United States
  Environmental Protection
Office of
Public Awareness (A-ICU)
Washington bC 20460
Volume 6
Number 9
October 1980

  and the Future

and  the
 In this issue EPA Journal takes
   a look at the "future for envi-
   ronmental science, the en-
vironment in general and the
   A distinguished group of
leaders in the science and  envi-
ronmental communities offer
their views on what scientists
should be doing to help solve
environmental maladies in the
next decade.
   Dr. John E. Cantlon, chair-
man of the executive commit-
tee of the EPA Science Ad-
visory Board, discusses the
Agency's role in environmental
science. Dr. William Rea, a
member of the EPA Science
Advisory Board,  explains the
advanced treatment provided
for pollution victims at the insti-
tution he directs  in Dallas, Tex.
   EPA Administrator Douglas
M. Costle discusses the health
research necessary
EPA scientists plot wind direction and speed in air pollution studies by tracking a helium-filled
balloon with this instrument, a theodolite.
to support the Agency's regula-
tions. An article on ozone pro-
tection reports on the efforts,
spearheaded by EPA Deputy
Administrator Barbara Blum, to
convince foreign countries to
join the U.S. in curbing the
emissions of ozone-destroying
  Other science subjects in
this issue include: a report on
EPA's role in monitoring radi-
ation from the Three-Mile
Island nuclear power plant; a
story about EPA's muiti-pur-
pose laboratory in Las Vegas,
Nevada; a report on the use of
certain flowers to detect pollu-
tion conditions, and a look at the
possible impact of electric
autos on the environment.
  An article from Toronto,
Canada, reports on the First
Global Conference on the Fu-
ture and quotes many leaders
as predicting a shfft to the
"soft" energy systems such as
solar power.
  To help balance this presen-
tation, the Journal also carries
an article by a nuclear research
engineer raising questions
about possible dangers in fol-
lowing the "soft" energy path. C'

                             United States
                             Environmental Protection
                              Office of
                              Public Awareness (A-107)
                              Washington DC 20460
                             Volume 6
                             Number 9
                             October 1980
                         vvEPA JOURNAL
                             Douglas M. Costle, Administrator
                             Joan Martin Nicholson, Director. Office of Public Awareness
                             Charles D. Pierce, Editor
                             Truman Temple, Associate Editor
                             John Heritage, Managing Editor
                             Chris Perham, Assistant Editor
EPA is charged by Congress to
protect the Nation's land, air and
water systems. Under a mandate
of national environmental laws
focused on air and water quali-
ty, solid waste management and
the control of toxic substances,
pesticides, noise and radiation,
the Agency strives to formulate
and implement actions which
lead to a compatible balance be-
tween human activities and the
ability of natural systems to sup-
port and nurture life.
Front Cover; This illustration of
stars and exploding gases in the
immense distances of interstellar
space was prepared by Rob Wood
of Stansbury, Ronsaville, Wood.
Pollution's "Invisible"
Victims  2
EPA Administrator Douglas
Costle describes how environ-
mentally-related health re-
search lays the foundations for

Environmental Science
lnThe1980's   5
What should scientists be
doing to help solve environ-
mental ills in the coming dec-
ade? EPA Journal presents the
views of outstanding leaders
in scientific and environmental
communities on this question.

WhoOwnsThe Future?  9
Changes in political, economic
and social structures will have
a major impact on millions of
people and the natural envi-
ronment, as detailed in this
report on the First Global Con-
ference on the Future held re-
cently in Toronto.

On The Cutting Edge 12
How do you treat the increas-
ing number of patients suffer-
ing with symptoms from 20th
century pollution? Dr. William
Rea, a member of EPA's
Science Advisory Board,
directs an unusual facility in
Dallas that has attracted inter-
national attention in this field.
To Protect Ozone  16
Following a call to action by
EPA Deputy Administrator
Barbara Blum in Oslo, Norway,
last spring, a number of inter-
national organizations are
studying the problem of strato-
spheric ozone depletion caused
by continued emissions of
chlorofluorocarbons into the

EPA's Role At Three Mile
Island   18
An EPA team  moved swiftly to
the scene on the heels of the
now-famous accident March
28, 1979 at Three Mile Island.
This report details how the
award-winning team handled
the complex tasks of moni-
toring and providing the com-
munity with timely information
about operations there.
A Spectrum
of Missions   21
Analyzing hazardous waste
samples and measuring the
visibility in our National Parks
with telephotometers are just
two of the many functions of
EPA's Environmental Moni-
toring Systems Laboratory in
Las Vegas.
Science and EPA
An interview with Dr. John E.
Cantlon, Chairman of the Ex-
ecutive Committee, EPA Sci-
ence Advisory Board, on re-
search and development by
the Agency in environmental

Plants As Pollution
EPA's Health Effects Research
Laboratory in Research Tri-
angle Park, N.C, is evaluating
the use of plants as  monitors
of subtle changes in environ-
mental quality.

The Hidden Cost of
Soft Energy   32
A new look at some common
assumptions about  a soft
energy society and the  govern-
ment's role in managing such
an approach to our  energy

Electric Autos and
Clean Air   36
How will the coming surge in
electric vehicle production
affect the environment? EPA
is carefully watching develop-
ments since this may present
the Agency with several regu-
latory responsibilities.
Photo credits: Douglas Doering;
General Electric Co.; U.S. Depart-
ment of Energy photo by Jack
Schneider; Ken Alshuler; Library
of Congress; General Electric Co.;
Aerosol Age.; George Hunter;
Canadian Embassy;
Design Credits: Robert Flanagan.
Donna Kazamwsky and Ron Farrah
Almanac  39
Around the Nation 30
Update 34
People  40
News Briefs 41
The EPA Journal is published
monthly, with combined issues
July-August and November-Decem-
ber by the US  Environmental
Protection Agency. Use of funds for
printing this periodical has been
approved by the Director of tin;
Office of Management and Budget
Views expressed by authors do not
necessarily reflect EPA policy Con-
tributions and inquiries should be
addressed to the Editor (A-107),
Waterside Mall. 401 M St.. S.W..
Washington, DC 20460. No per-
mission necessary to reproduce
contents except copyrighted photos
and other materials Subscription:
S1 2 00 a year, S1.20for single
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          idress Mi!
 employees Send check or money
 order to Superintendent of Docu-
 ments. U S Government Printim;
 Office  Washington. DC 20402

 Text pruned on recycled p.iper

Environmentally Speaking
By Douglas M. Costle,
EPA Administrator
  In 1939, a drug manufacturer decided the
   best way to capitalize on the popularity
   of the new sulfa drugs was to market one
 of them in a liquid, non-prescription form.
 He developed a product called Elixir Sul-
 fanilamide, which combined a sulfa com-
 pound with diethylene glycol—a commer-
 cial solvent used in making antifreeze and
 brake fluid.
   Because the drug-control laws of the
 time did not require safety testing, the
 manufacturer was free to put his product
 on the market, and he did so—with devas-
 tating results. Although only 2,000 pints of
 the Elixir were produced, and only 93 were
 consumed, a total of 107 people died  from
 the effects of  the solvent.
   The public outcry that followed prompt-
 ed Congress to pass a new Food, Drug and
 Cosmetic Act—one that, for the first time,
 gave the Food and Drug Administration
 the authority to require the testing of new
 drug products for safety.
   Under the circumstances the public's
 outrage and Congress's response to it were
 scarcely surprising. The trail from cause to
 effect, in the case of the Elixir, was a short
 one. No great breakthroughs in the science
 of epidemiology were required to follow it.
 Once  it was established that all of the vic-
 tims had consumed the Elixir, the evidence
 pinpointed diethylene glycol as the cause
 of death beyond any reasonable possibility
 of doubt.
   Normally, of course, regulatory issues in
 the health-and-safety area are not posed in
 such dramatic fashion. This is especially
 true for environmental regulation. There,
 the pathway from cause to effect—from
 the point where a pollutant is discharged
 into the environment, to the point where it
 can be positively connected to particular
 diseases in particular human beings—
 tends  to be a long and circuitous one.
   To be sure, there have been instances
 where environmental pollution has been
 directly and dramatically linked to public
 health disasters. The 1948 atmospheric
 inversion in Donora, Pa., which
 claimed 20 lives, is one example; the  1 952
 inversion in London, whose toll was 4,000
 lives, is another. But on close inspection,
 even these turn out not to be exact counter-
parts of the Elixir episode. There's no
doubt that air pollution was the culprit in
both Donora and London—but even today,
30 years after the fact, we still cannot say
exactly which pollutants in the air were
to blame.
  And such episodes are the except ion. Most
health-related regulation  in the environ-
mental field must be written with even less
direct evidence of the linkage between en-
vironmental contaminants and their vic-
tims. The problem is illustrated by the
example of cancer, where a series of major
obstacles await anyone who wants to prove
that environmental pollutant A—even if it
a known carcinogen—caused the disease
in victims X, Y, and Z.
• First, cancer can remain latent for liter-
ally decades before identifiable symptoms
begin to appear.
• Second, it can be caused by more than a
single agent—as shown, for example, by
the fact that asbestos workers who smoke
are 30 times more likely to get cancer than
their non-smoking fellow  workers.
• Third, except in rare instances, the vari-
ous forms of cancer do not bear the clear
imprint of a particular carcinogen.
• Fourth, our society's practices in terms
of keeping records of cancer deaths, and
their causes, have never been systematized
on a national scale.
• And finally, few doctors have been
trained to consider environmental pollu-
tants as possible causes of cancer; and
thus, they have not looked for evidence
of exposure to cancer-causing agents in
examining their patients' histories.

Searching for Exact Answers

For other chronic diseases, the difficulty of
establishing links to particular pollutants is
at least as great as for cancer. And that,
quite frankly, poses a problem for us. If we
could routinely predict the number of
people who were going to get sick from the
discharge of a given amount of a pollutant,
our regulatory decisions would be better—
just as an investor's decisions would im-
prove if economic forecasting were a more
exact science, and a farmer's judgments
about when and what to plant would bene-
fitfrom better long-range weather forecasts.
  But though we must operate in the ab-
sence of scientific certainty, we are by no
means without scientific resources. For
while we seldom have the kind of proof
available in the Elixir episode, we almost
always have the scientific equivalent of
circumstantial evidence. This can take the
form, for example, of tests that show how
a poflutant affects laboratory animals; or
studies of its impact on human beings ex-
posed to it in the workplace, or in food
products. Moreover, if we weigh that evi-
dence in a careful and systematic way—
the courtroom analogy is giving a suspect
pollutant the benefit of due process—we
are fully capable of making reasonable
judgments about an appropriate degree of
regulatory control.
   Rather than dealing with this process in
theoretical terms, I would like to describe
briefly how it has worked in the case of one
particular pollutant—carbon monoxide.
   Let me pause to emphasize that in
choosing carbon monoxide, I don't mean to
imply that it  is a "typical" pollutant. First
of all, there is no such thing;  and second,
carbon monoxide differs in important re-
spects from other targets of environmental
regulation, as I shall explain. But our
experience with it does illustrate how we
can make the best possible use of the
scientific information available to us.
   We began our review of carbon monox-
ide with the certain knowledge that, at
high  concentrations, it is dangerous. Un-
counted numbers of people have proven
that fact, in tragic fashion, by asphyxiating
themselves on car exhaust.
   However,  our concern is not the tre-
mendously high concentrations that result
when exhaust fumes are piped into a
closed vehicle—concentrations of thou-
sands of parts per million of air. Instead,
we were worried about the effects at the
low concentrations found on busy city
streets, which typically fall into the range
of 10 to 50 parts per million.
   In  trying to understand these effects, we
were blessed with a wealth of scientific in-
formation—in fact, we accumulated rough-
ly 1,000 studies on how carbon monoxide
affects human beings and test animals.
   However,  as scientists know, having a
large amount of data about an elusive sub-
ject can often be less useful than having a
small amount of data about a clearcut
subject—the Elixir phenomenon again.
One study may contradict another; studies
may  prove to have flaws  of one kind or
another; or a single study may provide
what seems like a highly significant finding,
but its value  is limited because no other
experiments have duplicated the result.

The Review  Process
Thus, in order to develop the best possible
scientific basis for setting an air-quality
standard, we somehow have to sift through
the mass of data in hand, weighing each
relevant study in turn, and emerging at the
end with a document—called the criteria
document—that lays out the evidence  in a
rational and  comprehensive way.
   Preparing these documents is a massive
undertaking, and one that does not lend
itself to brief description. But at its core
is a process that amounts to sending each
bit of relevant evidence out into the harsh
world of scientific review—a world that is
extremely intolerant of sloppy methods or
                                                                                                         EPA JOURNAL


Clad in protective clothing, a specialist collects sample of hazardous waste for analysis.
unjustified assumptions. This happens, not
once, but several times during the prepara-
tion of the document. The result is that any
scientist with an interest in the pollutant—
whether from industry, the academic com-
munity or citizens' groups—is given ample
opportunity to comment.
   Nor does the door close when the cri-
teria document is published in final form.
Once a standard has been proposed, we
hold public hearings and invite written
comment—which puts the evidence on the
firing line once again.
   Two months ago we proposed, after an
extensive health-effects review, a more
stringent one-hour atmospheric air pollu-
tion standard for carbon monoxide. By way
of background, some interesting lessons
were learned in the course of preparing the
final criteria document for this pollutant.
   In  1971, when the first carbon monoxide
standard was issued, it appeared the main
health problem associated with the pollu-
tant was that it tended to make people less
alert. This is a potentially serious problem,
considering that drivers are among those
most likely to be exposed. However,
studies done in the interim suggested that
there was a more serious health concern—
carbon monoxide's impact on the human
   Behind this concern lies the fact that
carbon monoxide combines more readily
with a blood constituent called hemoglobin

than does oxygen. Since hemoglobin car-
ries oxygen from the heart to the rest of the
body, the formation of carboxyhemoglobin,
which is what you get when carbon
monoxide and hemoglobin combine—
forces the heart to pump more oxygen than
normal. This in turn leads to an increased
incidence of angina—a painful condition
that often requires the use of medication,
and sometimes requires victims to be
  Yet knowing that angina was the prin-
cipal health effect we needed to be con-
cerned about was not enough. We also had
to know how much carbon monoxide the
body could handle without aggravating
angina. There were several studies sug-
gesting it became a problem when between
2.5 and 3 percent of the hemoglobin had
been converted to carboxyhemoglobin.
However, one study suggested that the
threshold was, in fact, under 2 percent.
  The problem facing the Agency was
how to weigh that study in comparison with
all the others. This was an  issue where we
needed the benefit of expert opinion from
outside the Agency; and where, as the
result of our review procedures, we were
able to obtain it.
  The Agency has a special panel of scien-
tists, called the Science Advisory Board,
whose specific assignment is to provide a
check on  the scientific foundation under-
lying the rules we write.
  Members of the board with particular
expertise in carbon monoxide were asked
to review the draft criteria document.
  When, as part of this review, they looked
at the study in question, they concluded
that it had a potential flaw—the fact that
there were other contaminants in the air
beside carbon monoxide during the experi-
ment. They recommended, therefore, that
we not use this particular study in deciding
on the likely threshold for the aggravation
of angina.
  That is a snapshot look at how scientific
review works in practice. It should not be
viewed as typical. We cannot, either as a
matter of law or of common sense, ap-
proach the regulation of a pesticide in-
tended for use in one smaH corner of a
single State the same way we deal with an
air pollutant found in every city and town
in the country.
  But whatever the target  pollutant, our
commitment to establishing a sound scien-
tific basis for regulation remains constant.

Making Judgment Calls
Yet, for every pollutant, there also comes a
point where the scientific knowledge avail-
able can offer only guidance for regulatory
decision-making—where policy judgments
must be made. In regulating air pollutants,
for example, the Clean Air Act tells us to
allow for a margin of safety—to set the
standard somewhat lower than a strict
reading of the evidence might seem to call
for. And deciding where to set the margin
—although reflecting the scientific evi-
dence—ultimately comes down to a ques-
tion of judgment.
  Our approach in making such judgments
has been basically this: If the evidence
clearly suggests the possibility of health
damage, but is not conclusive, we will
assume that the possibility is real.
  Again, cancer offers an illustration:
Since medical science  has not demon-
strated that there is a threshold for car-
cinogens—a dosage so small it can never
cause cancer—we assume there is no
threshold. That does not mean we strive
for the unattainable goal of zero risk in
regulating carcinogens. But it does mean
we are concerned about these substances
even when they are present in the water,
the air or in soils at very low concentra-
  Why have we adopted this kind of
stance?  Simply because if we wait for
scientific proof before taking firm regu-
latory action, we will very likely turn out
to have waited too long. Thus, with carbon
monoxide, we do not have proof that
angina leads to permanent heart damage—
but there is evidence that it may, and we
must take  into account that evidence. And
the dangers of delay are demonstrated still
more graphically by the new class of pollu-
tants that increasingly  concern us—
pollutants that are products of the post-
World War II chemical revolution.

Handle with Care
This revolution has produced an extra-
ordinary array of substances that, unlike
carbon monoxide, have never been known
in nature..These substances—synthetic
organic chemicals—have helped make
our lives more comfortable and more re-
warding in many ways. They have saved
lives, they have increased crop outputs,
and they have generated a vast family of
new industrial and consumer materials.
But some of them have proven to have
unintended and tragic impacts on the
lives of people and on the quality of the
natural environment—as we learned
through our painful experience with
Kepone, PCB's, thalidomide and DDT.
  We, of course, have only a limited sense
how dangerous these substances are. We
assume very few will uftimately turn
out to be toxic. Yet the universe of sub-
stances we are talking  about is a  large
one—an estimated 5 million chemicals
are now known to exist, and 45,000 of
these are in commercia I use. Moreover,
the quantity of synthetic chemicals has
grown exponentially over the past few
decades—with production rising from
less than 50 billion pounds in 1950 to
more than 300 billion pounds by the
   If nothing else, those figures argue for
treating these substances with a generous
measure of caution. As Love Canal taught
us, a careless attitude at one period in
history may turn out to impose heavy
costs—both in financial and in human
terms—more than a generation later.
   Given the potential for long-term dam-
age, it seems to me the case for a policy
that emphasizes protecting health even
where the scientific evidence is inconclu-
sive should be irrefutable. Yet, as many
of you  know, it's getting more and more
difficult to carry that argument in Washing-
ton these days—given the anti-regulatory
climate in town.
   The  counter-arguments vary. At times,
agencies like EPA are accused of failing to
do their scientific homework properly;
at times of stretching their interpretations
of the evidence to support unreasonable
regulatory measures. But whatever the
particular line of argument, the basic
message is the same—we should slow
down, wait for more evidence, conduct
more studies.
   We do need to improve our scientific
understanding of the links between pol-
lution and health—especially in the case
of toxic chemicals, many of which didn't
exist a  generation ago. But we cannot
delay writing sensible, balanced rules
governing these substances. We know
enough to do that. Moreover, if new evi-
dence emerges to suggest the need for
changing our rules, we can change them.
   In my judgment, it is not the quality
of our scientific work—nor our interpreta-
tion of  it—that makes it difficult for us
to meet the arguments of those who would
have us move more cautiously. It is rather
the fact that only rarely can we identify
specific groups of people whose health
has been demonstrably affected by envi-
ronmental pollution. Instead we deal in
the statistics from computer-generated
probability  studies, and in phrases like
"excess cancers per million population"—
scarcely the stuff of which newspaper
headlines and TV documentaries are made.
   Yet the threat to human health repre-
sented by environmental pollution is not
diminished because it lacks the drama of
an Elixir Sulfanilamide tragedy. So it
seems  to me that one of the chief tasks
facing all who are concerned with environ-
mental health is quite simply to convey
to the public, in the best ways we can,
some basic facts about the links between
pollution and health: we must say, in
candor, that there are limits to what
science can tell us about this relationship;
but that the more serious limitation is an
inability to  see the suffering that lies
behind the dry projections of injury that
science does permit us to make; and that,
if this failure of vision can be overcome,
the need for firm and farsighted environ-
mental regulation will be very plain. D
                                                                                                          EPA JOURNAL

                             Environmental  Science
                                           in  the 1980's
                              What is the next big task for
                              science in solving environmen-
                              tal problems? EPA Journal
                              asked some members of the
                              scientific and environmental
                              communities what they think.
                              The specific question was:
                                "As we face the 1980's,
                              what should scientists be doing
                              to help such ills as hazardous
                              waste, toxic poisoning, ground-
                              water contamination, and other
                              threats to the environment?"
                              The answers follow:
Dr. Rene Dubos
Professor Emeritus,
Rockefeller University

Science in the 1980's should
focus on eliminating waste,
rather than cleaning up waste.
This is the only way we are
going to be able to curb the
danger from toxic chemicals in
the environment. Specifically,
we need to concentrate on
changing al! industrial opera-
tions so there is no waste dis-
charge. For example, I was an
environmental advisor to a
brewery. My suggestion  was to
find practical uses for all of the
discharges traditionally  known
as waste. This proved quite
possible, with the brewery find-
ing ways to make fertilizer from
its "pollution," or animal feed,
etc. Or take a large forest prod-
ucts plant i visited in Sweden.
They had no wastes. Everything
was being put to some good
use, including making natural
gas to generate energy. I be-
lieve this is going to be the di-
rection in the big chemical
industries too. It has to be.
There is no  other solution. And
it is going to take a lot of scien-
tific research to do the job.
Russell W. Peterson
National Audubon Society

For scientists to increase their
effectiveness in solving envi-
ronmental problems, they must
recognize and face up to the
   Threats to the air, the water,
and the land are threats to life
—to all life, including human
life. The impacts of today's
exposures may be delayed for
years—such as cancer from
radiation. The cumulative im-
pact of numerous inconsequen-
tial actions over time can be
devastating, such as the build-
up of acid rain.
   To cope with these factors,
scientists must try harder to
help decision-makers focus on
the general interest over the
long run. The critical environ-
mental problems of today are
the deferred costs of past bene-
fits, the results  of reaping the
obvious benefits today while
deferring the hidden costs until
tomorrow. Scientists must learn
how to weigh on society's bal-
ance both the long-term bene-
fits and the long-term costs,
before scaling up a new devel-
opment. We must put our re-
search and  development on a
pay-as-you-go basis.

U.S. Senator
Harrison Schmitt

It is particularly important
that scientists, especially scien-
tist-legislators, recognize the
synergistic  roles that science
and technology play. We must
reach a philosophical and a
legislative balance between
protection of the environment
and utilization of the environ-
ment for the benefit of Ameri-
cans and mankind in general.
   On the one hand, the scien-
tist must gather an understand-
ing of the physical processes
and the interactions between
those processes within the total
earth environment. This under-
standing permits both the pre-
diction of technology's  poten-
tial effects on the environment
and the prevention of those
effects which society deems
   On the other hand, the tech-
nologist (and lawmaker) must
use the expanding base of engi-
neering know-how and innova-
tion to prevent significant envi-
ronmental problems at their
source and to construct a bal-
ance between environmental
protection by law and environ-
mental control by technology.
   As a case in point, the in-
creasing geoscientific knowl-
edge combined with the new
technologies of remote sensing
make it possible to search for
and discover new energy and
minerals in remote areas. These
discoveries can now be made
without any distinctive effects
on the wilderness or other envi-
ronments. Upon discovery, new
exploration, mining and refining
technologies permit extraction
and refining of these resources
without significant final effects
on the total environment.
   As a second illustration, the
increasing knowledge about
oceanic, atmospheric and bio-
logical processes, combined
with new technologies, make
possible the ultimate control of
hazardous materials. For exam-
ple, hazardous wastes can be-
come resources through
advanced chemical and nuclear
separation processes. Toxins
produced in manufacturing can
be destroyed at their source
through destructive  laser and
catalytic chemistry processes.
Significant ground water con-
tamination,  both natural and
man-made, can be eliminated
through new chemical and bio-
logical processing.
   However, present regulatory
and tax law  make it nearly im-
possible to create the balance
that is now scientifically and
technically possible. The above
illustrations are particularly im-
portant in view of the apparent
conflict between our environ-
mental law and our dangerous
dependency on imports of
crude oil (45 percent depend-
ent), most strategic minerals
(65 percent dependent) and es-
sential technological products.
   As we look into the future, it
is clear there will be no future
unless scientists and legislators
work differently than in the
past. They must begin to antici-
pate environmental problems
and efficiently work  around or
solve such problems rather than
only trying to treat the multi-
tude of side effects after they
are upon us.
   There are those who  would
advocate a limit on the use of
new technology, a limit in fact

on National growth, in order to
avoid problems. Such a course
is not open to us. As the only
protector of freedom in a hostile
world, our Nation just does not
have that luxury.

Rep. George E, Brown, Jr.

The involvement of scientists
with regulatory administrators
and policy makers in the care-
ful planning of sound research
programs, which are then
funded at an adequate level,
can provide answers to almost
any question involving the in-
troduction, transport, transfor-
mation, and health and eco-
logical effects of environmental
pollutants, whether it be haz-
ardous waste, toxic substances,
or the common by-products of
human activities introduced
into air, ground, or water. Far
more important, however, is ihe
involvement of science and
scientists in the process of
formulating the fundamental
societal objectives, goals and
strategies which determine if
we continue to be an inefficient,
waste producing, life-threaten-
ing, materialistically oriented
society, constantly defending
ourselves against our own ex-
cesses, or a more benign so-
ciety embracing more creative
   Scientists need to be in-
volved in formulating and
answering questions like the
Are we to continue being a
'waste' producing society, one
in which generation of un-
wanted by-products is inherent
in the production process?
Do we want to add new risks,
as the price for new technol-
ogies, and if so, what amount
of risk are we ready to accept
as a society? And finally, what
burden of shortages or hazards
do we ask future generations to
bear as a result of our choices?
   I hope we ask our scientists
to help us build a society in
which waste is not the end of a
process, but rather the begin-
ning of a new cycle; where
renewable resource technol-
ogies back up  and replace, to
the degree possible, existing
technologies which are based
on non-renewable resources;
and finally, where risk is clearly
defined, understood, and ac-

Janet Welsh  Brown, Ph.D.
Executive Director,
Environmental Defense Fund

In addition to the obvious ones
(carbon dioxide buildup, the
effects of acid  rain, the need
for safe disposal of nuclear
waste), there are some specific
topics, not as often discussed,
that require scientific research
in the 80's: the effects of
diminishing genetic diversity
among both plants and animals,
the correlation between deterio-
rating air quality and morbidity,
detailed analyses of the en-
ergy/food ratio at every stage
of the food chain. There are
also some crosscutting con-
cerns that should, for purposes
of sustaining economic yield
and preserving our environ-
ment, be built  into most re-
search designs.
  Applied research on the  en-
vironment should be concerned
more with efficient end-use of
all resources. American policy-
makers are beginning to recog-
nize this need with respect to
energy—that conservation and
cogeneration can produce the
equivalent of new productive
capacity—but have yet to
develop the same efficiency
with respect to water, and to
all waste problems—sewage,
solid and toxic. Using less  of
finite resources and recycling
more should be the economic
and environmental goal of the
1980's research.
   Much of the scientific re-
search needed in the 1980's
should be economics and social
science research. We must
develop more widely accepted
methods of quantifying the
costs of both degradation and
the protection of the environ-
ment. For instance, the need to
document the cost of air pollu-
tion on various sectors of the
economy (the effects of acid
rain on forestry, agriculture,
recreation industry), and com-
parative cost of cleaning coal,
burning it cleanly and efficient-
ly, and using alternative energy
resources. We also need re-
search on the institutional and
psychological barriers to
changing wasteful habits and
environmentally obsolete tech-
nologies. Social science re-
search can provide the insight
required to overcome such
  And wherever possible, the
transnational character of
environmentai developments
deserves consideration when
designing research.

Irving J. Selikoff, M.D.
Professor, Environmental
Sciences Laboratory,
Mount Sinai School
of Medicine

There is an unhappy legacy of
inattention, of research not
done, observations not made,
data not sought. And, as a re-
sult, precautions not taken nor
controls set  in place, during
decades in which industry
mushroomed in size and com-
plexity, far outstripping natural
buffers of space and time. Our
omissions have inevitably been
accompanied by failure to iden-
tify characteristic clinical syn-
dromes associated with multi-
agent, interacting, chemical
exposures, making it much
more difficult to provide the
necessary quantitative data  for
evaluation of human health
effects of environmental con-
tamination, often at  low-level,
over the long term. Worse,
these inadequacies allowed the
malfunctions to enter the struc-
ture of our economic life; it's
not easy now to replace as-
bestos in brakes, nor benzidine-
based dyes, nor to develop im-
proved methods of chemical
waste disposal, nor to avoid
acid rain, nor even to prevent
the addition  of new toxic agents
to our industrial life.
  We have much to do, to re-
coup as rapidly as possible.
Since we can't do everything, a
scientific priority is to set scien-
tific priorities, to focus on those
factors which are the most
serious and affect the largest
number of people (cancer, re-
productive hazards, disabling
chronic disease, life-shorten-
ing illness).
   The data sought should be
those which will assist in pre-
vention for, at the moment,
diagnosis is neither easy nor
early, and treatment often in-
effective or at best palliative.
Dose-response evaluations
should accompany all probes;
yes-no answers are increasingly
inadequate for regulators. For
this, we must learn to extrapo-
late much better from animal
and in-vitro {test tube) tests to
man, else we will have our
country a vast human

Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., M.D.
National Cancer Institute

In my view, a pressing need
for the 1980's is to identify
environmentally-related causes
of cancer and to define their
relative contributions to this
disease. Since most forms of
cancerare probably multi-
causal in origin it is important
to regard the environment to be
everything to which people are
exposed—directly or indirectly,
intentionally or unintentionally
—and to include both natural
and synthetic agents. Thus, re-
search on environmentally-
related causes of cancer must
consider the general and work-
place environments, as well as
personal habits, lifestyle, and
all other external factors that
may influence the risk of cancer.
   As the relative importance of
various environmental factors
is determined, we must make
concentrated efforts to apply
this knowledge toward the pre-
vention of cancer. Of particular
importance in the 1980's will
be research on the identification
of environmental agents that by
themselves do not cause can-
cer, but may be promoters. An
important area of research will
be to continue to learn about
individual susceptibilities to
cancer. Finally,  a subject that
cannot be ignored in any dec-
ade, smoking cessation pro-
grams must continue with
renewed inspiration and vigor.
                                                                                                            EPA JOURNAL

Dr.Donald N. Langenberg
Deputy Director and
Acting Director,
National Science Foundation

NSF recognizes the great im-
portance of environmental prob-
lem areas. A key to the solution
of such problems is the acquisi-
tion of fundamental knowledge
about the factors underlying or
related to them. This includes
greater knowledge of the exact
chemical and physical proc-
esses involved, the methods of
dispersion and transportation
in the environment, the nature
of the threatened ecosystems,
the processes and rates of
degradation of contaminants,
and the social-economic factors
underlying these activities.
Much of this knowledge may
best be gained through inter-
disciplinary approaches to the
problems. Substitute industrial
processes to replace those that
now produce hazardous by-
products, for example, can be
achieved only through the use
of information growing out of
broad, in-depth studies of alter-
native materials and processes
and thorough, accurate, basic

Dr. Eugene P. Odum
Institute of Ecology,
University of Georgia

Scientists, especially ecolo-
gists, environmental chemists,
and toxicologists, should join
with engineers, economists,
and political scientists to form
teams to seek holistic "cures"
(as contrasted with piecemeal
or one problem/one solution
approaches) to the environmen-
tal "ills" caused by toxic
wastes, since in almost all
cases problems are economic
and political as much or more
than they are technological.  It
can be suggested that two lines
of attack be taken simultane-
ously, namely (1) finding
means to reduce the output of
poisons (and eliminate entirely
the most deadly ones from the
general environment) by rede-
signing  industrial processes to
be less wasteful with  more effi-
cient recycling and removal
technology, and (2) to design
total waste management sys-
tems that couple artificial treat-
ment with the assimilative
capacity of natural systems
such as rivers, wetlands, etc.,
that are the ultimate "tertiary"
treatment facilities.

Dr. Richard M. Krause
National Institute of
Allergy and
Infectious Diseases

We should not forget the
classic lesson learned a half
century ago when the cause of
disease in a cluster of asth-
matic patients was found to be
linked to  highly allergenic dust
emanating as waste from a
nearby castor bean mill. More
recently,  a similar episode oc-
curred when dust from a soy-
bean factory contaminated air
in its vicinity. We have identi-
fied a number of other indus-
trial agents of hypersensitivity
responsible for occupational
asthma, including platinum
salts from soldering flux, cof-
fee bean dust in processing
facilities, mold products dis-
seminated from building air
conditioning and humidifica-
tion tanks, and exposure to
chemical vapors (notably tolu-
ene diisocyanate and trimellitic
anhydride) in the plastics
  And we have even been re-
introduced to earlier rnicrobial
problems with the highly aller-
genic Bacillus subt/lis as a de-
tergent additive and cause of
respiratory problems among
both plant workers and house-
wives. Finally, some air pol-
lutants that are derived from
the combustion of coal, gas and
oil products have major adverse
influences on the prevalence of
respiratory diseases in the
  Because the true magnitude
of the problem is still poorly
understood, epidemiologic re-
search is  required to determine
the prevalence, types and
causes of occupational asthma
and related respiratory diseases
in many industries. Similar
studies are essential to deter-
mine the role of environmental
pollution  in the cause of these
diseases. In particular, the
separate roles played by the
many components of industrial-
photochemical pollution must
be evaluated.
Dr. George M. Woodwell
Ecosystems Center,
Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole, Mass.

In the 1980's the role of the
scientific community in envi-
ronmental comcerns will grow
more important daily: First, it
will be to recognize environ-
mental problems and articulate
the solutions. Most problems
of the environment are allevi-
ated by limitation of the human
population, a point which can-
not be advanced too often. But
the impoverishment of the
Earth's biotic resources through
toxification and mismanage-
ment is the overriding environ-
mental issue of the next dec-
ade. The causes include the
accumulation of carbon dioxide
in air, the acidification of rain,
and the spread of pests.
   Second, it will be to partici-
pate in the governmental proc-
ess: The time when science and
government could proceed in-
dependently has long passed.
Virtually every decision of gov-
ernment treats in some way the
management of resources. A
much higher intensity of inter-
est and activity on the part of
the scientific community is
appropriate. The interest ex-
tends to development of new
research as well as to thought,
analysis, and direct advice to
governmental agencies.
  Third, it will be the develop-
ment of a new science for
closed systems for the support
of man. The complete closure
of man's supporting systems  is,
of course,  not possible. None-
theless, there are a growing
number of environmental prob-
lems for which no intermediate
solution exists. The problems
are either resolved in toto or
not resolved at all. The manage-
ment of toxins presents many
examples.  The solution is a
major effort to close man-
dominated systems so that they
do not  leak toxins or otherwise
pollute air  or water. The systems
availablefor revision range
from houses to whole cities;
from ships to industrial com-
plexes. The challenge is large,
requires development of a new
science, and the need is urgent.
Thomas R. Pickering
Assistant Secretary, Bureau
of Oceans and International
Environmental and Sc;entific
Affairs, Department of State

Science and technology must
rise to the challenge in the
1980's if the overpopulated,
resource-scarce situation pro-
jected by the recently-released
Global 2000 report is to be
averted. Attention must be
directed now to:

• development of alternative
energy sources and food pro-
duction  techniques, particularly
for developing country use;

• design and introduction of
low-cost methodologies and
techniques for increasing the
efficiency of use of water, en-
ergy and wood products in
industrial and municipal oper-
ations, and for reducing waste

• significant improvement in
our knowledge of the direct and
indirect health effects and risks
associated  with industrial
chemicals,  as a necessary
basis for gaining international
cooperation on regulatory and
control measures; and

• understanding large-scale
dynamics and exchange mech-
anisms in the atmosphere and
oceans,  to enable us to evaluate
threats to global processes with
greater certainty.

  There are, in addition, spe-
cialized  global issues with im-
portant political, economic and
social implications which re-
quire the attention of the inter-
national scientific community:
nuclear plant safety and radio-
active waste disposal; acid rain,
carbon dioxide buildup in the
atmosphere; expansion of
deserts and the desertification
process; and wildlife extinction
and narrowing of the genetic
resource base.

Dr. Robert Harris
President's Council on
Environmental Quality

In the face of mounting evi-
dence of chemical contamina-
tion of air, groundwater, sur-

face water, and land resulting
from improper hazardous waste
practices, the greatest chaI lenge
to scientists  is the development
of appropriate biological testing
procedures for assessing the
risk posed by complex mixtures
of substances. Interactive ef-
fects, particularly synergistic
effects among two or more
chemicals within complex mix-
tures, are likely to negate
hazard assessments based on
the testing of the individual
components in the mixture.
This challenge goes well be-
yond the classical toxicologist,
and reaches  out to the biochem-
ist and the molecular biologist
to develop non-invasive tech-
niques for measuring responses
to target macromolecules in
vivo (living animal). Without
adequate methods of assessing
risks we will be unable to effi-
ciently allocate the public's
resources to ameliorate these

Dr. Edward Wenk
Professor of Engineering
and Public Affairs
Program in  Social
Management of Technology,
University of Washington

People have  always lived with
danger. The  1980's, however,
pose threats  to survival at an
unprecedented scale in jeopard-
izing human  habitat, human
health, and the human spirit.
Virtually all of these threats
involve technology and all have
been on the social agenda of gov-
ernment policy.The most salient
of such actions was the National
Environmental Policy Act of
1969. Among other features, it
set a national mandate for
stewardship  of the environ-
ment. And it built into the ad-
ministrative  process the re-
quirement for impact analyr's,
to look before we leap. Consid-
erable progress was made in
the decade of the 1970's
   Now, we find loss in commit-
ment to environmental values.
But even more specifically, we
find that the  political apparatus
appears deaf to a range of warn-
ing signals about the future.
When making decisions under
stress, leadership opts for
short-term solutions without
balanced consideration of long-
term consequences. The chal-
lenge is even more compelling
in a new era of scarce resources
and in a contentious social en-
vironment where fractionation
by single-issue advocates
threatens a spirit of consensus.
  The scientist has a special
responsibility to help in matters
of public choice that involve en-
vironmental health and conserv-
ancy, in the first instance, by
providing technical information
to facilitate informed debate on
what constitute acceptable
risks. This social choice de-
pends on a base of fact and on
understanding of our limits to
knowledge. The scientist must
thus help a public confronted
with technical complexity, frus-
trated by feelings of impotence
and vulnerability.
Beyond its classical role of
acquiring and extending knowl-
edge, the scientific community
should contribute to both pub-
lic understanding and to critical
discernment, to help the non-
specialist grasp the technical
foundations of modern life that
were created  to benefit society
but which  ironically are eroding
our margin for survival.

Dr.Emil M.Mrak
Chancellor Emeritus of the
University of
California, Davis,
Former Chairman of the
Science Advisory Board
of EPA

The concern about man-made
chemicals hazardous to the
health of human kind and its
environment is one of the most
pressing issues of the day.  Nat-
urally this concern is reflected
in legislation, such as the Toxic
Substances Control Act, de-
signed to protect against such
hazards. One of several compli-
cating factors in enforcing this
law is the fact that, since 1968,
our ability to detect traces of
toxic substances in our food,
water and other substrates has
increased from parts per million
to parts per trillion. Although
this is a millionfold increase in
analytical sensitivity, our
knowledge of the significance
of these trace amounts has
increased very little.
  The public protection in ban-
ning the use of any suspected
chemical, until it is proven safe,
seems a logical precaution. It
suffers one critical weakness,
however, for unless it is
coupled with an evaluation of
the effects upon our food and
fiber supply that would result
from the non-availability of
chemicals that have long been
in use, the cure could be worse
than the malady.
  This leaves one viable alter-
native: what has been the effect
upon human health from the
past exposure to chemicals? It
is, of course, impossible to
selectively study the effects of
only one among the many
chemicals used on a normal
human population, but a class
of chemicals could be studied.
Modern pesticides, which must
be toxic to be effective, have
been in widespread use for
over thirty years and are one of
the public's major concerns.
Some agricultural communities
have had  much heavier expo-
sure to a succession of pesti-
cides during this time than have
many non-agricultural commu-
nities. During this same thirty
years, the average age-adjusted
mortality rates, from all causes,
have declined by over 20 per-
cent. Where has this decline
  Health profiles of such ex-
posed and relatively non-
exposed populations have not
been compared adequately in
spite of the fact that so-called
community pesticide studies
have taken place and a sam-
pling of our national health has
been carried out since 1959.
There is, therefore, a great need
for epidemiological studies on
farm workers in California and
the Southwest. This could be
done by adding a comparative
study to the Health and Nutri-
tion Examination Survey, there-
by determining what, if any,
measurable health impairment
has resulted from pesticide
usage. Such a research study is
direly needed and should be
given a high and key priority.

Dr. John T. McAlister, Jr.
Professor of
Economic Systems,
Stanford University

Among the greatest environ-
mental challenges of thel 980's
will be the implementation of
statutes and decisions made in
the 1960'sand 1970's.
   Now that the Nation has set
for itself a goal of greater en-
ergy  independence, especially
by emphasizing the develop-
ment of hydrocarbons in fron-
tier areas, this challenge seems
certain to be all the more ardu-
ous.  States and regions will
continue to shift environmental
burdens away from themselves
and those that produce energy
will attempt to keep it for them-
selves to shift new economic
activity to their turf.
   Symptomatic of the problem
is the response to a question
posed by Representative Morris
Udall in a speech to the Na-
tion's Governors. Who among
them, he asked, would volun-
teer their States to be the repos-
itory for the Nation's hazardous
wastes. None did.
   Where might the answer to
these challenges be found? In
part, at least, in an overlooked,
poorly developed, but inevitable
technology. This  is the human
technology of planning. Not a
planning of imposed blueprints
and fiats but a planning tech-
nology of concepts, modules,
and systems that can be
adapted to the constitutional
strengths of a Federal structure
and the rich diversity of a
democratic society.
   In the 1980's, as in the past,
the science we most need to
fulfill the promise of environ-
mental protection is the knowl-
edge to develop a planning
technology linked to our demo-
cratic/Federal process. D
                                                                                                           EPA JOURNAL

Who Owns
the  Future?
By Charles D. Pierce
     Toronto—The new revolutions in
     political, economicand social struc-
     tures and value systems sweeping
the globe will have a major impact not only
on the future of millions of people but
on the natural environment as well.
   The unfolding of these current and
looming momentous changes was de-
scribed by several speakers at the First
Global Conference on the Future held
recently. More than 5,000 persons from
40 countries attended the sessions in this
stunning and cosmopolitan metropolis on
the Canadian shore of Lake Ontario.
   "It is clear that  a massive evolutionary
shift is underway, based on a radically
new set of environmental and resource
conditions, and that these conditions are
driving human societies into domestic
transitions and a new configuration of
global order," stated Hazel Henderson, a
noted and provocative writer on the future.
   "This New World order is inevitable,
even if keepers of  the old order, in the
fear of change and loss of their power,
try to stem the tides of  change by acts
of desperation, violence and nuclear war."
   She noted that "there is an inevitable
trade-off in evolution between adaptation
and adaptability. Past success constrains
future success. This is  evolution's most
interesting and challenging riddle at many
biological levels. . . . Growth creates struc-
ture, then structure inhibits growth. Noth-
ing fails like success.
   "Anthropologists would state it as the
Law of the Retarding Lead: those cultures
most successfully adapted to the past
and present wil'l be overtaken by those less
committed and over-specialized. Religious
views would restate the same proposition
as simply, The Last Shall Be First."
   Among others addressing the confer-
ence who painted a picture of a world
in transition were  Indira Gandhi, Prime
Minister of India; Willis Harm on, Associ-
ate Director of the SRI  International Center
forthe Study of Social Policy; Rufus E.
Miles Jr., a senior fellow at the Wood row
Wilson School, Princeton  University; and
Rashmi Mayur, international co-ordinator
for the First Global Conference on the
  Gandhi sent a message to the confer-
ence in which she charged that "we are
imprisoned in the old thought processes,
pursuing the same old greeds and desires.
Action plans will fructify only if our think-
ing breaks through these barriers and our
vision stretches into the 21st century.
  "The issues that affect Africa and Asia
now and will continue to do so for years
to come are well known and oft debated.
But the world  is dominated by the devel-
oped affluent nations, who know the
world's great wrongs but do not act."
  Noting that despite the natural resources
of the developing world, "this huge seg-
ment of  humanity is condemned to pov-
erty," she asked: "If these millions cannot
be assured of their basic essentials, what
meaning can discussion on the protec-
tion of our environment or of preserving
the ecological balance or of saving wild-
life have for them?
  "Can we ever hope to achieve a world
free of tension if the greater proportion
of humanity lives in want, while a small,
affluent minority monopolizes the benefits
of modern technology?"

Perennial Wisdom
  Willis Harman, Associate Director of
the SRI International Center for the Study
of Social Policy, told the conference that a
"perennial wisdom"—a set of premises
that is compatible with the many cultures
around the globe—can be found.
  "On the foundation  of such a set of
premises, and on no other, can bebuilt
a global order in which the core values
of all cultures will  be preserved—in which
the great juggernaut of the world industrial
economy will  not ride roughshod over the
less materially focused cultures."
understanding of the spirituality of human-
kind that will avoid the bitter religious
conflicts of the past. On this foundation
industrial society can evolve toward solu-
tion of the dilemma of the alienation, goal-
lessness, and emptiness of a predominant-
ly materialistic society." Harman said that
"at the deepest level, all people share a
common interest and a common destiny—
a destiny that far transcends the greed and
fear, the pain and conflict around which so
much of our society is constructed."
   Commenting on the theme at the future
conference of "Thinking globally, acting
locally," Harman said that the proposition
that "there is a sound basis for thinking
globally and acting locally, and for so guid-
ing society's decision-making process may
sound much too idealistic and impractical
for serious consideration.
   "It no doubt seemed impractical to
many, when two centuries ago, the Found-
ing Fathers of the United States of America
proposed that a new  nation be built on
precisely this same foundation. .  . ,"
   Rufus E. Miles Jr., a senior fellow at
the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton
University, warned that society is suffering
from "energy obesity" and explained
why he believes that smaller quantities of
energy at higher prices "will turn us in a
healthy direction."
   Because of our energy fat, Miles said
that "collectively, we face the prospect of
social heart attacks, arterio and athereo-
sclerosis and inability to perform at any-
where near our full potential.
   "If we understand this and are prepared
to regard the adjustments that are nec-
essary as giving us the probability of be-
coming stronger, more vital, and  healthier
members of a society that should have
a much greater life expectancy than our
current phase of civilization, the potential
trauma can be converted into an exhilarat-
ing experience."
   Miles said that the declining supplies
of energy will help develop a new ethic
which will be more vital to the future of
our society than any technological break-
through can be possibly be. He described
this ethic in the form of five propositions:
1. Man is a fragile and dependent species.
The fauna and flora of the earth can live
without him or her but neither he nor she
can live without them. Man, as a species,
must carefully preserve and replenish
the biosphere or he will perish.
2. Diversity is nature's first line of defense
against evolutionary retrogression. Ex-
tremes of energy use and human popula-

Toronto's modern skyline on the Lake Ontario waterfront includes the 1,815-feet high CN (Canadian National) tower (left), one of
the world's tallest structures.
tion jeopardize the earth's diverse eco-
systems and extinguish great numbers of
species. If continued, they will end biologi-
cal evolution.
3. The survival of human society depends
heavily on the strength of the small co-
hesive units of family and community.
Massive energy consumption has a strong
centrifugal effect on both institutions,
and is inimical to the further social evolu-
tion of humankind.
4. The special human values of open,
democratic societies are vitiated  by the
centralization and bureaucratization that
result from very high energy use. The
essence of open societies can only find
expression through the cooperative action
of people  in manageable communities, not
through large bureaucratic hierarchies.
5. Open societies can develop durable
foundations only by emphasizing  the
quality of human relationships, not growth
in the consumption of goods and  energy,
beyond the essentials for health; by con-
serving the natural and physical resources
of the earth; and by assuring a fair dis-
tribution of both employment and the es-
sentials of life as well  as universal oppor-
tunity for education, health, the arts, and
Survival Ethic
   Miles said, "This is what I call a survival
ethic. It may not seem that many people
share it in comparison with the number
who want simply to continue their search
for a so-called higher standard of living,
meaning compulsive consumption of tran-
sient pleasures. But let me give you  some
evidences of the attitudinal changes that
are taking place and the reasons for my
assertion that our energy future will be
determined more by a  combination of
necessity and ethical beliefs than by
   "Ethics derive from either an intellec-
tual or an intuitive understanding that a
certain form of behavior—one that we
label ethical—is essential  to the survival
of the group, and group survival is essen-
tial to the survival of the individual. Even
primates in the wild develop ethics in  that
an individual will die for the survival of
the group. Once certain ethical principles
are embedded in the traditions of a society,
they have a marked effect on individual
behavior and on the laws and policies  of
the society. Ethical principles are never
static, however. They are constantly chang-
ing and the changes are motivated first
and foremost by the instinct for survival."
   Discussing the necessity for protecting
the biosphere, Miles said, "Rachel Carson
deserves more credit than she has yet
received for elevating the consciousness
of the American people concerning the
thoughtless and inexcusable devastation
of the earth's fauna and flora through the
use of destructive pesticides. She changed
the way people perceived their relationship
with the biosphere on which we are so de-
pendent for life. Her work sparked the
movement that culminated in the enact-
ment of the Environmental  Policy Act
in 1970."
   "It is hard to believe that the National
Environmental Policy Act has been in effect
for only a decade. Its 'impact statements'
have already altered the course of our
society, and they reflect a different social
ethic than that which was dominant in the
first seventy years of this century. The
groundwork was laid by a minority of dedi-
cated people whose perception of the
survival of the group extended not only to
the whole of humanity but to the whole of
the natural  kingdom, and with a long time
   "The next phase of this evolution of
ethics," he said, "will concern itself more
                                                                                                             EPA JOURNAL

explicitly with energy and the modes of
social behavior that will be conducive to
survival. What we are beginning to observe
and wiH be observing much more is a
change that is simultaneously brought
about by the necessity of cutting down on
our use of energy because there is less
of it to go around, and also by the joy of
knowing that there are numerous ways in
which we can contribute to the reconstruc-
tion of our society to make it more  livable,
even with far less  energy, for our  children
and grandchildren.
   "I have deliberately emphasized the
ethical motivation, because once people
understand it, there is no limit to the ways
in-which it can stimulate the imagination
and make people realize that there  is no
point to  bemoaning what their governments
fail to do, or do wrong; the place to begin
is in one's family and community. The
leadership that will guide us successfully
into the  civilization of tomorrow will be
a bottom-up leadership, not a top-down
leadership. I cannot emphasize too strongly
that we are going through a period of
change in social ethics and mores in which
it jjnust be a minority of perceptive people
wfio will have to do the leading. I am not
an expert in the social dynamics of other
societies, but I suspect that this may be
nearly as true in many other societies as it
is in the United States.
   "Already millions of people perceive
that their survival, and that of their children
and grandchildren—and,  indeed, the sur-
vival of the biosphere—are inescapably
dependent on changing our life styles so
that we  are less dependent on Persian- Gulf
oil, or any other kind of oil. We must not
be driven into a nuclear holocaust in an
effort to keep Persian Gulf  oil flowing—as
if World War III could keep anything flow-
ing. Adjusting to a  lower energy level does
not necessarily mean hardship and dis-
comfort. It can mean a society that changes
its preoccupation from compulsive con-
sumption to a slow but steady improvement
in the quality of human relations and the
nurture of the biosphere. This is the di-
rection in which I believe we are slowly
and inexorably moving. I can see the green
shoots of that new  civilization developing.
I  hope they gain a firm foothold before
they are trampled to death by the dinosaurs
of mammoth industrial and government
hierarchies that will some day die of their
own excessive size and inability to  adapt to
a changing world."

Dramatic Change
   Mayur, the global conference's interna-
tional coordinator, declared that "three
centuries of the industrial order dominated
by western countries is on the verge of
dramatic changes.  During the last two
decades of the 20th century, the Third
World countries, with massive population
growth, will demand an increasing share
of the world's depleting resources.
  He said that there "is an unprecedented
explosion of human energies in the Third
World cities. People are clamoring for
goods, services and ideas they never
dreamt of in their placid villages, and the
momentum of their force seems uncon-
  He warned the prognosis of the global
future would be tragic if planning and
development efforts are not directed to-
wards assuring these people a place in the
mainstream of humanity.
  "For the next quarter century," he said
"the developing countries will face several
crises, but all of them will be products
of increasing demand at the same time
resources are declining. Western countries
are not likeiy to reduce their demand or
share the planetary resources. It is in the
context of this human reality that the
search for new world order must occur.
  "Yet human life," he said, "is unique
and has unlimited potential, which can be
realized by exploring, creating, and desig-
nating those systems of existence which
go beyond the accepted limitations of the
past,  such  as war, exploitation, inequality,
poverty, and deprivation. All these and
other limitations'are man-made. They are
the product of greed, unconcern, misman-
agement, vanity, and sheer idiocy."
  Mayur called for an effort "to initiate
a new renaissance of man's spirit in har-
mony with himself, with all societies in
their rich variety and  with the
  In her address, Henderson said,
"Instead of embracing and capitalizing
on the inevitable dawning of a new Solar
Age, most countries are still hurling re-
sources into yet another costly detour—
into non-renewable energy technologies.
  "The Soviet Union, France, Germany
and Britain are still backing into a nuclear
future, locking-through the rear-view mir-
ror  while the U.S.A., its nuclear program
stalled by wary Wall Street investors and
insurance companies, has now committed
$20 billion tax funds  into a wasteful,
inept boondoggle in synthetic fuels from
coal. This hailed, not incidentally, by big
oil companies who will benefit, and thus
recapture most  of the some $24 billion
windfall profit tax enacted by the Congress.
  "Thus'the costly detour through the
non-renewable  energy past, at the behest of
dinosaur industries, continues to prevent
adaption to the  future. Meanwhile, the
so-called less-developed countries of the
world's sun-belt are free to leapfrog the
unsustainable technologies and  proceed
straight to the Solar Age," she declared.
  Henderson called for a New World
Order based on the following five
•  "The value of all human beings.
•  "The right to satisfaction of basic
human needs (physical, psychological and
metaphysical) of all human beings.
•  "Equality of opportunity for self-devel-
opment for ail human beings.
«  "Recognition that these principles and
goals-must be achieved within ecological
tolerances of lands, seas, air, forests and
the total carrying capacity of the biosphere.
•  "Recognition that all these principles
apply with equal emphasis to the future
generations of humans and their biospheric
life-support systems, and thus include
respect for all other life forms, and the
Earth itself.
   "Historically," she said, "human devel-
opment can be reviewed as many local
experiments at creating social orders of
many varieties, but usually based on partial
concepts,  i.e. these social orders worked
for some people, at the expense of other
people, based on the exploitation of nature.
Furthermore, they worked in short-term,
but appear to have failed in long-term.
Today, all these experiments of local and
partial human development, when seen in
a planetary perspective, have been failures
in one way or another. . . ."
   She said, "the aspirations for a new
World Order are not only based on ethical
and moral principles, important as these
emerging planetary values will be for our
species' survival. The need for a new
World Order can now be scientifically
demonstrated. We see the principles of
interconnectedness emerging out of re-
ductionist science itself, as basis, and
the concomitant ecological reality that
redistribution is also a basic principle of
nature. Since all ecosystems periodically
redistribute energy, materials, structures
through biochemical and geophysical proc-
esses and  cycles, therefore all human
species' social systems must also conform
to principles of redistribution of these
same resources that they use and transform.
   Thus, she said, "the new World Order
can be founded both on scientific and
ethical principles. We are discovering the
new World Order in science and remember-
ing that we know it already, since these
same five principles are found in all religi-
ous, spiritual traditions. Ethical principles
have become frontiers of scientific inquiry.
Morality, at last, has become pragmatic;
while so-called  idealism has become real-
   The  global conference was sponsored
by the World Future Society, headquar-
tered in Washington, and the Canadian
Association for Future Studies. The next
global conference is scheduled for 1984
in Bombay, India.  D

Charles Pierce is Editor of the
EPA Journal.
                                                                                                                       1 1

On The
Cutting  Edge
By Truman Temple
     One day two years ago Dr. Lawrence
       Plumiee, medical science advisor at
       EPA Headquarters for the previous
 eight years, made a momentous personal
 decision to quit his job in Washington.
   For years  he had felt tired, depressed,
 and achy on  days when the city's air pollu-
 tion was bad. He had moved from the
 Maryland border of Northwest Washington
 to a townhouse one block from the Agency
 to avoid the daily drive through auto
 fumes. He had special vents installed in
 his office so that the positive air pressure
 would reduce the amount of tobacco smoke
 drifting in. At his own expense he had
 installed air cleaning equipment.
   These measures helped temporarily,
 but they did not arrest his downhill slide
 in health. He often feltas if he had a bad
 hangover, and his muscles and joints
 ached. At times he had trouble concen-
 trating. Although his job as advisor to the
 Deputy Assistant Administrator for Health
 and Ecological Effects  required him to
 attend many conferences, he cut back
 sharply on travel because he found that
 the tobacco fumes, f umigants, and
 cleansers impregnated in hotel drapes and
 carpets aggravated his symptoms. In fact,
 the only time he really felt well was  when
 he moved to New Hampshire on extended
 leave to get away from the city. Over the
 years he had watched his weight gradually
 drop from 1 35 to 93 pounds.
   And so Dr. Plumiee, a graduate of Johns
 Hopkins Medical School, with post-gradu-
 ate training in the physiology of  environ-
 mental stress and lengthy research expe-
 rience in this subject at Walter Reed Army
 institute of Research, gave up his govern-
 ment career  and moved to the Ozarks.
   Today he  lives in the town of Sulphur
 Springs, Ark., where theairiscleanandthe
 nearest city is 50 miles away. As he puts it,
 "I had become so ill that although I loved
 my job at EPA, it didn't seem feasible  to
 continue. It's difficult to put a price on
   Dr. Plumiee is an example of  a rapidly
 growing group of people who find that they
are overloaded from our polluted environ-
ment. It is becoming known that all hu-
mans have to deal with this increase in
environmental  load just to function. Some
authorities estimate that perhaps as much
as 40 percent of the population a re adverse-
ly affected by some aspect of environ-
mental pollution at one time or another.
   Dr. Plumiee  owes part of a new out-
look  on life to the Environmental Control
Unit  of the Brookhaven Medical Center
in  Dallas, Texas, where he receives treat-
ment. The unit, directed by Dr. William
Rea,  a member of EPA's Science Advisory
Board, has gained international attention
in  caring for patients with acute sensitivi-
ties to chemicals and other substances.
Dr. Plumiee has gained back some weight
and has begun to improve under the unit's
care. He shares the enthusiasm of many
patients for the scientifically valid but
non-traditional approach of the unit, which
employs special methods in diagnosing
the causes of "environmental overloads"
and protecting  patients from those sub-
stances that afflict them.
   "I'm very fortunate to be here," Plumiee
declared to this writer during a recent
visit  to the unit.
   Dr. Rea's methods of diagnosis and
treatment show a sharp departure from
established ways of testing for other more
conventional illnesses. "Toxicologists,
whose focus is the study of homogeneous
strains of rats and mice, simply don't ap-
preciate that safety factors of 100 or 1,000
such as are used today for common chem-
icals do not protect a sizable  number of
people," Plumiee commented.
   The Dallas facility was established by
Dr. Rea after he drew upon his knowledge
of his own health problems, studies of
work by Dr. Theron Randolph, and his own
background as a cardiovascular surgeon,
to extend the innovative approach to the
ills of what has been called our "chemical
society." Dr. Rea had become an estab-
lished specialist in thoracic surgery in
Dallas. But after several years of practice,
he found that fumes from the anesthesia
in the surgery room were making him ill.
Even giving a patient a bronchoscope exam
left him with headaches, since the patient
was  breathing anesthesia fumes into the
physician's face. Worried about his abil-
ity to continue work, he determined which
substances affected him and after avoid-
ing them for months, he found he was able
to tolerate these same chemicals better.
   The experience prompted him to plunge
into  a field that appeared at first to be
entirely different: How the uniqueness of
each person is  brought out dramatically,
often manifested as disease, by the man-
ner in which people react to ordinary
environmental factors. However, it fitted
perfectly into his specialty in cardiovascu-
lar surgery since that knowledge could
be applied in solving many of the perplex-
ing problems he faced. It gave some an-
swers in many instances to such illnesses
as intractable phlebitis, uncontrollable
arthritis and lung failure.
   One of the most helpful sources of
information was Dr. Randolph, a Chicago
specialist in internal medicine and allergy
who had studied more than 20,000 cases
of petrochemical hypersensitivity during
the last three decades. Dr. Randolph, who
received an Environmental Quality Award
in 1976 from EPA Region 5, found
many people whose illness was directly
related to common chemicals that seem-
ingly did not affect the general population
despite daily exposures of both groups.
  After two years of consultation with
Dr. Randolph, Dr. Rea campaigned among
his colleagues and the public and super-
vised the creation of a 26-bed  environ-
mental-control unit at the Dallas medical
center  in 1975.
  Among those physicians who joined
Dr. Rea's staff after learning of his work
                                                                 EPA JOURNAL

was Dr. Robert Stroud, a rheumatologist,
editor of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical
Immunology, and formerly on the Allergy
and Clinical Immunology Research Com-
mittee, National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases.
  To enter the Brookhaven Environmental
Control Unit is to walk into a different
world. It is sealed off from the rest of the
center by double glass doors. The air used
for heat and air conditioning is specially
filtered. The rooms are constructed of
aluminum, steel, ceramic tile and porcelain
surfaces. Floors are stone or hard vinyl.
Curtains are all-cotton. A patient who
wants to read a paperback book uses what
resembles the nuclear industry's "glove
box" where the books are contained under
glass and the patient handles them with
protective gloves built into the compart-
ment. (The paper and ink contain several
chemicals that can  cause allergic reactions,
so they are isolated like some dread
  Despite this seemingly cold decor,
patients find the unit a relief to enter be-
cause they are protected from a host of
substances to which exposure results in
physical and mental misery. For some,  it is
the only kind of environment in  which
they can live and breathe comfortably.
Indeed, Dr. Rea remarked to this writer
during a recent visit, "Did you notice how
I hung around in there while talking to you?
It's because I feel so much better in those
rooms." Although the average healthy per-
son is unaware of it, a number of synthetic
fabrics, soft plastics, and construction
materials give off fumes that cause a whole
spectrum of reactions in many individuals.
Part of the treatment is to remove from
the patient's environment those materials
likely to undergo this "outgassing."
   What causes certa'in people to  develop
hypersensit'ivity to the various chemicals
in our society?
   Dr. Rea explains it with what he calls
his "full barrel" analogy.
   "Those patients with chemical over-
exposure are somewhat like a barrel being
filled up," he says. "When the barrel
finally overflows, you begin to see symp-
toms. But something else happens. Once
the overflow load is reached, you don't
need a lot of a chemical pollutant to pro-
duce these symptoms. Just a minute
amount, even one or two parts per billion
either inhaled or swallowed, is enough
to trigger very serious reactions."
   To get an idea of how overloaded these
patients are, one only has to read a sign
at the portal of the unit: "Do not enter this
area if you are wearing perfume, hair spray
or aftershave lotion." One whiff is enough
to cause some patients to go into convul-
sions, become unconscious, or experience
other symptoms such as skin rashes, bruise
marks, labored breathing, muscle con-
tractions, and irregular heartbeats. As
one nurse remarked, "If a woman walked
through here wearing cologne, she'd leave
a trail of bodies on the floor."
  Although it is known that exposure to
some chemicals greatly increases a per-
son's risk of cancer, chemicals can trigger
other diseases such as arthritis, bronchitis,
phle-bitis, an impairment in reading ability
known as dyslexia, and even in fare in-
stances multiple sclerosis. And as our
industrial society develops more and more
chemical products, the medical profes-
sion is having to grow ever more sophisti-
cated in dealing with chemical victims.
   As Dr. Rea puts it, "Medical environ-
mental technology is about 100 years
behind environmental technology. The
environmentally contaminated situation
present today would be similar to the time
when people were rubbing manure  into
wounds, or physicians were doing pelvic
examinations after a post mortem." What
his hospital unit does, among other things,
is to put patients into a relatively unpol-
luted world where all the contaminants
they are exposed to daily are removed.
That itself is a departure from  medical
routine, because as Dr. Rea points out,
offending substances are readily found in
the average hospital, ranging from  polyes-
ter draperies and carpets to the plastics
found in telephone wire  (not to mention
nurses wearing hair spray).
   The typical new patient at the Brook-
haven unit must remove  all cosmetics
before entering and don 100 percent
cotton clothing. All medications are halted,
and the patient takes no food so that his
body processes can return to normal meta-
bolic balance and stability by elimina-
tion or neutralization of toxics, or recov-
er from immunologic and enzymatic
distortion. Even drinking water is specially
filtered to remove chlorine and pesticide

Sign at entrance to Environmental Con-
trol Unit at Brookhaven Medical Center,

residues. The fasting may continue for
days until symptoms fade away. During
this period the patient may undergo severe
withdrawal symptoms in the absence of
foods or chemicals that  have been in his
or her environment, much as an alcoholic
suffers during a "drying out" period.
  After years of study, Dr. Rea and his
colleagues have worked out to an aston-
ishing degree the many controls that must
be imposed to keep the  Brookhaven unit
free of contaminants. Walls are made of
glass and cement blocks, painted with
a "low outgassing" paint that had been
allowed to dry up to one year to eliminate
any volatile petro-chemicals. Floors are
of terrazzo tile or hard vinyl, also allowed
to age. Beds and furniture are all metal or
hardwood. Bed linen and curtains are
100 percent cotton laundered in pure non-
detergent vegetable or animal soap. Fil-
ters of activated charcoal and other sub-
stances at the entrance eliminate any odors
or fumes that might come through the
doors. Even the hospital beds are hand-
cranked, since electric motors give off
invisible but troublesome fumes.
  The Brookhaven unit maintains its own
kitchen for the preparation of chemically
less contaminated foods. It contracts with
private growers to assure the quality of
the farm products and constantly tests
samples of the produce. The unit also uses
brands of mineral water since tap water
contains chlorine and other unwanted
chemicals. The table where these brands
are kept resembles a gourmet counter,
with bottles of Perrier from France, Fiuggi
from Italy, and Bru from Belgium.
  All patients during diagnosis and treat-
ment are kept in the unit for at least
1 6 days. When the symptoms disappear,
usually after  several days of fasting, and
the patient is able to sleep all night, he or
she is given chemically  less contaminated
foods that have not been subject to pesti-
cides or synthetic fertilizers, to see if it is
the food itself or the chemicals used by
farmers that causes the  reaction. If the
patient comes through this test without
a noticeable reaction, regular commercial
food is tried next.  Such  products, Dr. Rea
points out, have been contaminated by
synthetic sprays, herbicides, preservatives,
artificial colorings and sweeteners, and
wax and plastic wrappings, and have been
cooked on gas stoves in synthetic pots and
pans. So there are many ways in which
foreign substances can  affect patients, and
reactions are closely observed and
   In addition to testing them with foods,
physicians expose patients in a separate
chamber to small quantities of chemicals
and record their reactions. Th'is is usually
done by putting an open jar containing
a so-called safe ambient dose of a chem-
ical, as defined by government and indus-
try, near the patient. Such a dose is equal
"Glove box " enables patients to read while shielding them from chemicals in paper and
ink in books and journals.
to what the person would encounter in
daily life. The exposures are done in a
double blind manner, that is, using a pro-
cedure where the patient doesn't know
which of the samples contain a chemical
or an inert, harmless substance.
  Other tests include exposure for a few
minutes to a stove pilot light of natural gas,
cigarette smoke, perfume, pine scented
floor wash, and chemicals found in car-
pets, foam pillows, and polyester cloches
wh'ich a person would contact daily at
home or work.
  The task is complex, for as Dr. Rea
never tires of explaining, the amount and
scope of pollution that has crept into the
environment is enormous.
  "Most public water systems are over-
loaded with synthetic chemicals that in-
crease the exposure to synthetics from
1,000 to  10,000 times," he says. He points
to EPA studies of the 83 largest cities
showing all their water  supplies to be
chemically contaminated. "Ninety-four
percent of the commercial food has pesti-
cide in it, and the average individual
ingests an estimated one gallon of food
additives per year," he  adds.
  The most polluted place in the environ-
ment appears to be the  average home,
with its many synthetics, foam rubber in
beds and chairs, and often-encountered
gas heat.
   The combination of these substances
at home with a polluted work environment
produces a massive increase in body load
that the individual has to handle just to
function  each day, he emphasizes. This
often becomes too great for people with
certain hereditary and acquired traits,
results in increasing individual susceptibil-
ity, and paves the way for inflammatory
diseases, he explained.
   "It is insufficient to have sick people get
to feel-ing better; they must be helped to
discover for themselves that their illness
has been caused, and how. This gets their
attention and helps them become respon-
sible for completing the testing and retest-
ing on their own after leaving the Environ-
mental Unit," he stated.
   After the Brookhaven doctors  have
determined which substances have pro-
voked reactions in a patient, the next step
is to draw up a program of avoidance so
that the individual can get back to leading
a normal life. For some, it's merely a matter
of restricted diets and avoiding certain
chemicals. For others, it may be an elabo-
rate and costly change in their dwellings,
a job change, or even a move to a remote
location far from industry and traffic. In
one case, a woman who had been teaching
in Los Angeles moved to a mission school
in Guatemala. She felt so much better
working there that she now comes back to
the United States only on summer vaca-
tions. She has lost all her chemical sensi-
tivity and is pursuing her Ph.D.
   Another patient told this writer her
solution was to change her home com-
pletely. She removed all carpets  since they
contained formaldehyde to which she was
sensitive. She got rid of all spray cans
around the house. She even switched to a
special brand of lipstick made  of beeswax.
   To  the outsider, it can be a disturbing
experience to see how a sensitized person
reacts to invisible pollutants. Consider the
case of one attractive woman who formerly
had worked as a nurse in South Carolina.
A year ago local authorities had sprayed
her neighborhood for mosquitoes following
a hurricane, and the pesticide affected her
so profoundly that she began having
   "Every time I went outside the house I
wound up in a hospital," she explained.
"I slept constantly. I was working in a
surgery room, but I became ill there. I
underwent personality changes and be-
came  irritable, nervous, almost paranoid,"
   The woman now works on Dr.  Rea's staff
as well as receiving treatment there. She
                                                                                                           EPA JOURNAL

was relating her experiences to this writer
in a calm, cheerful manner when someone
dropped a small vial in the corridor outside
the room. Within seconds the woman
began writhing in pain, slumping in her
chair and trembling. Dr. Rea stepped to
an oxygen tank, handed her the hose, and
turned it on. Within two minutes she was
back to normal and talking again. The
cause of the distress: A small container of
extract of sesame, used to test other
patients,  had accidentally tipped over.
Although the odor would not have been
detected by a normal person nearby, it was
enough to bring on her seizure.
   "It is critical to the appreciation of this
scientific and conservative method of  study
to understand that the principle of  symp-
tom suppression in the form of drugs, medi-
cines and injections is very nearly  incom-
patible with the success of this procedure.
Drugs must be used with great caution,
and their use generally prolongs the diag-
nostic periods. They must be used  with
great care and under strict supervision
later, in the rehabilitation phase," one
colleague of Dr. Rea observed.
   .In dealing with severe cases of chemical
overload, Dr. Rea  sometimes encounters
patients so damaged by environmental
pollutants that their general resistance to
illness is lowered. They have recurrent
infections, colds, influenza, and asthma
attacks. "We have found changes in the
immune and biological amplification sys-
tem in  many patients," he declares.
"Over  50 percent of our patients are
T-lymphocyte-depressed, and another 25
percent have poor functioning T-lympho-
cytes. At times many other lab tests are
abnormal." (T-lymphocytes are white
blood cells produced by lymph tissue.  They
can kill off tumors and are thought  to be
part of the body's  immune system.)
   For a number of these patients, Dr.  Rea
has been working in collaboration with
Dr. Amanullah Khan, also a member of
EPA's Science Advisory Board, in another
advanced field-—the use of transfer factor
to raise a patient's general resistance.
   Transfer factor was discovered  in 1955
by Dr. H. S. Lawrence of  New York Uni-
versity. Scientists do not entirely under-
stand the nature of this substance,  but it
seems to help transfer some people's
immunity to disease to others. It is stored
in the white blood cells and released when
the body  is invaded by something foreign
such as a skin graft, bacteria or cancer
cells. It then activates disease-fighting
white cells which  in turn attack foreign
substances. Dr. Khan, who is Chairman of
the Department of Immunotherapy at the
Wadley Institutes of Molecular  Medicine
in Dallas, explained that transfer factor
is obtained by using an experimental
machine known as a Celltrifuge, which
pumps blood from the body and under
centrifugal force separates it into various
   "We have found that transfer factor im-
proves cellular immunity in a patient," Dr.
Khan said, "such as asthmatics who have
frequent infections." The substance also is
used to treat a number of other illnesses in-
ciuding virus infections. The Wadley Insti-
tutes are particularly well equipped in this
field as their central blood bank is the largest
of its kind in the Southwest, serving 36
   Or. Khan is working with a technique
to determine whether a patient's white
blood cells react to environmental pollu-
tants by noting the level at which a
pollutant interferes with the person's
natural immunological system." We test
the ability  of a patient's white blood cells
to produce interferon. If it's not normal, we
know there may be a defect in the resist-
ance to invasions," he explains. "We can
use it as a  test to screen carcinogens, which
inhibit a cell's ability to produce inter-
feron." {Interferon, discovered in  1957, is
a chemical produced naturally by the body
that acts to help the human system defend
itself against viruses. It is being tested
widely as a weapon against cancer.)
Dr. Lawrence Plumlee (left) with Dr.
William Ren at Environmental Control
Unit. Dallas.

  The method at Wadley to measure
interferon levels has attracted attention
because it is easily set up, has also been
tested in  laboratory equipment by others
against a variety of industrial chemicals, is
sensitive to low levels of pollutants, and
can be applied cheaply to large numbers of
patients simultaneously since the process
makes use of a computer. Physicians esti-
mate the cost for the immunological pro-
cedure could run as low as $5 per test
series. Observers believe this approach
could be  a valuable supplement to the
medical profession's other far more costly
ways  of dealing with suspected chemicals.
(Assessing the long-term or chronic effects
of a chemical is a  notoriously difficult task.
A single test for a  chemical's cancer-caus-
ing ability, for example, may take up to
three  years and cost 5250,000 or more.)
  What lies in the future for our "chemical
society"? As of now, it seems certain that
the caseload for specialists like Dr. Rea
won't get any smaller. Already several
patients from the Love Canal chemical
disposal  site have been treated at the
Brookhaven unit, and many similar sites
pose potentially similar hazards. Dr. Rea's
innovative approach has attracted patients
from as far away as England, Australia,
Canada,  Hawaii, and the Bahamas. Some
85 percent of those suffering from mi-
graines and vascular headaches are
reported  improved, as are 80 percent of
rheumatoid-arthritic cases, he reports.
  The result of all this is, in his words,
that "demand is just ferocious." More than
1,000 patients have been treated at the
unit, and it is booked ahead to next Janu-
ary, with  a waiting list of patients seeking
admission. The Brookhaven unit is plan-
ning to add 50 more beds, although it  al-
ready is the largest of five such environ-
mental-control units in this country. (The
others are inZion, III. where Dr. Randolph
works; Whiteville, N.C., Denver, and
Watertown,  S.D.) Word of their techniques
has spread abroad, and a similar unit has
now been set up in England by Dr. Richard
Mackarness, author of Eating Dangerously:
The Hazards of Hidden Allergies (Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich, 1976).
  Although  the layman may regard the
patients at Brookhaven as rare, isolated
examples of human sensitivity to environ-
mentaI stress, some medical  authorities
feel that these patients are a kind of early
warning system for the whole population.
"They are one end of a spectrum that in-
cludes us already," declares  one specialist.
"since most of us are now affected to one
degree or another by traffic fumes, mono-
sodium giutamate in our food, by migraine
headaches, by rough, inflamed hands from
detergents, by pesticide allergies, and so
on." And with the large number of chemi-
cals being added to our environment each
year, authorities are growing  more con-
cerned about the ability of the general
population to accommodate to this increase
in pollutants.
  Physicians have a number  of sophisti-
cated devices for special therapy that  seem
futuristic to the layman. There is a machine
to perform plasmaphoresis, for removal of
plasmas from the blood, and another for
leukophoresis, to remove white blood  cor-
puscles. Using this technology, specialists
may some day pump blood from a patient
into a chamber where they can remove
unwanted chemicals.
  "But to tell you the truth," observes Dr.
Rea, "nothing seems to be quite as good as
s-imply getting the chemical load of a
patient down with the methods we now
use. What we need is clean air, clean food,
and clean water." D

Truman Temple is Associate  Editor of
EPA Journal.

To  Protect
     The Environmental Protection Agency's
     efforts to alert other countries on the
     hazards of ozone depletion caused by
 continued emissions of chlorofluorocar-
 bons are beginning to show results in a
 number of areas.
   The issue, which has taken several years
 to gather momentum because of its com-
 plex nature, is now the focus of major and
 concerted attention by several international
   Deputy Administrator Barbara Blum,
 who has chaired meetings of regulators
 from several nations dealing with the
 problem as early as April  1977, sounded
 the call to action last spring in Oslo,
 Norway. In a move designed to show U.S.
leadership in reducing these emissions
beyond earlier actions to end the use of
chlorofluorocarbons as aerosol propellents,
Blum announced that the U.S. was be-
ginning the development of regulations to
freeze future production of these chemicals
to present levels.
  Recently EPA released a massive report
by the Rand Corporation that analyzed a
number of control options, focusing on the
economic effects of controlling the chemi-
cals. The report includes sections on all
their remaining major uses in the U.S.
including rigid and flexible urethane foam
production, solvent applications, refrigera-
tion and air conditioning, and miscellan-
eous specialty uses.
  Blum headed the U.S. delegation  at the
Oslo conference,  a two-day gathering of
seven nations and the Commission of the
European Communities. The participants
were the United States, Canada, Norway,
Denmark, Sweden, the Federal Republic of
Germany, and The Netherlands. She
followed upthiswith a series of bilateral
meetings in London, Rome, Dublin and in
Brussels, where she met with representa-
tives of the European Economic Commu-
nity (Common Market). In Great Britain her
discussions with senior government envi-
 Aerosolspray can
 Photo  1980 AEROSOL AGE, reprinted with permission
ronmental officials and environmental
groups included a press conference at
which she emphasized the urgency of the
  The question of ozone depletion gen-
erated by chlorofluorocarbon emissions
now has been placed on the agenda for a
meeting of the Environment Committee of
the  Organization for Economic Coopera-
tion and Development (OECD) in Paris
December 2-4. Last month the Committee
convened an international group of scien-
tists to prepare a report for use by policy-
makers on stratospheric ozone depletion
and the ensuing expected effects, including
health, biological, climatic and economic
aspects. Dr. Herbert L. Wiser, Principal
Physical Science Advisor in the EPA Office
of Research and Development, was one of
the  authors of the report.
  Meanwhile the Coordinating Committee
on the Ozone Layer of the United Nations
Environment Program (UNEP) has sched-
uled a meeting November 10-14 in
Bilthoven, The Netherlands, to discuss
international assessment of scientific
aspects of the problem and prepare rec-
ommendations for further action to the
UNEP Governing Council. Dr. Wiser as-
sisted UNEP in the preparation of this
report. It is expected that the report, to be
distributed throughout the United Nations,
will have a significant impact, particularly
in presenting the problem to the developing
nations and in accelerating world-wide
  The reason for world-wide concern
about the effects of continued emissions of
chlorofluorocarbons is that the ozone layer,
located in the stratosphere about 10 to 30
miles above the Earth, acts asa shield
preventing most of the biologically harmful
solar ultraviolet radiation from reaching
the  Earth's surface. Scientists are con-
cerned that even a relatively small loss of
this ozone shield would have  serious
effects on human health and other life on
Earth. According to a National Academy of
Sciences report in December  1979, crop
yields are likely to be reduced as a result
of a reduction in the ozone layer. Also, the
larva and juveniles offish and algae and
phytoplankton and microscopic organisms
been shown in research studies to be
affected by an increase of ultraviolet radi-
ation. The potential impact of chlorofluoro-
carbons in the atmosphere on climate, with
a possible warming of the average global
surface temperature, also is a matter of
concern, though small when compared to
the  potential impact on climate expected
from increasing carbon dioxide.
  According to scientists, after chloro-
fluorocarbons are released  into the air from
sources such as spray cans, leakage from
refrigerators and air conditioners, and
industrial emissions, they slowly migrate
into the stratosphere. There, high energy

ultraviolet rays disassociate the chloro-
fluorocarbon molecules, releasing chlorine
atoms and other chemical species. In es-
sence the chlorine and chlorine oxide (an
intermediate product) serve as catalysts
destroying ozone molecules with which
they react. Each chlorine atom may be in-
volved in'many tens of thousands of such
reactions before being washed out of the
stratosphere as hydrochloric acid.
   (Other important reactions involving the
interactions between  the ozone or oxygen
cycle, the chlorine cycle, the nitrogen
cycle, the hydrogen or hydroxyl cycle, and
to a lesser extent the carbon cycle also take
place. All of these reactions—and there
are some 1 50 of them-^-participate in the
determination of the amount of ozone pres-
ent on balance, some  enhancing and some
ameliorating ozone depletion.)
   Scientists have devised theoretical
models, supported  by atmospheric meas-
urements and including many of the above
atmospheric reactions, predicting ozone
depletion. Estimates vary  on precisely how
much ozone will be lost and what the
effects of such loss will be to life on earth,
but the estimates agree closely enough that
the prospect has resulted in international
   One serious consequence of this ozone
depletion would be a  large increase in skin
cancers. According to the 1979 Academy
report, a loss of 16.5 percent in strat-
ospheric ozone would raise ultraviolet
exposure at mid-latitudes  by about 40 per-
cent. There are now about 300,000 cases
of non-melanoma skin cancers annually in
the United States, according to the Na-
tional Cancer Institute. Scientists believe
that several hundred thousand additional
cases could occur annually in the U.S. if
appropriate measures are  not taken to curb
emissions of chlorofiuorocarbons. Non-
melanoma cancers  rarely cause death but
are considered serious, require medical
care, and can cause disfigurement. Persons
with fair complexions and outdoor workers
are more susceptible to them, especially in
southern latitudes where ultraviolet rays
are more intense. Melanoma, a relatively
rare form of skin cancer which is frequently
fatal, has complex causes  which appear to
be at least partially related to ultraviolet
exposure. The Academy report estimated
that several thousand additional melanoma
cases per year in the U.S. might result if
chlorofluorocarbon emissions were to con-
tinue at the 1977 release rate.
   Advanced technological countries such
as Canada, the United Kingdom, France
and the Federal Republic of Germany are
conducting scientific  studies of the atmo-
spheric aspects of the problem, as is the
World Meteorological Organization. A
number of countries have  taken measures
to regulate chlorofiuorocarbons. Canada,
Sweden, and Norway have taken actions to
control their use as aerosol propellants,
and the Dutch government last year re-
quired that such spray cans carry a warning
label concerning ozone depletion effects.
The European Economic Community also
has called for a reduction of at least 30
percent from 1976 levels in these aerosols
by each of its nine member nations by next
   Effective October 15, 1978 EPA banned
the non-essential uses of chlorofiuorocar-
bons as aerosol propellants and subse-
quently banned processing them for these
uses and distribution in interstate com-
merce. The Food and Drug Administration
that year also banned manufacture  or pack-
aging of food, drug, or cosmetic products
containing these chemicals as propellants,
and last year prohibited the marketing of
such products. These actions by the two
agencies virtually eliminated the use of
chlorofiuorocarbons as propellants in
aerosol spray products in the United States.
A few propellent uses still are permitted
for specialized areas such as medicine, but
they represent only 2 to 5 percent of the
total chlorofiuorocarbons previously used
in spray products. The U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission also was in-
volved in regulatory decisions and called
for a "cap" on the production capacity of
   "The United States has gone the farthest
so far in attempting to deal with this prob-
lem," declares "Tex" Harris, Director of
EPA's Office of International Activities.
"But this is truly a planetary issue and
requires well-coordinated international
   The 1979 National Academy report de-
clared that if all countries decided to take
action comparable with that taken by the
United States and Sweden in eliminating
nonessential uses of these chemicals as
aerosol propellants in spray cans, "be-
tween one third  and one half of the  world's
present chlorofluorocarbon releases would
be avoided. Such a reduction would be a
great step forward in decreasing the threat
to the world's food supply, even though
the magnitude of this threat is uncertain,
and its advantage would far outweigh the
relatively small costs of substituting alter-
native propellants and devices."
  The Academy warned, however,  that this
action alone would not address the long-
term aspects of the problem. Other  uses of
the chemicals are increasing throughout
the world at such a rate that if not curbed,
they will  eliminate the savings in total
emissions from the aerosol reductions in
seven to ten years, according to the report.
   Some industrialized nations, while rec-
ognizing the scientific validity of the ozone-
depletion theory, have declined to pass
laws banning the uses of chlorofiuorocar-
bons as propellants on the grounds that
there is not yet experimentally measured
evidence that the ozone layer has been
reduced. But the Academy report rejected
this approach, declaring:
   "A reasonable projection for the 'wait-
and-see' policy, with decision triggered by
a crucial depletion, involves exposure
about 20 years later to at least twice that
depletion as well as continuing exposure
to at least the crucial depletion for several
decades more. This is clearly not a prudent
  The reason for this delayed effect is that
because of the long residence time of
chlorofiuorocarbons in the troposphere
(the portion of the atmosphere below the
stratosphere) and their slow movement to
the stratosphere itself, present and past
releases of these chemicals wili influence
ozone depletion for decades to come, the
report explained. In addition,  a significant
portion of chlorofluorocarbon use results in
"banking" of the chemicals in products
such as foam insulation and refrigeration
equipment with emissions delayed for
years or even decades, since chlorofiuoro-
carbons escape very slowly from these ma-
terials or equipment.
  "Imposing a production ceiling in the
United States is neither the first, nor the
last, step to control chlorofiuorocarbons,"
Blum declared at the Oslo conference last
spring. "In 1978, EPA and other U.S. gov-
ernment agencies issued rules to phase out
the aerosol  propellant uses of the sub-
stance in products such as deodorants,
pesticides and furniture polish.
  "The  action I am announcing today,"
she told Oslo delegates, "conveys the ur-
gent and deep concern of the U.S. about
the threat chlorofiuorocarbons continue to
pose. Our country is moving forward now
because we believe that chlorofiuorocar-
bons comprise one of the leading interna-
tional environmental issues of the decade."
  In summing up the international aspects
of the whole question, the 1979 Academy
report stated:
  "The  ozone problem is a global one.
Chlorofiuorocarbons emitted anywhere on
earth will ultimately cause reduced con-
centrations of stratospheric ozone globally.
Consequently, no one nation alone can
solve this problem.. ..
  "Without comparable action abroad, the
United States can have only a modest im-
pact on global chlorofluorocarbon emis-
sions, one that could be quickly offset by
increases in worldwide  use of them. U.S.
regulation of these emissions would make
the most effective contribution to the
preservation of stratospheric  ozone if
based on a strategy of synchronous or
tandem  domestic and international action.
Ultimately, nothing less than global action
can deal with this problem, although sub-
stantial  improvement could resultfrom
coordinated action of the primary producer

Role At
Three Mile
By Christine Perham

         When mechanical failure and hu-
         man error resulted in the now-
         famous accident at Three Mile
Island in Middletown, Pa. March 28, 1979,
EPA swiftly began monitoring operations
to ensure that public health was protected
from the discharge of radioactive materials
into the environment from the crippled
   Within hours, EPA's Office of Radiation
Programs began what became daily sam-
pling at three stations located closest to
the damaged reactor. By March 30, as the
implications of the accident became
clearer, the Nuclear Regulatory Commis-
sion notified EPA of the seriousness of the
   Three days after the  first glimmering of
trouble  in the reactor, a team of 1 9 techni-
cians from the Office of Research and
Development's Environmental Monitoring
Systems Laboratory in Las Vegas were in
Pennsylvania with monitoring equipment
and a specially-equipped plane for more
intensive monitoring. Volunteers from
EPA's Region 3 office in Philadelphia and
the Chesapeake Bay Program also began
taking samples from the Susquehanna
River and the Chesapeake Bay.
   The staff from Las Vegas had to move
10,000 pounds of radiation monitoring and
sampling equipment more than  2,000
miles, and the logistics were complicated
by an airline strike—but they managed
within 24 hours of being called.
   The continuous monitoring network that
Agency  staff set up began operation on
Sunday, April 1  with 11 stations and two
days later expanded to 31. Technicians
placed 12 monitoring stations in a rela-
tively circular pattern within a three-mile
radius of the reactor. They located 10 addi-
tional stations within a six or seven mile
radius. Nine more monitors were set in
populated locations more than seven miles
from Three Mile Island. These 31 stations
remained in operation throughout the
month of April until EPA officials were con-
vinced that the situation had stabilized and
there was less threat to public health and
   At each site scientists collected infor-
mation from an air sampler, a gamma rate
recorder, and a thermoluminescent do-
simeter. The air samplers measured par-
ticulate  contamination from air drawn
through paper and charcoal filters. The
gamma rate recorder measured radiation
levels and displayed the results on a tape
read-out. The thermoluminescent dosim-
eters are small squares of crystalline ma-
terial that recorded total exposure from
gamma radiation.

Cramped Quarters
At first, EPA established an analytical
laboratory in nearby Harrisburg to process
samples while staff members were working
out of temporary quarters in Capitol City
airport and later two trailers parked just
outside the high-security area on the Island
itself. Eventually the Agency rented office
space in a small shopping mall in Middle-
town amidst a small hardware store, credit
office and bookstore in order to improve
the public's access to Agency representa-
tives. Desks, telephones, computer termi-
nals, laboratory space and a briefing room
were set  up there to help the staff process
and relay information.
   After positioning the air monitoring
stations,  the staff had many other tasks to
pursue. Scientists in the research plane
flew two  missions to make measurements
of airborne radioactivity and to track the
very narrow plume from the reactor. At
other times the plane was on emergency
standby to track and sample radioactivity
in case the accident suddenly became criti-
cal. Compressed air samples were taken at
on-the-ground locations for noble gas
analysis.  (So-called noble or  inert gases
are a group including krypton. The pres-
ence of krypton in excess of normal back-
ground concentrations would have indi-
cated a leak from the reactor.)
   EPA set up two water sampling stations
on the Susquehanna River below the plant
and three more downstream on the Chesa-
peake Bay. The staff began testing drinking
water samples for contamination two days
after their arrival,  one week after the
   One staff member noted, "You can
 imagine what we were up against. We had
 to find all the wells and reservoirs. There
 wasn't even a central source of information
 to tell us where these things were."  Scien-
 tists located 21 surface sources of drinking
 water and gave these spots top priority in
 the sampling because the danger of
 radiation contamination was considered to
 be highest there.
   Other aspects of the environment re-
 quired immediate attention as well.
Technicians working from aerial photo-
 graphs located 570 dairies within 25 miles
 of the disabled reactor. On April 5, EPA
 started sampling milk from nine selected
 dairy farms. In order to get a full picture
 of the environment, EPA and the other
 Federal agencies also collected samples
 of water, vegetation, air, and river sedi-
ment for study.

Scientists and Ecopolitics
As scientists and engineers worked fever-
 ishly to control the mechanical aspects of
the TMI situation, the overtones of "eco-
politics" continually had to be dealt with.
 One example involved a sampling device,
designed to set off an alarm when it de-
tected a  given level of radioactivity in the
discharge to the river from a low-level
waste storage tank.
   The monitor alarm was set to trigger a
Erich Bretthauer. Director of the Nuclear Radiation Assessment Division at EPA's
Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory in Las Vegas, briefs the press at
Middletown, Pa. near Three Mile Island.

device that automatically dialed a certain
phone number, which in turn tripped port-
able beepers worn by scientists on the
scene. In the early days after the accident,
this alarm went off with disturbing fre-
quency, but scientists found no corre-
sponding "peak" of radiation on the
recorded print-out at the monitor. Coin-
cidentally someone notified the news
media about the large number of alarms
from the powerplant monitor. Agency
staffers  inferred that someone had learned
the alarm number and was dialing it for
nefarious reasons. They changed the phone
number and the alarms stopped. {In fact,
EPA scientists now report that the water
contained no appreciable levels of gamma
radiation contamination.)
   Getting the device installed underscored
another human relations problem at Three
Mile Island. EPA staff members developed
within weeks the system which continu-
ously monitored radionuclides in the con-
taminated water, since some feared that
contaminated water from the  plant would
be discharged to the river.
   The system uses a sodium  iodide
crystal,  which is sensitive to radiation, to
monitor radiation levels in the effluent and
then record results on a strip chart. Effluent
passes through a tank shielded by lead
bricks to reduce background radiation from
impacting the crystal. A separate tank
retains additional water samples for further
testing by EPA and the State.
   Staff  members noted that Metropolitan
Edison was less than cooperative to this
effort at first. "We had to bring it over in a
boat," said one scientist, since the com-
pany controlled access to the island over
two bridges. Now the company allows
Agency  scientists free access to the island
and to the device, which is enclosed in a
metal shed in the shadow of the damaged

Historic Role
At the time the Three Mile Island crisis
erupted a year and a half ago, many out-
siders were unaware that EPA had an
involvement in radiation. The fact is, how-
ever, that EPA's Offices of Radiation
Programs and Research and Development
have maintained nationwide radiation
sampling programs and monitored the
fallout from nuclear testing for years. The
Agency  received its primary mandate to
manage radiation protection through the
Reorganization Order #3 of 1970, which
created  EPA, and the National Environ-
mental Policy Act of 1969.  Six other laws,
including amendments to the  Atomic
Energy Act of 1954 and the Clean Air and
Water Acts, give EPA responsibility for
protecting public health from  radioactive
   As EPA Administrator Douglas M.
Costle declared at the outset of the crisis
in Pennsylvania, "It is of the utmost
importance to the Federal Government that
people and the environment be protected
from unnecessary exposure to ionizing
radiation from radioactive material that
may be released from Reactor #2 at Three
Mile Island. We are working with other
involved Federal agencies to provide the
best possible information from environ-
mental radiation monitoring."
  Initially EPA was a quiet partner in the
Federal  presence at Three Mile Island.
Information about what was happening in
and around  the reactor reached the public
through the Nuclear Regulatory Commis-
sion, Metropolitan Edison, and the Penn-
sylvania Department of Environmental
Resources. Metropolitan Edison conducted
its own environmental surveillance pro-
gram, as did the State.
  As the hazards of the situation became
more apparent, however, the public feared
the possibility of a nuclear core meltdown,
a drastic increase in temperature in the
reactor that could breach the containment
building and release massive amounts of
radiation into the atmosphere.
  On April  13,1979, the White House
designated  EPA as the lead  Federal agency
to develop a long-term monitoring plan
and coordinate all Federal environmental
monitoring in the area. EPA immediately
approved a preliminary monitoring plan
and started  to put it into action.
  Assistant Administrator for Research
and Development Stephen Gage outlined
the aims of the long-term surveillance
program. The plan would 1) provide a
measure of the radiological quality of the
environment around the power plant, 2)
help keep people informed about radiation
levels, 3) confirm and check on how well
we could control radioactive releases to
the environment, and 4) ensure equipment
was ready in case of an accidental release.
He added that plans would be assessed
periodically to ensure they were appro-
priate for the changing operations at TMI.
  Gage named Erich Bretthauer, Director
of the Las Vegas Laboratory's Nuclear
Radiation Assessment Division, to manage
the emergency project. His  staff routinely
monitors fallout from nuclear weapons
testing, and their expertise has proven
invaluable at Three Mile Island. "In the
past we've not been geared  up for this
sort of thing, because there was more
emphasis on nuclear armaments," said
Bretthauer.  "But our people responded
admirably to the situation."
  The results of the sampling have been
reassuring.  EPA scientists found only very
low levels of radiation in the area. The total
maximum radiation exposure, according
to a White House-sponsored report on
Three Mile Island, is roughly equivalent to
the amount  of radiation a person would
absorb from living in a brick rather than
a frame house, or by moving to an area
at higher altitude like Denver, Colo, where
the natural background radiation is higher.
  When the first threat from the emer-
gency passed, EPA scaled down  its efforts
at Three Mile Island. The staff shrank from
its emergency level of 31 to five scientists
and technicians who maintained  the 18
remaining monitoring stations. Staff mem-
bers prepared six volumes of environ-
mental information for the President's
Commission on the accident.
  An interagency analysis concluded that
the accident did not raise radioactivity far
enough above background levels to cause
even one additional cancer death among
the people in the area. They found no
contamination in water, soil, sediment or
plant samples.
  According to Charles Cox, Public Health
Service on-site coordinator at Three  Mile
Island, out of over 800 milk samples col-
lected from local dairy farms during the
period of March 29 to April 20, 1979, a
total of 69 were reported to have  trace
amounts of radioactive contamination, the
highest level being 36 picocuries per liter.
He stated that this level of activity was less
by a factor of 35 to 40 than that measured
in the fa I lout from Chinese nuclear testing
in October 1976 which passed across the
United States. The levels measured after
the TMI accident were far below the protec-
tive action level, which according to  Public
Health Service guidelines is 12,000 pico-
curies per liter. Since March 1980 the
Service has curtailed its milk monitoring,
but is prepared to reinstitute its sampling
program in the event of an unexpected re-
lease from the reactor. Currently the Com-
monwealth of Pennsylvania's Department
of Environmental Resources is sampling
milk as part of its routine surveillance

Gofd Medal Award
Administrator Costle in December 1979
awarded the EPA Gold Medal
to the team from Las Vegas for
their dedication during the emergency. He
cited their efforts as an example of the
commitment of 'bureaucrats' to the ideal
of public service. But the Agency's mission
there was far from over. In some  respects
it had hardly begun. As the utility moved
ahead with efforts to clean up the damaged
nuclear reactor, EPA continued to coordi-
nate the government involvement in  the
cleanup. The long-term surveillance plan
was updated twice to reflect changes in
operations as each aspect of the cleanup
presented a different-challenge to the
   For instance, local residents had become
increasingly critical of the way cleanup
activities were being monitored by the
                   Continued to page 29
                                                                 EPA JOURNAL

                                          A Spectrum
                                          of  Missions
     | easuring the effects of radiation
       from underground nuclear explo-
       sions and analyzing the toxicity of
hazardous wastes from Love Canal are just
two of the varied monitoring and sampling
functions by one of EPA's most unusual
  On any given day, a visitor to EPA's
Environmental Monitoring Systems Lab-
oratory in Las Vegas, Nevada might en-
counter or learn of one or more of these
unique activities:

• A technician adjusting a telephotometer
used to measure how well the visibility in
our  National Parks is being protected.

• Specialists aboard a plane fitting equip-
ment that can bounce laser beams off the
earth from 10,000 feet altitude to obtain
information about airborne particles.

• A scientist running hazardous waste
samples from foundries through a mass
spectrometer for analysis.

• A photo-interpreter pinpointing the ex-
tent of damage from a spill of toxic

  Although it is unlikely that an outsider
could witness all these sights in a single
visit, they illustrate the breadth of scientific
endeavor that the laboratory encompasses
as it rounds out its 27th year in Nevada.
During the past decade, the facility has
demonstrated an ability to keep its re-
search tracking closely on the changing
environmental problems that preoccupy
the Agency, whether they are in contami-
nated air or water, hazardous wastes, radi-
ation from a malfunctioning nuclear plant,
or concerns about pollution from future
energy development in western States.
   "We must be in the mainstream of
EPA's programs," declares Glenn E.
Schweitzer, laboratory director. "Unless
we can demonstrate the relevance of any
given research to EPA's mission, we don't
move into an area."
   The laboratory began its career special-
izing in radiation monitoring back in 1 953,
long before EPA was created, to detect and
measure radioactivity that might be re-
leased to public areas from nuclear tests.
Over the early years, as an arm of the U.S.
Public Health Service, the facility devel-
Dave Nielsen of Las Veqas laboratory operating a laser fluorosensor aboard a helicopter.


oped methods and equipment measuring
extremely small amounts of radioactivity,
using aircraft, stationary instruments on
the ground, mobile units, laboratory anal-
ysis of samples, and livestock on a special
farm on the Nevada nuclear Test Site.
   The laboratory to this day has retained
its expertise in this subject. After the Three
Mile Island crisis erupted a year and a half
ago, some 30 specialists from the Las
Vegas facility quickly were moved to the
scene at Harrisburg, Pa. EPA was named
lead agency for environmental monitoring
of the site. (See separate article in this
issue on p. 18.)
   Following are some examples of the
many other areas of environmental re-
search and monitoring that the laboratory

Quality Assurance

When the Love Canal disaster first surfaced
in upstate New York, scientists were faced
with a number of challenges in dealing with
the complex mixture of hazardous chem-
icals at the site. They still don't know
exactly how many chemical compounds
are buried there, but they're looking into a
list of some 1 50 different ones.
   As the dimensions of the problem be-
come apparent, researchers realized that a
program would have to be organized to
make sure sampling and analysis of the
hazardous wastes were uniform and done
in a standardized way, following a precise
   "To give you an idea  of the difficulties,"
explains Dr. Eugene Meier, Director of the
Quality Assurance Division at the Las
Vegas laboratory, "the levels at which
chemicals are hazardous to humans vary
enormously. Some like dioxin are so toxic
that they're dangerous at one part per
trillion concentrations, where other com-
pounds are much less toxic and require
analysis at parts-per-million levels."
   Then there was the problem of the  media
in which the waste was dumped. In bodies
of water, sampling is relatively  straight-
forward and produces accurate results be-
cause the medium is homogeneous, and
methods for analysis have been tested and
standardized. But sampling in landfill sites
containing hazardous waste is far trickier.
For example, waste in soils is a difficult
problem because the soil is in many layers
and is heterogeneous. How can  EPA deter-
mine how well the sampling and analysis
is being done at such a site? The answer is
to set precise controls on the process.
  One of the outgrowths of the Love Canal
case has been an  estimate that there are up
to 50,000 potentially hazardous waste sites
around the Nation. The magnitude of deal-
ing with such a possibility has brought a
major shift in the Las Vegas laboratory's
emphasis. Its historic involvement in mon-
itoring and remote sensing has continued,
but the laboratory also is now heavily
involved in hazardous waste monitoring
problems, with a  large part of its resources
in the current fiscal year devoted to this
  Costs run high in the sampling of chemi-
cals. Positive analysis for dioxin, for ex-
ample, can range from $950 to $2,000 per
sample at the parts per billion level. (By
contrast, some other compounds run
around $ 100 per  sample partly because
they occur at a higher concentration and
are easier to do.)
  EPA now has a prime contractor gather-
ing and labelling  samples from Love Canal,
storing them in a  "bank" and shipping
them to subcontractors and EPA labora-
tories for analysis. This phase of Love
Canal investigations is expected to be com-
pleted in December. The Las Vegas facility
has about 50 percent of  the work load due
to the scope of its sampling program.
  The pressures  of analyzing hundreds  of
samples of hazardous wastes has brought
home another realization to laboratory
managers: There currently are simply not
enough commercial analytical laboratories
(contractors)  equipped to handle the large
number of samples coming from the
Agency's hazardous waste program. Offi-
cials expect this situation will improve, and
the cost per sample will decline as industry
responds to the need and EPA's research
and development expertise shows the way
to improved technology. Meier points out
that sampling and analysis work associated
with the development of effluent guidelines
a few years ago ran as high as $1,500 to
$2,000 per sample but now has dropped to
the $400-$800 range because of increased
competition among laboratory subcontrac-
tors, improved methods, and better
   Back in 1973, for example, it took one
technician one day to do an analysis using
mass spectrometers. Now the same person
can do up to 20 a day, as electronics and
computers have improved. The gas chro-
matograph-mass spectrometer was in its
infancy seven years ago, but now is the
most commonly used device in analysis of
crganics, according to Meier. Next in line:
advanced techniques using high pressure
liquid chromatography or HPLC, useful
because it functions at room temperature
whereas gas chromatography requires a
compound to be made volatile from heat.
(These new methods are required for those
compounds that are non-volatile or decom-
pose at higher temperatures.)

Airborne Detectives

As part of its numerous other monitoring
activities. Las Vegas laboratory has devel-
oped highly sophisticated  methods of
measuring air pollutants over cities and
regions, using aircraft as airborne plat-
forms. Monitoring from  aircraft has the
advantages of perspective, speed, wide-
area coverage, and access to remote areas
that cannot otherwise be reached easily,
according to Dr. David McNelis, Director
of the Advanced Monitoring Systems
   One of the major concepts in  this field is
remote sensing, as opposed to "contact
sensors" such as instruments with probes
that can  be  lowered into lakes to take water
measurements. Remote  sensors "sense" a
condition from a far, and a re divided for con-
venience into two varieties. The passive
types read electromagnetic signals from
some source such as a heated plume from
a power  plant or reflected solar radiation
from the earth's surface, such as those
signals picked up by Landsat satellite.
                   Continued to pagt-.- s*4
                                                                  EPA JOURNAL

                                              Farm In The  Desert
To the outsider, one of the most unusual aspects of the Environ-
mental Monitoring Systems Laboratory in Las Vegas has been
its experimental farm, located 1 20 miles from the main labora-
tory at the northeastern section of the vast Nevada nuclear
Test Site. Bounded on three sides by 7,000-foot peaks, this
desert oasis has been home to dairy and beef cattle, horses,
goats, pigs, and even chickens.
   Over the years observers may have been startled to learn
that the aircraft and off-road vehicles cruising the area were
neither military nor associated with underground nuclear tests
but rather scientists and technicians tracking a large herd of
deer to map their movements. The herd migrated from its high
summer home each December or January and moved to lower
ranges by unknown routes, and EPA has kept track of them by
both electronic and visual a ids attached to the animals as
they browsed across the Nevada Test Site.
   On the farm itself, scientists have used some 20 acres of
irrigated  land for growing feed crops for cattle and also some
test plots for growing vegetables while exposing them to
various pollutants through the soil, water, or the air. The facility
has been  especially useful in the past for studying pollutant
pathways and relationships of exposure and dose, especially
when  backed by the chemistry and biology laboratories, green-
house, and environmental simulation chambers at the main
facility in Las Vegas. In addition the farm has a milking barn
containing special equipment to prevent cross-contamination
of milk, as well as shops and a storage area.
  Despite the presence of highly-trained scientists, the farm
has retained a wilderness flavor that is surprising to eastern
visitors. Coyotes in the past have eaten not only goats kept there
but also have invaded the farm's watermelon patch. Kangaroo
rats and field mice and wild rabbits have all made nuisances of
themselves at certain seasons, and overhead hawks and
buzzards  can be seen circling in the summer heat.
   Back in the early 1960's the laboratory was called upon to do
research on how radioactive materials found their way to
humans. A major concern at that time was radioiodine in the
food chain, which began with nuclear fallout to the soil and
made its way through forage to cow's milk. Since rainfall at the
Test Site averages only around 6.5 inches a year, scientists
have grown crops such as alfalfa and hay at the farm,  irrigating
them with water pumped from a mile-deep well. The cows were
fed carefully measured amounts of radioactive material along
with this fodder, and their milk and wastes analyzed, as well as
samples of their blood. The resulting data have been used to
develop reliable methods of predicting the potential hazard to
humans and to develop countermeasures reducing the quantity
of radioactive substances entering the food chain.
   Twice a year the farm, which is managed by a private con-
tractor, also has rounded up a herd of about 60 Hereford beef
cattle allowed to roam the Test Site, grazing on desert vegeta-
tion. Scientists would then sacrifice several animals and
examine their tissues for radioactive residues and any radiation
effects. To date, findings show the animals to be entirely
normal. The Department of Energy, which has worked closely
with EPA at the site, periodically has brought in area ranchers
for an inspection tour to reassure them that livestock may safely
graze in this region.
   One of the steers, Big Sam, has had a surgically installed
opening and tube leading into his forestomach for most of his
life. From time to time a sample of the food there is painlessly
removed to see which types of vegetation he has been eating on
the range. Laboratory personnel also have collected tissue
samples from wild species in the area including bighorn sheep,
mule deer, small mammals and birds. The species serve as
biological indicators of any radioactive fallout and as monitors
of radionuclide uptake by wild animals. In cooperation with the
Nevada Department of Fish and Game, EPA also has captured
mule deer and fitted them with collars containing miniature
radio transmitters to map the herd's migration  patterns, accord-
ing to Dr. Donald D. Smith, a veterinarian on the laboratory
   A number of scientists and members of the EPA Science
Advisory Board believe the farm could have a promising future
in an expanded role.
   "It's a unique facility," declares one official, "isolated,
surrounded by mountains, with guards at the gates of the Test
Site, so you could safely handle hazardous materials here, for
example, and study how they find their way into crops. Probably
there's no other place in the United States where you have the
ability to work with hazardous materials in such protected,
remote surroundings. We don't know much about the organic
chemicals we're encountering now and how they get to humans.
A lot of people grow their own food near thousands of waste
sites around the country. Even at Love Canal people had
gardens. And we need to know more about how these chemicals
get into the food chain. The farm would be an ideal place in
many ways to study this subject."
                  Big Sam, a steer at the experimental farm north of EPA's Las Vegas laboratory,
                  has surgical opening in its side to permit scientists to monitor his stomach contents.

A Spectrum of Missions
Active sensors generate their own signal
and read the return "signature" signal, and
it is this kind of system that has stirred
such interest in recent years.
   "The program here has designed a num-
ber of advanced instruments," explains Dr.
Pong Lem, an environmental engineer with
the laboratory. "There is not a whole lot of
commercial equipment available to do our
kind of work. So part of our role is to make
these special tools for monitoring, show
that they're valuable, and pass them on to
the private sector to pick up on the ideas.
We've found that even before we prove out
something, we attract industry because
they see the potential."
   One of these concepts, now in a "third
generation" level of development at the
laboratory, is lidar (for light detection and
ranging), used to map airborne particu-
lates. It probes the atmosphere beneath an
aircraft much the same way a depth
sounder operates beneath a ship. A light
pulse is emitted by a laser pointed toward
the earth. As it travels downward striking
air molecules and suspended particles,
light is scattered back to the aircraft's
sensing devices. Measurements of this
scattered light can then be used together
with navigational information to determine
the size and location of pollutant plumes.
EPA engineers have improved the system
in recent years so that the laser can now
be fired ten times every second, compared
with once every 12 seconds in an older
model, thus greatly increasing the system's
ability to define a plume's dimensions.
  A related method of monitoring known
as differential absorption is designed to
look for a specific pollutant. Scientists
know that different substances absorb dif-
ferent frequencies or colors of light, and
this airborne system uses two lasers to
detect specific gaseous pollutants in the
air. One laser is adjusted to a frequency
that can pass unchanged through a pol-
lutant such as sulfur dioxide. The other is
set so that it is absorbed by the pollutant.
The difference in the two beams after they
bounce off the earth and are collected by a
telescope in the aircraft indicates the
amount and distribution of the pollutant.
   A third approach, called laser fiuoro-
sensing, operates on the principle that
some substances fluoresce or light up when
stimulated by a beam of light of given fre-
quency. Because the color and  intensity of
the fluorescence varies according to the
substances being illuminated, scientists
can use it to identify them. The advantage
of course is that researchers don't need
1,000 samples to identify pollution and
can simply fly over a lake, for example, aim
the laser at the water's surf ace, measure the
fluorescent signal returned to the aircraft,
and calculate pollutant levels from the
signal intensity.
   Among the passive remote sensing tech-
niques that have been used by the labora-
tory are thermal infrared scanning, which
records the temperature differences in
bodies of water beneath an aircraft and has
been used to show waste discharges. The
scanner is so sensitive that it shows dif-
ferences as small as one degree Centi-
grade.  Scientists also use multispectral
scanning to identify classes of objects on
the ground from the light frequencies they
reflect. This technique can be used to help
determine from high altitude whether strip-
mined  land has been properly reclaimed by
identifying the vegetation it supports.

Visibility In Parks
As reported  earlier, the Las Vegas labora-
tory has been working in close cooperation
with the National Park Service to keep
track of how the Nation's National Parksare
maintaining their splendid vistas of moun-
tains and canyons. (EPA Journal, June,
1979, and March, 1980). Since long-range
visibility of these landscapes requires
clean air, the Clean Air Act Amendments of
1977 provided that the air quality in such
pristine areas—the so-called Class 1 areas
—be protected. Establishing a base line of
visibility and determining how best to make
such measurements is part of the job.
   "Our task is to weed out the poor tech-
niques and set up a network of devices so
we can characterize seasonal variation, and
regional and local causes of visibility im-
pairment," explains Robert Snelling, head
of Integrated Monitoring Systems which
handles the visibility program. "Next Janu-
ary we will have two years of accumulated
data under our belt," he adds, "and we're
now trying to find out which of the various
industries located near these pristine areas
are the major sources of pollution."
   The two years of data were gathered
using some two dozen telephotometers,
telescopes with electronic devices on one
end that measure contrast in  landscapes.
Specialists also have used 40 samplers at
various sites in eight Western States to
measure particulates. At Canyonlands
National Park in Utah, a whole complex of
instruments is being operated by a con-
tractor because this location has a number
of suitable targets and also is believed to
be impacted by the Four Corners power
plants and other sources. Among the in-
struments at various locations is the multi-
wavelength telephotometer which scien-
tists use to look at various parts  of the
color spectrum to see if contrasts in color
are more meaningful than ordinary con-
trasts. Another device employed is the
nephelometer, which pulls air through an
instrument and measures how the light is
scattered. Technicians can extrapolate
from this on how particulates are scattering
light in the atmosphere. Other aids include
stacked filter units which measure coarse
and fine particles, sun radiometers which
look at how much radiation the sun pro-
duces on a  clear day in an area, and photo
and meteorological data.
   The visibility program by the laboratory
will probably require another two years of
work to obtain a full understanding of the
effects of air pollution on the park system.
Ultimately, officials assume that the Na-
tional Park Service, because of its direct
involvement in this problem, will become
the lead agency for future studies. G

and  EPA
An Interview with
Dr. John  E.  Cantlon,
Chairman, Executive
Committee, EPA
Science Advisory
     What do you think will
be the major environmental
challenges of the 1980's?
     Let's consider things that
have a long term research re-
quirement, Waste management
in its broad sense focusing pri-
marily on how to clean up
groundwater probably is going
to require more effort, more
adrenalin. Love Canal and all
of its thousands of duplicates
across the country have ele-
vated public awareness to this
problem, And the chemical,
geological, and epidemiological
complexity of the questions in-
volved will make this a tough,
decades-long problem.
  It's remarkable that we know
so very little about the move-
ment of many toxic materials  in
groundwater and through soils.
If you put a pulse of contami-
nants in the air, that material
settles or is washed out as the
airmixesglobally. Butwhenyou
put a pulse of toxic material in
groundwater, the movement
and transformation are very
slow. The material is passing
through a very complicated
physical mixture of water and
soil particles which range all
the way from very fine clays to
coarse boulders, and the phys-
ics of the material's behavior is
complicated. Much of the soil
in the United States is hetero-
geneous in which you have
particles from very different
kinds of rock, from igneous
granites to sedimentaries like
limestone and in the surface
zones, organic matter. Each of
these has a different chemistry,
which means big differences in
the degradation, movement,
and recombination of materials.
   Also, we know virtually noth-
ing about the amounts, origins
or subterranean behavior of
exotic organics that are natural
in  groundwaters. Currently we
read mass spectrometers and
see blips indicating organics
but we don't know if these
chemicals are natural, man-
made or degradation or recom-
bination products of manmade
   Another approach to the
management of wastes would
be to develop new technologies
or processes that avoid particu-
larly unattractive waste ma-
terial. This will be largely an
industrial effort that EPA can
encourage without direct in-
volvement, although programs
in  technology assessment can
trigger others' efforts. We need
to  explore the joining of tech-
nologies like urban solid and
liquid waste disposal, and rec-
reational  land use and water
cleanup technologies. The
coupling of energy generation
and solid waste disposal is
already gathering some
   Meanwhile, Congress, indus-
try and many public interest
groups are raising another chal-
lenge, namely whether we are
prudently spending our limited
environmental quality funds.
Are we getting the greatest risk
alleviation or other benefit per
dollar spent that we can? It is a
predictable challenge after the
1970's, which were an envi-
ronmentalist's dream. This rela-
tive benefits question is an area
that will be pursued with great
vigor in the next decade and
probably with an increased
Congressional and industry
oversight. Very tough questions
wil I be asked, and getting good
answers will be difficult.
     What are some other
     Another challenge will be
improving the epidemiological
base on which we try to assess
health effects. The simple facts
are that we have poor data on
how many people are ill and
what makes them ill. Adequate
data are not being routinely
gathered so they can be inter-
preted for many categories of
environmental regulatory deci-
soins. For each environmental
question we must initiate a new
epidemiological study. As we
move closer to  a more uniform
national health care system
whether public or privately
based we may be able to ac-
cumulate epidemiological  data
that will help us find answers
to some of these environmental
health effects questions.
  Public appreciation of the re-
lationship between smoking
and cancer has been an exceed-
ingly intractable matter, for ex-
ample. You will find industry
people who insist the human
data don't show a causal rela-
tionship. Thus,  improving epi-
demiological data won't end
controversy in environmental
decision-making, but having
widely acceptable epidemio-
logical data will represent an
important forward step.
  Another quite different area
would be assessment of envi-
ronmental damage to things
other than human beings. For
instance, the impact of acid
rain on vegetation, lakes, and
streams—that's going to be a
decade-long kind of problem.
We're just beginning to under-
stand the matter of acid pre-
cipitation. We must consider
the total fall-out of acidic ma-
terial, not just that which comes
with rainfall. There's even
acidic particulate fall-out on
days when there is no rain or
   What is the impact of acid
rain on plants, and conversely,
to what extent does vegetation
filter acidic pollution out of the
air? What does a natural forest
system do to inactivate acidic
material ? Some good research
is going on at Oak Ridge Na-
tional Laboratory in this area.
   Of  course, acid rain is al-
most entirely the product of the
combustion of fossil fuels. We
are now facing a situation
where the U.S. could become
the coal and oil-shale Saudi
Arabia of the world in these
fuels. We have a larger per-
centage of the world's coal and
shale oil than Saudi Arabia has
of the world's oil supply. If coal
replaces oil and gas globally,
other  Nations will probably be
coming here to get fuel.

v_J   What about the "green-
house effect?"

f~\ This question will have to
be addressed with great vigor.
You refer, of course,  to the
carbon dioxide problem. It's
very important. A small in-
crease in the amount of that
common product of fossil fuel
combustion getting into the
upper atmosphere is theoreti-
cally capable of changing the
thermal balance of the earth.
This could precipitate a situa-
tion in which the global tem-
perature would rise a few
   There is clear evidence that
the carbon dioxide percentage
is rising; there is some evi-
dence that suggests global tem-
peratures are increasing. The
cause of the temperature in-
crease is unknown. There could
be other solar-terrestrial dy-
namics that would change the
temperature, irrespective of
changes in carbon dioxide, but

the theoretical calculations of a
so-called greenhotse effect
from carbon dioxide look pretty
   This issue will need to have
greater attention because a rise
of roughly two degrees Celsius
in the world temperature would
result in melting the polar ice
caps. If this ice melts, then
most of the major coastal cities
would be flooded by the seas
including Washington, D.C.,
Miami, and New York City, and
Baltimore, some portions of the
West Coast and a large section
of the  Gulf  Coast. Changes in
the climatic belts would also
occur. You would have warmer
crop-growing areas well into
Canada and Siberia, and you
would have substantial expan-
sion of the  world's deserts. It
is very d'fficuit to  predict what
these shifts would do to world
power balances, human food
supplies, and human environ-
mental stress.
   Another disconcerting aspect
of the carbon dioxide question
is that three-fourths of the
world's surface is ocean, and
the oceans are a sort of fly-
wheel  in  that global tempera-
ture will not change until you've
significantly changed their tem-
perature. It is estimated that a
30-to-40-year lag in world tem-
perature warm-up would occur
as the  ocean temperature slow-
ly increases. Thus, even after
you put enough carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere to guaran-
tee that the ice caps will melt,
it will still be 30 to 40 years
before the event will take place
because of the slow pace in
warming the oceans.
      What about the issue of
 health and environmental
 risks in modern society?
     Public understanding of
risk is an area needing much
attention. It's quite clear that
people have different percep-
tions of risk. As a consequence,
the public does not react the
way it would if it had a better
picture of risk. If people had
such a  broad picture, they
might react in ways that made
better sense regarding how they
want government to alleviate
risk and which risks require
earliest attention. This whole
idea needs attention.
  We could expand on the
matter of whether or not the
Government should address
risks to its citizens. Clearly I
think it has to, and govern-
ments far back in time have
addressed risks ranging 1rom
fire hazards to epidemics to in-
cursions by raiders to unem-
ployment. By the way, the
lack of jobs may cause as many
deaths as any currently identi-
fied environmental risk. So the
state of  the economy like the
state of  the environment is im-
portant  in considering a so-
ciety's menu of risks.
   It's clear from a number of
studies  that the death-injury
statistics are not what people
look at when they think about
risk. As  an  industry, nuclear
energy is far less risky than
fossil fuel energy. The number
of deaths from the mining and
transportation of coal and the
impact from emissions of or-
ganics,  sulfur, nitrogen, heavy
metals,  and radioactive ma-
terials from coal combustion
on people and property are
much greater than the impact
of uranium mining and trans-
portation, and the side effects
of uranium mining and its tail-
ings, the injuries and deaths in
purifying uranium, the transfer
of these materials to reactors,
operating and even deactiva-
tion of reactors. But if you ask
individuals from almost any
group, except highly technical
people, about the risk of nu-
clear versus fossil fuel, the
answer  is normally the reverse
of the facts.
   So, the level of public under-
standing about risk is very poor.
Risk is a very difficult subject
to convey to people with aver-
age educational preparation. I
would rank improving public
understanding of risk as one of
the major environmental
      Would you briefly de-
 scribe what the EPA Science
 Advisory Board is and its
 relationship to EPA?
     The Science Advisory
 Board is a collection of seven
 standing committees: Environ-
 mental Measurements, Health
 Effects, Clean Air, Ecology,
                                                             Environmental Technology,
                                                             Pesticides, and Pollutant
                                                             Movement and Transport; and
                                                             four ad hoc committees: Risk
                                                             Assessment, Economics, Air/
                                                             Cancer, and Innovative and
                                                             Alternative technologies; and
                                                             one standing subcommittee:
                                                             Toxic Substances. Those com-
                                                             mittees address the particular
                                                             areas and provide an external
                                                             scientific peer review of the
                                                             Agency's activities in those
                                                             areas. They provide an external
                                                             source for scientific judgment.
                                                                  What would you name
                                                             as the top research and devel-
                                                             opment priorities for EPA
     In the short-term, looking
at the question from a media
perspective, volatile organics
and air quality is a major
  Volatile organic means that
the material  goes into the gas
phase and is therefore distrib-
uted through the air. And an
organic compound is any com-
pound whose backbone is com-
posed largely of carbon atoms.
Examples are straight chain or
ringed hydrocarbons. Take the
Love Canal situation where
there are drums of materials
that have been buried in the
ground. The drums eventually
rust and rupture, releasing or-
ganic compounds, many of
which are volatile. When the
contaminated soil gets warm,
these materials evaporate much
like gasoline evaporates from
your gas tank when you are fill-
ing it. If those fumes happen to
include carcinogenic materials
which are carried by the wind to
other places, people can be ex-
posed who have not been ap-
propriately warned and for
whom education has not been
provided. We need better tech-
nology for measuring volatile
organics  so that we can more
accurately identify risk zones.
   In groundwater we need to
understand the basic geohy-
drology, movement, transfor-
mations and fate of toxic mate-
rials put into the ground.
   In potable surface waters,
probably the hottest short-term
item is to get a better grasp  of
the health consequences, if
any, of the short-chain organic
compounds  that are chlorinated
in water treatment plants dur-
ing the process of killing the
bacteria and the viruses that
occur naturally in most waters.
If the bacteria and viruses in
wastewater are killed with
chlorination in one city, such as
Cincinnati, downstream in an-
other city these same waters
are the source of potable wa-
ters which are again chlori-
nated before distributing. The
question is, how  important are
very low levels of those short-
chain, chlorinated hydrocar-
bons that are formed by the
very act of making the water
safe by killing infectious bac-
teria and viruses? Since the
cost of removing short-chain
hydrocarbons is substantial,
this is a very tough problem
right now.
   Risk assessment needs at-
tention. Before you can teach
people to understand risk
assessment and to think with
greater vigor about risk, we
must obtain better agreement in
the professional  community
about how to measure it and
how to express the results.
From a technical perspective
the professionals in the risk
assessment area need to de-
velop and  share measurement
techniques so there is better
predictability concerning peo-
ples' understanding of risk
statements. EPA needs to have
a better basis for choosing a
particular  risk assessment
measure so the public, the
regulated  industries, and envi-
ronmental groups all agree:
"Yes, that's an acceptable
choice of method," instead of
arguing about it.
                                                                                                 What about the relation-
                                                                                            ship of pollutants to health
     The difficulty in assessing
health effects is that many risks
to human health are based on
experiments with animals, usu-
ally mice and rats. We know
from animal studies that at cer-
tain levels of concentration you
can induce cancer, or a bron-
chial problem, with a particular
chemical. The doses typically
are at levels substantially above
the levels to which human pop-
ulations are likely to be ex-
posed. While one can demon-
strate that the effect can be
                                                                                                            EPA JOURNAL

produced, it is more difficult to
defend a particular ambient
concentration as the standard
that should be set for human
   When you consider real en-
vironmental situations where
people are exposed, chemical
levels are apt to be very, very
low. As a consequence you may
have to  extrapolate to a very,
very large human population
before you would expect to get
any effect. The health effects
question needs a great deal of
study and elaboration, and until
we learn a great deal more
about it, we are going to have
problems in getting agreement
on standards, especially when
pollutant control technologies
are very costly.
   Lastly is the whole business
of protocols for short-term
tests. Ways must be designed
for speeding up the develop-
ment of agreed upon proce-
dures for testing specific com-
pounds with specific animals.
                              tists, so-called peer review,
                              before being made public.
                              How do you feel about this ?
     What about long-term
     These include the carbon
dioxide problem and the acid
rain problem, which we've al-
ready discussed. Another is the
impact of toxic materials on
multiple species systems, such
lake, or all of the  plants and
animals in a forest. Also loom-
ing on the  horizon are human
and animal behavioral health
effects. For instance, the im-
pairment of learning in young
people by exposure to lead  is
thought by some  experts to be a
serious problem that needs
attention. The study of the im-
pact of various compounds—
everything from agricultural
fertilizers to the trihalometh-
anes, the materials that are
used as refrigerants on the
ozone layer is a long term
effort in which EPA has been
involved. Indeed, the whole
problem of upper atmospheric
chemistry and its sensitivity to
air pollution needs attention.
      The controversy several
 months ago over a study of
 possible chromosome break-
 age in Love Canal residents
 seemed to reinforce a view
 that studies should be re-
 viewed by independent scien-
     The quality and credibility
of scientific data and interpreta-
tions from data are benefited
by peer review. In this case an
EPA Enforcement Division was
preparing a legal case against
a chemical company. When one
approaches a lawsuit the object
of the game is to win. When,
however, you're addressing
questions of science, the object
is to make as clear an exposi-
tion of truth as is possible, in-
cluding an assessment of the
degree of confidence one can
place in any judgment about
the  meaning of the data. The
study that was commissioned
appears to have proceeded
through a chain of people, with
A delegating to  B who dele-
gated to C who then subcon-
tracted to E to provide a study.
That protocol and the resulting
data and  interpretations not
only lacked peer review, the
study design lacked an ade-
quate control group. In other
words, the group examined
were human beings in the Love
Canal area. But  no other group
was studied with identical pro-
cedures to provide a point of
comparison. One of the funda-
mental principles in science  is
that unless you have adequate
controls,  you have nothing
  Secondly, experts in the field
feel that the chromosome ex-
aminations did not follow the
best procedure for eliciting the
information being sought. So,
the people who  have looked
closely at this study consider it
to have been poor science. A
contract was let to a  research
group without having an ade-
quate set of specifications and
a procedure to insure they were
followed. Anytime an agency
does that, it's bad. But, in this
case, information was leaking
to the press and to the individ-
uals being sampled. Unfortu-
nately, there was no scientifi-
cally valid information to give
them but both parties re-
sponded  as though the results
had validity.
  It was  almost a classic case
of how not to do an operation.
We have  recommended some
actions internally. I think there
are ways to reduce the likeli-
hood of a similar event. The
basic configuration of a sound
study design has to be stipu-
lated up front and the con-
tractee has to agree to conduct
the study in a way that will
provide sound results that will
be useful to the Agency. The
study design, the data and
interpretations from the data
should be peer-reviewed by
competent groups before they
are released to the press.*
     What are the areas
where you think EPA's re-
search and development have
done an outstanding job?
     The air modeling and
monitoring program down in
Research Triangle Park, N.C.,
has been first rate science. This
is a very tough area where the
objective is to find what hap-
pens when you put a pulse of
pollutant into the air at a par-
ticular point, where it goes, and
what the physics of that
process is.
  Also, the health effects peo-
ple have done some really out-
standing work. The quality of
some of their research will
stand up anywhere  in  the world
in terms of scientific quality.
Obviously, not all of it, e.g., we
were just citing the Love Canal
study. But in the EPA  health
effects laboratories there is
some first rate research. EPA's
labs also have strength in the
area of biology and ecology of
pollution. There has been some
particularly good work in water
biology related to pollution.
     Should EPA put more
emphasis on quick tests for
     There is a large group of
people who would prefer that
we never experiment on human
beings. There is a somewhat
smaller group who would prefer
that we never experiment on
whole animals. The emergence
of these quickie test techniques
are ways to get away from test-
ing on animals. But colonies of
human or animal or bacterial
cells simply do not respond the
way a whole mouse or rat or
monkey does because the cell
* see page 41
colonies don't have kidneys,
eyes, a liver, a brain, a gut, a
stomach, or lungs, and both
collectively and individually
those organs behave differently
to different combinations of
compounds. There is no way
that the quickie techniques will
ever replace whole animal re-
search. It just won't happen.
However, preliminary screen-
ing and much basic research
will be much enhanced by cell
culture techniques.
   I would much rather defend
whole animal research going all
the way up to primates than I
would  experimenting with hu-
man beings. Of course, we used
to test with humans—both
prisoners and military person-
nel used to be used for testing.
In today's improved science
and moral climate, we are more
sensitive to the risks than we
were even 30 years ago.
  The short answer is yes, we
should rely more on the simple,
short tests, but we cannot be
maneuvered into a position in
which we have to forego tests
on whole animals. Some animal
rights people have said they
would  like to design computer
modeling instead of using any
living thing. In the first place
there are no computer models
in the world that can approach
the complexity of a  single cell.
It is a hopelessly naive suppo-
sition that single cells or bac-
terial colonies can ever sub-
stitute for whole animals.
Behavior, for example, is influ-
enced by toxic materials. It is
just as naive to assume that be-
cause a mouse or a rat responds
in a particular way, people will
respond identically. The animal
model  isn't perfect but it is
much closer than computer
models or colonies of cells. We
are obligated to do the best job
we can in estimating risk to
humans and to the planet's
ecosystems. D

This interview was conducted
by John Heritage, Managing
Editor of EPA Journal.
  Dr. John E. Cant/on is Vice
President, Research and Grad-
uate- Studies at Michigan State
University. He has served as
Chairman of the Environmental
Studies Board, National A cad-
emy of Sciences, since 1977.

Plants As
By Carolyn Worsley
 Carolyn Worsley inspecting a flower on
 Tradescantia, a potential air pollution
      [ ost coal miners are familiar with
       the "canary in the cage" technique
       for detecting dangerous levels of
gaseous air pollutants in underground
  The suddenly silenced chirps of a caged
canary signaled to miners in years gone by
that the air around them would soon be too
dangerous for them, too, to breathe.
  This relatively-successful technique has
encouraged scientists over the years to
search for animals and other organisms
that might also serve as sentinels against
slower and more subtle changes in environ-
mental surroundings.
  The U.S. Environmental  Protection
Agency, under an Interagency Agreement
with Brookhaven National Laboratory in
Upton, New York, is studying special
strains of common plants that are sensitive
indicators of the presence of mutagenic
environmental contaminants, displaying
mutations soon after exposure that are
visible under a microscope and in some
instances with the naked  eye.
  EPA's Health Effects Research Labora-
tory in Research Triangle Park, N.C., is
evaluating the use of plants for environ-
mental mutagen detection. The most ad-
vanced research in the area has been in air
pollution research with Tradescantia, a
hybrid of the spiderwort plant that grows
wild in certain parts of this country.
   Tradescantia looks like a normal house-
plant with its long, grassy leaves; waxy,
knobby stems; and tiny bluish-lavender
flowers. But the behavior of special labora-
tory strains of this plant in polluted air
proves it is more than ordinary.
   "When exposed to a mutagen before the
plant blooms, mutated cells in the hairs on
the Tradescantia stamen turn from a normal
blue to pink," said Dr. Shahbeg Sandhu, a
research biologist with EPA who has been
involved with research in this area.
   These mutations, called "pink events,"
are visible under a microscope. The muta-
tions appear five to 1 7 days after exposure
to mutagens.
   As with any bioassay, researchers must
be cautious in evaluating potential harm to
human health based on the results of the
test because of the dissimilarities between
humans and other organisms. "Although
it's difficult to compare plant mutations to
possible human effects," Dr. Sandhu said,
"we must assume that a substance  capable
of turning blue cells to pink in flowers
might also cause harm to people."
   EPA, under the technical direction of Dr.
Carl Hayes, and the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences, under the
guidance of Dr.  Frederick de Serres, col-
laborated in 1976 to sponsor preliminary
field trials with Tradescantia. Brookhaven
National Laboratory, which pioneered the
Tradescantia stamen hair bioassay re-
search, conducted the studies.
   In the field trials, researchers tested
Tradescantia's utility for on-site monitor-
ing of air pollutants from inside a specially-
designed trailer permitting direct sampling
of outside air. The study took researchers
to several large  industrial cities throughout
the country where higher-than-normal can-
cer rates already had been documented.
In addition to concurrent controls inside
the trailer in which control plants were
exposed to filtered air, a control study was
conducted in "clean" air in the Grand
   "Results of those tests showed a notice-
able increase in  the occurrence of pink
events in the industrial cities," Dr. Sandhu
said, "while the incidence of color change
was quite low in the Grand Canyon tests."
   EPA and Brookhaven will take Trades-
cantia to eight sites around the country this
coming year to monitor for ambient air
quality to verify further the plant's monitor-
ing capabilities.

Seeking Chromosome Breaks
   Under a separate grant at Western
Illinois University in Macomb,  researchers
are developing a test which involves ob-
serving Tradescantia for chromosomal
damage from mutagens, which would indi-
cate a higher level of damage than the gene
  A positive response for tests for chromo-
somal abnormalities, such as the micro-
nucleus test, in combination with gene
mutations, may indicate a greater risk to
humans than may be indicated by gene
mutations alone. The micronucleus test has
an advantage over the stamen hair test with
the ability to store exposed material in
slides for future examination, thus elimi-
nating time pressure that's  present in
scoring stamen hair mutations.
  Tradescantia has been demonstrated a
useful, inexpensive and time-saving mon-
itoring tool. But EPA is trying to develop
additional plant bioassays that may be
more adaptable than Tradescantia to a
variety of field situations.
  EPA is sponsoring research at the Uni-
versity of Illinois at Urbana for the develop-
ment of a corn bioassay. When exposed to
mutagens. mutations occur in the genes
that control the starch composition of
seeds of certain strains of corn; pollen
grains are the functional unit for the ex-
pression of these genes. Researchers can
observe the mutations by staining the
pollen with an iodine solution and counting
the incidence of mutants. "Normal pollen
grains stain black; mutants stain reddish
brown," Dr. Sandhu said.
  Like counting the number of pink events
that occur in the stamen hairs of Trades-
cantia, counting the incidence of pollen
mutants in corn is also time-consuming.
EPA is trying to automate this process also.
   Washington State University in Pullman
is trying to develop a similar test with bar-
ley. "Also, barley  looks promising for use
in tests for chromosomal damage because
its chromosomes are large  and easy to view
under a microscope," he said.
  Arabidopsis, a tiny green plant with long,
slender stems and fiat, circular leaves
that's a member of the mustard plant fam-
ily, also shows promise for use in  mutagen
detection, particularly because of its size,
short life-cycle and extreme versatility.
  "Arabidopsis can grow anywhere at any
time," Dr. Sandhu said. "It can grow in
water, in a defined medium and a test tube,
in greenhouses, or in fields—and  it doesn't
die in winter."
  "Our goal is to develop a battery of
mutagen-sensitive bioassays, including
plants, for monitoring environmental qual-
ity," Dr. Sandhu said. "We need a battery
of bioassays because no single test system
can detect all of the chemicals that may be
harmful to people."
  "With a large battery of plants and other
short-term detection tests monitoring the
environment simultaneously," Dr. Sandhu
said, "we can be more confident of the
mutagen detection capabilities." D

Carolyn Worsley is a Public Information
Assistant at EPA's Environmental Research
Center at Research Triangle Park, N.C.
                                                                                                          EPA JOURNAL

EPA's Role At Three Mile Island
         ; from page 20
utility and Federal Government. Many
people questioned the credibility of Metro-
politan Edison and the NRC. The White
House received several  requests for an in-
dependent agency to be put in charge of
monitoring and  reporting radiation levels
around Three Mile Island. Although EPA
had been continuously monitoring the situ-
ation, the Agency's presence was masked
because all information was funneled to
the public through NRC and the State.
   In response to those reports, on March 5,
1980, the White House expanded EPA's
role by designating it the lead agency  for
reporting as well as coordinating the Fed-
eral monitoring program. Assistant Admin-
istrator Gage assigned Matt Bills, Associ-
ate Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office
of Monitoring and Technical Support, to
coordinate EPA activities and continued
Erich Bretthauer as project manager.

Venting Krypton
The next phase of the cleanup was begin-
ning. Several months after the accident,
Metropolitan Edison applied to the NRC for
permission to vent the radioactive gas that
had accumulated inside the containment
building. The gas, krypton 85, had to be
removed before workers in protective gear
could enter to assess the extent of damage
to the reactor. Venting was set to begin
June 28 and to continue until the krypton
was  removed. Local anti-nuclear groups
petitioned the U.S. District Court of
Appeals for an order to halt the venting
until a public hearing could be held on the
safety of the procedure, but the  appeals
court denied their petition.
   The approved venting plan called for
controlling the flow rate of krypton  so that
a person standing at the boundary of the
nuclear power plant would be exposed to
no more than 15 millirems of beta radiation
to the skin. Federal authorities felt that
dispersal and dilution of the radioactive
gas would keep people in the area from
experiencing untoward exposure, and
EPA's monitoring system was set up tc
ensure that these safety standards were
   The expanded responsibilities came as
EPA was gearing up to deal with the vent-
ing operation. While the Agency had no
direct control over the conduct of the vent-
ing, acting only  as an observer and monitor,
the surveillance plan called for round-the-
clock sampling to keep a constant watch
for any excessive levels of radiation. The
Office of Research and Development
brought in additional personnel  to help with
the monitoring and also borrowed staff
from the  Department of Energy and Public
Health Service. The Agency opened the
Middletown office at this time to provide a
better base for scientists to work from and
to give citizens improved access to

Tracking The Plume
On a large wall-map of the area surround-
ing Three Mile Island, EPA scientists
plotted the trail of the krypton. The map is
divided into 1 6 pie-shaped wedges radiat-
ing out from the power plant,  with colored
dots showing the location of permanent
sampling sites. Other markers show the
placement of the mobile sampling units,
which were kept constantly informed of
changes in the direction of the plume by
radio contact.
   The markers on the map represented two
pick-up trucks and trailers bearing the EPA
seal and the legend "EPA TMl Monitoring
Team." Following the prevailing winds
and directions from the Middletown office,
a team of researchers would pull the trucks
and their trailers off the road near a farm
field or a ranch house. Soon the sound
of generators and compressors would fill
the air as the scientists forced air samples
into containers that looked like yeliow
watermelons. The contents would later be
tested for concentrations of krypton.
   EPA's two teams were stationed on the
east and west banks of the Susquehanna
opposite the power plant. A monitoring
team from the Nuclear  Engineering Depart-
ment at Pennsylvania State University took
measurements at locations further out to
provide an independent check of EPA's
samples. The data obtained by Penn State
researchers also served as an  assurance
that the krypton plume  was dispersing as
predicted and not touching in  high con-
centrations at remote locations.

Establishing a Dialogue
Representativesfrom EPA and NRC met
with many interested citizens in the TMl
area to explain the responsibilities and
actions of their agencies prior to the vent-
ing. In almost 40 meetings they sat down
with elected officials, school boards, doc-
tors, citizen groups, and anti-nuclear or-
ganizations. Matt Bills  negotiated a meet-
ing of TMl Alert members with officials of
EPA, NRC, and the  State. The group's staff
director later wrote to EPA, "I do not know
if anyone 'learned' from the meeting; it did
prove that a dialogue can be held between
us all. In the long run that may be the most
important benefit of our efforts."
   Local people were not just  observers of
the venting operation. The Statetrained
some 40 volunteers to  help with surveil-
lance activities. They assisted in air sam-
pling activities and collected  data from
sites a round the area.
   Senior citizens pitched in to help during
the venting as well. Through the Senior
Environment Employment program EPA
supplemented its staff in Middletown with
13 retired people who helped with the
monitoring, administrative, and informa-
tion tasks.
   The krypton venting continued rapidly
without incident and was completed July
12, Company officials stated that the
amount of krypton actually released was
closer to 43,000 curies than the 57,000
they had first estimated.
   Off-site readings of radiation were well
beiow Federal safety  standards through-
out the venting. Analyses of EPA samples
showed lower readings than originally
expected.  This was "probably due to the
lesser amounts (of krypton)  in the contain-
ment" than originally calculated, said
project manager  Bretthauer. He added,
"We detected nothing in the environment
except krypton 85."
   EPA's conduct of the krypton monitoring
system was praised by Middietown Mayor
Robert G. Reed, who said the Agency "did
an excellent job." He  said that the presence
of  EPA staff and the citizen monitors
"helped to relieve the frustration and stress
as  far as the townspeople were concerned."
   With the end of the venting, the extra
staff members have returned to their regu-
lar jobs and the EPA Middletown office is
back on its regular schedule. Bretthauer
wound up  his tour as project manager and
was replaced by Dr. Bill Kirk, a radiol-
ogistfrom ORD  in Research Triangle
Park, N.C. Before leaving, Bretthauer said,
"The pattern we've established will con-
tinue, with slight changes in emphasis. The
air monitoring will be less in the spotlight,
water monitoring will become more im-
portant." The next major phase of TMl
cleanup will be to filter and dispose of con-
taminated cooling water from the reactor.
   Bill Kirk and Matt Bills have initiated a
new series of meetings and briefings with
people who live  downstream of the power
plant. When asked how long EPA would be
involved at TMl,  Bills said, "We've taken
a 5-year lease on the building in Middle-
town. I expect we're in for a long haul.
There's a great deal of work left to be
   The long hours, the anxiety and the con-
flicts are over for the present. Most of the
scientists, students and senior citizens
have returned to their normal duties, each
with the knowledge that their efforts have
not gone unrecognized. A message from
the White  House, sent to them last July 4,
   "Your dedication and personal commit-
ment in carrying out a sensitive and difficult
task are appreciated by the President." D

Christine Perham is Assistant Editor
of  EPA Journal.

Around the Nation
 U.S.-Canadian Accord
 Officials from the United
 States and Canada have
 signed an agreement
 which will permit con-
 struction to begin on .in
 international sewage
 treatment facility. William
 R. Adams, Regional Ad-
 ministrator, and U.S.
 Senator Patrick Leahy
 were  among the U.S. offi-
 cials present at the sign-
 ing of the intermunicipal/
 international agreement
 between Derby Line, Vt.
 and Rock Island, Quebec
 (which were previously
 united before the U.S.-
 Canadian boundary was
   Since the two commu-
 nities shared a water sys-
 tem and it was more eco-
 nomical to enlarge a
 single facility than  con-
 structing two, it seemed
 only logical and more
 efficient for Derby Line to
 tie into the Rock Island
 facility and share the
 costs of cleaning up the
   The total project cost
 is $1,500,000. The Rock
 Island plant will be up-
 graded and expanded to
 accommodate the addi-
 tional flow and accom-
 plish  the phosphorus re-
 moval. Derby Line will
 construct about 9,700
 feet of sewer lines  and
 related structures to
 transport the domestic
 and industrial waste
 across the border.
Approval Given
Region 2 has approved an
application by the Con-
solidated Edison Com-
pany to burn higher sulfur
oil in three of its New
York City boilers for one
year. Thefuel oil will
have a maximum sulfur
content of 1.5 percent;
current air pollution con-
trol regulations in New
York City limit fuel to no
more than 0.3 percent
sulfur. However, one con-
dition of EPA'sapproval is
that Con Edison convert
several major consumers
of fuel oil to natural gas to
a void clean air violations.
  Con Edison has de-
scribed  its proposed use
of higher sulfur fuel as a
test to demonstrate that
the  utility could burn coal
in the same three units
without violating clean air
standards. But EPA Re-
gional Administrator
Charles Warren made it
clear that the Agency's
approval covers only the
one-year test burn. "Any
future proposal to convert
these units to coal will be
subject to thorough re-
view under city, State and
Federal air pollution
  "We have just com-
pleted a decade of hard-
won progress toward
clean air in the New York
metropolitan area," said
Warren. "EPA  does not
intend to jeopardize that
progress by allowing coal
conversions that will in-
crease emissions of pollu-
tants and violate clean
air standards."
Chemical Cleanup
Neville Chemical Com-
pany, located on Neville
Island in Allegheny
County, Pa., and the
Pennsylvania Department
of Environmental Re-
sources recently signed a
consent decree that re-
quires the firm to clean up
its site.
   Equipment, storage-
capacity, and operating
problems in its plant have
resulted  in the firm's con-
taminating groundwater
and discharging inade-
quately-treated  waste-
water into the Ohio River.
   The decree, which cli-
maxes nine months of
intensive negotiations
between  Neville and the
Department, details  a
timetable for the com-
pany to follow to bring it
into compliance with
State and Federal regula-
tions by December 31,
   Under the agreement,
Neville agreed to institute
a comprehensive clean-
up plan, reclaim contami-
nated groundwater on its
site, minimize infiltration,
reseed the area, install a
dry groundwater monitor-
ing well to collect the
infiltration plus  a deten-
tion basin as a fail-safe
mechanism for its cooling
waters, and post a
$200,000 letter of credit
to guarantee its  obliga-
tions under the decree.
 Public Hearing
A public hearing sched-
uled for this month will
give south Florida citi-
zens an opportunity to
express their concerns
about a controversial
landfill operated by the
city of North Miami. Such
a hearing is provided for
in the Clean Water Act.
  Regional Administrator
Rebecca W. Hanmer will
act as the hearing officer.
  The 291-acre tract to
be discussed includes
103 acres of wetlands
and lies just west of Bis-
cayne Bay, which has
been designated an
Aquatic Preserve by the
State of Florida.
  The facility was per-
mitted in 1976 to accept
clean fill material only.
Later, the city sought to
modify its permit and
convert the site to a sani-
tary landfill where gar-
bage could be deposited.
The EPA opposes issu-
ance of the new permit,
citing environmental dam-
age already occurring to
mangrove wetland areas
and Biscayne Bay.
  Leachate samples taken
by the Dade County De-
partment of Environmen-
tal Resources Manage-
ment show lakes in the
landfill area to be grossly
contaminated. One lake
had an ammonia concen-
tration in excess of 500
parts per million.
  Several million cubic
yards of solid waste, in-
cluding garbage, have
been placed at the site
since the original permit
was issued four years ago.
Eventually, the city in-
tends to use the filled
area as a public recrea-
tion facility which would
include two 18-hole golf
PCB Complaints
An administrative law
judge in Chicago issued a
ruling recently that as-
sessed $35,000 in civil
penalties against Briggs
and Stratton Corporation
of Milwaukee, Wis., for
improper handling, label-
ing and storage of poly-
chlorinated biphenyls
(PCB's). The suit was the
first of eight such com-
plaints filed so far by
Region 5 against firms for
violations of regulations
governing the manufac-
ture, sale, use and dis-
posal of PCB's.
  Regional Administra-
tor John McGuire said
EPA is considering simi-
lar PCB complaints
against 36 other Mid-
western companies. "PCB
compliance is a major
priority in Region 5, and
we are tackling it by sig-
nificantly increasing the
number of our plant in-
spections," McGuire said.
Containment Complete
The Coast Guard recently
announced the comple-
tion of containment
efforts, as authorized by
Section 311, at the Motco
hazardous waste disposal
site in LaMarque, Texas.
PCB's, benzene and other
hazardous substances
have been found  on the
site. From time to time
they have overflowed or
seeped into nearby
ditches. They also posed
a danger to groundwater.
The Motco site was vis-

ited last January by
Deputy Administrator
Barbara Blum, Regional
Administrator Adiene
Harrison, and other Fed-
eral officials. The visit
drew widespread media
coverage and focused
attention on the threat
posed by abandoned  sites
to public health and

Toxics Removed
The Sabine River Author-
ity has removed  1 5 drums
of chemicals including
2-4-5-T and 2-4-D  from
a disposal pit located 300
yards from a lake that pro-
vides 20 percent of the
water supply for Dallas
and its suburbs.
  Sabine claims that cur-
rent and former employ-
ees used the chemicals at
LakeTawakoni from
1972 to 1977 as part of
a vegetation control pro-
gram, and that they buried
the chemicals in 1978.
  Tests by the Texas
Department of Health
showed no dangerous
levels of dioxin, which is
found in 2-4-5-T. Sabine
is conducting further tests
of the soil samples to en-
sure that there is no fur-
ther contamination at the
site. In addition, EPA has
asked Sabine to supply
complete records on all
herbicides and insecti-
cides purchased and used
by the authority since
  Syntex denied
knowledge of or responsi-
bility for any acts of the
chemical company, point-
ing out that it never gen-
erated or handled the
wastes. However, com-
pany officials said they
were willing to work with
the EPA in order to fa-
cilitate prompt remedial
measures at the site and
to help safeguard public
health, while at the same
time removing a source
of possible anxiety and
uncertainty in the sur-
rounding community.
  After an inspection of
the site, EPA Administra-
tor Douglas Costle said
Syntex is to be com-
mended for its respon-
sible and constructive
  Earlier,  the Justice
Department had filed suit
against the chemical
company,  both its presi-
dent and vice president,
and Syntex following dis-
covery of drums of haz-
ardous waste material
including dioxin, one of
the most toxic man-made
chemicals ever syn-
  Since that discovery,
EPA and the Missouri
Department  of Natural
Resources have con-
ducted weekly sampling
of wells and water in the
vicinity of the farm site.
This is being done as a
precautionary measure to
make sure that no toxic
wastes work their way
down to the ground water.
The sampling so far has
revealed no  contamina-
tion and will continue
until the hazardous ma-
terials are removed.
 Waste Removal
 Syntex Agribusiness, Inc.,
 and the EPA have agreed
 on a program to assure
 removal and safe disposal
 of hazardous waste buried
 at a farm site in Barry
 County,  Mo., nine years
 ago. The wastes were
 generated by the now de-
 funct North Eastern Phar-
 maceutical and Chemical
cree, a settlement has
been reached in Region
8's first case under the
Resource Conservation
and Recovery Act's un-
controlled hazardous
waste site program.
   In June 1980, atEPA's
request, the Department
of Justice brought
charges against American
Ecological Recycle Re-
search Corporation, a
chemical reclamation and
storage facility, citing the
company's improper stor-
age of possibly highly
toxic and flammable
   The agreement calls for
a plan for fire protection,
security fencing, inven-
tory and analysis of
chemicals at the site and
a plan for continued oper-
ation or closure.
   EPA became involved
in the investigation of the
company after a chemicaj
fire broke out at its Jeffer-
son County, Colorado,
facility in October 1979.
The fire resulted in nu-
merous firefighters being
temporarily hospitalized
with suspected cyanide
poisoning. Because of the
number of hazardous
chemicals stored at the
facility, Region 8's Emer-
gency Response Team
was called in at the re-
quest of Jefferson County
to conduct an on-site
 Settlement Reached
With the mid-August
signing of a consent de-
PCB Precautions
The Pacific Gas and Elec-
tric Company has an-
nounced that it will ac-
celerate its replacement
of the 120,000 PCB-
containing capacitors in
its system. P G & E will
also install special pro-
tective fuses on PCB
capacitors to minimize the
chances of blow-outs.
   Until now the company
only replaced capacitors
as they failed. P G & E,
which serves nine million
people in northern Cali-
fornia, estimates that it
will take two to three
years and $50 million to
complete its new replace-
ment program, provided
manufacturers can turn
out the required number
of non-PCB replacement
   This past July P G & E
was fined 512,000 by
EPA for five PCB spills.
As a  part of a consent
agreement signed with
the Agency, the company
agreed to certain condi-
tions to help protect pub-
lic health and the environ-
ment in the event of future
Boise Extension
Region 10 has proposed
that the Greater Boise
area be given until 1987
to meet Federal ambient
air quality standards for
carbon monoxide. The
proposed extension would
give the Boise area the
time it needs to realize
the benefits of a manda-
tory auto emission in-
spection program and
other new air pollution
control measures.
  Approval of the exten-
sion would be tantamount
to giving developers the
final go-ahead to proceed
with construction of a
3,000-car downtown
Boise parking garage and
adjacent shopping center
with more than 750,000
square feet of retail floor
space. The auto inspec-
tions and other new con-
trol measures would
provide enough air pollu-
tion reduction to offset
the carbon monoxide
likely to be generated by
traffic drawn to the
complex. D
States Served by EPA Regions

Region 1 (Boston)
Connecticut, Maine
Massachusetts. New
Hampshire. Rhode Island.
617-223 7210

Region 2 (New York
New Jersey New York.
Puerto Rico. Virgrn
212 2642525

Region 3
Delaware. Maryland.
Pennsylvania. Virginia.
West Virginia Disv
21b-E>97 9814

Region 4 (Atlanta)
Alatwnii G<~.
Florida Mississippi
North Carolina  South.
Carolina Tenness
404 881 4727

Region 5 (Chicago)
Illinois  Indiana  Ohio.
Michigan. Wisconsin
312 353 2000

Region 6 (Dallas)
Arkansas  Louisiana.
Oklahoma Texas New

Region 7 (Kansas
low,.) Kansas Missouri.
816 374 5493

Region 8 (Denver)
Colorado  Ut.ih
Wyoming, Montana
Noun Dakota South

Region 9 (San
     .1 California
Nrv.uia Hawaii
41 ;, Sb6 2320

Region 10 (Seattle)
Al.iska Idaho On><|on
206442 1220
   OCTOBER 1980

The  Hidden
Cost of
Soft Energy
By A. David Rossin
                      /V. C. get
     ' 1 kilowatts for local powci
     One of the greatest threats posed by
       our energy problems is that they
     will lead to greater concentrations of
political power and more centralized con-
trol over people's lives. Hence the concept
of decentralized energy is very  exciting.
  Unfortunately, the proponents of decen-
tralized energy production (the "soft"
path) offer a road map that would most
likely lead to what they abhor—a society
of centralized  control. Their road map calls
for commitments to phase out conventional
methods of supplying electric energy to
homes, factories, offices, and farms. The
soft path offers instead an array of alterna-
tive energy sources, such as solar and wind
power, that are said to be benign, environ-
mentally desirable, close to the people,
and well-suited to local control by indi-
viduals or communities. Some of these
alternatives may prove viable, but, accord-
ing to many of the most vocal proponents
of the "soft" path, a crucial part of the
strategy is the decreased reliance on trans-
mission lines and power plants, particu-
larly nuclear power plants.
  The part of  the soft path that is seldom
discussed is what might happen if the
capability to supply electricity begins to
fall  short of what people need.  If there is
not  enough to  go around, somebody will
have to set priorities; and in this event,
priorities would not be set by individuals,
but  by government—big, centralized gov-
ernment. The  real question is whether it is
desirable to pursue the decentralization
of sources of energy as an absolute goal or
to permit the diversity we have  now in
which anyone  who wishes to can use de-
centralized alternatives. Without sufficient,
reliable, centralized electricity, the indi-
vidual no longer has that choice: the one
we take for granted today.
  This is not to argue that centralized con-
trol is inevitable.  But the soft path strategy
carries with it the real risk of centralized
control of personal decisions. If a free
society is to choose to pursue a decen-
tralized energy structure, it should do so
only with full knowedge of all the poten-
tial  consequences.

Examining the Soft Path
The problem is that the soft path just might
not lead where its proponents claim. There
is a serious lack of data on the cost and
performance of solar, wind, wood-burning,
and other soft-path options, especially on
a broad enough scale to  show how follow-
ing  this path might affect the need for more
electric power plants. Indeed decentralized
energy systems are generally discussed
in the abstract. Alternatives, almost by
definition, are said to be better  than what
works today. Yet we know little about just
how decentralized solar or wind systems
would work in cities, large towns, or other
locations where they might be called upon
to serve large numbers of people. We do
not know the environmental impacts, the
costs, or the resources required.
  Yet despite this lack of knowedge about
the consequences of following the soft
path, the advocates of decentralized en-
ergy production are more than willing to do
away with the kinds of centralized power
sources that supply electricity in the U.S.
today. One of the foremost proponents of
decentralized energy options, Amory
Lovins, says in his book Soft Energy Paths:
Toward a Durable Peace: "If nuclear
power were clean, safe, economic, assured
of ample fuel, and socially benign per se,
it would be unattractive because of the
kind of energy economy it would lock us
into." He explains further that it is unde-
sirable because it is centralized, big, con-
trolled by corporations, and requires large
amounts of capital. And despite the fact
that the soft energy path leads at best
through uncharted territory, Lovins is un-
compromising. He states that society must
choose, apparently once and for all, be-
tween the soft path and the kind of central-
ized systems that supply people's needs
today. Moreover, Lovins claims that so-
ciety must make this choice immediately.
As he sees it, additional commitments to
centralized systems will make it increas-
ingly difficult to develop soft technologies
and have them emerge successfully. He
fears that commitments of capital to the
conventional systems as we now know
them will leave too little for the soft tech-
nologies. He proposes that further invest-
ment in power plants and transmission
lines be prohibited, so that movement
along the soft path would be assured. This
is the Lovins strategy: block centralized
power to force the soft path.
   Making the soft path inevitable would
not make it inexpensive; despite claims of
favorable economics, very few people have
chosen to take it. Not only does the energy
look expensive compared to what is avail-
able, but the capital an individual or com-
munity needs to put up is large for what
one gets. The soft path would require two
to three times the capital that coal and
nuclear would, even if it could be phased
in gradually with no surprises. All that
capital has to  come from somewhere.
Furthermore,  it is far more difficult for
individuals to raise capital than it is for
large institutions. The cost of money (in-
terest rates) would be higher and the cost
of the facilities themselves would be
   Most people just aren't interested, if left
to free choices. Decentralized energy will
require subsidies, complete with Federal
guidelines, inspection, enforcement, and,
of course, taxes to raise the money.
  tf the soft energy path does require sub-
stantial subsidies, in a democratic society
the representatives of the people would
have to vote for them. Taxpayers are also
                                                                                                         EPA JOURNAL

voters, and subsidies would be difficult to
sell if more economical and understand-
able alternatives were available.
   In Lovins' words, unless capital, man-
power, and expertise are diverted to alter-
native forms of energy, "the soft path be-
comes hostage to the hard path." What he
means is that decentralized energy will
only become the way of life  if conven-
tional sources of energy are effectively
banned for the long-term future. That's the
theory anyway. His failure even to mention
the potential risks of the soft energy path,
however, raises questions about the
credibility of both the concept and its
   The fact of the matter is that alternative
energy systems can be built today by those
who wish to. Robert Recrford has a soiar
house and Congressman Henry Reuss has
a windmill. We have diversity, and if an
idea is successful, others can try it. But
not everybody wants tol
   I would argue, Lovins' opinions notwith-
standing, that the energy economy that we
might be "locked into" if we further ex-
pand nuclear power and other centralized
forms of energy production  is one of diver-
sity and freedom of choice—including the
choice of alternative forms of energy. This
kind of energy economy would be charac-
terized, as is today's energy production
system, by organizations, both publicly
and privately owned, that are legally obli-
gated to supply electricity to those who
wish it for all or part of their needs,
whether they have  solar panels, windmills,
or not.

Decentralization as a Philosophy
The other part of Lovins' strategy, seldom
examined by the public, is revealed in the
following quotation from Soft Energy
Paths: "Many who work on  energy policy
and in other fields  have come to believe
that in this time of change, energy—per-
vasive, symbolic, strategically central to
our way of life—offers the best integrating
principle for the wider shifts of policy and
perception that we are groping toward."
The soft energy path, it seems, involves
more than merely changing the way in
which energy is produced. It entails, Lovins
suggests, "wider shifts of policy and per-
ception"—in short, new concepts not only
of energy use, but of society, something
like a whole new philosophy for society.
   If the debate is about the  philosophy
(indeed, the ideology) of individual self-
sufficiency, rather than costs, risks, and
benefits, it is appropriate to explore the
concepts of decentralization and self-
sufficiency themselves. Like other general
approaches, decentralization and self-
sufficiency are not universally beneficial.
How many Americans, for example, would
desire to return to a decentralized system
for providing their drinking water? What
about sewage treatment? Although few
Americans remember it, as recently as 100
years ago some major American cities were
without centralized water and sewage
systems. The massive effort necessary to
create these systems has resulted in in-
calculable benefits to society, wiping out
some of America's most common and
deadly diseases. One can hardly conceive
of public health authorities, let alone the
average person, taking even the slightest
chance of a resurgence of typhoid, cholera,
and dysentery in order to satisfy a philo-
sophical objective.
   Furthermore,the promoters of the soft
path admit that  it would take time to move
from a centralized system for producing
energy to a decentralized energy society.
In the transition period, which is generally
conceded to be  several decades, the cen-
tralized system  must be kept around.
Almost every residence would require cen-
tral electricity to back up the solar systems
or windmills, and to supply electricity
when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't
blowing or when the motors, pumps, or
seals need repair and the neighborhood
fix-it person  can't come. There would still
be electric motors, electronic equipment,
and electric  lights for which no alternate
source is available. In New York, Chicago,
and other cities where people live in apart-
ments and large commercial buildings are
common, the central system would still
have to carry most of the load. Moreover,
central electric supply would also be
essential to supply the tremendous energy
needs of the huge industry that would have
to be brought into being to manufacture
the solar devices and other equipment nec-
essary to make the transition to a soft
energy society.
   Advocates of decentralization are hard
pressed to tell us just how long this transi-
tion period will  be o; just how many more
power plants will be necessary to meet
people's continuing needs before the
transition can.be achieved. And how com-
plete must the transition be in order to
satisfy its proponents? Power plants and
electric grids might just still be needed for
industry, commerce, communications,
and the offices of the bureaucracy.
   The interesting point is that by doing the
job their charters of today require, utilities
make it possible for decentralized decision-
making to take place at all levels of the
society. Here are the real options for the
•  A centralized electricity supply which
provides enough energy for people to use
if they choose and thus permits decentral-
ized decision-making, or
•  Abandonment or curtailment of cen-
tralized energy  supply in the hope that
decentralized energy will meet expecta-
tions, but with the risk of centralized
decision-making, allocation of energy by
government and curtailment of individual

Toward Energy Policy
When the concept of energy decentraliza-
tion is discussed, what is it we should
really be concerned about? What are the
risks if the promises fail? Certainly, some
kind of energy rationing, and the central-
ized government control that rationing
implies, would become real possibilities.
Under such a system, the threat or reality
of acute energy shortages around the
country would discourage the individual
entrepreneur and curtail individual free-
dom of choice.
   In-addition, the restriction of energy
supplies could well result in a serious risk
of loss of economic growth. Growth has
environmental impacts—these are fairly
well known—but lack of growth also has
impacts on the environment. The risks that
accompany both need to be studied care-
fully and discussed openly, along with the
risks that a particular energy policy might
push things one way or the other. The envi-
ronmental impact statement for the soft
energy path should be published widely.
Then the public will be able to rationally
evaluate the risks of a failure to have
enough power plants.
   Which risk is to be most feared: the net-
work of transmission lines and  centralized
electric power plants that are common-
place today, or the possibility of central-
ized control of how each corporation,
group, and person uses electricity? A
policy or  a philosophy that promises to
solve energy problems by curtailing cen-
tralized power generating systems turns
out to be bankrupt on close examination.
   Proponents of the soft energy path envi-
sion no* only an energy system, but a way
of life in which large power plants—espe-
cialy nuclear plants—have no place; and
perhaps the fact that the soft energy path
is as much a philosophy as a platform of
policies helps explain the intense polariza-
tion that currently marks the nuclear
debate. What the advocates of the soft
energy path neglect to point out is that
without centralized power plants, including
nuclear power plants, the threat of energy
allocation grows. And the allocation of
energy may well mean not decentraliza-
tion, but  infringement on individual free-
dom and the ultimate in centralized contro!
of people's lives. Q

A. David Rossin is the System Nuclear
Research Engineer for Commonwealth
Edison, Chicago, III. The article was ex-
cerpted from one which appeared in the
June, 1980, Futurist, a publication of the
World Future Society.

A review of recent major
EPA activities and devel-
opments in the pollution
control program areas.

 Special Messages
As part of a penalty for
violating Clean Air Act
regulations, one of the
Nation's largest oil re-
finers will soon begin pub-
licizing messages to edu-
cate the public about the
problems with fuel
switching, the EPA
announced recently.
   American Petrofina of
Texas, fined $107,074 for
adding too much lead to
its gasoline at its Port
Arthur, Texas, refinery
during the October-
December 1979 quarter in
violation of EPA regula-
tions, has agreed to spend
$35,000 of that amount
to carry out a public in-
formation program.
   EPA said the refiner
will place ads in news-
papers and on two sepa-
rate occasions mail bro-
chures to its credit card
holders (approximately
170,000 people) to help
spread the word about
problems of fuel switch-
ing (using leaded fuel in
vehicles that require

Final Rules
The EPA announced re-
cently that it is issuing
final rules for recovering
the costs a company
avoids by not complying
with air pollution laws.
   While the majority of
the country's 24,000
major sources of air pollu-
tion are in compliance
with State and Federal air
laws, many are not, an
Agency spokesman said.
Sources violating the law
by failing to install and
operate necessary pollu-
tion control devices have
long enjoyed an economic
advantage over those who
did what the law required.
   The new rules, how-
ever, will allow EPA  to
assess and collect admin-
istrative penalties equal
to the economic savings a
firm enjoys by not comply-
ing with the law. These
penalties, which will not
be assessed prior to Jan-
uary 1,1981, would be in
addition to any other
payments, sanctions or
requirements under the
Clean Air Act. The pro-
gram would not affect or
be affected by any civil or
criminal proceedings
brought under any other
provision of the Act, or
State or local law.

Monoxide Standards
The EPA recently pro-
posed, after an extensive
health-effects review, to
retain the existing eight-
hour atmospheric air pol-
lution standard for carbon
monoxide and tighten the
one-hour standard.
  The proposed one-hour
standard would be
changed from 35 parts
per million (ppm) to 25
ppm, reflecting new
health data showing in-
creased short-term pro-
tection is needed for
persons with heart ail-
ments, especially those
engaged in moderate
physical exertion such as
  Agency officials say
they don't expect the
tightening of the one-hour
atmospheric standard to
result in the need for
more stringent emission
controls on motor ve-
hicles. Controls currently
in use that have been
effective  in attaining the
eight-hour standard
should also be sufficient
for meeting the proposed
one-hour limit.
   New scientific health
data show that EPA's
original long-term eight-
hour public health stand-
ard, set in 1971 at 9
ppm, remains valid.

Rules Modification
As a result of a Federal
court decision, the EPA
will be issuing modified
air pollution control regu-
lations requiring precon-
struction review of new
and modified industrial
plants in both dirty and
clean air sections of the
   The new rules require
review of new plants prior
to construction, or exist-
ing plants prior to modi-
fication, to make sure that
when built their emissions
won't significantly de-
teriorate clean or make
dirty air even worse.
   The Court's decision
also made several major
changes including the
criteria for determining
which new or modified
plants are subject to regu-
lation. For example, fewer
new plants will have to be
reviewed, while on the
other hand, existing
plants in dirty air areas
will continue to operate
under regulations that
subject major changes to
regulatory review.


Suit Filed
The Department of Jus-
tice on behalf of EPA has
filed a suit seeking the
cleanup of two hazardous
waste dumps near Baton
Rouge, La., and  an end to
illegal toxic discharges
from these dumps. The
two dumps, known as the
Brooklawn and Scenic
Highway sites, are lo-
cated in East Baton Rouge
Parish, about five miles
north of Baton Rouge.
The Brooklawn site still
receives wastes but the
Scenic Highway dump
stopped operating in
   Named as defendants
in the suit are Petro Proc-
essors of Louisiana, Inc.,
operator of the sites, and
numerous firms that gen-
erated the hazardous
waste disposed of at the
sites, including U.S.
Chemical Co., Dow
Chemical Co., Ethyl
Corp., Uniroyal Corp.,
Shell Chemical Co.,
Exxon Chemical Corp.
(Exxon Corp.), Allied
Chemical Corp., Rubicon
Chemical-Corp., Copoly-
mer Rubber and Chemical
Corp., and American
Hoechst Corp.
   This is the first case in
which the Agency has
named generators of the
hazardous waste as de-
fendants, according to
Barbara Blum, EPA
Deputy Administrator.

Volkswagen Recall
The EPA announced re-
cently that Volkswagen
of America will voluntar-
ily recall approximately
100,000 1975 and 1976
Rabbit and Scirocco auto-
mobiles to correct an
exhaust emission prob-
lem. The Rabbits and
Sciroccos affected by the
recall are 1975 models
with manual transmis-
sions and 1976 models
with manual and auto-
matic transmissions. The
subcompacts were pre-
viously repaired by the
company for emission
equipment problems, but
tests show the problem
still exists. The cars were
originally equipped with
catalytic converters, but
when the converters be-
gan breaking internally or
melting during normal
driving use, they were re-
moved and  certain engine
modifications were made
to keep the cars in com-
pliance with Federal
emission standards.
   Emission tests con-
ducted by EPA and Volks-
wagen on the modified
vehicles show that they
are more likely to exceed
the standards than the
original catalyst-equipped
models. The test data also
indicate that the exces-
sive emissions are, to a
large extent, due to mal-
adjustment of the car-
buretor, choke and other
engine parts that affect
the performance of the
emission control system.

Waivers Granted
The EPA has granted
General Motors a one-
year waiver of the statu-
tory 1981 carbon mon-
oxide auto emission
standard for its 1.6 liter
engine Chevette, while at
the same time denying a
waiver request of the
standard for a 6.0  iiter
modulated displacement
engine planned'for the
Cadillac line for 1981.
   The Agency believes
this additional timawill
allow the manufacturer to
develop technological im-
provements which will
enable the Chevette to
meet the standard for the
1982 model year. Tech-
nical and statistical anal-
ysis of the Cadillac en-
gine, however, predict
that it is capable of meet-
ing the carbon monoxide
emission standard and,
therefore, does not meet
the criteria for receiving
a waiver.
   In other action, the
Agency also granted  a
waiver of the 3.4 gram per
mile carbon monoxide
emission standard to Ford
Motor Company for about
30,000 of the company's
1981 cars. The cars in-
volved, some Ford Mus-
tangs and Fairmonts, and
some Mercury Zephyrs
and Capris, use the 2.3
liter turbocharged  engine.
   Ford petitioned the
Agency to approve a
waiver because available
emission data indicated
that these 1981 model
cars with turbocharged
                                                                                                          EPA JOURNAL

engines would not meet
the tighter Federal carbon
monoxide standard
scheduled to take effect
in 1981. The Agency was
also concerned that Ford
would suffer a significant
loss of sales were the 2.3
Siter turbocharged engine
not available.
  This action is expected
to have a minimal envi-
ronmental effect.


Support Asked
EPA Administrator Doug-
las M. Costle has asked
the Nation's governors to
support establishment of
new, safe hazardous
waste disposal sites in
their States.
   Earlier this year, EPA
issued regulations to
track the millions of tons
of toxic, caustic, explo-
sive and other dangerous
wastes created by indus-
try each year. These rules,
issued under the Re-
source Conservation and
Recovery Act, also call
for the disposal of these
wastes in an environmen-
tally sound manner.
   "We estimate there
will be a need for from 50
to 125 new ... hazardous
waste management facil-
ities over the next several
years," Costle noted.
"About 60 percent of
these facilities are ex-
pected to be treatment
facilities, with the rest
divided between landfills
and incinerators. Our pre-
liminary analyses also
indicate that the greatest
capacity shortages will
be felt in the Northeast,
Southeast and Midwest,
with the most serious
shortages likely to occur
in the Southeast."
   A major concern now
becomes how to assure
that sufficient capacity
will be created to safely
treat, store and dispose
of the hazardous wastes,
Costle explained to the
governors in a letter. "In-
tense opposition of the
local public" is the prin-
cipal difficulty in creating
new disposal sites, ac-
cording to an EPA paper
that accompanied the


Investigation Slated
The EPA says it will in-
vestigate the benefits and
risks of captan, a fungi-
cide used on many food
crops, because of a pos-
sible-risk of cancer and
other adverse health
effects to consumers and
  The Agency said it has
evidence suggesting that
captan causes not only
cancer but also mutagenic
effects on test animals.
  The diet of the general
population is exposed to
captan because the fungi-
cide is used, by itself or
in combination with in-
secticides, on a wide
variety of fruits and vege-
tables such as apples,
cantaloupes, beans, beets,
and cauliflower. Captan is
also used as a fungicide
on seeds, in home lawns
and gardens, and in phar-
maceuticals, oil-based
paints, lacquers, paper
and other commercial
   In addition, the Agency
said agricultural workers
are exposed to much
greater amounts of cap-
tan than consumers when
they are present in fields
during or after spraying.

Withdrawal Approved
The EPA has accepted a
request from Rohm and
Haas Company of Phila-
delphia to withdraw from
the market the sale of
perthane, a chemical pre-
viously produced and
used as an'insecticide.
This action will allow
Rohm and Haas to sell
only existing stocks of
perthane for one year.
After that, the company
won't be permitted to
make further sales of the
   Although scientific in-
formation on the effects
of perthane is incomplete,
studies suggest that per-
thane may cause cancer
in experimental animals.
Rohm and Haas is the sole
producer of perthane, al-
though there are many
companies which formu-
late the Rhom and Haas
material under various
   Rohm and Haas has not
produced the product
since 1978 because of a
decline in demand.


Research Grants
The EPA recently gave 17
awards totaling $1.6 mil-
lion to universities and
colleges across the coun-
try. The grants, authorized
under the Agency's new
peer review program,
represent many areas of
innovative research into
environmental problems.
   Major areas of empha-
sis are in health research,
environmental biology
and chemistry and phys-
ics. Many of the awards
in-this group are in the
area of chemical threats
to human health and the
   These grants are part
of EPA's $17.8 million
competitive research
grants program for fiscal
year 1980. Additional
results will be announced
later this year.
   Approximately 20 per-
cent of the applications
submitted were'funded.
Awards  range in size from
$44,075 for the study of
the impacts of ocean
drilling fluids on the criti-
cal life stages of animals
living on the bottom of
oceans or lakes to
$265,137 for the study
of human pulmonary re-
sponses to particles and
gases. The average
project period is 2 years.
   EPA also has awarded
a $367,409 contract to
the University of North
Carolina to conduct a
three-year study on the
effect of several types of
air pollutants on human
cells. The critical study,
us-ing volunteers, will be
conducted at EPA's Hu-
man  Exposure Laboratory
in Chapel Hill, N.C.
  The study will involve
assessing the effects of
air pollution on the
epithelium, the layer of
cells that cover the skin
surfaces, forms glands,
and lines cavities of the
human body. Researchers
will also be studying
lymphocytes, types of
white blood cells which
help  recognize and de-
stroy foreign substances
in the body.
  The contract was
awarded by EPA's Health
Effects Research Labora-
tory in Research Triangle
Park, N.C., which will be
responsible for monitor-
ing the study.

New Publication
Research Highlights 1979
is the title of a new pub-
lication recently issued
by the EPA which offers
a comprehensive review
of major environmental
research advances. Top-
ics covered include:
toxics, health effects,
hazardous waste, waste-
water, clean air monitor-
ing and the Chesapeake
   An index of references
is also included.
   For copies, contact the
Center for Environmental
Research Information,
U.S.  EPA, Cincinnati,
Ohio 45268  or call (513)
654-7562. The title and
order number is Research
Highlights 1979, EPA


Workshop  Held
The  EPA and the Con-
sumer Product Safety
Commission recently held
a three-day workshop to
collect information on
substitutes for asbestos.
Participants represented
industry, government,
universities, labor and
environmental groups
among others.
   Asbestos, a known
cancer-causing agent, is
currently used in several
thousand commercial,
industrial, and consumer
products, ranging from
automobile brake linings
to building materials.
EPA and the Consumer
Product Safety Commis-
sion are considering regu-
lating the uses of as-
bestos in these products.
   The purpose of the
workshop was to gather
technical and health-
related data on substi-
tutes for the products.


Construction Grants
A total of $400 million in
grant money will be pro-
vided by the EPA to 29
States and Puerto Rico to
help them build sewage
treatment plants. The re-
lease was authorized by a
supplemental appropria-
tion for fiscal 1980 signed
by the President on July
8. The money will be
distributed according to
a plan developed earlier
by EPA, which calls for
the funds to go first to
States with "immediate
   This sewage treatment
program is a multibillion
dollar government effort
that pays for up to 75 per-
cent of the cost of build-
ing new plants or improv-
ing existing ones to help
control water pollution.
   The States slated to
receive the largest shares
of the money are: Cali-
—$24,118,000; Wiscon-
sin—$20,630,000; and
Florida—$19,940,000. D
   OCTOBER 1980

Electric Autos
and Clean Air
By Charlotte Garvey
 If electric cars continue to develop tech-
   nologically and grow in popularity, the
   total air pollutant burden of unburned
hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitro-
gen oxides could decrease, according to
recent laboratory studies.
   TheArgonne National Laboratory, under
a Department of Energy grant, has analyzed
the potential environmental effects of
electric vehicles (EVs) and estimated their
impact if the cars become a significant part
of U.S. transportation. Congress' Office of
Technology Assessment also has con-
tracted with the General Research Corpora-
tion of Santa Barbara, Calif., to study the
technological impact of electric vehicles,
including their effects on the environment.
   The Environmental Protection Agency is
carefully watching the development of
these cars, because they could present
EPA with a number of regulatory responsi-
bilities. Administrator Douglas M. Costle
and Dr. Richard M. Dowd, staff director of
EPA's Science Advisory Board, have met
with John S. Makulowich, Electric Vehicle
Council executive director, to explore
                                                     '„*•• 'i.'-'••"..'.•.  -;".-;: '••.*,.;•• '"       •    '•-.""   ".   .  '
                                                                                   ".':•«-  ^ '
Top. Electric vehicle, built for the Department of Energy by General Electric, can
reach a passing speed of 60 mi/es per hour.  Above: A Detroit Electric vehicle.
during a test run in 1918 from Seattle. Wash., to Mount Rainier.
further the possibility of EPA involvement
in electric vehicle development as it
graduates from glorified golf cart to a
viable, popular means of transportation.
Among concerns of officials is the environ-
mental impact these battery-powered cars
may have, and the possible environmental
benefit in cities.
  Argonne Laboratory's study, Assess-
ment of Environmental Impacts of Electric
and Hybrid Vehicles in the Near Term,
presented at the Electric Vehicle Expo 80 in
St. Louis in May, used five different hypo-
thetical scenarios projecting different
levels of market penetration by these ve-
hiclesfor 1985, 1990, and 2000. For the
year 2000, these levels ranged from a low
of three million electrics on the road to a
high of 24 million. Projections based on the
DOE electric vehicle program currently in
progress indicate that just under 1 00,000
would be on the road by the beginning of
                                                                                                      EPA JOURNAL

Pollutants from Recharging
A majority of Argonne's findings indicate
that more environmental damage would
probably result from manufacture of elec-
tric vehicles and their batteries rather than
actual operation of the vehicles
   The batteries do release emissions when
being recharged, although preliminary
studies indicate these are low-level.
Nickel-iron batteries, for example, appear
to emit hydrogen gas upon recharging and
possibly during operation. Charging lead-
acid batteries generates the toxic gas
stibine, which  could, at certain exposure
levels, result in a breakdown of the blood,
severe gastro-intestinal distress, and
eventual death.
   Argonne has found, however, that expo-
sure to stibine during recharging is at a
very low  level  and poses no health threat to
vehicle operators if the vehicle is recharged
in a well-ventilated area. These findings
also show a similar low-risk threat for
workers manufacturing lead-acid batteries.
   Sulfur dioxide output, caused by coal-
burning to produce and recharge batteries,
will increase, but studies indicate no net
change in the air quality of any urban or
rural area will  result, and no relative differ-
ence in total suspended paniculate loading
is expected.
   "Particulates from the cars themselves
are basically zero," says Lynn Andrews,
staff engineer  for the Electric Vehicle
Council. The reason no net change in air
quality would  occur is because emissions
from power plants  providing energy for
battery manufacture would make up for the
lack of emissions from electrics. Andrews
said, however, that the particulates emitted
from the plants would differ from those
emitted by conventional vehicles.
   Purdue University's Institute for Inter-
disciplinary Engineering Studies, which is
investigating a number of questions about
EVs, has done some preliminary studies of
changes in total  projected emission levels
of electric power plants that would result
from battery manufacture. Dr. Gene Good-
son said that several factors make these
levels difficult to estimate.
   The main problem, he said, is that elec-
tric power plants can be powered by coal,
nuclear power, or oil, all emitting different
kinds and different levels of particulates.
Goodson said  it also is difficult to project
an accurate overall total emission  level
because they change at different times of
   Argonne findings indicate that the grad-
ual influx of electric vehicles into the
manufacturing mainstream will not signifi-
cantly hurt water quality on a national
level, but that  locally significant increased
discharges of  lead, nitrates, sulfur com-
pounds, and potassium chloride into fresh
water supplies will result from battery and
vehicle manufacture.
   Solid waste residues resulting from
manufacture and operation could .increase,
and are likely to center around major metal
and coal production areas and near coal-
burning power plants, the study says.

Protecting Workers
Argonne estimates that although workers
will be exposed to hazardous and toxic
materials, levels through January 1, 1987
will not exceed .002 percent of 1975
emission levels.
   The lab has determined that several
areas of potential hazard to workers need
further investigation: exposure to toxic and
carcinogenic materials during battery man-
ufacture; exposure to burns, explosions
and toxics resulting from structural failure
and electrolyte spillage in large-scale bat-
tery disposal and recycling operations; and
exposure to toxic vapors from petrochemi-
cal processes in production of vehicle
   One problem with Argonne's findings is
that projections are based on a fairly low
EV market penetration level, because the
study was conducted before a number of
recent breakthroughs in battery technology
were announced. As a result, estimations
of environmental impact may also be con-
servative. Electric Vehicle Council's John
S. Makulowich said the model used by
Argonne is a feasible one theoretically,
"but in practice, things are moving much
   The General Research Corporation has
come up with findings very similar to
Argonne's projections, and these findings
were published in McGraw Hill's Electric
A utomobites.
   Electric vehicles compare quite favor-
ably with conventional vehicles, according
to General Research's Bill Hamilton, "but
they're not a cure-all."
   He said their findings project a very
modest effect on air quality, and in some
areas, EVs could offer actual improvement.
"The biggest  improvement we could fore-
see was that total urban carbon monoxide
levels could decrease," Hamilton said, if
the vehicles successfully enter the market
and begin to replace the polluting conven-
tional cars.
   The corporation  also found that any
emissions from the car or battery, even
during recharging, were negligible. Ham-
ilton predicted that the batteries are un-
likely to present a waste problem due to
disposal difficulties.
   The batteries will almost certainly be re-
cycled. You can't throw them away, be-
cause they are so heavy, some weighing
over 1,000 pounds. "They also contain a
lot of valuable material and electrical
equipment you would probably want to
hang on to," he said.
 Lower Noise Levels
 Research General's projections also indi-
 cate the vehicles could lessen the noise
 pollution burden now presented by conven-
 tional vehicles. Traffic noise, says Hamil-
 ton, has been found to be the worst noise
 problem for urban areas, and electric
 vehicles are nearly silent.
   An EPA regulatory role that has been
 established in the electric vehicle area is
 fuel economy measurement. In July EPA
 published in the Federal Register an amend-
 ment to its fuel economy program estab-
 lishing procedures for manufacturers to
 incorporate electric vehicles into the Cor-
 porate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
 program, which requires manufacturers'
 average fleet miles per gallon level to reach
 27.5mpgby 1985.
   The EPA amendment does not, however,
 set up the methods to measure electric
 vehicle fuel economy equivalent to those
 used to measure petroleum-powered ve-
 hicles' fuel economy. This responsibility
 belongs to the Department of Energy. DOE
 is now reviewing comments received on
 proposed regulations, published in May,
 setting up these  methods. Final regulations
 are expected in early November.
   Ironically, electric vehicles could even-
 tually end up representing a false savings
 in terms of fuel consumption due to the
 very legislation that gave electric vehicle
 production its big commercial boost.
   Public Law 96-185—better known as
 the Chrysler "bailout" bill—contained a
 rider sponsored by Sen. James A. McClure
 (R-ldaho) allowing car manufacturers to
 include electric vehicles in their overall
 performance figures for Corporate Average
 Fuel Economy ratings by EPA.
   The end result could be that  not only
 electric car research and production will be
 stimulated, but so might production of
 bigger, more profitable, fuel-inefficient
 cars. Because electric vehicles require no
 gasoline for fuel, they balance out poor
 mileage performances by gas guzzlers.
 Thus the petroleum conserving purpose of
 electric production could possibly be
   Argonne determinations  indicate
 electric cars will represent so small a per-
 centage of the American driving fleet that
 no real damage will be done, based on an
 estimated 1987 on-road total of 100,000
 electrics. (This number represents about
 .066 percent of projected total highway
 vehicles stock in 1987.)
   But due to technological breakthroughs.
 General Motors recently announced plans
 to achieve a  100,000-car yearly production
 level for electric models by 1985, and GM
 is only one of several companies with plans
 for future electric vehicle production,
although at present no others plan such
 large-scale production.
   So the real impact of the legislation on
 fuel economy for now is unknown.

   Also, it isn't as though the energy pro-
 duced by the batteries comes from no-
 where. The system needs electricity to
 provide power for the batteries; this energy
 comes from power plants dependent on
 fossil fuels or nuclear power.  Their ad-
 vantage, however, is that many power
 plants are in remote areas and do not im-
 pact urban pollution the way conventional
 autos do. Emissions from the  power  plants
 would also be above ground-level where
 conventional cars pollute.

 Federal Encouragement
 In the meantime, the Department of En-
 ergy, primary sponsoring Federal agency,
 will spend  $40 million this year on electric
 vehicle development.
   The U.S. Postal Service is engaging in a
 cooperative demonstration project with
 the goal of reducing the Service's petro-
 leum use by 20 percent by 1985. (A 20
 percent reduction of petroleum use would
 represent a savings of over 18 million
 gallons of fuel per year.) By 1981, the
 Postal Service expects to be using about
 3,000 electric vehicles  in postal systems in
 Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois,
 Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas,
 and Virginia. The Service plans to keep the
 vehicles in operation for 10 years.
   In addition, the Tennessee Valley
 Authority in Chattanooga, Tenn., is par-
 ticipating in a two-year pilot demonstration
 of these vehicles, sponsored by the Electric
 Power Research Institute. The program is
 aimed  at determining the characteristics of
 present day electric vehicles in an electric
 utility system, and  identifying high priority
 areas for research designing and devel-
   TVA plans to buy up to  20 electric
 vehicles for its employees to drive, test,
 and evaluate. The Volkswagen Corporation
 will supply the first 10 vehicles, and a
 second supplier may be selected in the

A Global Trend
The United States isn't the only nation with
 an interest  in large scale electric car devel-
opment. Electric vehicle associations exist
 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark,
 France, Great Britain, Ireland,  Japan,
Scotland, Spain and West Germany.
   In England, milk delivery trucks  have
been powered by electricity for well over
40 years. These fleets, used throughout the
 dairy industry, constitute  the only long-
term cost effective electric vehicle use in
 the world.
   Japan was the first country to launch a
major government-sponsored effort for
electric car development. About 200,000
electric vehicles should be on Japanese
roads by 1986.
   Daihatsu Motor of Japan, a  Toyota
affiliate, has produced and marketed 4,000
of these vehicles, mostly commercial ve-
hicles, since it began commercially produc-
ing them in 1968. Of 320 vehicles sold last
year, 130 were for personal rather than
commercial driving use.
   The West German mail service plans to
use- a 34-vehicle fleet of electric vans for
mail delivery in the cityof Bonn.
   Major breakthroughs in battery technol-
ogy have been achieved by a number of
corporations, including General Motors
and Gulf and  Western Industries.
   The batteries developed by the two cor-
porations are more economical than gaso-
line engines in terms of fuel use. According
to Gulf and Western President David
Judelson, the Rabbit developed by his
company runs on a cost equivalent to 460
a gallon. This, number is based on electric-
ity costs of 50 per kilowatt hour, and
represents the average cost of an 150-mile
trip at 55 miles per hour, carrying four
   Total cost for powering an electric ve-
hicle nearly 200 miles on a single charge is
$3.45. With national gasoline price aver-
aging $1.25 a gallon, Judelson estimates
the G & W electric car could save the
country about one million barrels of oil
daily by the year 2000. The U.S. now uses
about 18 million barrels daily, almost eight
million of which are  imported. He said the
electric vehicles potentially could cut the
U.S. trade deficit due to oil importation by
almost 30 percent.
   The General Motors Corporation has an-
nounced plans to begin mass production of
the vehicles, and is shooting at a 100,000
car production level  by 1985. GM has de-
veloped its  own battery, different from the
G & W battery.
   Four different kinds of batteries have
reached the advanced technology stage
where they  can power an electric vehicle
with certain limitations. The standard lead-
acid battery that powered Grandma's elec-
tric is becoming obsolete because it
corrodes too easily.
   Significant improvements in the lead-
acid system are expected in the future, but
a major difficulty to overcome in lead-acid
battery technology is its weight, and the
ease with which a light battery can be pro-
duced at an affordable cost.
   The G &W  zinc-chloride battery has
much greater energy density than the lead-
acid battery, and is rechargeable. Also, the
active materials in the zinc-chloride battery
don't corrode or wear out. The zinc-
chloride batteries have the advantages of
operating at ambient temperature, deliver-
ing full power whether it is fully charged
or almost fully discharged, and having the
potential of a  cycle life exceeding EV bat-
tery goals of 500 recharges by 1982.
   GM  has also developed a rechargeable
battery, made of zinc-nickel. The battery
has a much shorter life than the zinc-
chloride battery but does not require pur-
chase of a special recharger because its
recharging capabilities are self-contained.
   Nickel-iron batteries are another kind of
battery fairly advanced technologically.
While the nickel-iron system exhibits long
life and appears to be capable of perform-
ance levels exceeding the lead-acid sys-
tem, the nickel and iron electrodes in the
battery are expensive.
   That's the good news. Now the not-so-
good news.
   A bank of batteries for an electric
vehicle can be manufactured for $3,000 in
1980 dollars. This brings the estimated
minimum price tag for a battery-equipped
compact electric vehicle to about $8,500,
not including the cost of a battery re-
charger if one is needed. Estimates put the
cost of a recharger at about $400. Some
electric vehicles can cost as much as
   If the battery in the car is zinc-nickel, no
recharger is necessary, but it will only last
about 30,000 miles before it needs to be
replaced, rather than the 200,000-mile
lif espan of the zinc-chloride battery.
   The question mark, however, is whether
the total price of electric vehicles would
drop with increased production levels.
   Electric cars aren't quite ready for cross-
country jaunts or drag races either. In
1900, a Riker Electric won a race against
gasoline racers and steamers, but most
early electrics could only reach a top speed
of 30 miles per hour.
   Things haven't changed much. Although
a new speed record for an electric car was
set in 1973—138.8 miles per hour on the
BonneviHe Salt Flats—most electrics
today reach top speeds of about 55 miles
per hour. Manufacturers say they can build
fast electrics, but would sacrifice the
distance a car can go between charges.
The farthest the G&W Rabbit can go
on a single charge (overnight) is 150 miles.
The GM model has a projected 100-mile
range without a recharge. The average EV
takes about nine seconds for the car to  go
from 0 to 30 mph, and 17.6 seconds to
reach 55 mph from 25 mph.
   These characteristics theoretically
should be no real problem for Americans,
says the Department of Transportation.
Surveys show ninety percent of all trips
taken in the U.S. are for 20 miles or less;
ninety-nine percent are for under 100
miles. So it appears that the distance lim-
itation shouldn't pose any real restriction.
But to free-roaming Americans, any limita-
tion seems a hindrance, a substantial psy-
chological hurdle to overcome if electric
vehicles are ever going to make it from the
experimental stage to the open market. D

Charlotte Carve/ is an Editorial Assistant
for EPA Journal.
                                                                                                           EPA JOURNAL

                              Environmental  Almanac:  October 1980
                                  A Glimpse of the Natural World We Help Protect
                                  Sounds  in  the  Night
     The great chorus of cricket,
     katydid and frog music
     that marks the nights of
Autumn is now fad ing and will
be gone with the first hard frost.
   The love songs of male katy-
dids and crickets have been
almost deafening in the Wash-
ington area as the insects
perched on trees and goldenrod
plants sounded their final songs.
   The music of crickets has
attracted attention for thou-
sands of years. Ladies of an-
cient courts in China placed
these insects in small golden
cages and kept them for com-
pany in the lengthening nights
of fall. In Japan, city residents
often go outdoors in Autumn
just to listen to cricket concerts
   The singing of the crickets is
only one of the more notable
songs in a vast and varied med-
ley of animal noises that mark
the night. Most people, how-
ever, rarely hear the full
   Midnight, as Thoreau has
remarked, is as unexplored to
most of us as is central Africa.
But the vast majority of wild
animals are active at night, us-
ing the cover of darkness either
as hunters or as the hunted.
   Near a pond or stream an ex-
plosive splat can be the sound
of a beaver hitting the water
with its broad flat tail to warn
members of its family of
approaching danger.
   Beavers usually cut down
trees with their chisel teeth un-
der the cover of darkness, a
wise precaution in some of the
developed areas where these
large rodents are now active
again. Landowners sometimes
are angry to awaken and find
that prize trees along a stream
have been mysteriously felled.
   Other animals active at night
include owls, whippoorwills,
rabbits, mice, porcupines,
muskrats, weasels, deer, mink,
skunks and oppossums.
  Among the owls, one of the
most distinctive calls is that of
the barred owl whose hoots
seem to ask, "Who cooks for
you? Who cooks for you-all?" .
   On a northern lake wild
laughter in the night can be
the call of the loon. If there's
a maniacal response further up
the lake, you can assume there
are two loons present.
   One of the most famous
night or evening performers is
thewoodcock, a robin-sized
bird with a long bill and large
eyes designed for night sight.
The male begins his courtship
flights at dusk in the spring on
a cleared area or open space in
the woods. He begins with a
nasal "peent" call  and then flies
up some 200 feet with wings
   On his zigzag descent flight
to the "singing ground" the
woodcock begins a plea ding
chirping call  which should melt
the heart of any female wood-
cocks in the area.
   Frogs can  sound like the
strumming of banjo strings,
the rattling of castanets, the
hammering of carpenters,
rhythmic snoring, or the  bark-
ing of a dog. The rattling of
garbage cans at night is often
caused by raccoons, opposums,
or sometimes bears, looking
for food.
   The nighthawk, a large slim-
winged grey bird with white
wing patches that flies like a
large swallow, folds its wings
and drops earthward like a dive
bomber during its courtship
flight. It then zooms up sharply
at the end of the drop with a
sudden whir that sounds like
the well-known Bronx cheer.
   Some of the most striking
bird songs a re heard at night.
   "The evening was calm and
beautiful, the sky sparkled with
stars," wrote John James
Audubon in 1834. "Suddenly
there burst on my soul the
serenade of the rose-breasted
bird, so rich, so mellow, so loud
in the stillness of the night
that sleep fled from my eye-
balls. Never did I enjoy music
   He was writing about the
handsome rose-breasted gros-
beak he heard while near the
Mohawk River in New York
  The clear and flute-like song
of the hermit thrush in the
evening has led some people to
call this singer the American
   In bright moonlight birds that
normally are heard only in the
daytime such as the song spar-
row, marsh wren, and redwing
blackbird begin to sing.
   One of the most famous
moonlight singers is the mock-
ingbird which has a remarkable
repertoire of songs. Its usually
liquid but occasionally harsh
voice can often be heard in
downtown Washington when
this bird perches on street
lamps or roof tops to sing
during a full rnoon.
   In contrast, the awkward
long-legged great blue heron
can only summon up a hoarse,
gutteral croak when it flops
through the evening.
   Loud crashing sounds in
woodland  underbrush are
usually made by deer, elk, and
sometimes bear. Deer, when
frightened, will give a loud
snort. Male deer also snort
when attacking rival males dur-
ing mating season. Mother deer
utter a soft bleating sound when
calling to their young.
   All these night-time sounds
give clues to the activities of
the creatures with whom we
share the earth. Since we are a
minority in the animal kingdom,
it can be useful to learn some-
thing about the other  inhabi-
tants of this planet. Some
understanding of these crea-
tures and the earth that sup-
ports us all is essential if we
are to be at peace with our
   With the coming of the sun-
rise a new chorus of bird songs
begins, not as vigorous now as
in the spring, but still moving.
Those remarkable aerial acro-
bats, the chickadees, are
bustling through the trees with
their cheerful little calls. A nut-
hatch, the small bird that walks
down a tree trunk head first,
begins its nasal honking.
   Sparrows are twittering in
the bushes, a rooster crows from
a distant farm, a meadowlark
whistles from the pasture. A
new dawn  has arrived and all's
right with the world.—C.D.P.


Alan W. Eckert

He has been appointed Deputy
Associate General Counsel,
Water and Solid Waste
Division, Office of General
Counsel. In that position, he will
be responsible for legal issues
concerning the implementation
of Consolidated Permit regula-
tions governing the National
Pollution Discharge Elimination
Systems, hazardous waste,
underground injection control,
and  Prevention of Significant
Discharge permits.
   He joined the Office of
General Counsel in 1972 after
spending two years with the
Office of Legislation. Priorto
that he worked with the Federal
Water Pollution Control Admin-
istration, one of the prede-
cessors of EPA. Earlier he was
with the Foreign Service at the
Department of State.
   He received a bachelor's
degree in English  literature
from Duke University in 1965
and a law degree from the
University of Virginia School of
Law in 1968.
Barbara Sidler

She has been appointed
Regional Counsel in Region 5.
Prior to coming to EPA, she had
worked with the Illinois Envir-
onmental Protection Agency
beginning in 1972, where she
most recently was manager of
enforcement programs, super-
vising 24 attorneys in ail
aspects of environmental en-
forcement and regulatory work,
She also directed attorneys
providing legal advice to  the
director of the Agency and his
   Earlier, she served as senior
attorney for the Divisions of
Water Pollution Control and Air
Pollution Control. In that  role,
she advised on and  drafted
legislation and regulations
implementing the Illinois State
Implementation Program  and
the National  Pollutant Dis-
charge Elimination Systems
   Before joining  the State
agency, she worked in various
capacities for Inland Steel
   Sidler received her bachelor
of arts degree in economics in
1947 from trve University of
Illinois at Urbana, and her
doctor of jurisprudence degree
from I!T, Illinois Institute of
Technology, Chicago-Kent
College of Law in 1967.
Marylouise Uhlig

She was elected president of
Federally Employed Women
during national elections held
last July in Washington, D.C.
Uhlig is currently the Executive
Officer for EPA, a post she has
held since 1977.
   Federally Employed Women
is a private, nonprofit organiza-
tion founded in 1968 to pro-
mote the interests of women in
the Federal Government by in-
creasing job opportunities,
improving the merit system,
and assisting employees and
applicants who feel they are
victims of sexual discrimina-
tion. It draws membership rrom
over 750,000 women employed
in the Federal service and com-
prises 220 local chapters in
the United States, Japan, Ger-
many, Korea and Panama.
   As president, Uhlig said she
intends to strengthen the organ-
ization's legislative program
and would like to reinstitute
inspections of Federal  agencies
to assess the status of their
women employees.
Ernest E. Bradley

He has been appointed Assist-
ant Inspector General for Audit
after serving in that position in
an acting capacity since May.
Previously he held several ad-
ministrative positions including
Acting Director of Administra-
tion, Assistant Director of Audit
and  Director of Audit Opera-
tions within EPA.
   In his position, he will con-
tinue to be instrumental in the
conception and implementation
of all auditing policies,  plans,
and  programs as well as serv-
ing as an adviser to the Inspec-
tor General and other officials
concerning the extent of exam-
inations necessary to ade-
quately appraise the operations
of the Agency.
  Before joining the Agency in
1971, Bradley worked for the
Department of Health, Educa-
tion and Welfare (now Health
and Human Services) in
Atlanta, Ga., as a branch man-
ager and supervisory auditor.
He also has held the pos'tion of
auditor. Earlier he was a tax
examiner with the Internal Rev-
enue Service in Chamblee,  Ga.
  He received his bachelor's
degree in business administra-
tion from the Georgia State
University in 1963.
Gerald I. Nehman

He has been named director
of the newly-established
Regional Analytic Center for
Region 6. Dallas is the third
regional headquarters, after
Chicago and Denver, to  have
such a center.
  As the director, he will super-
vise a staff of 10, including
six employees supplied by
Headquarters and four in one-
year  assignments supplied by
the Region. Among the ques-
tions they will deal with  are
the ramifications of rapid
population growth in Region 6,
economic and political impacts
of innovative and alternative
technologies, the impact of new
energy development, wetlands
development, and innovations
in regulatory policy.
  Nehman, who has 10  years'
experience in land use and
environmental planning, came
to EPA from the Agency for
International Development
where he coordinated economic
planning for the office of Food
for Peace. While at that Agency,
he also served in Paraguay as
an advisor to its minister of
  He received a Ph.D. in agri-
culture economics from Ohio
State University in 1973.
 Wayne Goforth

 He has been selected as one
 of ten Outstanding Handi-
 capped Federal Employees for
 1980. Goforth, a copier/
 duplicator operator at EPA's
 Health Effects Research Lab-
 oratory at Research Triangle
 Park, N.C., is legally deaf. The
 award is recognition of his
 courage, initiative and success
 in overcoming his handicap.
   In addition to his duties at
 the laboratory, Goforth is a
 teaching assistant for sign
 language at the University of
 North Carolina's Speech/Hear-
 ing Institute in Chapel Hill, and
 also is an instructor of sign
 language at Central Carolina
 Technical College in Sanford,
 N.C. He is a certified interpreter
 with the highest level of certifi-
 cation from the North Carolina
 Registry of Interpreters for the
Sheila M. Prindiville

She has been named Acting
Regional Administrator for
Region 9. She will be respon-
sible for administering envi-
ronmental programs in the
States of California, Arizona,
Nevada and Hawaii, plus
American Samoa, Guam, the
Trust Territories of the
Pacific Islands, and the
Commonwealth of the
Northern Marianas. She was
most recently Deputy Regional
  Prindiville joined EPA
shortly after the establishment
of the Agency  in 1970. She
has been a member of the Re-
gion 9 staff since  1972, be-
ginning as a Division Director.
  She is a graduate of
Mundelein College, Chicago,
III., and holds a master's
degree in international
relations from  Georgetown
University, Washington, D.C.
  She succeeds Paul De Falco,
Jr., who retired recently after a
28-year public  career.
  De Falco, 56, wasappointed
Regional Administrator for
Region 9 in December 1970
upon creation of the Agency.
He will continue his work for
environmental causes in the
public and private  sectors.
                                    A U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: I980 O— 620-273/8
                                                                                                          EPA JOURNAL

News Briefs

Twelve  EPA officials  have received  bonus awards  ranging from  $10,000  to
$20,000 for outstanding job performance under  the Agency's first  use  of an
incentives awards program created by the 1978  Civil Service Reform Act.
Winners of the $20,000  distinguished executive awards are:  Walter C.  Bar-
ber, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Air Quality Planning  and  Standards;
E. C. Beck, Assistant Administrator for Water  and Waste Management; Roy N.
Gamse,  Deputy Assistant Administrator for Planning and Evaluation;  and
Richard D. Wilson,  Deputy Assistant Administrator for General Enforcement.
Winners of the $10,000  meritorious  executive awards are: Rebecca  W. Hanmer,
Regional Administrator  of EPA's office in Atlanta; Michael P. Walsh,  Dep-
uty Assistant Administrator for Mobile Source  Pollution Control;  Henry E.
Beal, Director, Standards and Regulations Evaluation Division; Steven R.
Reznek, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Environmental Engineering  and
Technology; Marilyn C.  Bracken, Associate Assistant Administrator for Toxics
Integration; James  A. Rogers, Associate General  Counsel for Water and Solid
Waste;  Richard T. Dewling, Deputy Regional Administrator of EPA's office in
New York City; and  Frank Princiotta, Director, Energy Processes Division.


Administrator Douglas M. Costle recently notified EPA officials that  Agency
policy  in the use of  human health and exposure studies will be clarified.
New guidance is being prepared which will provide that generally  such pro-
posed studies are submitted to the  Assistant Administrator for Research and
Development for review  to ensure that they are consistent with accepted
scientific practice in  design, execution, and  peer review.
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