HELD ON MONDAY, JANUARY 15, 1972

               THE ROMAN ROOM OF

               THE BILTMORE HOTEL


                  REPORTED BY

             Curtis Jerry Dorrough



 1                     PROCEEDINGS AT  CONFERENCE
 2                  MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:   Based on what  I  have  read,
 3    there  Is  aparently not  much  suspense  about what  I  am  going
 4    to say this morning.  But, I am  here  in Los  Angeles because
 5    in the implementation of the Clean Air Act,  Los  Angeles is
 6    really in a unique position  among all of the cities in the
 7    country.   I also want to be  careful to explain precisely
 8    what we are doing today so there will be no  misunderstand-
 9    ing of our action because I  think it  is a complicated enough
10    matter that misunderstandings would be likely  unless  I
11    give some explanation.   So,  what I have to  say will be of
12    some length and I hope  that  you  can bear with  me.
13                  First of  all,  let  me tell you  what it is
14    that we are doing and why.   In the first instance  why; the
15    Clean  Air Act  says — it was passed in 1970  — it  says
     first  of  all that the Administrator of the Environmental
     Protection Agency is  to announce by April of 1971, which I
     did, ambient air quality standards for the nation. Those
     standards were primary  standards to protect  the  public
     health and secondary  standards to protect against  all known
     or anticipated effects  of air pollution.
22                  What we are talking about here today is for
23    the City  of Los Angeles,  an  oxidant standard.  The photo-
24    chemical  oxidant standard, as was announced  in April  of 1971,
25    was in the first instance a  primary standard to  protect the


 l   public health.  Oxidants are formed by the combination of

 2   hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides Interacting in sunlight

 3   and form what is commonly known as smog — the problem

 4   everybody knows exists here in Los Angeles.

 5                 Under the terms of the Act, the ambient air

 6   quality standards had to be complied with by 1975> by

 7   mid-1975.  Or, if the Governor -.of a state<'>requested a two

 8   year extension of time from the primary or health related

 9   standards, then we could give them until 1977.  The Governor

10   of this state has requested a two year extension of time

11   for the achievement of the photochemical oxidant standard

12   here in Los Angeles and we have given him that two year

13   extension of time.

14                 So, what we are talking about here today is

15   the achievement of this standard by 1977.-  The oxidant

16   standard that we set was at point — .08 parts per million.

17   This was to protect the public health, as I have said.  There

18   remained and remains considerable controversy over whether

19   this standard is too stringent.  We believe the standard,

20   as announced, is necessary to protect the public health.

21   we are,  and are going to continue to examine the health

22   related documents that backup that standard to insure that

23   we are on sound ground.

24                 The State  of California has set a photochemical

25   oxidant  standard at .1,  which is only slightly higher than

 1   the standard we have set, slightly less stringent and there

 2   have been several instances in the last few years in which,

 3   particularly 1971 or 1970, in which the standards that we

 4   set were exceeded by more than nine times over the standard.

 5   It was at .62 once in Riverside,California.  There have been

 6   10 per cent of the days of the year in 1970 in which the

 7   standard was exceeded by five times.  So, even if the

 8   standard were raised somewhat as the state has done, the

 9   impact here in Los Angeles would be significant of photo-

10   chemical oxidants.  Under the terms of the Act, in January

11   of 1972, the state submitted a plan.  They had nine months

12   to submit it, to achieve the ambient air quality standards,

13   all of the standards that had been announced all over the

14   state.

                   We had announced the summer before, the

16      '
     summer of 1971, that because we did not know enough about

     the relationships between transportation controls that

     were mandated under the Act, as one means of achieving the

     standards, and their relationship to the achievement of

     air quality goals, the states would not have to submit to

     us by January of 1972 transportation controls as part of

22   their implementation plan.  They would, however, have to

23   submit by February 15 of this year, of 1973, transportation

24   control-- strategy as a means of achieving the ambient air

25   quality standards if that was necessary in that particular

 1    state or air quality control region.

 2                  In May of 1972 we disapproved the California

 3    Plan to the extent that it did not achieve the photochemical

 4    oxidant standards.  This was necessary because the

 5    strategy adopted by the State of California itself would

 6    not have been sufficient to achieve the photochemical

 7    oxidant standards.  In September of last year the City of

 8    Riverside challenged the failure of the Environmental

 9    Protection Agency to propose a photochemical — a transpor-

10    tation strategy to achieve the photochemical oxidant

11    standards in Los Angeles as they claim we were mandated

12    to do under the Act.  The Court agreed with the City of

13    Riverside and ordered me, as the Administrator, to submit

!4    a transportation strategy to achieve this standard by today,

15    by the 15th of January of this year.   That is what I am

16       '
     doing here today.  I am complying with the Court Order and

     with the Law as the Court has Interpreted it.  It is that

     we are to submit a plan that will achieve the photochemical

19    oxidant standard by 1977.

                   Now, the plan itself; we have had some eighty

21    plans available, or eighty preambles  to the plan and the

22    regulations themselves available, which we have handed out.

23    I trust most of you have one of these '.preambles and also

24    the regulations themselves.   This preamble and the regulation

25    will be put In the   Federal Register today  in compliance


 1    with the Court Order.

 2                  Now,  using — what the plan does,  using 1970

 3    as the base year,  the  year for which we have the most

 4    complete set of statistics as to the amounts of hydro-

 5    carbons that were  going into the air in Los Angeles,  we

 6    find that there were some 1250 tons of hydrocarbons a day

 7    going into the air in  this Los Angeles Basin.  Our studies

 8    Indicate that in order to achieve the photochemical oxidant

 9    standards we must  reduce--the hydrocarbons from 1250 tons

1°    a day to 160 tons  a day.  As you might Imagine,  that is a

11    significant reduction.

I2                  By 1977, because of the automobile emissions

13    control that will  be Installed on the newer automobiles

     as mandated under  that same Act, the Clean Air Act, and

15    also because of the stationary controls that the state has

16    imposed under their implementation plan and because of

17    some of the state  plans to cause retrofit of certain

18    devices, we believe that — our studies show that the

19    number, the amount of  hydrocarbons that will be emitted
     into the air by 1977 will be reduced to 691 tons a day.
21   So,  what our plan has to do is reduce it further, the

22   amount of hydrocarbons,  from 691 to 160.

23                 Now,  as to an outline of that plan, if you

24   will turn to page 13(a)  of the preamble, which I have handed

     out, there is a summary  there of the strategy which we are —

    — that is 13(a).  Do you have 13(a)?

                  This is what we will be  submitting  to  the

    Court as our plan for the meeting of the -»- what  we  estimate

    to be necessary  in order to  achieve the photochemical

    oxidant standard.  Now,  if you will notice at  the top of

    that page, there are some 1*10 tons a day of hydrocarbons

    caused by  stationary sources and if you will  add  the

 8  motorcycle emissions, the aircraft emissions  and  then all

    of  the mobile  source emissions,  you will note that there

10  are  some  5^0 tons  a  day  total on the hydrocarbons from

11  those  sources.   We  intend  to reduce, by  the  percentages

12  and by  the number  in the "ton per day" column, the amount

13  of  'hydrocarbons  from the stationary  sources  through dry

14  cleaning,  vapor recovery,  degreasing substitutes  and

15  primarily the  looking into the  possible  strengthening of

16  Rule 66 here in Los  Angeles, which controls  solvents in

17  the use of paints.   In the case of aircraft  emissions we

    have recently  announced aircraft emission' controls which

19  we  believe will reduce by 11 tons per day  the amount of

20  hydrocarbons emitted from aircraft.   We  then get  into the

21  mobile source  control  strategy,  which we are proposing.

22   There are a  number of them there ranging from several

23  retrofit  devices,  which we  believe are technologically

24   available for putting on existing cars and you will have

25   to  read this document  in order  to understand which year


 1   automobile these retrofit devices apply to.  There are some

 2   five of them listed there.  Now, all of them have to be put

 3   on all of the cars, but as a general rule'the older the car

 4   the more retrofitting is necessary in order to get the

 5   reductions that are listed here.  We haveialso suggested

 6   that a — that all fleet vehicles of 10 vehicles or more

 7   should convert to a gaseous fuel system so that we can

 8   achieve an 8 tons a day reduction in hydrocarbons as is

 9   therein outlined.  Now, clearly doing all of this short. 6f

10   »Gn un(jer "mobile source controll" will get us down to the

11   neighborhood of two parts per million hydrocarbons as a

12   standard.

J3                 in order to achieve the .08 standard it is

14   our estimate that we will have to reduce at.-a maximum,

15   vehicle miles traveled in the neighborhood of 80 to 82

     per cent.  The only way we can see thatr,it is possible to

     do this is through gas rationing.  Now, we realize that

     this is a tremendously controversial suggestion on our

     part to the court.  But, you know, I am also under Court

     Order to come up with a plan that will demonstratively work

     and, of this time, and as of this date, based upon all of

22   the studies that we have done and contracted for, this is

23   the only plan that we can think of that will demonstratively

24   achieve the photochemical oxidant standards by 1977.  Now,

25   you say so why the strategy, why don't we adopt some other


 l    strategy.   We discussed  in  the  preamble  itself a  number  of

 2    the  other  strategies  that we  have  examined.   I want  to

 3    emphasize  that what I am doing  today  is  proposing a  strategy

 4    to achieve the 1977 oxldant standards.   We are by no means

 5    saying that we have exhausted all  of  the other means of

 6    achieving  the 1977 standards.  We  believe that the other

 7    strategies, which we  have at  this  point  not proposed, should

 8    be fully examined by  the public.   We  continue to  examine

 9    them ourselves so that to the extent  possible, we can

!0    come up with the best and most  rational  plan that will

H    achieve the standards because as  the  Court has interpreted

12    the  Law, that is what we must do.

13                  The cost of achieving the  standards as pro-

14    posed is obviously substantial.  There are Individual costs,

15    costs for  instance for the  retrofit devices which we have

•f fi

     listed here, will range from  $80.00 for  the newer cars,

     '72  to '7^ which have on it the emission devices  which have

     already effected a substantial  reduction, from $80.00 up

     to $*IOO.00 for an uncontrolled  car.  Now, this is obviously

*"    a substantial cost to an individual.   It is also  a regressive

21    cost in that those individuals  who can least afford  to pay

22    are  usually the ones  driving  older cars  and will  be  forced

23    in this Instance to bear a  very heavy financial burden.

24    Obviously  unless there is some  alternative mode of transpor-

25    tation for an individual In this category, he is  going to

     be very verys  orshe -1* tol^*  to be nut In very rM f"  •••»


 l   straights.  It is for that reason that we believe the

 2   investigation, the very serious investigation and

 3   intelligent investigation into the application of the

 4   mass transit system here in Los Angeles is very important

 5   and very badly needed in order to address this problem

 6   intelligently.  The commercial impact of a standard of this

 7   nature is, again, hard to assess at this time, but it is

 8   likely to be very substantial on some commercial establish-

 9   ments such as gas stations, for example, or automotive

10   parts manufacturers.

11                 Again, we need to understand very carefully

12   not only the impact of the gas rationing of the magnitude

13   we are suggesting, but also the impact of intermittent

14   transportation controls if coupled with mass transit and

15   the Impact — the ability of people to move to the grocery

16   store or to the drug store or whatever service establish-

17   ment they want to move to that is unrelated to their work,

18   what Impact would these kinds of controls have on this,

19   not only the commercial establishments but again the indi-

20   vidual.  The manufacturing and wholesale trade and distri-

21   bution system also will be very hard hit by this proposal.

22                 Now, what we are doing today is complying

23   with the Law as the Court has interpreted it.  We have a

24   unique situation in Los Angeles.  There is no place else

25   in the country where the Clean Air Act has anywhere near


     the impact that it does here.  There are other cities which

     must impose transportation controls if they are going to

     achieve the standards but none of them have even close

     to the impact that we have here in Los Angeles and what

     I am here to do today is to make a plea that now is not

     the time for emotional responses.  Now is not the time for

     panic.  Now is the time to face the problem of air pollution

     in this city, in our country, head-on as very seriously and

     as rationally as we can.  Let's start by assuming that the

 10   goal, as spelled out in the Act, is a good one and I think

 11   everybody in the country will agree that the goal of the

 12   protection of public health is a good one and what where

 13   we have set the standard is where it is necessary to be

 14   in order to achieve public health and then take a very

 15   hard look at all of the ways, not only the proposal that

 16   we have made here, or the proposal that we have not made

 17   because we do not feel that we know enough about them,

 18   to achieve the standard and come up with the best one we

 19   can possibly come up with and then allow the people of

 20   this community, of this state, to weigh the social cost of

 21   achieving this benefit of healthy air against the — weigh

 22   the social cause against the benefit and having it in the

 23   time-frame as set out in the statute itself.  I believe

24   our approach should be sober, it ought to' be-careful and

 25   rational.  If our approach is that way and if the public


 1   hearings that will follow the announcements are as complete

 2   as, as well attended, as comprehensive as we hope, I believe

 3   we can make substantial progress for the achievement of

     healthy air in Los Angeles through the operation of this

 5   process and that is what we intend to do.

 6                 Now, your questions.





















1                     QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES

2                 REPORTER:  Mr. Ruckelshaus,  Isn't  this

3   action really Intended to  tell Congress  to weaken the

4   standards of the  Clean Air Act of  1970?

5                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  It most  precisely is  not

6   and  that  is what  I  tried to make clear.  We  are  in a

7   unique situation  here in Los Angeles and if  you  are talking

8   about asking Congress to weaken the  standa'rds, you must

9   carefully distinguish that request from a  request of

10   streatching out the time in which  the standard which is

11   there to  protect  the public health and environment can be

12   met.

13                  What  makes the  situation doubly difficult

14    in Los  Angeles is not only strengencles of the standards,

15   which as  I  say, we assume is  necessary to protect the

16    public  health and I think we  must, really, but the tlme-

17    frame in  which it is necessary to achieve.

18                  REPORTER:   Mr.  Ruckelshaus,  could you —

I9                  REPORTER:   Would you welcome such a move

 "    by Congress?

21                  MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  No.

22                  i think that what we should do is go through

23    the  process of seeing what available strategies there are

24    to achieve  this goal that Congress has set and then look

25   very carefully so that we will have, a good idea of what we

 1   are  doing at  the  best  strategy  we  can devise  and  then  take

 2   a look at it  and  see if the  people of this  community want

 3   to demand that Congress in some way amend the Act.

                   REPORTER:  If  the people of'the community

     were to request extensions of the  deadline  by as  much  as

 6   10 years to develop rapid transit  and to develop  this

 7   thing as new land use laws consider it, support it?

 8                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:   I  don't think it  is at

 9   this point — It  would be premature for me  to say whether

10   I would support it because I believe we have to go through

11   this process that Congress has outlined and see,  after

12   the  hearings and after all of the investigations  we can

13   make, the best plan we can come up with, at that  point what

14   the  economic and social dislocation is to the people of

15   the  community and if it is severe I think the response

16   to Congress will come from the Representatives and Senators

17   of the State who will indicate that there may be a pleading

18   in the case of Los Angeles for the streatching out of the

19   time to achieve the standards.
                   REPORTER:  With the amount of knowledge you
21   currently have, which is enormous, what is your feeling

22   about the viability of streatching those standards?

23                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, I am not sure I

24   understand what you mean by viability; the possibility —

25                 REPORTER:  The intelligence, would it be a


 1   smart move?

 2                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, if the only way that

 3   we can achieve the standards by 1977 is to reduce traffic

 4   by 82 per cent — I don't frankly know that that is

 5   possible to do by 1977 and still have a viable community

 6   here in Los Angeles.  What I am doing is what I think I

 7   have been ordered to do by the Court, to come up with a

 8   plan that achieves the standards.

 9                 REPORTER:  Mr. Ruckelshaus, whatever plan

 l°   you end up with, will that require, in part or in full,

 u   state legislation to implement it?

 J2                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, it could —

 13                 REPORTER:  And, if the state legislation

 14   refuses to pass the legislation, where does that end

 15   everybody up?

 16                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, under the Act it is

 17   fairly clearly stated that if the state doesn't act, the

 18   Administrator does act.  But, the Court stated where the

     state refuses to act — you know we said that there is no

     reason to permit transportation controls to grow until we

 21   know more about them and it could be that that same thing

 22   applies in the case of an inspection system that we

 23   recommend.  If the state decided not to pass an inspection

24    system some time and there was none, it may be that that

 25   authority rests in the Administrator to create that system.

 1    How we would go about administering it or: enforcing it
 2    without the state or local cooperation, I think gives you
 3    some pause.  One of the things we have tried to do here
 4    in the last few days and, I think with some success,
 5    Mr. Pry, the Deputy Administrator, has been in California
 6    talking to state and local officials and I think he has
 7    got a very good reception.  He feels that their attitude
 8    is very good and that they are very cooperative about
 9    the efforts to carry through with this Investigation.
10                  REPORTER:  Mr. Ruckelshaus, if your plan
11    were adopted per se, what sort of a time table would you
12    see for this cutting transportation mileage by 80 per cent
13    through gasoline rationing?
14                  MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Again, I want to emphasise
15    this:  The Law does not provide for the achievement of
     the standards until 1977.  We are not talking about a June
     80 per cent reduction in traffic.  What we tentatively
     would have in mind for any traffic reduction that we find
     necessary would be that we start phasing these reductions
     in around 1975 so as to get some idea as to how they worked,
     what changes we needed to make in order to achieve the
22    standard by whatever date.
23                  REPORTER:  MR. Ruckelshaus," how would you
24    plan to carry out the gas rationing?
25                  'MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, it is spelled out in


 1    the regulations themselves.   There are two ways in which

 2    you can do it.   One Is to restrict the amount of gasoline

 3    flowing to the  retailer himself by controlling the manufactured

 4    distribution of it and the second is through a system of

 5    gas coupons that would be issued to individual drivers, or

 6    registered drivers here in the Los Angeles Basin, and they

 7    could only purchase gas with the use of these coupons.  We

 8    are not saying  which is the best way to do it, but one or

 9    the other seems to be the only viable way of proceeding.

10                  REPORTER:  Having laid down this plan, the

11    Court in this lawsuit, the Court Action, Is that now off

12    your back, or are any future changes in the plan, are you

13    responsible, beholding to the court for?

14                  MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, as a lawyer, the

15    last thing In the world I would want to do is speak for

T fi
     a Court.  I do  think that the Court will retain Jurisdiction

     over the case.   I am sure that the Court will want to see

     the progress that is made under the plan as we have pro-

     posed it and if the Court disagrees in any respect with

     what we have done, or the plaintiff disagrees and wants

21    to go back in court and file some additional pleadings, the

22    Court will undoubtedly hear what they have to say and may

23    even request further response on our part.

24                 REPORTER:  Mr. Ruckelshaus, if your Job truly

     is to protect the public health, might you not haveto come


 l    into  areas  like Los  Angeles  and  close  parts  of it  down

 2    to vehicle  traffic the  way you went  into  Birmingham?

 3                  MR. RUCKELSHAUS:   Well,  the-'situation in

 4    Birmingham  was an emergency  episode  in which the  level

 5    of particulates got  so  high  that it  violated our  emergency

 6    episode standards and therefore  we closed them down for a

 7    period of time until the air inversion that  existed there

 8    passed.  Now,  here it is more of a continuing problem than

 9    one of emergency although the levels of air  pollution here

10    are sufficiently high as to  give us  real  pause from time to

11    time.  But, it may be necessary  and  we have  been  adopting

12    an emergency episode plan for the Los  Angeles Area that

13    where the levels of  oxidants or  whatever  the pollutant

14    involved is, gets sufficiently high  that  very stringent

15    and quick action may have to be  taken  in  order to get those

16    levels back down to  where they are safe.

17                  REPORTER:   And that might be cutting off

     parts of the city to cars?

19                  MR. RUCKELSHAUS:   It could  although ~ as I

™    say,  there  is  a lot  of  trouble with  that  because  the

21    pollution here tends to move at  a fairly  uniform  rate from

22    one section of the city or one section of bhe basin to another

23    and closing off sections of  the  city might have a beneficial

24    effect on that part  of  the city,  but  it may not reduce the

25    amount of vehicle miles traveled, which are  the things that


1   produce the hydrocarbons and puts them in:the atmosphere.

2                 REPORTER:  Realistically, Mr. Ruckelshaus,

3   do you think the people of Southern California are going

4   to buy gasoline rationing if it comes to that?

5                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, I don't know, but I

6   do think that that is a political question in the sense

7   that when the Clean Air Act was passed, the people of

8   California, speaking through their Senators and Representative

9   overwhelmingly supported the aimes and purposes of the

10   Clean Air Act.

11                 Now that the implementation of the Act has

12   been brought to bear so severly on this community, the

13   kinds of questions they are going to  have'to weigh, and

14   I am sure you are going to get a divergence of opinion

15   from the people here is what do they  wanti are we serious

    enough about having clean air  In this community that we are

17   willing to  take rather severe  restrictions on the vehicle

    miles traveled.  That kind of  question, it seems to me,

   | is one that ought to be answered through  the political


                  REPORTER:  Would you extend gasoline rationing

22   to extended areas like San Diego or San Francisco that

23   also have a problem, especially San Diego, with oxidantalsCsi

24   Could that  be a possibility?

25                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  -I am   not prepared at this


 l   point to say because we do not have a submission of the

 2   plan in California.  I don't exactly know what they have

 3   in mind.  Their plan is due the middle of next month which

 4   will also be due on this air basin here.  But, as I stated

 5   a moment ago, we do not have in any city in the country

 6   the kind of impact on transportation by restrictions that

 7   we do here in Los Angeles.

 8                 REPORTER:  Mr. Ruckelshaus, the Federal

 9   Government is trying to cut down the automobile mileage in

10   LOS Angeles.  Is the Federal Government planning to help

11   us with the rapid transit system to provide an alternative?

12                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, as you know, the

13   Administration supported very strongly the opening up of

14   the highway trust fund last year in order- to make available

15   some funds for cities that have an option to develop mass

     transit system where that seemed to be a better mode of

     transportation for them to adopt.  As suggested once,

     additional assistance might be given to California through

     subsidization or whatever.  I am not, at this point, prepared

20   to say.

                   REPORTER:  Do you mean that"'the Federal

22   Government has not laid any plans to offer an alternative

23   at this moment, they are Just saying cut down 80 per cent

24   of the automobile traffic without offering an alternative

25   to us?


 1                  MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:   I  think I  have made it

 2    pretty  clear  in  the  preamble  to the  regulations as proposed

 3    in the  Federal Register that  mass  transit  has  to be a very

 4    integral and  critical  part  of any  transportation scheme

 5    that would reduce  the  vehicle miles  traveled in Los Angeles.

 6    Just exactly  how that  ought to be  done and who ought to

 7    bear the burden  for  that, whether  it ought to  be the

 8    tax-payers here  or the tax-payers  nationally — that is

 9    actually what you  are  talking about  — again,  that is

10    something that n&ains  to be seen.

11                  REPORTER:  You  have  laid out specifics for

12    eliminating automobile traffic for us in Los Angeles, but

13    you have not  laid  out  specifics as an alternative for us

14    yet?

15                  MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:   I  have been as specific

16    as 1 can possibly  be given  the knowledge that  I have as

17    the Administrator  of this Agency.  The committment has

     to come from  the local governments involved in terms of

     developing a  mass  transit system.

™                  REPORTER:  If the national government says

21    if you  don't  have  mass transit and you have to cutl-  your

22    vehicle miles back 80  per cent, as a philosophical matter,

23    doesn't the Federal  Government have  the responsibility to

24    require and pay  for  it?

25                  MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:   I  think the National Government


     in the case of the Clean Air Act,  the Congress has said

     that it is a national policy that  we shall have ambient

     air at a level that protects the public health, and I have

     been given a responsibility of achieving ambient air at

     that level.  One of the strategies that I have been given

     to use to achieve that is a transportation strategy.  Now,

     the only transportation strategy that we can come up with

     demonstrably will achieve the Congressional mandate of

     clean air or healthy air here in Los Angeles, either the

10    one that I have outlined here this morning —

11                  REPORTER:  How about the strategy of wall

12    to wall buses?

13                  MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, again, you know,

14    obvously because of the social and economic disruption

15    that will occur by the reduction of over 80 per cent of

16    vehicle miles traveled in the May to October period, which

17    is what our regulation calls for, some alternative source

18    of — form of transportation is going to be necessary.

19    Now, whether that is buses or some other form, I am not

20    in a position to say.  I do not have funds to come in here

21    and implement the Clean Air Act in that fashion.

22                  REPORTER:  Does that mean after 60 days we

23    are going to finalize a plan?

24                  MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  No.  That means that we

25    have no final deadline set as to when the plan will be


 1    finalized.  We have requested that  comments be In in  60  days,

 2    We  will be announcing the holding of public hearings  about

 *    the plans and comments shortly.

 4                 REPORTER:  Will all of the hearings be  within

 5    the 60 day period?

 6                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  I am not sure, but chances

 7    are that they will.  It depends on  the — obviously,  there

 8    is  going to be some public interest.  I think this, here,

 9    indicates that.  We have got to give the public a full

     chance to be heard on this proposal or any alternative

     proposal that might be available.

12                 REPORTER:  Sir, wouldn't lt.be easier for

     the Government to force Detroit to  come out with a cleaner

14    engine rather than perhaps paralyzing a community like

     this with 82 per cent gasoline rationing?

                  MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  What the Government has

     done in the Clean Air Act of 1970 is mandate that Detroit

     achieve by 1975 and 1976 extremely  strengent reductions

     in  hydrocarbons.  They have been able to achieve tremendous

    reductions already in the hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide,

    and hydrogen oxides out of the internal combustion engine.
    Now, you cannot — the Federal Government 'cannot mandate a
    technological achievement inspite of the sometimes vast

    powers of the Government.  They cannot say by 1975 you shall

    have an engine that does this if ilf is technologically


 1   impossible,  if  it  is  infeasible.   But,  the1 point  is  the

 2   Government has  said,  the  Congress  has  said' that by this

 3   time  these levels  of  air  shall be  achieved' and what  we are

 4   dealing with in this  nation are six million  automobiles

 5   that  are, many  of  them, quite old  and  will not be affected

 6   by any of the new  standards.   We will  not 'have — the

 7   1972, 1973,  and 1974  cars have a considerably reduced

 8   emission, but we will not have the 1975 standards in effect

 9   until 1975.

10                REPORTER:   What is your  real true  feeling

11   about imposing  82  per cent gasoline rationing on Southern

12   California,  what do you think the  real chances are,

13   realistically?

14                MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:  I  am not in  a position to

15   say that it  can or cannot be done.  I  do not believe that

16   the final plan, as we come out with it, will achieve
     reductions in that neighborhood, it seems to me,  because
18   of the tight time-frame.   I think it is unlikely that we

19   will be able to achieve reductions that great.   However,

20   that does not rule out the ability of alternative strategies

21   to do the same thing,  nor should it rule out the important

22   step we are attempting to take today in forcing people to

23   pay' attention to the seriousness of the problem.

24                REPORTER:  Mr. Ruckelshaus; is the Federal

25   Government trying to restrict the people —


 1                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:   Say  that again.

 2                 REPORTER:   Certainly.

 3                 Is  this  action today Intended  as  a scare

     tactic  to  prod  the  public?

                  MR. RUCKELSHAUS:   It is  not  at all.   If I

     wanted  to  scare them I would not have  made a plea for no

     emotion.   I  am  not  trying to scare anybody.   I  am simply

     saying  that  under the  law,  as it presently exists, and

     under the  Court Order  that  I am under to respond to by

10    today,  this  is  the  only way that I feel, demonstratively,

11    we can  comply with  the Order and with  the  Law.   Now,  I

12    think that if the result of that compliance  were to con-

13    vince people that everything that has  happened  under the

14    Clean Air  Act was bad  and that the Act itself was bad, that

15    would be very unfortunate because this is  a  unique

16    situation  here  from nationally.   It  is not the  same in

17    the rest of  the country, and the results of  the implemen-

18    tatlon  of  the Clean Air Act is going to be appreciably

19    cleaner air  in  this country by 1975.  That is the first

20    time, I think,  in the  history of this  or any other country

21    in which we  have  had a national act  of this  kind addressed

22    to a pollution  problem that we can point to  results of that

23    magnitude.

24                 REPORTER:   But you talked about the stringent

25    standards  and it  was up to  the people  to decide and it ought


     to be decided in the political process.  Aren't you saying,

     in effect, when you say that that it Is UD to Congress to

     change the law because it can't be met?

                   MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, I don't know that

     there is anything Inconsistent with what i Just said here.

     I think that you do have a unique situation and I think

     that it Is important that the people here do<-understand

     the Implications of this law on Los Angeles and that they

     address it in as unemotional, as rational-, and as sober a

10   form as possible and decide for themselves, acting

11   through their Representatives what it Is they want to do,

12   what they want Congress to do.

                   REPORTER:  You have made It very clear that

14   you are trying to follow the law as It is set out and that

15   is why you are here today, but would this plan that you

16   announced today really work?

17                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, it depends on what

18   you mean by "would it work".  Could we, in fact, reduce

19   the traffic by 80 per cent; I assume that we could do that.

20                 REPORTER:  Would the people'buy it?

21                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  I think it could be

22   enforced, yes.  But, the last question, "Would the people

23   buy it?" Is the crucial question.  That is the reason

24   this plan is proposed.  That is the reason we want public

25   hearings.  We want an expression not only as — don't


 l   emphasize the 80 per cent reduction In vehicle miles

 2   traveled and not the other aspects of this plan and some

 3   of the alternative  strategies that we have'suggested.  You

 4   may be doing the thing that I am sure we will be  accused

 5   of doing, that  is  trying to scare people into saying  the

 6   Act wasn't any  good.  That is precisely what we are not

 7   trying to do.   We  are simply saying that this is  the  result

 8   of this law applied in this way in this community and it

 9   may be that the law has to be changed, but let's  go through

10   the process first  and then decide what ought to be done.

11                 REPORTER:  If the paople do not buy  it,  is the

12   next move up to Congress?

13                 MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, obviously it is, yes.

14   I don't have any flexibility under the Act.  If I had

15   flexibility it  may be that I would have come to a different

16   conclusion.

17                 REPORTER:  Mr. Ruckelshaus;  isn't it true

18   that the reason that you are here, thoughj is partly

19   because the local  and state agencies have;not come up with

20   effective alternatives such as rapid transit without  which

21   you have difficulty controlling without using a drastic

22   measure like gas rationing?

23                 MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:  I suppose  I could spend a

24   lot" of time arguing about who is at fault,here, whether it

25   is the state or local or Federal Government, and  I am sure


 l    that we can ascribe a lot of fault to a lot  of people.   But

 2    I think at this point what we have is a very serious  problem

 3    and one that we are trying to address head-on and the

 4    best approach would be to try and move forward and try

 5    to find solutions to these problems rather than try to

 6    assign blame for the past.

 7                  REPORTER:   Mr. Ruckelshaus,  do you personally

 8    think that the Act — do you personally think that the

 9    Act should be changed, sir, to be made more  sensible  and

10    if 'so in what way?

U                  MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Now, if you  are asking  me

12    whether I think, as the Administrator of this Agency, I

13    ought to have more flexibility, my answer  is yes.

14                  REPORTER:   How would you	

15                  MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Wait.  Let me finish.

                   It is in the nature of an administrative

17    executive agency to try and have more flexibility in  order

   j  to achieve what he deems to be in the public interest.   I

19    think the Congress, in passing this Clean  Air Act of  1970,

   |  was acting out  of some justifyable frustration in the lack

     of progress that has been made in administrative agencies

22    in every level  of government in the past.  So,  what they

23    did was  restrict flexibility and 1 think what we ought  to

24    do in devising  a — any  amendment — that  might be  submitted

25    to Congress —  I am not  saying that  we  will  have one  at  this


 1    point —- is to try and give as much credence to Congressional

 2    will as possible and restrict the flexibility that I

 3    need in order to bring to bear strategies' for Los Angeles

 4    or any other communities that might be affected adversely,

 5    not in this way, that are in the public Interest, that

 6    take into account the total public social- impact of the

 7    achievement of clean air.  I think we ought to be very

 8    specific about what that flexibility should be and

 9    until we go through this process over the next 60 to 90

10    days, I think it would be premature for me to say

11    precisely what those amendments might be.

12                  REPORTER:  The only medical; basis given for

13    oxldant standards there is a possible slight increase in

14    the aggravation of asthmatics.  Wouldn't it be cheaper

15    to 'take the people that have asthma and send them to

16    Arizona free?

17                  (Laughter)

18                  MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, that again «

                   REPORTER:  Is there any other —

 u                  MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, I think that is one

21    of the questions — it is a legitimate question and one

22    that ought  to be examined.   I think,  as you look at the

23    Clean Air Act,  it  says that I set a standard to protect

24    the public  health.   Now, when we identify  groups of

25    people in the public with chronic disease or chronic ailments


 1   of  one kind or another who  are adversely  impacted by  a

 2   particular air pollutant, it  seems  to  me  that  my responsi-

 3   bil'ity is to protect  them.  The air quality  criterion docu-

 4   ment which backs up the  photochemical  oxidant  standard

 5   spells out what all of the  studies  are that  have been made

 6   to  identify the levels of oxidants  in  the air  at which we

 7   start having some  adverse health  impact.  .The  Air

 8   Resources Board, here in CAliffornia,  recently concluded a

 9   study in which there  was apparently unanimous  agreement

10   that adverse health effects start to occur to  the broad

11   population at  .2 and  this seems to  be  in  general agreement.

12   You get a lot of medical controversy about where the

13   standard ought to  be  set, and I am  sure that that will go

14   on.  But, again under the Act, as I understand that Act,

15   I don't have the kind of flexibility that you  suggest

16   might be another approach to  this problem.

17                 REPORTER:  Have you determined how much this

18   plan will cost?

19                 MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:  Not entirely.   We have —

20                 REPORTER:  Why  not, sir?

21                 MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:  Pardon me?

22                 REPORTER:  Why  not, isn't that important?

23                 MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:  Well,  because  we Just do

24   not know enough about it to be able to — we dnn't know

25   enough about the ways in which transportation  can be


     controlled in order to achieve given levels of air quality,

 2   We don't know enough about the economic impact of this

 3   plan and in the preamble itself I tried to spell out as I

 4   did in summary in my opening statement some of the

 5   economic Impacts that we can anticipate.

 6                 Just how great they are going to be is

 7   something I am just not in a position to !say.

 8                REPORTER:  Do you have any general idea?

 9                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, Just as I say,

10   if you look at an individual retrofit, for example, that

11   will range from 80 to $400.00 per car, that is a substantial

12   expenditure on the part of many, particularly those that

13   will be driving older cars.  The impact on commercial

14   establishments, on the individuals ability to get 1^o work,

     again are very difficult to assess and any figure that

     I gave you would be Just pure speculation.  The thing is

17   substantial.

                   REPORTER:  If the public opted for a rapid
     transit system through Congress, what do you feel the
20   shortest period of time would be that we -could have one

21   in operation in Los Angeles?

22                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, if you have a mass

23   transit system here in Los Angeles and I .think one of the

24   things we ought to do and one of the things we are going

25   to do is very carefully study how many vehicle miles travel


    we might be able to reduce In Los Angeles' through the

    application of a mass transit system.  Clearly the only

    quick mass transit system would be  an  increase in the

    number  of buses in the  area.  You couldn't get any rail

    system  of any significance in place in a very short period

    of time; so, while we could put in  a number  of buses,  but

    when you start getting  up to the kinds of numbers that

    really  start having an  impact on the vehicle miles traveled,

    we start getting into great expenses.  But,  that is

10   something that can be done fairly quickly.

11                 REPORTER:  Mr. Ruckelshaus, what happens in the

12   sixty-to-ninety day period which we  are talking about  now;

13   what agencies do you expect to participate in the public

14   hearings of what organizations or what, happens after  sixty  days

15   or ninety days?

16                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  We  expect as many agencies

17   as possible, both Federal and state and. local will participate

    in the  public hearings.  The Department'of Transportation,

19   for example, at the Federal level ought to have a very large

    role in the public hearings themselves in assessing the

21   transportation schemes  that have been  suggested and what

22   alternative forms might  be feasible.  By the same token, we

23   would expect that many  of the local organizations, those

24   interested in clean air, there are  a number  here in this

25   basin that would participate, that  the educational institutions,

     Cal Tech and many other institutions in this  area would
     participate, that many of the foundations such as the Rand
     Corporation and the others would participate.  We hope to get
     as much participation as possible by as many  people as
     possible and then at the end of the ninety day period we have
     got to do something, I have got to make some  decisions.
                   REPORTER:  Mr. Ruckelshaus, does the Federal
     Government plan to serve as an example by restricting its
 9   own employees to coming to work by automobile to only one day
10   a week?
11                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, I have no announcement
12   to make on that as yet.
13                 REPORTER:  Mr. Ruckelshaus, is your plan
14   advanced to the point of setting up the mechanics of ration-
15   ing gas; who would get more coupons, would it depend on what
16   your occupation is or how far you lived from work or any of
17   that type of thing?
18                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:  No.
19                 That would be part of .the kinds of questions
20   we would have to go into at the hearing itself.  We have
21   not devised those schedules as yet,
22                 REPORTER:  Mr. Ruckelshaus, when will you have
23   your final plans after the public hearingsare. done and all,
24   when will you issue your final plan?
25                 MR. RUCKELSHAUS:.  Well, we will be issueing

     the plans as  soon  as  possible.   I  cannot give  you any date.

 2                  REPORTER:   Within  the year?

 3                  MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:   Within a year, yes.

 4                  A VOICE:   A final  question?

 5                  REPORTER:.  You mention in here that diesel

     trucks  will get by under these restrictions.  To what extent

     would the problem be solved if people went over to diesel

     automobiles rather than gasoline engines?

                   MR.  RUCKELSHAUS:  Well, part of it would be

10    solved  but, again, you are talking about a massive switch

11    from internal combustion engines to diesel engines.

12                  A VOICE:  Thank you.

13                  (Whereupon, the press conference concluded.)