bonnie Reiss, "is the understanding that
we in the communications industry
must  examine and change our  own
lifestyles before  we have any real
credibility in asking others to do the
same. The Earth Communications Office
is focusing initially on recycling and
energy conservation, in  which
quantifiable progress can be measured.
We are proud that in just  K) months all
those involved in the Karth
Communications Office;  are recycling,
reducing energy consumption,  and
buying environmentally sound products.
We hope the industry can get millions
more  Americans doing the same, thus
benefiting the environment and
creating a nationwide atmosphere of
environmental concern and awareness."
  Both organizations report a
tremendous  industry response. Spahn
notes  that when  environmentalists sen
their favorite film and television
characters involved  in carpooling,
recycling, reducing their use of
chlorofluorocarbons and  reliance on
fossil  fuels, and, in some instances.
warring against polluters, they  will
know that the entertainment industry is
right there with them. :.:

The  Changing  Agenda:
Re-Inventing  the
 by John S. Hoffman and
 Robert Kwartin
     home in Anytown, USA. The
     refrigerator is an unremarkable
 appliance in an American household:
 quiet, reliable, camouflaged in its
 exterior of white or hurnt-almond.
 Virtually every household in the United
 States has one. Once it's plugged in, its
 owner barely spares the machine a
 thought. Who thinks about the careful
 engineering that  makes the modern
 refrigerator so easy to take for granted?
   Now change the  scene to a small town
 in Guangdong Province in southeastern
 China. Here the arrival  of a refrigerator
 is an event worthy of celebration, It
 means fewer trips to  the market and less
 spoilage of the leftovers from a major
 holiday feast. And  it  symbolizes the
 wealth and status of a family that has
 made its way in  the new economy  of
 China. China produced 32,000
 refrigerators in 1979; in 1987 it
 produced over 4 million, and
 production continues to grow. There are
 still several  hundred million households
 in China that don't have a refrigerator.
   But neither complacency nor
 celebration will greet the arrival of a
 refrigerator in the 1990s, in China or the
 United States. In the past few years the
 box in the kitchen  corner has been
 implicated in two potential
 environmental catastrophes:
 stratospheric: o/,one depletion and global
 climate change.
   The refrigerator will have to he
 re-invented  within five years. The new
 refrigerator will have to maintain the
 quality that  American consumers have
 come to expect, at the; low price that
 Chinese consumers can afford.
 (Hoffman is the Director of EPA's
 Global Change Division, and Kwartin is
 an Environmental Protection Specialist
 in  the division.)
  To meet these challenges, EPA has
formed a partnership with the U.S.
refrigerator industry and other federal
agencies to massively increase
investment in refrigerator research and
development. In an offshoot of this
program, EPA is working with the
Chinese refrigerator industry to involve
the Chinese in the research program so
that they will be able to successfully
adopt the progressive technology of the

CFCs  and the Refrigerator Industry

Before the 1930s, household
refrigeration  was either cumbersome
(during ice deliveries), somewhat
dangerous (where potentially hazardous
refrigerants such as sulfur dioxide (SO^)
or methyl chloride were used), or
non-existent. The invention of
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was the
technical breakthrough that helped
make  household refrigeration possible
on a wide scale.
  CFCs are a group of non-toxic and
non-flammable chemicals, one of which,
CFC-12, has thermodynamic properties
that closely match the requirements of
household refrigerators.  Another CFC,
CFC-11, is an excellent agent for
producing insulating foam for the
refrigerator's shell; CFC-11 foam is a
much better insulator than the fiberglass
and mineral wool insulation previously
used.  With better insulation, less  heat
invades the refrigerator, yielding better
energy efficiency.

The Refrigerator Takes Two Turns for
the Worse
As refrigerators changed from a
household luxury to  an everyday-
appliance, their use boomed, And as the
technology matured,  reliability and
convenience increased with no
appreciable increase  in price. But new
concerns forced refrigerator
manufacturers, governments, and
consumers to take a new look at the
  The first jolt came in the 1970s, when
energy prices soared in response to the
Arab oil embargo. To help the nation
use energy wisely, the federal
government mandated that refrigerators
(which use 19 percent of the electricity
consumed in the average household)
carry labels to inform potential buyers
about energy consumption and
operating costs. Consumers were eager
to avoid high electricity bills, and
manufacturers responded by improving
energy efficiency by 44 percent between
1972 and 1987."
  Energy prices declined in the early
1980s, but new concerns kept public
attention focused on the refrigerator. In
1974, two scientists—F. Sherwood
Rowland and Mario Molina—proposed
that CFCs were destroying an important
constituent of the Earth's atmosphere,
stratospheric ozone,  which screens out
certain kinds of harmful ultraviolet (UV)
radiation from the  sun. Enough UV
radiation passes through even a normal
ozone layer to induce millions of cases
of skin cancers and cataracts. If the
amount of ozone in the stratosphere
were appreciably reduced, they
proposed, dire consequences might
follow: millions of additional skin
cancers and cataracts, damage to crops
and ecosystems, and possibly
suppression of the human immune
  Rowland and Molina's predictions
eventually proved  accurate. By 1987,
CFCs had reduced the ozone over the
Northern Hemisphere by 2 to 4 percent
and torn  a gaping hole  in the ozone
layer over Antarctica.
  Hovvever, before this  depletion  was
revealed through monitoring data, the;
United States, under the leadership  of
former EPA Administrator Lee Thomas,
had proposed a phaseout of CFCs. Thus,
as evidence of ozone depletion and  its
                                                                                                     EPA JOURNAL

Chinese villagers, like the rest of us, want
modern refrigerators. The challenge is to
develop a product that will satisfy demands
without damaging the environment.
expected consequences accumulated, it
was possible to replace words with
strong action. In September 1987, a
landmark treaty was signed in Montreal
(the Montreal Protocol) that bound its
members to reduce their production and
consumption of CFCs by 50 percent  by
1998. The United States and every other
industrial country joined the Protocol,
which is being renegotiated to mandate
a complete phaseout of CFCs by 2000.
  A second global environmental
threat—climate change—poses an even
greater challenge for household
refrigeration. A variety of gases in the
atmosphere—such as carbon dioxide
(CO-2) and water vapor—are transparent
to the  visible light energy that reaches
the atmosphere from the Sun but art;
partly  opaque to the infrared energy
reradiated by the Harth. This
phenomenon traps heat in  the
atmosphere (like the glass in a
greenhouse), causing the Earth's surface
to warm.
  Greenhouse gas emissions have been
increasing since the Industrial
Revolution and threaten to substantially
warm the planet to potentially
dangerous levels. Two greenhouse gases
are closely connected to refrigerator  use:
CO2 (which powerplants release; when
fossil fuels are burned to generate
electricity),  and, yet again, CFCs. Pound
for pound, CFCs are thousands of times
as potent as COv in causing greenhouse
  Although energy prie:es are low at  the
moment, we must locus public attention
notv on the  energy efficiency of
refrigerators. If future refrigerators  use
electricity more efficiently, then future
powerplants will have to burn less fuel
and will  release smaller volumes of
greenhouse  gases. But  it will take: five  to
eight years to reinvent a refrigerator  that
uses much less energy than existing
models. Fortunately, the process has
 Copyright Audrey Topping Photo Researchers photo

  By 1988, several states and the federal
government had set minimum
energy-efficiency standards for
refrigerators (and for several othe;r
categories of household appliances).
These standards will be revised before
1998. With increasing concerns about
the greenhouse effect, energy-efficiency
goals will inevitably become more and
more stringent. Now is the time to start
research and development of
super-efficient refrigerators.
Furthermore, given the enormous
growth expected in the refrigerator
markets of developing countries such as
China, it is critical that new
technologies be transferred to  them as
expeditiously as possible.

The Research Challenge

Refrigerator manufacturers now face two
formidable challenges: They will have
to completely eliminate the  use of CFCs
by the year 2000, and they must
upgrade  the energy efficiency  of their
products. Research and retooling time is
short. Because CFC-based technologies
are so well-established, basic: refrigerator
research and development have been
thin in the United States over the past
decade. Marketing has been dominated
either by the sales-floor price or by
attractive new features, not by energy
efficiency or new refrigerator cycles.
Consumers have come to expect an
appliance that they could ignore lor its
15-year lifetime.
  EPA recognized the industry's nt-i-d
and also saw an opportunity to prevent
vast quantities of pollution: This
once-in-a-generation re-invention  ot a
ubiquitous technology could reduce the
Greenhouse Effect expected over the
next 100 years by almost 2  percent.  (By
comparison, increasing the fuel
efficiency of new cars in the United
States from 27 to 40 miles per gallon by
the year 2000 and increasing the tuel
efficiency of cars worldwide to 50 miles
per gallon by 2050 would reduce;
Greenhouse warming by about 7 percent
over the next century.)
  Some manufacturers wanted to  use an

alternative to CFC-12 known as
HFC-134a, which would have led to a
Joss in energy efficiency. EPA and other
manufacturers saw things differently;
together we recognized that a more
deliberate investigation of many
alternative chemicals and system
designs could produce a refrigerator
with far superior energy efficiency.
  Consensus  on  the best replacement
chemicals has not yet been  forged, but a
framework for research and cooperation
is in place. Recently, the Association of
Home Appliance Manufacturers, EPA,
and the Department of Energy organized
an industry-wide research consortium to
undertake joint research on alternative
refrigerants and foaming  agents. By
coordinating  research among refrigerator
companies and government agencies,
the consortium eliminates wasteful
duplication of effort and  ensures that
research results are disseminated
  The combined resources of the
consortium allow exploration of ideas
which no single  manufacturer would
have considered pursuing alone.  For
example, the  use of HFC-152a, a
refrigerant, has been  limited due to
concerns about its slight  flammability.
Recent tests demonstrate that HFC-152a
would improve refrigerator energy
efficiency by up to 10 percent, which
would make it an attractive near-term
option in  the transition away from
CFC-12. Since the amount of refrigerant
used in refrigerators is very small (only
4 to 8 ounces), it is possible that the
flammability of HFC-152a can be safely
  The consortium has organized
manufacturers, Underwriters  Laboratory,
EPA, U.S. government safety  agencies,
and consumer groups to investigate the
feasibility of using HFC-152a in
household refrigerators.  If HFC-152a
turns out to be a viable refrigerant, the
investment of consortium  resources
could have outstanding rewards. If 100
million U.S..refrigerators cut  their
electricity use by 10 percent,  10 billion
kilowatt-hours would  be saved every
year. This would put $700 million back
into consumers'  pocketbooks  and
prevent the emission of 8 million  tons
of C02 and 60,000 tons of SO2.
  EPA and the Department of Energy
have also  invested millions of dollars in
longer-term fundamental research on
refrigerants and refrigerating systems.
These investments are pushing the
limits of refrigeration science: Old  ideas
long-buried have been dusted off and
new ideas given a chance in the
laboratory. Among the ideas being

• "Non-azeotropic" refrigerant
mixtures: Today's refrigerators all use a
single refrigerant, CFC-12, which boils
at exactly  -30 degrees Celsius. (The
boiling point of water, by comparison, is
100 °C.)
  Most early discussions of replacing
CFC-12 focused on finding a single
"drop-in"  replacement. However,  certain
mixtures (termed non-azeotropic
mixtures)  of non-CFC refrigerants boil
over a range of temperatures. This
property provides a number of
thermodynamic advantages in designing
a refrigeration system.

• The Lorenz cycle: The modern
refrigerator/freezer has its evaporator in
the freezer where a fan blows air over it.
(See illustration.) This cools the air
below the freezing point of water, which
removes moisture from the airstream.
The cold,  dry air circulates through  the
freezer and then into the refrigerator,
where it is likely to desiccate the
  A better system would use a
non-azeotropic refrigerant mixture and
have two evaporators (one in the
     How Refrigerators Work

     Simply put, refrigerators soak up
     heat from the inside of the box and
     squeeze it out into the kitchen.
     (See illustration.) Starting at the
     compressor, gaseous refrigerant at
     low pressure is compressed to a
     high pressure and passed into a
     heat exchanger outside the
     refrigerator (the condenser). The
     condenser transfers heat from the
     refrigerant to the kitchen, and the
     refrigerant changes from  a hot
     high-pressure gas to a  cooler
     high-pressure liquid.
       The high-pressure liquid
     refrigerant then passes through a
     tube into the refrigerator and into
     another heat exchanger (the
     evaporator). The refrigerant is
     allowed to expand during this leg
     of the cycle,  so that  it  absorbs heat
     from the interior of the box and
     boils into a low-pressure gas.  (It
     may seem odd that a boiling fluid
     would be cold, but think of how
     rubbing alcohol feels as it
     evaporates from your skin, and
     you get the idea.) The  gaseous
   refrigerant then passes through the
   compressor, where the cycle
   begins anew.
     A refrigerator doesn't run
   continuously, only long enough to
   remove the heat that entered the
   box through the walls and during
   door openings. The refrigerator's
   walls are insulated to slow the
   passage of heat; better insulation
   means that the compressor runs
   less frequently and for shorter
   periods of time, reducing
   electricity consumption.
     Different refrigerants have very
   different thermodynamic
   properties. The freezer should be
   kept around 5° Fahrenheit, so
   ideally, the refrigerant  in the
   evaporator should boil at a
   temperature somewhat lower than
   that to ensure thai heat will flow
   from the (relatively) warm interior
   of the freezer to the cold
     However, only a few chemicals
   boil within the  proper  temperature
   range. Additionally, some
 chemicals absorb large amounts of
 heat per unit volume as they pass
 through an evaporator, while
 others absorb only a little (this is
 the measure of a refrigerant's
 capacity). A compressor has to
 pump a large volume of
 low-capacity refrigerant through an
 evaporator to achieve the same
 cooling effect as pumping a
 smaller volume of high-capacity
 refrigerant. Balancing efficiency
 and capacity makes the job of
 selecting refrigerants more
 difficult. There are also a number
 of safety considerations:  even
 though the refrigerant is  confined
 to a sealed system, in ideal
 circumstances it would be
 non-toxic, non-flammable, and
 non-corrosive.  In reality,
 non-flammability ma}' not be a
 crucial attribute; many of us use
 gas stoves and  aerosol cans that
 contain much larger volumes of
 flammable materials that are not
                                                                  EPA JOURNAL

refrigerator, one in the freezer). Each
compartment would be designed to chill
to the correct temperature. This design,
named after the German scientist who
proposed it in 1975, could reduce
electricity consumption by 20 to 23
percent and provide a  "vegetable-
friendly" refrigerator section.
• Superinsuiation:  The foaming agents
that have been  proposed as
replacements for CFC-11 are likely to
produce a foam with slightly poorer
insulation properties,  which will either
degrade energy efficiency or require
thicker refrigerator walls as
compensation. A totally different
approach, however, may work better:
vacuum insulation.
  Vacuum  insulation has insulating
properties far superior to foam (even
CFC-11  foam), but manufacturers have
not yet perfected a technique for making
vacuum panels that will last for 30
years. One  European manufacturer has
been producing a commercially
available vacuum insulation that, if
adapted-to  refrigerators, could reduce
electricity consumption by as much as
30 to 40 percent.

• Advanced design concepts: There are
many other possible design technologies
   under investigation at EPA-supported
   facilities: machines with totally
   independent refrigerator and freezer
   loops; two-loop refrigerators with two
   compressors and one compressor motor;
   and others.
     Theoretical predictions and computer
   simulations indicate that the next
   generation of refrigerators could use less
   than half the energy that the most
   energy-efficient model sold today uses.
   EPA's and industry's research programs
   have identified a number of tantalizing
   possibilities, but years of research.
   product testing, and product
   development are still required to
   determine which ideas are practical,
   and to retool production lines for the
   new products.

   What Will China Do?

   And what about the Chinese? The
   Chinese have not yet signed the
   Montreal Protocol, believing themselves
   too poor to afford major investments in
   research or alternative technologies.
   Many Chinese refrigerators are  built
   with older technology. As a result, these
   refrigerators have low energy efficiency.
   What will happen if every household in
   China buys a CFC-filled refrigerator that
   uses two or three times more
Refrigerator Design Options
Current Design
Dual-Loop Two Compressor Design
coal-generated electricity than it needs
to? Fortunately, the Chinese recognize
the consequences and want to explore
  EPA has opened negotiations with
several Chinese institutions to explore
the possibility of integrating the Chinese
refrigerator industry into the U.S.
research effort. In 1988, contacts were
established with the Beijing Household
Appliance Institute (a quasi-
governmental body that conducts
appliance research and sets appliance
standards), refrigerator factories, and the
government ministries responsible for
refrigerators and CFC production. And
in October 1989, a U.S. mission to
China began hammering out the terms
of cooperative projects, training
missions, and sharing of research
  It appears likely that the Chinese will
contribute greatly to the process of
inventing a better refrigerator;  already.
VVanbao Company is testing refrigerators
with HFC-152a. And the Beijing
Household Appliance Institute has
indicated a desire to take the lead in
investigating options like the Lorenz
cycle. Since Chinese refrigerators
usually  have the two evaporators
characteristic of the Lorenz cycle (but
not some other design requirements),
they may be easy to adapt.


Stratospheric ozone depletion  and  the
greenhouse effect are dangerous
environmental problems, but solving
them does not have to bleed U.S.
industry and consumers of billions of
dollars.  In fact, through judicious use of
government and  private research funds,
it is likely that the consumer will be
able to buy a refrigerator (perhaps as
early as 1995) that is ozone-safe,
extraordinarily efficient, and does not
dry out  vegetables. The nation will
benefit from lower electricity bills, and
the refrigerator industry will improve its
competitive position in the world
  And by pursuing a cooperative spirit
with China during this difficult
transition, the groundwork has been laid
for hundreds of millions of Chinese
families to participate in a better way of
life at a lower cost to themselves and
with a much smaller impact on the
environment. In Chinese, the character
for "crisis" also implies "opportunity."
So it does in English too. Q

1 111
longing  Agenda:
Preventing  Industry  Waste
 by Joel S. Hirschhorn
   Pollution prevention offers industry
   an enormous opportunity, hut its
exact costs, benefits, and risks cannot be
fully identified  or quantified. The
general proposition is this: By practicing
pollution prevention, industry can
obtain improved environmental
protection and  increased industrial
efficiency, profitability, and
competitiveness. But praising something
is not the same as doing it.
  Preventing pollution at its source,
through changes in manufacturing
processes or product design, is an  ideal.
At issue is not llie ideal, hut its
practicality,  the scope of its application,
and the pace of its implementation.
  'There are  numerous examples of
successful waste-reduction initiatives
and a smattering of impressive data,
usually on a vvaslestream or plant  basis.
Mut no comprehensive company,
industry, or  national data demonstrate
broad success at cutting industrial-waste
generation. Indeed, enormous amounts
of wastes, pollutants, and discharges
continue to he generated.
  It is not a  matter of choosing between
the traditional end-of-pipe or
pollution-control approach and
pollution prevention. Preventing
pollution is  like preventing disease by
changing eating habits and lifestyle;
pollution control is like using medicine
and surgery  to minimi/.e ill effects.
  Moreover, pollution control has  often
simply shifted pollution around. Air
and  water pollution-control equipment
extracts harmful substances and
generates enormous amounts of  solid,
ha/.ardous waste for landfills, often
resulting in  ground-water
contamination. Regulatory loopholes,
regulatory noncompliance, the difficulty
of responding to newly identified
environmental  problems, threats from
very small residual levels of pollution,
and  continuing global population
growth and  industrialization: All these
provide even more reason to pursue
pollution prevention.

(Hirschhorn is 
A national commitment to pollution prevention will restyle our industrial economy.

because there are always risks when
waste is handled and processed.
  Corporate and government policy
statements on the importance of waste
reduction can effectively focus  people's
attention on waste reduction. Slogans,
campaigns, speeches, buttons, and all
the other paraphernalia of motivating
and selling ideas to people are  critical.
People who have never considered
waste generation their responsibility—
which is most people—need
to understand that waste is
not something that someone else,
such as environmental engineers or
waste haulers, will take care of. Moving
from the end-of-the-pipe mentality to
pollution prevention will mean making
waste reduction  an intrinsic; part ol
everyone's everyday  thinking and
responsibility, much as preventive
health care is an individual
Slage Two: Obtaining Information on
Wastes and  Reduction Techniques

The danger is that people and
companies may not move beyond the
first stage  of waste reduction. To make
further progress, it is necessary to have
detailed information to assess
opportunities that are more subtle and
sophisticated. However, as with stage
one, in stage two there are no major
technological obstacles or major capital
investments, and quantum reductions in
waste generation are possible. The
problem  lies in discovering exactly
where to use technology and deciding
what technology to use.
  A full range of information is needed
on all wastes (e.g., on their quantity,
chemical composition, hazards  and
liabilities, regulatory status, and the
relationship between generation and
production levels). Information on
waste-reduction techniques from many
external sources is also needed, such as
information about new raw materials or
manufacturing techniques available
from vendors. More and more people
are discovering that they can replace
traditional chemical solvents with  water
or biological  solvents.
  Although costs and benefits are
self-evident  or easily calculated at  this
second stage, companies must build a
framework for implementing waste
reduction, including getting and
distributing  information and measuring
progress. Getting detailed  information
on waste-generation and reduction
techniques can cost millions of dollars
for large facilities. Large companies
typically are better able to handle this
second stage than  small- and
medium-size firms, which may find it
difficult to devote people and money  to
this kind of effort. Even in some large
companies,  maintaining interest in
waste reduction may be hampered
because costs of waste management and
pollution control may seem  relatively
low. For example, automobile,
aerospace, and  electronics companies
have intrinsically lower environmental
costs than chemical companies.
  The role of government becomes more
evident at this point. Government
agencies can distribute information
about successful waste-reduction
techniques in many different industries;
state agencies can  provide on-site
technical assistance, which has been
shown to be very effective and low-cost.
Some government  requirements for
information  on  waste generation, as
under the Resource Conservation and
Recovery Act, help drive companies to
obtain detailed  information on waste
generation. Information required of
companies for the  Toxic Release
Inventory, under Title III of the
Superfund Amendments  and
Reauthorization Act, provides a strong
incentive to  focus attention on waste

reduction. Many such requirements do
not apply to small businesses.

Stage Three: Overcoming Concerns
About Investment and Risks Through
Passing through the first two stages may
take from one to five years for
individual plants or companies. The
next major obstacle to waste reduction
is economic uncertainty associated with
substantial changes in technology and
equipment. For such changes may
involve core process technologies and
require an interruption in production.
  At this stage, greater involvement of
senior production people probably is
necessary. The environmental impacts
of changes made for waste-reduction
purposes have to be analyzed. Major
capital investment becomes necessary,
and risk increases. Investment payback
periods become longer, and capital
needs compete with more traditional
uses for capital. Testing and
development needs increase. The
imperative to consider changes in
products—either to minimize
manufacturing waste or to reduce
post-consumer waste generation or
toxicity—also increases. In other words,
waste reduction  is no longer simple and
self-evidently feasible or profitable.
  All of this leads to the need for the
kind of formal analyses which are being
called waste-reduction audits or
assessments. These analyses must
capture and identify costs, benefits,
uncertainties, risks, schedules, and
relationships to other company plans
and programs, such as R&D, expansion,
diversification, and marketing of new
  For example, General Electric Medical
Systems replaced a paint-stripping
operation using methylene chloride
with sand-blasting and mechanical
sanding.  The company had found that
methylene chloride material and
waste-management costs were $2,525
annually, whereas the sand-blasting
replacement would cost only $2,000,
offer a 0.8-year payback, and lower the
company's liability. There are hundreds
of such examples in the literature on
waste reduction in virtually every
  Without formal analyses, people may
incorrectly conclude that they have
exhausted their waste-reduction
opportunities or that the costs of
implementing waste reduction are too
high. On the other hand, they may
pursue projects which are technically,
economically, or environmentally
ill-advised. Or they may miss
opportunities to reduce non-regulated
wastes or relatively small wastestreams
which nevertheless pose substantial
costs and liabilities.
  Experience has shown that an
important obstacle to success is  the
"feeling" of many engineers that they
have already optimized their processes
and products. Formal analyses can
overcome such  unintended prejudices
against change.
  Finally, a continuing problem, even
when formal analyses are done,  is that
many economic benefits of
waste-reduction options are not
captured because they are difficult to
quantify. Examples include reductions
in future liabilities associated with any
form of hazardous-waste management,
spin-off technological innovations and
businesses, and improvements in the
public image  of a company which could
reduce public opposition to new
company activities.
  Small businesses may find this stage
particularly difficult because it requires
much more time and money than the
previous two  stages and because it is a
continuing activity, at  least for the next
decade or two. The use of outside
consultants becomes increasingly
necessary. But even large companies
may find this stage so  burdensome that
interest in waste reduction may  wane.
At the highest levels of corporate
management,  there may be less interest
in pursuing uncertain, high-cost
activities even if they are labeled waste
reduction. Seasoned technical
professionals  and managers may feel
that they have reached  the limits of
improving or  fine-tuning processes.
  The potential for this stage to  become
the "wall" that  brings an end to  a
company's or plant's waste-reduction
effort means that the role of government
becomes more critical  here. Government
policies, national goals, jawboning, and
performance requirements can maintain
pressure on companies to maintain their
commitment to waste reduction. Special
economic incentives such as tax breaks,
for example, may be useful to spur
capital investment which may seem less
attractive than other uses of capital
(such as expansion and diversification).
Government small business loans for
waste reduction could be given special
preference. And much more attention
needs to be given to offering flexibility
in compliance with current regulations,
so that companies can channel their
capital investment into pollution
prevention instead of more
pollution-control facilities.

Stage Four: R&D Creates New
Technology and Products

Eventually, for both process and
product changes, new technical
solutions must be sought through R&D.
Indeed, from the previous stages, many
needs will have been identified.
Completely new manufacturing
processes and products can be
considered, with waste reduction a
primary goal. Designing, making, and
marketing new  consumer products  pose
the greatest challenge.
  The idea of gaining competitive
advantage through selling products
which appeal because they offer
environmental benefits is only now
emerging, but it could be the major
marketing breakthrough of the 1990s.
Products free of toxic chemicals and
products that generate little household
waste could have the same kind of
appeal to consumers as foods that help
prevent disease and products which
have higher quality. Conversely, more
conventional products which contain
hazardous substances and generate lots
of garbage could be increasingly seen as
being as dangerous as cigarettes and as
unattractive as defective and short-lived
products. U.S. manufacturers need  to
see international market opportunities
for what are being called safe
substitutes, toxic-free products, and
"green" products.
  But large-scale product change will
require major R&D programs by
manufacturers of consumer products,
and eventually  these efforts will affect
                                                                                                         EPA JOURNAL


producers of primary chemicals and
materials which are used by those
manufacturers. For example, Polaroid
Corporation spent years developing a
battery for its film packs which does  not
contain toxic metals. In addition to
helping reduce Polaroid's own
hazardous waste, this is a real
environmental benefit for municipal
  Other industries have also developed
new industrial processes. Union Carbide
found a way to use carbon dioxide to
replace between 30 and 70 percent of
current organic solvents for spraying
paints, particularly in large industrial
operations; it took four years of research
and millions of dollars for Union
Carbide to develop the innovative
  Clearly, many small, medium, and
large companies will face problems in
committing  resources to R&D. Some
industries already have problems  with
low levels of R&D, and others aim R&D
at other objectives that have little  to do
with concerns about  waste or pollution
generation. Government could play a
major role ;it this stage by funding R&D
programs that could benefit large
segments of industry, by providing
assistance through tax breaks for
company R&D. and by  working with
industries to establish R&D priorities  to
benefit all companies within them.
                                                                        s photo
  And of course government has
sometimes applied the greatest pressure
of all by banning chemicals or products.
This is a potent tool  to spur research
and one which may be used with more
frequency. The rapid apparent success
in finding substitutes for CFCs is
impressive. To spur development of
new consumer products, the
government could help develop special
labeling to identify environmentally
beneficial products for consumers. This
is happening already in Canada and

Charting the Future

Maximizing pollution prevention  is
comparable to a national commitment to
landing on the moon or limiting the
spread of AIDS and finding a cure for it.
Serious commitments of human and
financial resources over the long term,
accurate measurement of progress, and
development of government  policies
and programs to  assist and guide
private-sector activities are necessary.
  And as with other  major national
efforts, pollution  prevention requires
understanding and willingness to
change on the part of many individuals.
For example, engineering education
could change so that every engineering
effort automatically includes pollution
prevention as a criterion for success.
  Pollution prevention does  not
threaten our quality of life or standard
of living, but it does  ultimately require
                                                                                       .   ;-i now electrical circuit board
                                                                                     :) system that recovers virtually all
                                                                                 copper from rinse water and process
                                                                                 solutions,  General  Dynamics' Pomona
                                                                                 Division no longer sends sludge to landfills.
                                                                                 Instead, the byproduct, shown here, is a
                                                                                 30-pound slab of copper to be sold as
changes in the style of American
industry and consumerism. Nations
such as Japan and Switzerland, which
generate much less waste than the
United States, demonstrate that a high
standard of living is possible without
producing so much waste. For years, the
American public has expressed
idealistic  positions in polls, such as a
willingness to pay more for more
effective environmental protection.
Clean and low-waste manufacturing
technologies and products require
consumer actions in the marketplace.
  Similarly, American corporate leaders
have said that they have a commitment
to environmental quality. The degree to
which they embrace and implement
pollution  prevention and give
consumers real alternatives will test that
  This is just the beginning of a social
experiment in pollution prevention.
Public policy and government programs
on pollution prevention have barely
begun. If the technological personality
of American industry  changes for the
better and American consumers
translate their beliefs into actions, then
the per-capita generation of hazardous
and municipal waste in the United
States will decrease demonstrably. and
the waste that is generated will be easier
to manage.
  This is definitely a case where the
United States should give up its
number-one position—as the  planet's
leading generator of waste. We will have
collected more than enough data to
know in five years whether we are
making progress and certainly to know
in 20  years whether we—industry,
government, and consumers—have
made a serious commitment to pollution
prevention. Success will depend more;
.on genuine leadership than on
technology. Leadership is needed now,
especially to overcome inevitable
anxiety and resistance to change as
people correctly  sense that there will be
winners and losers as  industrial
processes and  products change to
prevent pollution.
  Finally, if U.S. industry does not
respond quickly, then foreign industries
may begin selling clean technologies.
and products here, adding another
dimension to the competitive threat.  Q


Thinking  About  Our
Environmental  Future
by Anne and Paul  Ehrlich
It seems fortuitous that the
far-reaching changes taking
place now in  the international
arena coincide with the 20th
anniversary of Earth Day ....
(Anne H. EhrJich is a senior research
assistant, and Paul R. Ehrlich is Bing
Professor of Population Biology in the
Department of Biological Sciences at
Stanford University. Their latest book is
The Population Explosion (Simon &
Schuster, New York, 1990).)
   The 20th anniversary of Earth Day
   finds us facing a daunting array of
environmental problems of global
dimensions—problems linked more
clearly than ever to unchecked human
growth. The problems of 1990 are not
only larger in scope and  scale than
those we confronted in 1970, but much
more complex and entangled with our
way of life. Moreover, the time and
resources available to deal with them
are much scarcer.
  The responsibility of people in rich
nations to help developing nations
grapple with these problems is
inescapable. Why? The answer is partly
because  we have the lion's share of
resources and partly because much of
the trouble can be laid at our doorstep.
  This is not to say that  people  in rich
countries have purposely brought on
planetary degradation. Rather, we have
failed to perceive the consequences of
our actions and ignored warnings by
those who did.  But our purpose here is
not to assign blame, but rather to shed
light on  causes and reveal ways to
reduce or prevent impacts.
  The environmental damage a society
causes can be summed up in a simple
equation: Impact (1) equals the number
of people (P) times per-capita
affluence, or consumption of
resources (A), times the technology (T)
used to create each unit of affluence. In
short, I  = PAT. This is an
oversimplification, of course.
Nevertheless, it is a useful
  A rough measure of the
environmental impact of each
individual (A x T) in a society is
average per-capita commercial energy
use. Energy is closely connected to
numerous environmental problems,
from air  and water pollution to acid
precipitation and global warming.
  While  the affluence or consumption
(A) factor is a major component of
environmental impacts associated with
energy, the technology (T) factor is also
important. All energy technologies have
 environmental impacts, but these
 impacts differ widely in kind and
 degree. Just consider, for instance, the
 differing environmental  risks of mining,
 transporting, and using coal, oil and
 natural gas, as compared with those
 associated with hydroelectric facilities,
 passive or active solar technologies, or
 nuclear power.
  People in industrial nations comprise
 about 20 percent of the global
 population but account for about 80
 percent of the world's commercial
 energy use today. By this measure, the
 average American has some 33 times the
 impact on the environment as the
 average Indian and  more than 200 times
 that of a Tanzanian.
  Moreover, the environmental
 consequences of rich nations' activities
 are global  in scope.  We obtain resources
 from around the world and emit huge
 amounts of industrial pollutants to the
 atmosphere and oceans.  Human
 activities in poor countries usually
 cause only local environmental
 degradation—horrendous though that
 may be for the people affected. In short,
 developed nations tend to create global
 environmental problems, whereas the
 burgeoning populations in poor
 countries mostly impoverish their own
 resource bases and themselves.
  Sometimes a technical (T) factor is the
 principal source of  a problem, as in the
 depletion  of the stratospheric ozone
 layer and significant contributions to
 global warming caused by the
 production and release of
 chlorofluorocarbons (CFCsJ. In such
 cases, focusing on that technological
 factor may be the most effective
'strategy. Indeed, the decision made by
 the United States to stop using CFCs in
 aerosol cans in 1977 may have delayed
 global warming effects by as much as 20
 years, according to atmospheric
  Opportunities to solve environmental
 problems through straightforward
 technological changes are rare, however.
 Much more common and difficult to
 resolve are dilemmas arising from all
                                                                                                  EPA JOURNAL


three factors acting in roughly equal
measure, such as the contribution of
carbon dioxide (COv) emissions to
greenhouse warming.  Because
developed  nations are responsible for
tour-fifths of the CO.) injected into tin;
atmosphere by fossil-fuel burning, the
role of population in generating the
problem has been largely overlooked.
The vast potential for worsening the
situation by industrial development in
poor countries has also  received
insufficient attention.
  To illustrate the impact of  population
(P)  on total COv emissions, consider the
results if China were to use its abundant
coal reserves to double  energy use per
person.  Their per-capita energy use
would thus increase from the equivalent
of 7 percent of U.S. energy use to 14
percent of the U.S. level. For the
purpose of this illustration, let's assume
                        Ken Andrdsko photo

no further growth of the Chinese
population (now approaching 1.2
billion)—an unrealistic: assumption. The
resultant increase in COL> emissions
would completely offset an emissions
reduction that the United States could
achieve by ceasing to burn  coal—which
now supplies nearly a quarter of our
energy—without increasing the use of
other carbon-based fuels.
  Or consider the case ot India. The
current Indian population of 940
million is still growing fast, and
demographic projections indicate that it
could reach two billion  before growth
can be stopped—even if India's
now-languishing family planning
program is revitalized. India also
possesses rich coal deposits. India's
per-capita commercial energy use today
is less than half of China's. But if it
were doubled per person, using coal, as
the population  increases to two billion,
                                                                                  Can the planet endure the impact of the
                                                                                  human race? Pictured is the peak known as
                                                                                  Annapurna South in the Himalayas, one of
                                                                                  the few relatively untouched areas of the
 India also would produce as much
 additional CO2 as the United States
 could save by giving up coal.
  These examples suggest the power of
 very large and fast-growing  populations
 to amplify the effects of quite moderate
 increases in development. Even if rich
 countries do not  reduce their fossil-fuel
 use, the expansion of both population
 and energy consumption in  developing
 nations guarantees that their
 proportional share of atmospheric CQ>
 emissions will rise substantially in the
 next few decades. (This does not
 include the  25 to 35 percent of global
 CO2 releases estimated to  result from
 tropical deforestation.)
  Dozens of other greenhouse gases are
 being released to the atmosphere
 besides CO2 and  CFCs. Within a few
 decades, methane may overtake CO2 as
 the leading component  of global
 warming. It  is 20 to 30 times as effective
 in heat  absorption as CO;., and its
 atmospheric concentration is rising
 much faster. Methane comes from
 diverse sources, but several  are closely
 tied to population size—notably
 emissions from rice paddies, flatulence
 of cattle, deforested soils, and garbage
 dumps. Again, technological
 adjustments may ameliorate some
 aspects of the methane problem, but
 affluence and population must also be
 factored into any long-term solution.
  It is now widely recognized that
 population growth has played,  and
 continues to play, a large role  in the
 deepening human predicament. The
 economies of more and  more poor
 nations are faltering. Food production
 has failed to keep pace with population
 growth in many  regions. Agricultural
 land is deteriorating around  tin; world.
 All these are persuasive clues. Each year
 it becomes more evident that continuing
with business as usual means pursuing
an increasingly unsustainable course.
  Humanity in the last century or so has
moved from depending  predominantly
on "income" (energy from the  sun,

                                        When the time is ripe, social
                                        changes can occur with
                                        breathtaking speed.
which warms the planet, drives climate
and weather, and is the source of all
food energy) to increasing dependence
on "capital." The capital we are
consuming today includes our Earthly
inheritance of  minerals (metals and
fossil fuels). More critically, it also
includes our ground-water supplies,
agricultural soils, and the vastly diverse
lifeforms that share this planet with us
and are part of Earth's life-support
  Human beings now occupy  or use
over two-thirds of Earth's land surface.
As recent analysis has shown, human
beings  consume or somehow divert
about 40 percent of net biotic
productivity on land (the solar energy
captured by green plants through
photosynthesis and not used for their
own life processes). This huge fraction
includes a sizable and growing portion
of potential production that is being lost
as more productive systems (such as
forests) are converted to less productive
systems (such  as farms and pastures),
degraded through overcultivation or
desertification, or simply destroyed by
being paved over.
  If capital accumulated over  hundreds
of millions of years must be depleted  to
sustain  5.3 billion people today, what
are the prospects for supporting the 10
billion or more projected by
demographers  for the next  century?
How much more of Earth's biotic
productivity can humanity co-opt
without severely damaging the capacity
of natural  ecosystems to support us?
  The trends just mentioned are grave
enough, but the consequences of
greenhouse warming will surely
intensify them. If global warming causes
flooding of coastal  areas, disruption of
once-dependable agricultural weather,
and accelerated degradation of natural
ecosystems, to what extent will Earth's
carrying capacity for human life be still
further diminished? What, if anything,
can we  do about all this?
  The short answer is, human beings
caused the problems, and human beings
can solve them if they apply their
collective  wisdom to doing so. But  it is
essential to understand all interacting
factors and to deal honestly with them.
  While the global warming calculations
cited above throw a spotlight on the role
of population in the current human
dilemma, they also glaringly display the
disproportionate consumption and
waste of resources in rich nations. Also
revealed is the scale of change that will
be required to avoid the worst
consequences of global warming and
still permit modest economic
development for the poor majority of
  Compared to what will be  needed  in
the decades ahead, past efforts to reduce
environmental impacts in developed
nations, including the United States,
have amounted to tinkering around the
edges. This holds  true despite seemingly
endless  arguments over economic
disruptions and costs of pollution
  In the 1970s, the environmental
movement and the "energy crisis"  led
many Americans to re-examine our
wasteful, resource-intensive way of life.
In particular, alternatives to the
prevailing urban/suburban lifestyle
based on automobile commuting were
seriously considered. But the "crisis"
faded—partly because successful energy
conservation programs reduced global
demand, creating a temporary oil
"glut"—and Americans resumed their
old, bad habits. Between 1975 and 1985,
the U.S. population increased about 9
percent, while the number of cars and
trucks increased by 30 percent.
  If anything, automobile commuting is
more entrenched than ever today,
despite some attempts to improve
public transportation. Indeed, the
vulnerability and inefficiency of auto
commuting were spotlighted by the
earthquake in California  last  October,
but few  noticed. While modestly
increasing automobile fuel efficiency
and curbing some emissions  after 1974,
Americans acquired tens of millions
more cars and  are driving billions  more
miles a year.
  Small wonder air pollution is worse
than ever. The population factor was
ignored; consumption  was addressed
briefly, then forgotten; and most effort
went into regulation through
technology, sometimes making
consumption worse by reducing energy
efficiency. Until we tackle the difficult
population and consumption questions
in a serious way, we will make no real
headway in solving the global problems
now looming over us. And because the
dilemma is global, solutions must be
globally agreed upon and implemented.
  Until very recently, such a course
appeared politically impossible. But
when the time is ripe, social changes
can occur with breathtaking speed.  The
latest demonstration of this potential is
the dramatic lowering of political
tensions between East and West in  the
past year.
  For two generations, the East-West
confrontation has overshadowed and
soured virtually all other international
relations, including those between the
rich nations of the Northern Hemisphere
and the poor ones of the Southern
Hemisphere. The recent transformation
should bring profound changes in the
economies of the two superpowers  and
their allies. If nothing else, it is likely to
render their huge military
establishments largely unnecessary  and
obsolete and free resources to address
more compelling aspects of global
  The political transformation of the
Eastern Bloc nonetheless  may hold  rich
irony, as 400 million Soviets and East
Europeans rush to adopt the West's
profligate consumerist lifestyle. While
we wish them success in  seeking
political and economic freedom, as
environmentalists we view with some
concern the possibility that their
economies will come to mirror ours. We
hope they will embrace, along with free
enterprise, a conservation ethic.
  It seems fortuitous that the
far-reaching changes taking place now
in the international arena coincide  with
the 20th anniversary of Earth Day and a
renewed commitment in the West to
environmental goals. The economic and
political shifts that will be demanded by
the new relationships offer an
unprecedented opportunity to make the
sorts of changes in economic structure
that are needed if civilization is to
survive the challenges ahead. The way
is open. Every day, the world is
becoming more closely knit
economically. We need only recognize
that we are united in our problems  as
well. If 5 billion people tackle (hem,
how can we fail? D
                                                                  EPA JOURNAL

Cleaning  Up the  Auto
A  Rough  Ride
by Jerald F. terHorst

     When President Bush sent his Clean
     Air bill to Congress early last year.
one of the surprises came from the
oft-maligned automobile industry.
  "The automobile industry will do its
share to help clean up the nation's air."
said a joint statement by Detroit's Big
  "Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors
support, and are willing to meet, the
objectives of President Bush's clean air
program. We support  tighter tailpipe
standards for cars  and trucks, tighter
controls on the evaporation of fuel
when cars are  parked or running, and a
clean fuels program."
  The industry's critics first were
surprised by the statement, then  turned
suspicious and skeptical. What was
Detroit up to? No less than this:
America's automakers were openly
acknowledging that clean air is
something everyone needs to care about;
not just parents concerned about the
world their children will inherit, or
biologists working to save forests in
Brazil or New England, but also
engineers designing motor vehicles. Isn't
this what Earth  Day 1990 is all about?
  The skeptics and the cynics were
caught off guard: You mean the Big
Three auto companies and the hundreds
of thousands of their U.S. employees are
allies in the battle to clean up the
environment? Naw, you can't be serious.
(Hey, if they're not the enemy, who is?)
  That's been the history of the clean
air battle involving autos: lots of
rhetoric but precious little reasoning.
Or, as has been  said, improving air
quality has been more a political
struggle for supremacy than a calm
judgment based  on scientific or
technological evidence.
                                       This Ford Taurus has been modified to run
                                       on methanol, ethanol, gasoline, or any
                                       combination of these fuels. Flexible-fuel
                                       cars may be a near-term means of
                                       alleviating the nation's air-quality problems.
                                       Shown is Roberta J. Nichols, who heads
                                       the company's Flexible Fuel Vehicle team.
(terHorst is the Director of Notional
Public Affairs (or flu; Ford Motor

   It's a fact that motor vehicles
 contribute to smog. With 150 million
 cars and trucks on American roads.
 being driven almost 2 trillion miles
 annually, it's no wonder motor vehicles
 account for about 44 percent of the
 primary ingredient in smog—
 hydrocarbons. That's the bad news.
   The good news is that clean-air
 equipment is standard on all cars sold
 today in the United States. Indeed, the
 That's been the history of the
 clean air battle involving
 autos: lots of rhetoric but
 precious little reasoning.
 auto industry has done more than any
 other to clean up America's air.
 Statistics from EPA prove it: Compared
 with cars built in the early 1970s or
 before, today's new cars eliminate 9(i
 percent of the hydrocarbons. (Mi percent
 of the carbon monoxide, and 76 percent
 of the nitrogen oxides that come out of
 the tailpipe. Can any  other segment ol
 the industry—or any government
 agency—claim a better record':'
  Because emissions control systems  on
 vehicles already are so effective, not
 much more can be accomplished by
 further tightening tailpipe controls,
 although even hero the American
 automakers are  willing  to  try. It won'l
 be easy, technologically, to wring out
 the last few percentage points. And it
 won't be inexpensive for American car
 buyers either.
  Senator David Duronburger. a member
 of the Senate Environmental Protection
 subcommittee, put it this way during  a
 November 1989 session on even-tighter
 tailpipe standards proposed  for the turn
 of the century: "There is no one who
 testified before the; Committee who can
 tell us how these standards will be
achieved. The Office of Technology
Assessment says they are not
technically feasible. The California Air
Resources Board can't tell  us how it will
be done. The EPA can't identity any
technology that  reaches these levels."
  Even if such superstringent vehicle
controls were achievable, Durenberger
went on to say,  "It is doubtful that they


would be the most cost-effective way to
clean up air." Also, he said, it was
obvious that state  and local
governments are not doing enough
under existing enforcement provisions
of the federal Clean Air Act to ensure
that stationary sources of air pollution
are doing what's required to clean up
their  operations.
  "The; auto industry has achieved more
to realize the goals of the Clean Air Act
than almost any other sector of the
American economy.  I think the auto
industry can do more. And I think they
can do more than  they think they can."
Durenberger declared.
  "But 1  won't vote for those; standards
to make life easier for state and local
governments. For the Congress to now
insist that the auto industry make; up  for
the; failures of governments of all kinds
at all  levels  over the past 20 years just
doesn't seem right to me."
  What more can be done? We at Ford
have identified  some useful targets.
  For example, air quality could be
improved by 25  percent by reducing the
evaporative  emissions from millions of
vehicles, new and  old. Evaporation  of
hydrocarbons is a  primary cause of
  Only recently  has anyone in
government  or in environmental circles
begun to pay serious attention to the
fact that  fuel evaporation from vehicles
stalled in heavy  traffic e>r parked on the
streets and in shopping  mall lots
represents a heavy contribution to urban
smog in Los Angeles and other
metropolitan areas.
  How to curb evaporative pollutants to
achieve this potentially huge; gain  in air
quality? Several  methods are available.
  One obvious way is to improve
America's road network so that cars and
trucks don't have to sit in daily
gridlock. Environmentalists should rally
behind public and auto industry efforts
to eliminate clogged roads, because the
payoff not only would help expedite
traffic but would also improve air
quality by a quantum  leap.
  Another avenue  for reducing harmful
evaporative  emissions is  to reduce the
volatility of fuels that exude from
parked and grid locked vehicles. The
petroleum industry could help
significantly by finding ways to lessen
fuel volatility. American and foreign
auto manufacturers are working on ways
to reduce evaporative  emissions, and
the research is promising.
  But let's face it. The greatest
automotive progress in cleaning up the
air will not come from exotie: new
technology or tougher federal legislation
but from the marketplace. It will be
achieved as  new cars and trucks with
today's sophisticated emissions-control
systems replace older cars currently in
  Just from normal vehicle; turnover in
the next  10 years, average vehicle
tailpipe emissions  will decrease by
 General Motors' Impact is a futuristic, electrically powered car. It is not yet in
 production, but may be within the next five years. Pictured is Roger B.  Smith,
 chairman of the corporation.
about 38 percent, even assuming a
normal 2-percent annual growth in total
vehicle miles traveled.
  There would be even greater
improvement in air quality if older cars
were replaced more quickly. The reason:
Older cars, built to less stringent
standards, account for 54 pi;rce;nt of all
the cars on the road—but emit inon;
than 80 percent of America's
smog-producing exhaust! Clearly.
upgrading America's vehicle fleet by
eliminating older cars and trucks would
result in  tremendous improvement in
the air we breathe. Yet the; rate; of
vehicle turnover may in fact be slowed
if a punitive mandate by Congress  forces
tomorrow's car prices even higher  than
the price tags of today's already
air-friendly vehicles.
  Despite the gains made in reducing
automotive pollution  in recent years.
there still are some large urban areas of
the country that can't meet national air
quality standards every day of the  year.
That's why the industry has supported
the objectives of President Bush's
clean-air plan.  It not only calls for
tighter emissions standards for vehicles
but also for sales of vehicles that can
operate on less-polluting, alternative;
fuels in sprawling metropolitan are;as
with major smog problems such as Los
Angeles. Chicago, Baltimore. New  York
City, San Diego, and Philadelphia.
   Why alternative fuels? Precisely
because the auto  industry has  maele so
much progress  on reducing tailpipe
pollutants that  ever-tighter standards
will result in scant improvement in air
  What comes  out of the tailpipe is
directly relateel to what goes into the;
fuel tank. In other words, the type;  of
fuel can make; a difference in reducing
  "Ford engineers see; this |Bush| plan
as an innovative and challenging move."
according to Helen O. Petrauskas, Ford
vice president for environmental and
safety engineering. In a recent article in
the Environmental Forum, she said:

   For the first  time; we would be;
   looking at the vehicle and  its fuel
   as an integrated system. This is  a
   concept that expands engineering
   horizons and olh;rs ne;w potential
   for improving air e|iiality. While
   there are; many questions to IK;
   answered, such as  what in(:i;ntive;.s
   are require:el to induce; customers
   tei buy cars that use new fuels, the
   concept provieles a real
   opportunity  for progress toward
                                                                                                             EPA JOURNAL

   these ambitious environmental
   goals through cooperative
   industry/government research and

  Methanol, ethanol, natural gas,
electricity—possibly other alternative
fuels like reformulated gasoline—are
prospects because emissions from these
fuels are less likely to form smog.
  Ford's research in this area has
accelerated in the last 10 years. We have
placed about 700 Ford demonstration
vehicles  in service since 1981, and they
have provided valuable knowledge in
resolving some of the  technical and
functional problems with alcohol and
gaseous fuels as well as with electric
cars. Each has advantages and
disadvantages when compared with
present-day gasoline. But achieving
widespread public acceptance  remains a
conundrum until problems of limited
driving range, fuel availability, and
vehicle convenience can be solved.
  Ford can commit to producing
vehicles capable of  operating on
alternative  fuels. Ford engineers have
developed a "flexible-fuel vehicle" that
is capable of using ethanol, methanol,
gasoline, or any combination of these
fuels with one common fuel tank. The
driver isn't  required to make any engine
adjustments—the process is
automatic—no matter  which fuel or mix
of fuels is in the tank. These vehicles
have demonstrated excellent road
performance in the  last three years.
  In those urban areas where clean fuels
would  help reduce the smog problem,
such as in Los Angeles, a driver could
use one of these alternative fuels, but
use gasoline on a cross-country trip.
Flexible-fuel vehicles  are one possible
solution to  the  problem of assuring an
orderly transition while a new fuel
delivery system is developing. It would
be up to government,  however, to create
an environment that encourages the
public  to purchase and use such
vehicles and fuels.
  Electric vehicles are another prospect
for improving air quality. Ford has been
involved since  1982 in a $20-million
research  program with General Electric,
several battery manufacturers,  and the
U.S. Department of Energy. Similar
efforts  have been launched by  the
Electric Power Research Institute in
conjunction with Chrysler and General
  What makes electric vehicles
attractive, environmentally, is that there
are no  noxious motor  emissions to foul
the air. However, one  has to take into
account that electric cars must recharge
their batteries by plugging into electric
sockets. And smokestack emissions from
electricity-generating plants fueled by
coal, oil, and gas already have been
targeted as major sources of air
pollution, particularly acid rain.
  Electric vehicles, advocates agree, will
have only a modest impact for the
foreseeable future (perhaps 100,000
vehicles in a 15 million annual vehicle
market) and would mainly be used  as
delivery trucks and service vans
required to travel only short distances
each day. The batteries require six to
eight hours recharging time during
every 24-hour period, assuming 8 to 10
hours of daily vehicle operation. At
present, the driving range of Ford's
experimental electric Aerostar is 100
miles; the maximum speed is 65 miles
per hour.
  In all electric vehicle prototypes,
major vehicle redesign is required to
accommodate batteries and to power
such things as power steering, brakes,
and  air conditioning. And the price of
an electric vehicle, mainly due to
battery cost, will be well above
comparable vehicles using internal
combustion engines and conventional
  What the United States, indeed the
world, must face is that correcting any
single environmental concern, such as
urban smog, hazardous waste disposal,
or global warming, often creates a
backlash that has a negative impact on
other environmental concerns. This is
not theory, but a conclusion based on
the auto industry's experience of some
20 years during which  well-intentioned
environmental goals sometimes turned
into inflexible mandates that proved
costly and ineffective.
  For example, the federal requirements
to rush newly developed
emissions-control systems into
production in the late 70s resulted in
serious degradation of vehicle
performance and  driveability. That,  in
turn, prompted customers either to
disconnect their catalytic converters or
to delay purchase of improved but more
expensive new vehicles. Either way, air
quality suffered.
  Improvements in fuel economy can
also  affect safety and consumer
preferences.  Federal statistics show that
large cars are safer than small ones in
accidents. This is a simple matter of
kinetic physics: Large cars are heavier
and longer, so they offer more occupant
protection against fatal or serious injury.
Americans like safe cars, even if this
means greater fuel consumption. Yet
today's largest cars have better fuel
mileage than the smallest cars 10 years
ago. This is true across the auto
  Additionally, millions of people
purchase large vehicles  to accommodate
their families  or to meet particular
business needs. An obvious question:
Which is better for air quality—one
large car capable of doing what a
customer needs or two small cars? For
environmental and  safety reasons, one
large car is preferred.
  Let's consider both national and
personal costs. Currently, clean-air,
fuel-economy, and safety legislation
under consideration in Congress would
add as much as $1,200 to the price of a
car or truck. And if some of the
environmentally driven provisions
affecting the auto industry become law,
the result could  signal the demise of
family-size cars, farm-to-market trucks,
and commercial vehicles across
  Thousands of workers would face
unemployment, surely a matter of social
concern for state and federal welfare
agencies, plus heavy tax losses for the
U.S. Treasury, states, and cities—not to
mention  the degradation of America's
vital transportation  system.
  Such prospects should be of
tremendous concern to policymakers,
lawmakers, and labor and business
leaders worried about the nation's
economic future. For one thing, there is
no substitute national plan to offset this
problem  by providing adequate mass
public transit  systems or expanded
railroad service to keep  America
working, moving, and competing in a
very tough global market.
  Many critical choices  confront the
U.S. government, industries, and
workers in this laudable national
campaign to improve the quality of the
air we breathe. Much can be done and
should be done. Ford Motor Company
concedes that  autos are part of the
problem  and it wants to be part of the
solution: "At Ford, Quality Air is also
Job One." The rest of the auto industry
shares this objective.
  The 20th anniversary of Earth Day,
therefore, is a  good time to note that
tremendous  air quality improvement
already has been achieved by the auto
industry, and the industry is willing to
try to do  more. But it is  also time to
note that there are complex, global
interrelationships among differing
environmental goals  that require careful
balancing and judicious tradeoffs by
lawmakers, federal regulators,
environmental crusaders, industry, and
the  public. D

The  Greens  of Europe:
A  New  Environ mental ism
by Konrad von Moitke
  In all Western countries, the growing
  environmental movement has been an
 important political development over
 the past 20 years. Numerous
 environmental organizations have been
 created. Indeed, not just Western
 nations but virtually all countries now
 have indigenous environmental
 organizations that are helping to shape
 the perspective of governments on
 environmental issues.
   While environmental organizations
 have become nearly universal, it is
 nevertheless important tu recognize the
 differences among these organizations in
 different countries. Indeed, the structure
 of the environmental movement in the
 United States, France, or West Germany.
 for example, often more closely reflects
 the specific political system within
 which these organizations operate  than
 the common agenda that unites them.
   As environmental organizations have
 developed, they have faced the question
 whether to work with existing political
 parties or to create their own. While
 American organizations generally work
 through existing structures, in West
 Germany a new political party, the
 Greens, has emerged which is closely
 identified with the environmental
 agenda. As distinguished from
 environmental organizations, the need
 for a "Green" party is not evident in
 every country. Nevertheless, the West
 German Greens have been emulated in
 many countries, so that it is possible to
 speak of a "Green phenomenon."
   Yet the  rise of the Greens in West
 Germany is first and foremost a
 reflection  of the West German political
 system. In assessing the Green
 phenomenon, it  is important to keep the
 specific West German components
 versus the more universal issues in
 perspective. In Germany, political
 parties have programmatic identities:
 They are "Christian," "Social
 Democratic," or "Liberal." Traditionally,

 (Von Moitke is d senior/eJ/oiv (it The
 Gmisi'ivntion Foundation and (ui/unct
 professor of environmental studies nt
parties have also been associated with
colors: Conservatives are black;
socialists are red. But in the past few
years, the West German political scene
has been rocked by a political  party
which turned tradition around: it called
itself Green before it had any clearly
defined political  identity.
  Green has long been associated with
environmental, and the new party
sought identification with
environmentalism. By taking a color for
its name rather than a more traditional
programmatic label, such as
"progressive ecologists," it  acquired a
                        'jig !S

                      Greens.   m
West German parties considered the
environment no more than an irritant in
the quest for continued economic
growth. The West German government.
for example, led the resistance against
international measures to reduce acid
rain in Europe.
  The West German environmental
movement was severely fragmented
throughout the 70s; government policy
tended to foster that fragmentation in
the misguided belief that a divided
movement would protect the authorities
from public pressure. The structure of
the West German political system
                             APlWide World photo
more traditional political advantage:
The founders could avoid difficult
choices between an "ecological" wing
which rejected traditional ideologies
and a "socialist" wing which came  to
environmentalism via traditional
left-wing politics. Avoiding that choice
was important because the Greens began
life as a  marriage of convenience
between groups that had been neglected
by West  German politics of the 1960s
and early 1970s.
  During the 70s, being an
environmentalist  in West Germany
meant being on the periphery of the
political system. Official policy reflected
a belief in technology and the
assumption that the environment could
be adequately protected without
fundamental changes in social or
economic practices. The traditional
reinforced this idea. While it is superb
in representing major social and
economic interests, it is also remarkably
ineffective in articulating the views of
small minorities. A complex system of
apportionment of seats at all levels of
government ensures that no party
receiving less than 5 percent of the vote
will be represented in any elected  body.
Votes cast for such a party are
effectively "lost," creating an additional
disincentive for voters to support
marginal groups.
  The most visible part  of the
environmental movement in  the 70s was
a loose coalition of local activist
initiatives, the Bund  Burgerinitiativen
UmweJtschutz (BBL'j. The Mill!
organized some of the most massive
public demonstrations in West German
history. Many of these demonstrations
                                                                                                     EPA JOURNAL

                                                                 AP Wide Wo'ld photo
                                                                                  West German Greens were elected to the
                                                                                  Frankfurt City Parliament in 1981. Their
                                                                                  poster translates, "Green protection against
                                                                                  disasters inside and outside Parliament."
 opposed nuclear power, and some of
 them degenerated into violent
 confrontations with the police. Most
 other environmental organisations were
 almost invisible compared to the BUU.
 and all of them were  poorly funded and
 severely understaffed. Hut the HHU was
 the practical breeding ground of the
 environmental faction of the Greens,
 even though it was a  non-partisan
   In the West Germany of the 1970s, the
 environmental movement and political
 parties on the far left  of the political
 spectrum had something in common:
 Both had little or no representation in
 the West German political system. The
 Greens began as an electoral alliance of
 these groups to overcome the minimum
 requirement of 5 percent. Their initial
 program was consequently more than
 just  an ecological manifesto;  it focused
 on the concerns of the peace movement,
 which had not succeeded in stopping
 the introduction of cruise missiles on
 the continent, and other interests of
 these marginal groups. So the Greens'
 first success  in the West German
 political  system was getting elected at
   Over the past decade, the; West
 German Greens have struggled with
 their divisive  legacy. For several years a
 dehate raged between "realists" and
 "fundamentalists" concerning their
 willingness  to assume  executive
 responsibility in coalition with other
 parties. This question has now been
settled in favor of participation,
involving acceptance of the inevitable
compromises this will entail. Kven
participation in the West German
national  government is no longer
inconceivable. It appears possible that a
future West German government could
he formed by a coalition of Social
Democrats and Greens.
  Thus the Greens have made important
contributions to West German politics
in promoting broad opposition to
nuclear energy and  in achieving
acceptance of the peace movement or in
identifying more sharply the; dangers of
nationalism and racism  in West German
society. They forced the traditional
parties to confront rampant abuses in
their fund-raising. Paradoxically, the
Greens have had less impact on West
German environmental policy than most
outside observers might expect.
  And while public support for
environmental protection is now
broadly based in West Germany, as in
all other  Western countries, it can
hardly be attributed to the Greens.
Instead, the foundations for this support
were laid by the environmental
movement of the 70s—the same
movement the Greens have drawn upon
for support.
  In the 80s. environmental policy
became a major item for both
conservative and left-wing parties in
most countries—later in the United
States than elsewhere. In West
Germany, this shift occurred in 1982
following recognition of serious forest
damage widely attributed to acid  rain.
Forest owners and forest managers,
traditionally a very conservative part of
the electorate, may ultimately have had
more to do with the change in
government policy than the Greens.
  The Greens are an outgrowth of
unique West German political
conditions. They have, however, been
emulated in other countries, taking on
new forms all across Europe as the
advantage of the non-ideological color
label—Green—continues to allow a
wide range of interpretations, depending
on local conditions. Thus the Green
phenomenon in Europe is a
heterogeneous mix of fledgling political
parties whose future is tied closely to
their ability  to articulate  issues which
go far beyond the environmental
  The small West European countries of
Denmark. Sweden, and the Netherlands
are widely known for their strong
commitment to environmental
protection. All  three have Green parties,
but they  have fared differently. Perhaps
most striking is the weakness of the
Greens in the Netherlands, the country
with arguably the most environmentally
aware electorate in Europe. Even in the
most recent  elections, which were
fought in  large  measure on
environmental  issues, the Dutch Greens
emerged  with only 4.1 percent of the
  Hut this does not mean environmental
issues are not represented, The Dutch
political system is based  on  pure
proportional representation; any group
which attracts 1 percent of the vote will
also receive  1 percent of the available
seats. As a result, traditional Dutch
political parties are highly sensitive to
minority  interests and much more open
to the issues which provided a focus for
the  Greens in West Germany:
disarmament, minority rights, and
environmental protection.
  Similarly in Denmark, a country
where aggregate membership of

environmental organizations exceeds the
total population (due to overlapping
memberships), the local incarnation of
the Greens has not had a major impact
because the political system is sensitive
to minority interests.
  In neighboring Sweden, however, the
Greens emerged from recent elections as
a major political force despite the
government's vigorous and
long-standing commitment to
environmental protection. The reasons
presumably lie not in environmental
policy but in voters' desire to protest
against a consensus-oriented,
policy-making process in which
traditional parties did not appear to
offer realistic alternatives. Sweden
illustrates the extent to  which the Green
phenomenon may be divorced from
specific environmental issues.
   Three other major European
countries—Italy, France, and the United
Kingdom—have tended  to approach
environmental  issues with more reserve
than the smaller countries. In these
three countries,  Greens  have been
having an impact on the political scene,
but in ways that differ widely from one
country to another.
   In Italy and France, the Greens have
been remarkably successful in local and
regional elections but have not yet
penetrated at the national level. In Italy,
this is presumably a matter of time,
provided the relationship with the
Radical Party—a traditional forum for
protest voters and a long-standing
champion of Green issues such as
disarmament, women's  rights, and
pro-choice positions on abortion—can
be worked out. In France, the electoral
system creates serious impediments to
small-party representation  without prior
electoral alliances with  the large parties.
Such alliances  risk limiting the ability
of the Greens to attract protest voters.
Thus, the French Greens were more
successful in the European Parliament
elections, which use a different form of
seat apportionment than the national
   No electoral system is harder on
minorities than  the one shared by the
United Kingdom and the United States,
in which elections  are based on
electoral districts in each of which a
plurality elects an individual
representative.  Yet  the outcomes in the
two countries are quite  different.  U.S.
Congressional representatives find it
necessary to cultivate their electoral
districts and to respond to minority
interests at that level; such an
imperative exists to a much lesser
extent in the United Kingdom, where
party-line voting in Parliament is an
accepted fact of political life.
  While Greens exist in both the United
Kingdom and the United States, there is
little sign that they will be able to elect
representatives in significant numbers.
They are ultimately victims of the
political system within which they
work. In the recent European Parliament
elections, the British Greens obtained 15
percent of the vote nationwide but
failed to elect a single member because
they could not muster a majority in any
one electoral district.
  Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of
the Green phenomenon is the role
environmental interests have played in
the current transformation  of Eastern
Europe. For many years, environmental
concerns were under-represented in
official government policy.
Paradoxically, this created  a vacuum in
which  informal environmental groups
could form since they did not conflict
with official structures. In many
instances, both inside the Soviet Union
and its republics and in Eastern  Europe,
these nascent environmental groups
have found themselves at the very
center  of a transforming political
system. They are one of the few
organized groups which are not
identified with the previous regime, not
only because the environment is a
severely neglected policy area but  also
because they are politically neutral.
  Environmentalists have been a
moving force in the Baltic provinces, for
example, and were organized in
Hungary at a time when citizen
participation was still officially frowned
upon. In Poland, representatives of the
ecological movement  sat at the
roundtable negotiations which led to the
transformation of that country's political
system. And in Bulgaria, small
environmental demonstrations triggered
the process of change.
  Ultimately, the Greens are a visible
incarnation of a challenge to
governments around the world. Electors
are seeking more energetic  protection of
the environment, and traditional parties
are struggling to accommodate this new
  The message  of the Greens in this
situation is quite simple: If you do not
succeed in adopting vigorous
environmental policies, your voters will
turn to new parties. In West Germany
the result may even be a change  of
government, a
 Is there room for specifically Green
 politics in the United States? At first
sight the outlook is cloudy. Unlike those
European countries where Green parties
flourish on small percentages of the
popular vote because of proportional
representation, the United States has a
simple-majority, winner-take-ali system
of elections. This tends to freeze out
third-party projects.
  Also, the need for a specifically Green
party is arguably less here than
elsewhere because of a strong American
tradition of freedom of association and
the correspondingly characteristic
American knack for forming pressure
groups. Thus,  environmental issues are
pushed by a veritable throng of local
pressure groups and by strong
environmental lobbies centered in
Washington and state capitals.
  Nevertheless, there are organized
Green political formations all over the
country.  Perhaps the best organized and
the most ambitious of these are the
Green Committees of Correspondence,
which  operate in the tradition of the
committees of correspondence that
helped build momentum for the
American Revolution. Organized in 250
local communities, in 34 regions, with
an Inter-regional Committee
headquartered in Kansas City, the
Greens are serious about building—from
the grassroots  up—a strong, locally and
regionally based national political
movement. In addition to supporting
citizen actions on a range of issues,
such as anti-incineration and
pro-recycling campaigns, save-the-forest
campaigns, and various conservation
projects, Greens have run for political
office in many localities and state
legislative districts—getting as little as 1
percent and as much as 44 percent of
the popular vote.
(Rensenbrink, a political scientist,
teaches courses in ecology and politics
and in political theory at Boivdoin
College in Brunswick, Maine, and is
active with the Green Committees of
Correspondence. He  is writing a book,
due to be published  this fall, on the
Greens and the transformation of
American politics in (lie 90s.)

                      Do  the  Greens
               Have  a  Future   Here?
                           by John Rensenbrink
 Walt Bresettc, above, is a founder of the Lake Superior Green Party
 successfully to elect an environmentally sympathetic Commissioner of P
 Wisconsin. Most U.S. Green groups focus their energies o:
 rather than elections
   Yet the question remains: What is the
 rationale for these Green groups over
 and above what they as individuals
 might be doing as members of
 already-existing organizations and
   An answer may be found along the
 following lines. If, as argued elsewhere
 in this issue of KPA journal—by
 Administrator Reilly, for example—a
 major aim of environmental action is
 prevention of pollution, and not just its
 cleanup or reduction, then there may he
 a need for a more coherent and
 multi-faceted social and  political force
 in this country than is presently
   Pollution prevention requires a
 comprehensive capacity  to think ahead
 and a steady political will. Hut  local
 pressure groups tend to locus on single
 issues: they usually react to problems
 only after-the-fact. In  many cast's, they
 are  driven by an attitude of "not in my
 back yard," tin; NIMBY syndrome.
 NIMBY  feelings are easily  stirred up,
 but they also dwindle fast.
   The big lobbies often possess a
 forward-looking capacity and may  be
 more comprehensive than  local pressure
 groups in their approach, but they are
 immersed in particular legislative
politicking, and they are unable to focus
effectively on the larger, long-term
issues. They don't have the steady
political clout for a comprehensive
program of pollution prevention because
their social and political base is weak or
non-existent. Basically, they are as
effective as the direct-mail money
raisers and wealthy donors they depend
on enable  them to be.
  As for the Republican and Democratic
parties, their politics are very short-term
oriented and have become exercises in
brilliant sloganeering and ingenious
negative campaigning via
ever-more-expensive TV advertising.
They seem therefore to lag in their
capacity to formulate and follow
through on broad-based and long-term
policies of prevention.
  Furthermore,  environmental problems
are very likely to get worse. The effects
of gradual global warming, for example,
could be a series of continuing  disasters.
Swift, sure action will  be necessary—a
kind of action that does not come easily
to large, ponderous institutions like the
federal government or  large
corporations, where relative inertia
often prevails over efforts to deal
effectively with ecological problems.
  The present extra-governmental
 response mechanism—NIMBY-minded
 local groups, centralized lobbies, and
 political parties whose anxiety for
 money to pay for costly TV propaganda
 overwhelms even their strongest and
 best intentions—seems insufficient.
 What is needed is something they can't
 supply: the goad and vision to stir
 government, business, and citizens to
 more effective action.
  There may well be, therefore, a niche
 for the kind of movement and party the
 Greens are trying to develop. A Green
 movement would point public policy in
 a problem-solving direction, as distinct
 from problem-tinkering and
 crisis-management politics. It  would be
 a catalyst for translating knowledge into
 actual policy. It is not as if Greens
 would have to displace the Republicans
 or Democrats, or the central lobbies, or
 the NIMBY-minded local groups. But
 they are needed as a creative,  catalytic
  The Greens I rub shoulders  with are
 dedicated, practical visionaries who
 have committed themselves to being a
 steady force for the prevention of
 pollution and the development of
 sustainable communities, for a
 sustainable country and world based on
 efficiency, justice, and freedom.
  They are a minority, of course.  But
 suppose their numbers were to incivasr
 by a factor of throe or four  (as  I think
 they will). Suppose they were  able to
 supply just that degree and kind of
 vision, wisdom, and will without which
 the government and society at large
 probably would not respond effectively
 to the dire threats of ecological and
 economic  disintegration. Wouldn't that
 be a boon?
  I  believe such a catalytic force is
 needful and that it has already taken
 root in our society and politics. Thus
then; is good  reason for concerned
 Americans from all quarters—
government officials, business
men and women,  labor leaders,
grassroots  organizations, big
environmental lobbies, and worried
citizens—to contribute their help and
support to an indigenous Green
movement. D

A Perspective  from
Another Country:
The  Soviet  Task
by Alexei Yablokov

    As the Soviet Union moves toward
    the year 2000, Soviet
environmentalists and ordinary citizens
are becoming more and more active.
They have no choice. The natural
resources in our rich country are being
wasted and misused to an extent that
the country now faces ecological crisis.
Problems of toxic  and radioactive
wastes, polluted air and water, and
agricultural pollution have reached
extremely serious  levels.
  The policy  of giasnost is allowing us
to learn more and more about
environmental disasters in the USSR.
but more must be  done. As members of
the Supreme Soviet, my colleagues and
I are committed to making perestroifca
permanent in the environmental sphere.
  The problems cannot be
underestimated. In nearly every area of
the environment, Soviet citizens are
facing real threats to their health and
the health of their children:
• Last year the release of  harmful
substances into the atmosphere reached
100 million tons. In 103 cities, with a
total population of about 50 million
people, at least 10 times the permissible
concentrations of  harmful substances
were emitted.

• Much  of our water is extremely
polluted and  violates sanitary and
ecological norms.  In 000 cities, normal
purification of water sources  is not
provided. At  installations of the present
Ministry of Water Works,  up  to 21
percent of the water being gathered in
reservoirs for consumer use is wasted.

• More than  5 million hectares of the
most productive land have been
removed from agricultural production

 (Yablokov is Vice-Chairman of the
 USSR Supreme Soviet Committee: on
 Environmental Protection and Rational
 Use of Natural Resources. He is also a
 Corresponding Member of the  USSR
 Academy of Sciences, Environmental
 Advisor to the Internationa] Foundation
 for the Survival and Development of
 Humanity, and President of Greenpeace

 —Translated by Edward B. Hodgman
due to water-logging and salination.
About 10 million hectares of the most
valuable farm land have been flooded as
a result of newly built reservoirs and
hydroelectric projects.

• For each unit  of production, several
times more raw materials, energy, and
water are used in the Soviet Union than
in Western nations.

• The pesticide  problem is also acute.
Dangerous levels of pesticides have
been found in 42 percent of children's
milk products, and residues can even be
detected in mother's milk.

• Declining environmental quality lias
fostered  a rise in illness. We share the
47th or 48th place in average life
expectancy and occupy 44th place in
infant mortality  in the world.

• We now have  "ecological refugees."
The Aral Basin,  the Caspian Basin, the
southern Ukraine, the Ku/.bass region.
many areas of great natural beauty, and
a series of other  regions are at the edge
of ecological  catastrophe.

  This alarming  ecological situation is
one reason for the rise in social tensions
in the country. We are also losing
immense economic potential. Many of
these environmental problems are, in
fact, the result of incompetent economic
  This is quite a catalogue of problems.
The most difficult matter to face is that,
as we begin our efforts to clean up the
environment, we cannot expect to see
real improvement in the situation in the
next year. In the immediate prospect,
we cannot expect to achieve noticeable
improvement in the quality of our water
or air.

The Supreme Soviet—An Organ of

Nonetheless, we will not  lose hope.
Both the new Supreme Soviet and the
public are devoting  new energies and
resources to solving these problems.
During the most recent Supreme Soviet
session, we worked  from morning to
night analyzing the  draft Government
plan on economic and social
development and the 1990 national
  We  held hearings  with all national
agencies dealing with environmental
protection—first of all Goskompriroda
(the State Committee for the Protection
of Nature) and Goskomhydromet (the
State Committee on  Hydrometeorology).
We heard testimony from all national
industries which pose the greatest threat
to the environment:  metallurgical,
lumber, and chemical and
gas-processing industries. We even
brought in the USSR State Planning
Commission (Caspian), the USSR
Ministry of Finances, and the State
                                                                                                    EPA JOURNAL

Lake Baikal in Siberia is one of the deepest in the world. U.S. and Russian s
Committee on Science; and Technology
to get their views on what should be
done to improve the environmental
  In order to save the health of the earth
we  must change our legislation. An
"ecologization" of thinking has already
taken  place among the majority of
Soviet people. The laws must become
"ecologized" just as quickly. After all.
the  laws reflect the interrelationship
among people, and also  between  people
and property. All these
interrelationships must now be
examined  through the ecological  prism.
The environment has become a burning
political issue, a problem of  health and
life  itself.
  Environmental activism is a healthy
reaction to the technocratic
development of civili/ation.  In essence,
environmental action has sprung from
the  worldview of all  people who  are
worried about the present
environmental situation.
  At the Congress of People's Deputies.
every  second or third Deputy spoke
about  ecological disasters. Several
candidates for ministerial posts were
rejected by the Supreme Soviet in part
because their pas} activity had been
marked by. to put it mildly,
environmental "shortsightedness."
  The Supreme Soviet must  be the
legislative guardian  of our environment.

In the first session, our committee
demanded (and our demands were
satisfied) an accounting of the potential
environmental danger of the techniques
and technology purchased and used in
the Soviet Union. It is no secret that
many foreign firms would like to use
our country as a testing ground for
ecologically harmful  production. Many
are succeeding at the present time.

Independent Environmental Groups

The growth of independent
environmental groups in the USSR is
inspiring. We are "turning green"
quickly. In our country, the mass
ecological movement is very young, but
it is growing and maturing.
  There are real  "Greens"  in Lithuania,
Latvia, Estonia, the Ukraine, and a
number of areas  of Russia, and
numerous ecological  clubs, groups,
organizations, and societies. Not long
ago, the Soviet division of the
world-renowned organizat ion
"Greenpeace" was founded. It is best
that, for now. all these different
environmental groups are working on
their own. The ecological movement
must have a whole range of colorations
and directions.
  But there must also be joint actions,
combining the efforts of all these groups
for specific, concrete actions. There are
examples of such actions in our country
and around the world. Here in tin-
USSR we have battled to stop a canal
planned to connect the Volga and the
Chograi rivers. Around the world we see
the efforts to save tropical forests and
the Indian Tiger, the efforts to stop the
slaughter of whales, seals, and other
marine mammals. All groups must join
together to stop the threat to our
seas—the widespread use of plastic nets
and the release of plastic and toxic
wastes into world oceans.

Economics and the Environment
Protecting the environment depends, in
large part, on economic  policies ami
incentives. Proper use of economic
incentives will allow us to implement
new technologies.
  A weil thought-out system of taxation
is crucial. Prohibitive taxes must be
levied on any firms that an; using
dangerous technology or releasing
harmful wastes into the  environment.
This "polluter pays"  principle  must be
introduced into the Soviet system. This
means the polluter pays for the full
extent of harm inflicted: not only a fine,
but the total sum necessary for the
restoration of full health to the
environment and the citizens affected.
  This principle has  not been applied  in
our country thus far. Conversely, firms
using environmentally safe technologies
should be given some relief from
taxation.                            51

Flowing through
the Moscow River carries discharges from many industries.
Goskompriroda—the Soviet EPA

Last year, the government ruled that
more than 500 million rubles should be
confiscated from industries that caused
environmental destruction. But this
money did not go for the restoration of
the destroyed environment; it was
simply swallowed back into the budget.
This situation must change, so that the
conservation of natural resources
becomes advantageous for  government
on the local level; these funds  must be
used for specific environmental projects.
  We will not be  able to manage
without economic mechanisms for
improving the environment. These
mechanisms must be part and  parcel of
the laws on regional economic
management, on local self-government
and self-financing, on property, and on
taxes. Goskomprirodu must search out
and support types of production that are
good for the environment.
  In developed  countries, industry is
actively moving toward waste-free
technology (in which the waste from
one type of production becomes a raw
material for another type of production).
This means increased production and
economic: benefit. For example, one-
cubic meter of lumber in Canada or
Sweden ends up producing five to six
times more products than in our
    What Is to Be Done?

    All citizens of the country must be
    involved in plans for protecting the
    environment. New environmental laws
    must be based on a nationwide
      The Supreme Soviet and
    Goskompriroda can take concrete steps.
    For example, in the future, cars must
    use only two to three liters of gasoline
    per 100 kilometers instead of today's
    eight to nine. It is time not only to
    reduce, but to stop completely the
    release of chlorofluorocarbons in order
    to stop depletion of the protective ozone
    layer. And it is time to reassess the
    necessity of the immense amount of
    energy now  being produced.
      We must endorse extraordinary
    short-term programs for quick repair of
    the environment in regions of ecological
    disaster.  This is the first step. Following
    this, we must simply stop the
    construction of huge industrial and
    energy projects that are environmentally
      Among other things, it  will be
    essential to develop a mobile ecological
    assessment capability; to  register
    ecological "passports" for existing
    industry in order to define the degree of
    danger to the environment of various
    technologies in use; and to develop
    concrete measures  for replacing
    dangerous technologies with new, less
    dangerous ones.
      Complete glasnost about and access to
    information  about the condition of the
environment and all forms of
pollution—including radiation—are very
important and will help us concentrate
on the most urgent problems in every
region. In general, the plan of action is
clear. We  must bring it to life.
Unfortunately, we still face the problem
of ignorance about severe problems on
the part of people who are making
decisions. At the first  Congress of
People's Deputies,  a group of
deputies—dozens of them—demanded
the passage of a special resolution about
the environment. It did not work out.
Finally, with  enormous effort, it was
possible to include in  the agenda of the
present  Supreme Soviet session a
discussion of the draft decree entitled
"Urgent Measures for  Improving the
Country's Environment." Even if it was
the 34th and last question on the
agenda, it was an enormous symbolic
victory all the same.
  It was a legislative victory  as well, as
the Supreme Soviet passed the decree
on the last day of its session  in
December 1989. This decree  is vitally
important: It gives  the government a
plan of  action, supports the people who
are desperately trying  to save the
environment, and shows the  rest of the
world that the Soviet Union  is serious
about improving its own ecological
record and the health  of nature around
the world, o
                                                                                                          EPA JOURNAL

                                              Back Cover: Spring, a time of
                                              hope. Photo by Bill Weems,
                                              Woodfin Camp.


   United States
   Environmental Protection
   Washington D.C. 20460