United States
   Environmental Protection
Office of     Volume 7
Public Awareness (A-107) Number 6
Washington D C 20460  June 1981

                        If fc
   Spilled In
   Train Wreck

Administrator Anne M. Gorsuch and Deputy Administrator John W. Hernandez at meeting of EPA employees in Washington.
 n her first address after taking
   office, EPA Administrator
AnneMcGill Gorsuch last
month told Agency employees
that she will work for environ-
mental  protection as well as
other goals to improve EPA's
operationsand make theAgency
more efficient.
   Speaking to several hundred
Headquarters employees
gathered outdoors in brilliant
Spring sunshine, Gorsuch said
she was honored that the Presi-
dent had selected her as Admin-
istrator and that she greeted
the challenge with great
   "In our meetings, President
Reagan impressed me in a num-
ber of ways, not the least of
which was his commitment to
protect our environmental
values by the importance which
he placed on the shoulders of
this Agency," she declared. "I
strongly share that commit-
ment. Our Chief Executive is
also determined to achieve
other important goals—eco-
nomic recovery, development of
domestic energy sources, new
jobs and a decrease in the
Federal deficit and the size and
influence of the Federal Gov-
ernment. The American people
presented President Reagan
with a wide mandate to carry
out his programs, and as a
member of the new Adminis-
tration, I am committed to that
work optimistically."
   Gorsuch added that she  be-
lieved EPA could contribute
greatly "by seizing the initiative
in two of President Reagan's
new policy areas—regulatory
reform and the new Federalism.
In the future, EPA will con-
tribute to the new Federalism
by constantly watching for  ways
to shift the decision-ma king
process from the banks of the
Potomac to  the local courthouse
and State capitols. Deserting
an adversary role, EPA will seek
to bring State governments in
as full and active partners in
the achievement of our environ-
mental goals.
   "As to regulatory reform, it is
my hope that the EPA of the
Reagan Administration be re-
membered for the amount of
money it has saved the tax-
payers because we streamlined
regulations, cut down on per-
mit-processing time and cut
back on the required paperwork
for EPA projects. Through regu-
latory reform, efficiencies can
be promoted that produce sav-
ings in the products and serv-
ices purchased by American
consumers. We should work to
keep a lid on those unnecessary
regulations which have created
hardships in our National in-
dustries, driving up the cost of
consumer goods. On America's
farms, in the steel mills, on the
auio assembly lines and as
Americans search for domestic
energy resources, the EPA
should move in accordance with
President Reagan's goals for
our country without sacrificing
the important environmental
considerations of cleaner air,
cleaner water and more pro-
ductive land."
  The Administrator  introdi
Dr. John Hernandez, the nj
Deputy Administrator, "v
for the first time  in this
Agency's history, brings a tech-
  Contmued to inside back cover

                              United States
                              Environmental Protection
                              Office of                      Volume 7
                              Public Awareness (A-107)       Number 6
                              Washington D C 20460         June 1981
                          &EPA JOURNAL
                              Anne McGill Gorsuch, Administrator
                              Charles D. Pierce, Editor
                              Trurnan Temple, Associate Editor
                              John Heritage, Managing 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 balanci: be
tween human activities and the
ability of natural systems  to sup-
port and nurture life.

Defusing Chemical
'Time Bombs'
Larry O'Neill describes a new
technique to clean up dioxin.

Managing Michigan's
Hazardous Wastes   4
How a highly industrialized
State is controlling the
dangerous by-products of

Navy Equipment May
Help Locate Waste  6
Some exotic Naval ordnance
equipment may aid in managing
hazardous waste problems.

Why Superfund Was
Needed   8
Senator Robert T. Stafford
describes events leading to
enactment of this important

Superfund—A Major
Task Ahead   11
An interview with Michael B.
Cook, who heads the EPA
Superfund program.

The Public and
A former EPA official describes
recent problems in dealing with
local residents in  hazardous
waste incidents.

'Valley of Death'   17
Industrial pollution in the city
of Cubatao has created a major
health problem there, accord-
ing to environmental groups.

Hazardous Waste and
U.S. Export Policy   18
Proposed exports of hazardous
waste by industriaf countries
highlight the need for careful

Power Plants, Roses,
and Catfish  20
A Minnesota utility, working
with EPA, is using waste heat
to help grow unusual products.
EPA and Federal
Information Centers  24
Some 40,000 questions about
the environment pour annually
into these special centers.

N.I.H. and Pest Control  26
How scientists control carriers
of disease in this major medical

Superfund Community
Relations Policy  29
Steven  Cohen outlines how
EPA intends to meet local
concerns in future hazardous
waste episodes.

EPA Crisis Training for
Hazardous Materials   30
Thomas C. Sell explains how
personnel are learning to
handle  hazardous material

EPA's Environmental
Response Team—On Call
Around The Clock    32
How a crack Agency unit stands
ready 24 hours a day to handle
                              News Briefs
                              People   34
Almanac   35
Around the Nation   38
Front cover: Derailment of ;i tram
carrying chemicals near Claxton,
Ky. The burning car contained
vinyl chloride. EPA Region 4 Envi-
ronmental Emergency Branch and
other agencies responds:!.
 Photo credits: Mike Davidchik,
 EPA Region 7; George Houghton,
 EPA Region 3 Central Regional
 Laboratory; Al J. Smith, Jr., EPA
 Region 4; John Gilbert; Northern
 States Power Co.; Mich. Dept. of
 Natural Resources; National Insti-
 tutes of Health; U.S. Navy; EPA
 EMSL—-Las Vegas/Environmental
 Photographic Interpretation
 Center; EPA Environmental Re-
 sponse Team, Edison, N.J.
  Design Credits Robert Flanagan.
  Donna Ka/aniwsky and Ron Farrah
                              Fhe I  i'A Journal is pul
                              monthly, v. II        ed issues
                              July Amur,;    '  i   nber-Deci m
                              bei :.> it1.*1 U S  f nvironmental
                              Proti>ctui" Agei i v Use ol funds for
                              [H mting this periodical has hi-fi
                                    ec! by the I Jn ei loi of thr
                                   ol Man • icmi  : inci Bi.d.).-:
                                     • , •  -.     ,      . do not
                                	,  eflect El •''••  ' • y Con-
                               tributions and inquiries stun,id be
                               addre:  ed ti   I    lor (A 107).
                               Waterside Ma  401 M St S W
                               Washington  DC 20460 No per
                               missn "        ry to n
                               c:ont«>i:t: excei      |hte
Time Bombs'
By Larry O'Neill
 Workers in protective clothing
 cleaning up wastes containing
 clioxin near Aurora, Mo.
     Anew technique using ultraviolet light
     is being employed in Missouri to
help clean up two major sources of liquid
wastes contaminated by "TCDD dioxin,"
one of the most toxic compounds known.
  The treatment of the two chemical
sites, both located in southwestern Mis-
souri, marks a promising advance in EPA's
drive to provide protection against dumps
which threaten people and the environ-
  "The Missouri experience is significant
for a couple of reasons," said Richard D.
Wilson, EPA Acting Assistant Administra-
tor for Enforcement. "The cleanup tech-
nique being studied and used on the d'ioxin
wastes also may be useful in neutralizing
other harmful compounds, such as PCB's.
In addition, the willingness of the  industry
in question to seek cooperative solutions
to difficult disposal problems can serve as
a model for remedial actions at other dump
  Dioxin, an unintended by-product of
the manufacture of 2,4,5-1 herbicide and
related chemicals, is poisonous in ex-
tremely small amounts and also is thought
to be capable of causing cancer and birth

delects among people, based upon its
effects on laboratory an-imals.
   One of the Missouri dump sites is a
rusting 20-foot tall tank in Verona, con-
taining about 4,300 gallons of oily liquid
laced with dioxin at levels up to 350 parts
per million (ppm). By comparison, a major
U.S. chemical firm now can manufac-
ture finished 2,4,5-T products containing
less  than 0.05 ppm of this contaminant.
(The wastes from this process may con-
tain higher levels.)
   The second Missouri dump, a 20 by
65-foot trench  on a farm near Aurora, may
hol-d up to 140 steel drums with dioxin
levels as high as 319 ppm.
   Both sites had the potential to poison
people and the environment. In fact, some
wastes from the Verona tank did so. In
1971, liquids from this cauldron, mixed
with waste oil and sprayed on three Mis-
souri horse arenas to control dust, made
a six-year-old girl seriously ill, killed 63
horses, s-ix dogs, 12 oats, and other an-i-
mals. In addition, the tank is located in a
part  of Missouri occasionally visited by
tornadoes. The 10-year-old site  n&ar
Aurora threatened to contaminate under-
ground drinkting water and nearby Flat
   The toxins came from the same source:
a chemical plantin Verona leased during
1969 through 1971 by North Eastern
Pharmaceutical and Chemical Co. During
Si)is time, North Eastern produced an anti-
Bacterial agent and chemical relative of
2,4,5-T, called hexachlorophene. This
process resulted in the diox'in waste which
wound up in the tank—located on the
plant property—and at the Aurora-area
farm. The owner of the Verona plant during
most of this period was, and is,  Syntex
Agribusiness, Inc., headquartered in Palo
Alto, Calif.
   EPA has been consulting wjth Syntex on
the Verona tank since the mid-1970's. This
somewhat informal cooperation became a
necessity in  March 1980 when the Agency,
concerned primarily about another d'ioxin
disposal problem in Arkansas, issued an
order prohibiting any disposal of the toxin
without EPA approval. Two months later,
the Agency gave permission to Syntex to
use a new treatment technique developed
by a  company contractor.
   The technique is called "photolysis."
The  details on how and why it works are
regarded by the company as trade secrets.
But basically, photolysis consists of ex-
tracting dioxin from the liquid waste with
a solvent, then exposing this material to
ultraviolet light which degrades the dioxin
to levels below 0.5 ppm.
   Syntex so far has detoxified about 4,000
      4,300 gallons in the tank. This
       liquid is beiing held at the plant site,
while the company plans for permanent
disposal. One option being considered
is incinerating the wastes on board the
ship Vulcanus which successfully de-
stroyed 10,400 metric tons of surplus
Herbicide Orange defoliant during 1977
and 1978.
  EPA's  involvement with the dump near
Aurora began in October 1979 with a phone
call from a former North Eastern and
Syr>tex employee who reported a chemical
burial ground on the farm of a current
Syntex employee named James E. Denney.
  Kenneth S. Ritchey of the air and haz-
ardous waste division in EPA's Kansas
City office received the call.  "It seemed
quite factual and legitimate," he recently
recalled,  "and later interviews with the
caHer left no question that the tip was for
  Indeed it was. Visits by EPA investiga-
tors to the site confirmed its existence.
But its contents remained a mystery until
April 22,1980, when an EPA team "with
an armed guard, firefighters, and a semi-
trailer decontamination unit—and enough
equipment to support a moon walk,"
according to one newspaper account,
returned to take samples from the waste
drums and from nearby drinking water
wells. These samples were studied, and in
May 1980, the Agency announced that
dioxin was present in the drums and sur-
rounding soil but that t-he well water was
  In the meantime, EPA had been negotiat-
ing with Syntex officials to undertake
cleaning up the Denney trench. In a consent
decree of August 1980, the company
agreed to develop a plan for detoxifying
the siite, to reimburse EPA for $100,000
the Agency spent in preliminary work at
the dump, and to assume responsibility for
monitoring the safety of well water in the
  On March 6,1981, EPA's Kansas City
office concurred with Syntex's proposal for
detoxifying the Denney farm. Under this
plan, the  company will again use the
photolysis process at its Verona plant to
neutralize liquid wastes found in the drums.
In addition, the company will use sealed
concrete  vats at the farm to mix dioxin-
laden soil with special bacteria to deter-
mine if they can transform the poison into
more benign substances.
  During the cleanup operation, the
trench will be surrounded by a steel shed
to prevent wastes from escaping into the
environment. Workers at the site will wear
protective clothing and breathing equip-
ment to minimize their exposure to the
toxic wastes. Syntex will provide physical
exams for these workers both before and
after the cleanup. In addition, the company
has agreed to monitor air quality around
the  site and to periodically check ground
water to determine if harmful contaminants
are  leaching from the trench.
   The company expects to remove the
wastes from the trench and to restore it
within five months. Other aspects of a
complete cleanup may take longer. For
example, the bacteria are not likely to
have neutralized contaminated soil in less
than five years. EPA has estimated that the
entire project may cost Syntex between
$2 million and $5 milHon.
   But the problem of toxic chemical
dumps in one midwestern State gives only
a glimpse of the national picture on im-
proper waste disposal." Most States have
several, and some States considerably
more, dump sites with tfie potential to trig-
ger significant damage to human health and
the environment," according to Wilson.
"Under the  recently enacted Superfund
law, EPA, cooperating with the States and
other Federal agencies, is developing a
plan for ranking these dumps so that the
worst can be tackled first."
   EPA is planning cleanup action at more
than 100 sites using Superfund money that
will total $1.6 billion by 1985. At the same
time, the Agency i-s using money transferred
to Superfund from the oil and chemical
spill cleanup fund of the Clean Water Act
to continue taking protective actions at 23
especially hazardous sites identified some
time ago. These include:

• The notorious 70-million-gallon Kin-Buc
landfill -in Edison, N.J., which has been
leaking toxic wastes into the'Raritan River;

• The 40,000 to 60,000-barrel dump at
Seymour, Ind., whose toxic and explosive
wastes have caused groundwater contami-

• The Ortati and Goss Inc. dump near
Kingston, N.H., where wastes including
the suspect carcinogen chloroform and
other toxic materials posed both a fire
hazard and  the threat of poisoning nearby
surface and groundwater;

• A Youngsville, Pa., site where leaking
drums of harmful PCB chemicals at one
time jeopardized the city's drinking water

  These dumps represent just a smatter-
ing of the 1,200 to 2,000 waste sites that
may be imminently  risky to people and the
eco-system. Figures like these indicate that
much remains to be done to defuse chemi-
cal waste "time bombs." The pace of this
work will dep&nd in large measure on
whether government and industry can
work together as they were able to do on
the dioxin threat in  two small Missouri
towns. D

The author is a Public Information Officer
in the EPA Press Office.
 JUNE 1981

•' •••
                                  v >|

Managing Michigan's
Hazardous Wastes
By Bill Marks
   By conservative estimates, about 1.3
    million tons of hazardous wastes
are presently being generated in Mich-
igan annually. For most of these wastes,
no adequate permanent disposal capa-
bility has existed. Millions of pounds
of hazardous wastes from years past are in
storage today awaiting proper disposal.
Unfortunately, large quantities of other
wastes never were property stored, and the
costs of cleaning up lands and waters con-
taminated with these materials have been
enormous. Millions upon millions of dollars
have been spent in just the past few years
by the State and by private industry to
clean up abandoned waste sites, to monitor
and analyze soils and waters, to purge
groundwaters and to respond to pollution
Emergencies. While most companies
nave been responsible about storage and
control, a few have used irresponsible
methods for disposing of their wastes; after
all, it's cheaper to "midnight dump" or ig-
nore wastes than to control them properly.
And with the volume of hazardous wastes
ever increasing, we are faced with a very
real potential for severe and long lasting
environmental and human health conse-
quences, conditions which can be tolerated
no longer.
   In his opening remarks to the Interna-
tional Conference on Hazardous Materials
in Detroit in 1978, Michigan Governor
William G. Milliken declared:

"No issue is more important or more
urgent today than the management of haz-
ardous materials. The States collectively
must put in place the steps necessary to
achieve agreed-upon measures to assure
protection of human health and the environ-
ment. They must do it soon—and by soon,
I  mean one year."

   The Michigan Legislature quickly re-
sponded to the Governor's challenge and
six months  later the Hazardous Waste
Management Act of 1979 (also known as
•,t 64) became law. Hailed as the most
significant piece of State environmental
legislation since the "Earth Day" initiatives
of the early 1970's, this new law set the
course for finally resolving our State's
hazardous waste problems.
  Michigan Department of Natural Re-
sources Director Howard A. Tanner said
that the law "finally gives us the tools we
need to tackle our most significant environ-
mental problem."
  Because of the widespread concern
about hazardous wastes, the open, public
process which was used to draft and enact
this important legislation will  also continue
to be used to implement the Act. Local
government officials and the general public
will have a strong role in selecting disposal
sites and in the planning for treatment and
disposal facilities. '"For this program to
be successful," Tanner said, "the public
must be involved every step of the way."
  The first of these steps was establish-
ment of a  1 4-member Hazardous Waste
Management Planning Committee which
wil! prepare a waste management plan by
January 1, 1982. Appointed by the Gov-
ernor, the committee consists of one offi-
cial each from a township, a city, and a
county unit of government, a hazardous
waste hauler, a hazardous waste disposal
facility operator, a member of an environ-
mental group, a representative of a conser-
vation group, three members of the general
public, and representatives of the directors
of the State Departments of Natural Re-
sources, Commerce, and Public Health. In
developing the management plan, the com-
mittee will identify all present obstacles to
siting and methods of encouraging devel-
opment of environmentally sound facilities.
  The Act also creates  local site approval
boards, consisting of five permanent and
four temporary members. The boards will
be responsible for reviewing, and granting,
or denying approval for each site recom-
mended for approval by the Department of
Natural Resources. Board members repre-
sent the State Police, the Department of
Natural Resources, and the Department of
Public Health. The remaining two perma-
nent positions are public members ap-
pointed by the governor, one a geologist
Hazardous waste specialist investigating .)
buried drum near Holland, Mich.
JUNE 1981

Navy Equipment
May Help
By Linda Young Boornazian
  FPA officials are looking into some exotic
    Navy ordnance equipment that may
help to detectand handle buried hazardous
waste drums in the future.
  The equipment includes a small, un-
manned tank-like vehicle that armed serv-
ices use to examine explosive items at a
safe djistan.ce.
  The need  for such equipment has been
growing in recent years as the magnitude
of America's hazardous waste problem has
become apparent. EPA, State, and local
specialists have been finding toxic chem-
icals that have been improperly stored or
disposed of  in rusted or otherwise deterio-
rated drums in uncontrolled hazardous
waste sites across the country. Chemical
wastes disposed of in this manner can
explode without warning, releasing lethal
fumes. Sometimes the containers are
buried far underground and are costly to
locate by simple excavation. Often there
are no records, no maps, and no descrip-
tion of what  dangerous mixtures may lie
in these toxic time bombs.
  For all these reasons, EPA personnel are
welcoming cooperation from military ord-
nance specialists who have had long ex-
perience in dealing with dangerous and
explosive materials and have developed
highly sensitive devices to detect buried
drums, and other equipment to handle the
drums safely once they are located.
  Last August, members of the Sur-
veillanceand Analysis Division of EPA's
Region 3 including this writer, as well as
persons from EPA Headquarters and the
Region 4 field investigation team, had a
first-hand look, at this equipment in a derr
onstration hosted by Capt. Richard M.
Dunbar, Commanding Officer of the Naval
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology
Center at Indian Head, Md. Officials of the
Center described equipment that they had
developed or modified for ordnance that
may be utilized in investigations of uncon-
trolled hazardous waste sites.

Driving "The Wheelbarrow"

  The unmanned vehicle is nicknamed
"The Wheelbarrow" and is used by both the
Navy and Army to examine ordnance items
of various types.  Powered by two auto
batteries and controlled by a cable-con-
nected remote unit, the tracked vehicle is
three and a half feet long, 20 inches wide,
and resembles a  miniature tank with an
A-frame mounted on top of it in place of a
turret. Various devices can be attached  to
the frame, including a closed-circuit TV
camera which enables the operator 100
feet away to get a close look at the  explo-
sive object. The Wheelbarrow can move
from side to side as well as forward and
  EPA officials believe The Wheelbarrow
could be used in  several ways including.
sampling of drum contents, remote site(
survey using detection devices, as well
drum removal.

                                                                                   Navy ordnance specialist (far left) operat-
                                                                                   ing magnetometer to locate underground
                                                                                   objects. Cable-controlled "Wheelbarrow"
                                                                                   (center and right photos) can carry devices
                                                                                   to m


V  f „


Why Superf und
Was Needed
By Senator Robert T. Stafford (R-Vt.)
                                              The country has waited a long time for
                                              the Superfund law dealing with chem-
                                           ical poisons in the environment. What we
                                           have now is, in my judgment, the major
                                           preventative health law passed by the Con-
                                           gress in the past four years.
                                             Together with the other members of the
                                           Senate Committee on Environment and
                                           PubHc Works, I worked on this legislation
                                           for nearly three years. I will not say that it
                                           was a labor of love, because the process
                                           was trying. We were beset with problems
                                           at nearly every turn.
                                             But it has been a three-year trial well
                                           worth it. Eighty percent of the American
                                           people wanted some  legislation. That
                                           sentiment was reflected in the Senate,
                                           where 24 Senators joined as sponsors of
                                           the legislation. And, judging from what we
                                           know, those concerns are well founded.
                                           The Surgeon General of the United States
                                           considers toxic chemicals to pose the major
                                           threat to health in the United States for the
                                           decade of the 1980's.
                                             Modern chemical technology has pro-
                                           duced miracles that have greatly improved
                                           this Nation's standard of living. But the
                                           increased generation of hazardous sub-
                                           stances associated with these new prod-
                                           ucts has proved to be a serious threat to our
                                           Nation's public health and environment.
                                             The legacy of past haphazard disposal of
                                           chemical wastes and the continuing danger
                                           of spills and other releases of dangerous
                                           chemicals pose what many call the most
                                           serious health and environmental chal-
                                           lenges of the decade. Chemical spills
                                           capable of inflicting environmental harm
                                           occur about 3,500 times each year, and an
                                           estimated $65 million to $260 million is
                                           needed to clean them up. More than 2,000
                                           dumpsites containing hazardous chemicals
                                           are believed by the Environmental Protec-
                                           tion Agency to pose threats  to the public
                                           health. The cost of containing their con-
                                           tents is estimated to be an average of $3.6
                                           million per site.
                                        Pervasive Chemicals
                                        The acceptance of man-made chemicals—
                                        to the extent that they are hardly recognized
                                        as such anymore—has become a fact of
                                        daily life in the United States. We are de-
                                        pendent on synthetic chemicals for health,
                                        livelihood, housing, transportation, food,
                                        and for our funerals.
                                          But within recent years, there has been
                                        a realization that what is our meat may also
                                        be our poison. Here are some examples:

                                        • In a report dated March 1980, the
                                        Library  of Congress concluded that dam-
                                        ages to  natural resources of the United
                                        States because of toxic chemicals were
                                        "substantial and enduring." The report
                                        identified damaged resources ranging from
                                        all five of the Great Lakes to the aquifer
                                        underlying the San Joaquin Valley, possibly
                                        the richest agricultural area in the United

                                        • In a report to the President of the United
                                        States,  the Toxic Substances Strategy
                                        Committee concluded that the cancer
                                        death rate in the United States had in-
                                        creased sharply and that "occupational
                                        exposure to carcinogens is believed to be a
                                        factor in more than 20 percent of all cases
                                        of cancer."

                                        • In a report released in the spring of 1980
                                        by the Congressional  Office of Technology
                                        Assessment, agricultural losses because of
                                        chemical  contamination were placed at
                                        $283 million. The report said the value was
                                        based on  economic data from only six of
                                        the  50 States and was therefore "likely
                                        to be a gross underestimation of the actual

                                        • In 1979, the total production of chemi-
                                        cals in the United States was 565 billion
                                        pounds. Of this amount, 347 billion pounds
                                        was of chemicals officially classified by the
                                        United  States Government as hazardous.
                                        Production growth was increasing at a  rate
                                        of 7.6 percent in 1979. At that rate, produc-
                                        tion will double in 10 years.

  This is not to say that chemicals are
necessarily bad. On the contrary, they have
contributed mightily to American pros-
perity. We rely increasingly on them be-
cause of this contribution which they made
to American life in a changing and some-
times hostile world. In fact, most chemicals
are benign. Only a small number of them
cause cancer, birth defects, or other ill-
nesses. But the fact remains that, small
though the relative number of these dan-
gerous chemicals may be, they can cause
terrible damage when set loose on the
public. Moreover, because we do use these
substances in such a large volume, the
number of incidents involving them has
increased dramatically in the recent past.

EPA Survey
  Using existing documentation, the Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency identified
some 250 hazardous waste sites involving
damages or significant threats of damages.
Among the reported incidents were 27
sites associated with actual damages to
health (kidneys, cancer, mutations, aborted
pregnancies, etc.), 32 sites which have re-
sulted in the closure of public and private
drinking water wells, 1 30 sites with con-
taminated groundwaters and 74 sites
where natural habitats have been damaged
and are adversely affecting indigenous
  The preliminary findings of a joint
States/EPA survey of pits, ponds, and
lagoons used to treat, store, and dispose of
liquid wastes identify 11,000 industrial
sites with 25,000 such surface impound-
ments. At least one-half of the sites are
believed to contain hazardous wastes. The
survey found that virtually no monitoring
of groundwater was being conducted and
that 30 percent of the impoundments, or
2,455 of the 8,221 sites assessed, are
unlined, overlie usable groundwater aqui-
fers, and have intervening soils which
would freely allow liquid wastes to escape
into groundwater.
  Thomas Jorling, the former EPA Assist-
ant Administrator for Water and Waste
Management, testified before the Senate
Subcommittee on Environmental Pollution
ant) Resource Protection in 1979, saying:

  "... there are about 3,500 incidents
involving chemicals per year from sources
which have the potential  of releasing sig-
nificant quantities of hazardous substances
either onto land or into water. Of these, it
is estimated that about 50 percent of 1,700
spills would reach navigable waters .. .
there are about 700 to 1,200 significant
spills per year."
   Some examples of the type of accidents
that have resulted from spills and other
non-waste disposal incidents include:

•  PCB's, a cancer-causing insulating fluid
whose manufacture is now banned, leaked
from an out-of-service transformer, entered
the food chain and spread through 19
States and two foreign countries. Hundreds
of thousands of hogs, chickens, turkeys,
and a large quantity of other foodstuffs had
to be destroyed.

•  One-third to one-half of the drinking
water and irrigation wells in the San
Joaquin Valley have been contaminated by
a pesticide, DBCP.  In sufficient amounts,
this pesticide is known to cause sterility in
males. It is suspected also of causing

•  From 1970 to 1977, the number of rail-
road transportation incidents involving
hazardous substances increased 700 per-
cent. Fatalities increased by 300 percent.
A witness from the  National Transporta-
tion Safety Board testified that 85 percent
of those increases would have been pre-
vented by the installation of relatively
inexpensive safety devices.

•  Portions of Lakes Ontario and Erie have
been closed to commercial fishing because
of chemical contamination. The taking of
coho salmon, stocked through the lakes to
encourage a viable commercial and sport
fishery, is banned because of chemical

   Additional  studies reveal that the spread
of dangerous  chemicals by spills and other
incidents is presently a major environ-
mental problem in this Nation:

•  The Congressional Research Service of
the Library of Congress recently completed
a catalogue of natural resources lost or
destroyed through releases of hazardous or
toxic substances. It is almost 250 pages
long, yet the Congressional Research Serv-
ice says it is an  incomplete effort.

•  In a recent  report, the Department of
Agriculture identified surface water basins
which were contaminated by chemicals.
These basins  included practically the entire
middle South.

   The Surgeon General of the United
States, in a report to the Senate Committee
on Environment and Public Works, said
that, in his opinion, toxic chemicals posed
a major threat to public health in the
United States. There is not one adult
American who does not carry body burdens
of one or several of these substances, many
of which have now  been removed from the
market because of their dangers.
   What I have just described is the scope
of the toxics problem in the United States.
The scope is not just of inactive hazardous
waste disposal sites, as tragic as Love
Canal may be. Nor is the scope confined to
accidental spills into rivers, as disastrous
as they may be. The problem  is just as
broad as the benefit.
   I am not suggesting, nor have the
members of my Committee suggested, that
chemicals be banned. What we have
proposed through legislation  is that we
reduce the number of people who may
become victims of chemical poisoning

Legislative History
  For three years, the Senate  worked on a
bill that would respond to emergencies
caused by chemical poisons, and to seek
to discourage the release of those chemi-
cals into the environment. In many ways,
the Senate bill was analogous to the natural
disaster assistance programs we have
enacted into law. When those natural dis-
aster assistance laws were enacted, no one
suggested that we should respond to
floods, but not to earthquakes.
   It makes no more sense to make that
kind of distinction when dealing with
chemical emergencies than it does when
dealing with  natural emergencies.
   There is simply no good reason for us
to respond to one type of release of a
poison, but not another. The test should
not be whether poison was released into '
river water rather than into well water; or
by toxic waste buried in the ground rather
than toxic waste discharged to the ground.
The test should  be whether the poison
was released. I assure you that the victim
does not care to make those distinctions,
nor should we. D
Senator Stafford is Chairman of the Senate
Environment and Public Works Committee.
He has served in Congress for two dec
first as a Representative 1961-71, and
then in the U.S. Senate.

A training session in hazardous waste management at the EPA Region 3 Central Regional Laboratory, Annapolis, Md.
Superfund —
A Major
Task  Ahead
Interview with
Michael B. Cook
Deputy Assistant Administrator
Office of Hazardous Emergency
     QAs director of the new
     Superfund, would you
briefly explain what it is and
why it was created by Con-
gress last December?
A    The Superfund was cre-
    ated when Congress
passed the Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Com-
pensation, and Liability Act of
1980. The Act provides the
Federal government with the
authority, tools, and funding
mechanisms to deal effectively
with threats to the public
health and the environment
resulting from uncontrolled
hazardous wastes. Using the
provisions of the Act, the Fed-
eral government can "respond
first and ask questions iater"
in an emergency created by a
spill of hazardous chemicals.
We can diagnose the problem
and design and build the rem-
edies for dumps that have pre-
sented health or environmental
dangers to local, surrounding
residents for years. The actions
will be financed with a five-
year $1.6 billion Trust Fund,
built up primarily (87 percent)
from industrial taxes on oil and
certain chemicals and through
Federal appropriations (13 per-
cent). Actions will also be
financed by responsible parties
where they can be found and
have the resources to clean up
a site or a spill.

     QHow many hazardous
     waste sites are critical ?
A     Somewhere around 2,000
     sites in the  country are
serious enough to warrant
attention by the Federal Govern-
ment. There are many thou-
sands more sites  that may be
creating a problem, but we feel
that that problem could be
solved with State or local
resources of some type or other.

     QWhat measures could
     EPA take to encourage
greater State participation in
cleaning up the  hazardous
waste sites?
A     The main vehicle that we
     perceive is to provide
money from the Superfund to
the States for cleanup or for
enforcement actions, and let
them carry out the cleanup in
accordance with Federal
guidelines and Federal

     QHow much does EPA
     have in the Superfund
A     The taxes began to flow
     on April 1, and they will
come in at the rate of about
$22 million a month. In addi-
tion to the tax money, we also
will have some money appro-
priated from general tax
revenues, and we will gain
interest on the money in the
fund, probably in excess of
10 percent.

     QDo you have any de-
     mands on the fund right
A     We have quite a growing
     list of projects that need
to be done and plans that are
ready to be funded. They cannot
actually be funded, though,
until we have an appropriation
in Congress of moneys from
the fund.
JUNE 1981

Q     Are you satisfied with
     the measures being
taken now to improve com-
munity relations in places like
Love Canal and other haz-
ardous waste sites?
     A! think there's a lot more
     that the Agency needs to
do at individual sites. We
really need to develop a brand-
new capability that has not
existed in the past—to go out
and work with residents
around the site on a day-to-day
basis, discussing their con-
cerns and working through the
planning for site cleanup and
carrying out that plan.

     Qln sites where radio-
     active material  is dis-
covered, what are the respec-
tive roles  of EPA and the
Department of Energy in
cleaning this up?
A     Most sites with targe
     amounts of radioactive
materials will be the responsi-
bility of the Department of
Energy. In sites where there's
a small content of radioactive
material and mostly other
kinds of hazardous waste,
Superfund will have the lead
on cleanup activities and the
Department of Energy will
provide us with technical
assistance and expertise. We
are currently working with them
to further detail and define
each Agency's role in both

     QWill the new freeze on
     regulations have any
impact on your program at
this point?
A     Not yet. At this point we
     don't see any serious prob-
lems. The law is structured with
incentives to get out regula-
tions. Industry is very interested
in having us get those regula-
tions out, and we think that we
can get the necessary release
from the Office of  Management
and Budget to do that.

Q      We're interested in re-
      ports on advanced equip-
ment and technology that have
been developed to deal with
possible explosions and leak-
ing gas at hazardous waste
sites. Where is this
A     The Research and
     Development arm of EPA
in Edison, N. J. , has
been working very closely with
us in developing equipment
for al! kinds of emergency
response. The beauty of our
relationship with them is that
they build the equipment and
then they go out on an  actual
emergency and help us deal
with it at the same time they
are trying to decide whether
their equipment is effective.
The result is that we get free
help in dealing with the
emergency at the same time
they test their equipment.

     QAre the States eligible
     to participate in the
training program  that EPA has
at its facility in Edison?
A     Within the last fiscal year,
     55 State people have
participated in our courses in
the Edison program. We also
intend to expand both the
number and type of training
programs that we put on and
also the participation by other
groups, and certainly States
would be invited.

     QWhat responsibilities
     will the States have in
sharing the cost of perma-
nent remedies for waste sites
A     States are  required  to
     provide  10 percent of the
cost of cleanup and to also
provide 10 percent of the cost
of operation and maintenance
in facilities left on site, except
in the case of publicly owned
facilities. There the cost
sharing is  50-50.

      Qln view of the shortage
      of trained, experienced
specialists to cope with the
problem of hazardous waste
site cleanup, what are we
doing to try to correct that
A     We are certainly doing a
     lot of training of both our
own people and also personnel
hired  under contract, and that
is resulting in an improved
level of knowledge on how to
deal with problems. Also, the
academic  world and private
industrial  sector are giving a lot
more  attention to training
people in this area because of
the demand for experienced
and knowledgeable people.

      What professions would
      they be? Toxicologists,
engineers of various types?
A     We obviously need people
     who  are experienced and
knowledgeable in analyzing
and dealing with hazardous
substance, including the sorts
of people you're talking about.
Right now the oil companies
are snapping up available
hydrogeologists at a high price,
and it's hard to find these
people. It's also difficult to find
enough experienced field inves-
tigators who know how to
conduct a  field investigation
safely. There are just not that
many people in the country
compared with the current
demand for those who have
much experience.

      QWhat is the biggest
      problem you anticipate
now in implementing the
A     I think the  major problem
     we potentially could face
in the future is the tremendous
sensitivity on the part of all
the interested parties to the
actions that are undertaken in
the program. The question is
whether we will have to devote
such a high level of resources
to explaining and coordinating
and adjusting, and things of
that kind, that we are left with
the capability of actually only
cleaning up a relatively small
number of sites.

     QWhat about this toll-free
     phone number where the
public can obtain or give in-
formation on waste spills or
releases? Is this proving
effective and useful?
A     The National Response
     Center of the Coast Guard
has been in operation now
for many years and it has been
effective for reports of releases,
spills of oil and some kinds of
hazardous substances. We
have not yet, though, seen a
significant increase in reports
coming in as required under
the new Superfund  legislation,
and we will have to take steps
to publicize the new require-
ments in the future.
The number, incidentally, is
800-424-8802 except in the
Washington, D.C. area where it
is 424-2675,-6,-7, or-8. Coast
Guard personnel staff this
Center around the clock and
will both receive and give
information concerning spills
and discharges. They work in
cooperation with EPA and its
Regional offices, and also—
where radioactive material is
concerned—with the Depart-
ment of Energy.
In conclusion, I might add that
we have been working  with a
variety of groups coming up
with their implementation plans
for Superfund, including
environmental  groups, States
and local governments, and
some other special interest
groups. What has been most
gratifying in this process is that
the chemical and petroleum
industries have been very con-
structive and supportive. They
have devoted a lot of resources
to working with us in technical
areas to help solve some of the
difficult issues, and we feel
that we've established a good
relationship with them, in a
large measure because of their
attitude that they want to
make this law work and work
well. D
                               Michael B. Cook

                            Super-fund  Fact Sheet
                             What is Superfund?

                             Superfund, enacted on Decem-
                             ber 11,1980, creates a trust
                             fund of up to $1.6 billion
                             during a five-year period begin-
                             ning in 1981, to provide
                             emergency and long-term clean-
                             up by the U.S. Government of
                             chemical spills and abandoned
                             hazardous waste sites that
                             threaten people or the
                               The Superfund law actually
                             is named the Comprehensive
                             Environmental Response, Com-
                             pensation, and Liability Act.
                            What does it cover?

                            It covers abandoned hazardous
                            waste dumpsites and spills of
                            dangerous substances on land
                            or in waterways that threaten
                            to harm human health or the
                            environment. Certain chemical
                            mishaps, such as a spill in a
                            workplace that affects only
                            employees, cannot be corrected
                            with Superfund money, but are
                            covered under other Federal
                            Where does the money
                            come from?

                            About 87 percent
                            of the fund will be derived
                            from taxes imposed on oil (the
                            raw material for many synthetic
                            chemicals) and on 42 specific
                            chemical compounds. For ex-
                            ample, the Superfund tax on a
                            barrel of oil will be about three-
                            fourthsof a cent. The chemical
                            taxes will vary from $4.87 per
                            ton of benzene to 22C per ton of
                            potassium hydroxide. The Inter-
                            nal Revenue Service began
collecting these taxes on April 1.
About 13 percent of the trust
fund money will come from
general tax revenues.  EPA
estimates that about $138
million from both sources (in-
dustry fees and general reve-
nues) will have accumulated
in Superfund by October 1,
1981. However, no Superfund
money becomes available for
use until Congress appropriates
it. Limited appropriations
should occur later this year.
Are the rules in place
to operate the

Two key documents will pro-
vide the basic blueprint for
carrying out cleanup actions
under Superfund. The first is
an Executive order which will
assign various responsibilities
under the law to certain Federal
agencies, such as EPA, the
Coast Guard, and the Federal
Energy Management Agency.
  The second is  a National
Contingency Plan which will
detail methods for discovering
and investigating dumps; meth-
ods for evaluating their clean-
up; the roles of Federal, State,
and local governments in these
actions; methods for assuring
that remedial actions are cost-
effective; and criteria for
determining which waste sites
shall be cleaned up first.
  In addition, the Superfund
law says that at least one dump
from each State should be in-
cluded among the 100 to
receive priority cleanup.
  Both the Executive order and
National Contingency Plan now
are being revised  and will be
issued later this year.
What is EPA doing
now to remedy "Love
Canal" type situations?

It is taking several actions:

• EPA is continuing emergency
cleanup work, monitoring, or
other protective action at 23
sites in 11 States (Illinois, Indi-
ana, Massachusetts, Michigan,
New Hampshire, New Jersey,
New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, and Texas).
These dumps contain wastes
including solvents, PCB's and
other possible carcinogenic
compounds, heavy metals, and
other discards that have con-
taminated or threaten to con-
taminate nearby surface and
underground  waters and may
cause other environmental or
human harm.

• The Agency has selected 17
waste sites around the country
for engineering studies and de-
signs to determine how to best
clean up those sites. Several of
these studies will be carried out
through agreements between
EPA and the States. It is likely
that the 17 sites will  later qual-
ify for major long-term cleanup

• EPA, the States, and private
parties have identified more
than 8,800 dumpsites, have
evaluated the dangers at 5,400
of them, and have completed
investigations on 2,300 of
these. In addition, the U.S.
government has filed 56 en-
forcement cases regarding
dumpsites, and  issued 31
administrative cleanup orders.
Emergency actions have been
taken at 46 sites, and more than
100 are in the planning stages.D
JUNE 1981

The  Public
and  Superf und
By James R. Janis
A     number of surprises may be in store
     for EPA's new Superfund program.
Judging from past experiences at uncon-
trolled hazardous waste sites, this program
is likely to operate under circumstances
very different from what EPA is accus-
tomed to. EPA staff could find themselves
working in a highly charged political
atmosphere, where some unusual personal
skills are routinely required for daily tasks.
Consider the history of just two sites that
we visited recently.
  In Riverside, Calif., near Los Angeles,
liquid wastes released from the String-
fellow impoundment site, originally man-
aged by the J. B. Stringfellow Quarry Co.,
periodically flooded a residential area
during storms before flowing to a nearby
river used for drinking water. Groundwater
contamination was also thought to be
caused by leachate from the impoundment
ponds, tocated in a mountain canyon.
Public opposition to the facility began
when it opened in 1956, intensified over
the years, and reached new heights in
1979. In 1980, the staff of the loca! water
quality board, acting on the advice of con-
sulting engineers, recommended capping
the site to prevent further problems, at an
estimated cost of $3 million. The board,
however, confronted by demonstrating
parents and statewide publ'ic attention,
decided instead to recommend the exca-
vation and removal of all materials from
the site, at a cost of $14 million. The State
body responsible for funding subsequently
allocated $4 million for the effort. Public
opposition to the less costly proposal
stopped action at the site for some time.
  The "Valley of the Drums," located in a
rural area near Louisville, Ky., is a for-
mer so-called "drum recycling facility"
that was found to be releasing oil and
hazardous wastes into an adjacent stre*
;  ;

Although neighbors of the site had com-
plained about the situation for years, most
area residents displayed only minor con-
cern, even when EPA performed an emer-
gency containment action in 1979. The
State environmental agency, seeking a
permanent resolution of the problem, in
the meantime encouraged the private
development of plans for a hazardous
waste incinerator for the site. When word
of these plans first reached the public
through the press, a  petition drive was
rapidly organized, and sympathetic local
officials—who apparently had known
nothing about what was under considera-
tion for the site—refused to grant the
necessary zoning variance, effectively
scuttling the plans. Public opposition to
the proposed remedial action halted con-
struction of the incinerator.

Encountering Hostility
   EPA staff traditionally wear "white hats"
when entering a locality to respond to a
threatening environmental emergency such
as a chemical spill. But the usual warm
welcome will not always be waiting when
work under the Superfund program is to be
performed. In fact, EPA staff may some-
times find a degree of suspicion and even
hostility. The Comprehensive Environmen-
tal Response, Compensation, and Liability
Act of 1980 requires remedial actions
taken under the program to be cost-
effective. More often than not, that will
mean the use of on-site containment or
treatment, insofar as hazards can be ade-
quately dealt with by those means, rather
than the vastly more expensive  measure of
removing wastes to an off-site location for
treatment or disposal. Yet the two cases
discussed above show that some of the
people who have lived near a hazardous
waste dump for years may refuse to rest
content with an on-site remedy. EPA staff,
trying to help a community with an environ-
mental problem according to the provisions
of the Superfund law, could find their
efforts opposed by citizens who feel the
government is refusing to give their prob-
lems the attention they deserve. While that
may not be the reception in the  majority
of Superfund actions, it is likely to be a
common one. Unless handled properly,
this is capable of raising costs substan-
tially and of greatly delaying or even
disrupting the implementation of the
Superfund program.
    These conclusions are based on an
analysis of 21 case studies at hazardous
 waste sites conducted by ICF Incorporated
in the past year. The study was  requested
by the EPA Office of Hazardous Emergency
 Response to help develop the Agency's Su-
herfund program. The information acquired
Ras been used not only to understand the
 social and political  aspects of hazardous
 waste problems, but also to help evaluate
 State capabilities, to estimate the resources
needed to carry out the Superfund pro-
gram, and to analyze the.economic impacts
of proposed amendments to the National
Contingency Plan and other regulations.
Our staff and subcontractors met with
EPA regional personnel. State and local
officials, and interested citizens at sites
in every EPA Region across the coun-
try. Some of these sites—such as Love
Canal or the two discussed above—are
well known; others have received little
notice so far.
   We did not examine the technical merits
of alternative solutions in any of the cases,
and thus do not know whether the citizens'
attitudes were well-founded or not. In the
end, it doesn't matter. These cases con-
vinced us that significant public opposition
to remedial actions under Superfund is a
real possibility. Without public acceptance,
a proposal stands little chance of being
smoothly carried out. If the public outcry
is not well-founded, it can delay remedial
actions  that could save lives and prevent
the deterioration of property values. More-
over,  unfounded construction delays could
cause the cost of work to skyrocket—and
some of the $1.6 billion Superfund to be
   Much was learned through these case
studies  about who becomes involved in a
hazardous waste site problem and why.
Of greater significance, however, is that
there are clear practical implications for
the management of the Superfund program
—definite steps that can be taken to
increase the chances of success. The key
thing to remember is that the technical
adequacy of the proposed remedy in no
way ensures its popular acceptance.
   The degree to which the local public has
become involved with a problematic haz-
ardous  waste site has varied from commu-
nity to community. We found bitter conflict
in some cases and seemingly-complete
indifference in others. Invariably, however,
the peak of interest occurs when a long-
term  solution to the problem is proposed.
As the "Valley of the Drums" case shows,
a S'ite that appears to be routine and placid
can hold the potential for public concern
and agitation at a late stage of remedial
action—especially if a proposal is sprung
suddenly on an unsuspecting community.
   People who have become involved in
hazardous  waste problems have tended
to organize rapidly into ad hoc single-issue
groups, often under the leadership of one
individual. Lois Gibbs, president of
the Love Canal Homeowners' Association,
an articulate and highly regarded local
leader,  is .the best-known example. We
found many others. Locally-organized
ad hoc  groups have without exception
taken the lead in mobilizing local citizens
 and prodding recalcitrant government
 agencies. We never found local politicians
 or parties in the forefront of these move-
 ments; nor were "outside agitators"
 commonly present on scene. Most impor-
 tant, however, is that established environ-
 mental groups—either nationally or
 through then'r local chapters—rarely had
 any major involvement in these problems.
 We think there is a distinct chance that a
 new national citizens' organization will
 develop around these issues with a
 membership very different from traditional
 environmental organizations. If so, we
 expect that the new organization will
 extend its concern to attempts to site new
 waste management facilities.
   In general, trie people most likely to
 become involved in these situations are
 those who believe their health or their
 pocketbooks are endangered by hazardous
 chemicals, regardless of their political or
 social backgrounds or the part of the
 country in which they live. But we found
 that the people affected by a problem do
 not always become either alarmed or
 involved. In some cases—in Charles City,
 Iowa, for example—people living near a
 site publicly branded as an extreme
 environmental hazard have not expressed
 much concern. So the potential severity
 of the threat to human health and the
 environment and the technical complexity
 of remedying the problem do not determine
 when or where public concern and involve-
 ment will arise.

 'Good Neighbor' Industries
  What does seem to matter most is the
 social and political history of the hazardous
 waste problem and its community context.
 For example, if the local government has
 a history of responsiveness, citizens may
 see no need to  dramatize their concerns or
 to become enmeshed in the situation. In
 Charles City, the industry that owned the
 dump site in question was a "good neigh-
 bor" with a reputation for trustworthiness,
 and it was able to assure the local populace
 that the problem was being handled as well
 as possible. Factors like these are always
 site-specific; predicting the likelihood  of
 public acceptance of a proposal for a site
 is impossible without a first-hand under-
 standing of the community. EPA staff,
 therefore, should not begin remedial action
 at any site without first spending some
 time understanding the community's atti-
 tudes about the site and its past history.
  There are steps that can be taken to
 decrease the possibility that a cost-
 effective action will frustrate the expecta-
 tions of a community with a problematic
 hazardous waste site. Some of these steps
 can become standard operating procedure;
others are more a matter of the attitudes
 that individual  EPA technical staff mem-
 bers must bring to their work. Perhaps the
 most important thing to keep in mind is
JUNE 1981

Michael B. Cook (left) and Henry D.
V;iui:lnd environmental groups. More
that people at many of the sites we visited
felt neglected by all levels of government
and powerless to change the situation.
   Thus one of the early stages of planning
for a remedial action  should include an
on-scene study of the problem's develop-
ment over the years, and of the attitudes
of the neighboring community about the
site.  This study should be an integral part
of the data collection phase of all remedial
actions (and for planned removals as well).
The site-specific information can help
prevent some bad stumbles. For instance,
the acquiescence of local officials is usually
necessary to execute  plans for a site, and
EPA staff should ordinarily maintain close
contact. Nonetheless, local officials are
sometimes held suspect by those con-
cerned about a hazardous waste problem.
(For  example, at one site we stud'ied,
well  contamination was allegedly caused
by the  focal government's town landfill).
In such a situation, it would be a mistake
for EPA staff to ally themselves too closely
with local officials. But that could be
learned only by analyzing the community
   Using the information obtained from
this study, a community relations program
should be designed and put into effect at
each site where remedial action is planned.
Sometimes the community relations effort
need only be minimal; elsewhere  it will
require a large commitment of resources.
No single plan will suit every case. In
general, this kind of effort will be wider-
ranging than a traditional public relations
or public information program. The goal is
to keep the local public well-informed about
what is being done at the site and, at the
same time, to enable EPA staff to  under-
stand better the concerns of the commu-
nity, so that a remedial action with a good
chance of winning acceptance can be
  An important finding from our case
studies, however, is that some of  EPA's
standard techniques for dealing with the
public may not work in connection with
hazardous waste problems. It is standard
EPA practice to rely upon national environ-
mental organizations and their members
across the country to represent the public.
But mailings to  these organizations, or  the
automatic inclusion  of their members on
task forces and  advisory groups, will only
coincidentaily find the people EPA needs
most to reach. The people who have been
most directly affected by and most involved
in hazardous waste problems have rarely, to
our knowledge, been members of estab-
lished environmental groups.

Small  Meetings Useful
  Large public meetings are EPA's tradi-
tional format for relations with the public,
but they will often be unsatisfactory in these
situations.  Hazardous waste problems are
full of emotionally-charged issues—the
health of children, in particular—that once
introduced, quickly turn a public meeting
into a shouting match. There are some
issues that can be constructively con-
sidered in a public meeting; other arrange-
ments, such as small discussions in living
rooms, are more suitable for broaching
the more controversial issues.
   In summary, careful attention to the
community context of fin uncontrolled
hazardous waste site is as important in
planning a remedial action as geohydro-
logic and engineering studies. This is not
an easy thing for someone like me, trained
in engineering and economics, to say. It
will be difficult for the EPA technical staff,
too. A concerted effort at community
relations can  never guarantee that the
public at large will be wholly satisfied
with EPA's work. People who fear the
effects of hazardous chemicals on their
health may be understandably unwilling to
accept any solution, however effective it is
said to be, that leaves wastes on site. Still,
an attempt to  deal sensitively and com-
passionately with the public is the only
way to reduce the likelihood of facing
needless delays and skyrocketing costs in
implementing the Superfund remedial
action program. EPA staff members should
remember that while Superfund is a
Federal program, with significant State
cost-sharing,  the problems to which it
responds are  local in every case—and it
is the  local people who have to live with
its solution. D

James R. Janis, a Project Manager at ICF
Incorporated, is former Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Energy for Planning and
Evaluation and former Director of EPA '3
Program Evaluation Division, Office of
Planning and Management.
                                                                                                             EPA JOURNAL

'Valley of  Death'
By Jim Brooke
    Cbatao, Brazil—The birds and the butter-
     flies are long gone. Dead trees line the
mountain ridges. And now the pollution
here is cutting irvto the human population.
  Labeled "the Valley of Death" by local
environmental groups, Cubatao contains
Latin America's largest petrochemical com-
plex. It also suffers Brazil's highest infant
mortality rate—one-third  of Cubatao's
children fail  to make it through their first
year. A recently released study indicates
that 8 percent of live births suffer from
such abnormalities as spinal  problems,
missing  bones and brain deficiencies.
  "The  effects are similar to  that of
thalidomide," says Prof. Reinaldo Azoubel
of the Riberao Preto school of medicine.
"These people are hike guinea pigs in an
experimental laboratory," he added.
  Azoubel recently concluded a year-long
survey of births in this city of 80,000 and
this month he is to start submitting real
guinea pigs to local pollution  levels, seeking
to determine a link between pollution and
birth defects.
   Most of the birth abnormalities are con-
centrated in  Cubatao's Vila Parisi, widely
considered the most polluted place in
Brazil. About one  hour outside Sao Paulo,
Vila Parisi is a gray slum of 1 5,000 resi-
dents, boxed in on four sides by a steel
plant, a  fertilizer plant, a cement plant and
a mountain wa'll.
   "Theoretically  by the level of pollution,
there shouhdn'tbe life there," Dr. Albert
Pessoa  de Souza, city health  director, said
in a recent interview. "It shows how extra-
ordinarily adaptable the human organism
   In 1977, a device was installed in Vila
Parisi to monitor the clouds of smoke and
gases that belch daily from the region's
30 heavy factories. But after  18 months the
machine overloaded and broke down.
   It recorded that the 50-square-mile area
around this  industrial  complex received a
daily barrage of 473 tons of carbon dioxide,
 1 82 tons of  sulfur, 1 48 tons of particuiate
matter,  41 tons of nitrogen oxide and 31
tons of hydrocarbons.
   At Vila Parisi, residents rece'ive a daily
bombardment of 1,200 particulates per
cubic meter, more than twice levels that the
World Health Organization says provoke
"excess mortality."
   Plagued by water pollution, the slum is
1 8  inches below sea level and high tides
regularly overflow the open sewers into the
muddy streets. One river boils with chem-
 ical effluents, another is blanketed by deter-
gents and a  third  occasionally emits toxic
clouds.  Residents say that any fish pulled
from these rivers  are usually blind and
skeletally deformed.
   Once covered with lush tropical banana
plantations, today the landscape is bleak.
High-tension pylons march over brown
mountains,  yellow fiames burn at chimney
mouths, and tube-shaped trailer trucks
painted corrosive rumble heavily through
the valley.
   At dusk, men in S2 shirts walk home
against a backdrop of cement vats and
fertilizer tanks. After dark, residents take in
their laundry and close their shutters. Com-
panies here routinely release their largest
discharges under  the cover of nightfall.
   The city seal includes two billowing
smokestacks. When risks of environmental
pollution first became widely known a de-
cade ago, Brazil and many other developing
nations dismissed pollution controls as a
luxury they could  not afford. One Brazilian
state, Goias, even went so far as to adver-
tise for investment under the slogan:
"We want your pollution."
   Today attitudes have moderated. Earlier
this year, the Sao  Paulo antipolltition
agency opened a $100 million credit line
to help small- and medium-size factories
buy equipment for cleanup. In Cubatao,
where airborne corrosion has damaged
rnetal structures, Sao Paulo Steel prides
itself on having spent $10 million to elimi-
nate rust-red clouds of ferrous oxide that
used to billow from the plant's chimneys.
   "If the air corrodes iron, imagine  what
it does to people's lungs," Randolfo  Lobato,
president of the Brazilian Association for
the Prevention of Air Poflution, said.
   Despite cleanup efforts, Lobato noted
that from January to June of last year, Vila
Parisi's first-aid clinic registered 4,400
visits for respiratory illnesses, up 50 per-
cent over the year before.
   Last February, when preliminary  results
of Prof. Azoubel's birth-defect research
leaked out, the minister of interior hastened
to announce that the slum residents  would
be moved to a healthier site. But last month
a Cubatao city health official said t-he evacu-
ation is still "under discussion"  and no
timetable has been set.
   Many residents interviewed here  say
they do not want to move. Most are from
the impoverished  Northeast and some say
they feel protected by the daily quart of
milk that companies give them.
   "If we have to-move we'll be far from
work and have to pay for buses," said
Jamie Bradassi de Abreu. City bus fares
cost about 20 cents, expensive for workers
who earn the mi ram urn salary of $100 per
   One city councilman has circulated a
petition against the move, reportedly
obtaining 4,850 signatures from 5.000
   Jose Benvindo  da Silva, a longtime resi-
dent, complained: "If we have to leave here,
I will be one of the last. It's a shame, my
new house needs only doors and windows."

This article, reprinted by permission,
appeared in The Washington Post May TO,
 JUNE 1981

Hazardous Waste
and U.S.
Export Policy
By Wendy Greider
   The safe treatment and disposal of
   hazardous wastes is an environmental
and health problem which has been receiv-
ing increasing attention over the past
several years both by the United States
and other nations.
  The tragedies of Love Canal in New York
and Lekkerkerk in the Netherlands are
reminders that many hazardous wastes are
persistentand highly toxic, and that ways
must be found to deal with them ade-
quately. In both cases, homes were located
close to areas contaminated by the indus-
trial dumping of toxic waste without proper
safeguards and residents were exposed
to highly dangerous chemicals.
  Attention has also been given to the
responsibility of the U.S. and other indus-
trial nations concerning the export of
hazardous waste. This is of particular
interest to some developing countries
which lack adequate treatment and dis-
posal facilities. Within the last year alone,
two instances of proposed exports of
hazardous waste to developing nations
have provided evidence of potentially
adverse environmental and foreign policy
consequences of such shipments.
  In late 1979, the U.S.  Embassy in Sierra
Leone in Africa reported that a U.S. firm
was negotiating within that country for
the establishment of a waste disposal and
 processing facility, allegedly in return for
 a $25 million annual fee. U.S. officials both
 in Sierra Leone and in Washington felt that
 the proposal was a potentially harmful
 one to U.S. interests and could lead to
 accusations that the U.S. was not properly
 disposing of its own waste. In early 1980
 several major U.S. newspapers described
 the proposal, and the reaction in several
 African countries was swift and furious.
 Newspaper editorials appeared throughout
 Africa, and in the midst of the adverse
 publicity and international pressure, nego-
 tiations for the facility were halted.

 License Denied In Bahamas

   In another more recent case, a company
 based in Alabama held discussions with a
 private company in the Bahamas about the
 disposal of hazardous waste in that country.
 The company, established to collect U.S.
 hazardous waste solely for export but with
 little experience in hazardous waste man-
agement, did not demonstrate thorough
technical planning for the proposal. Upon
being informed of the proposed trans-
action, the Department of State notified
the government of the Bahamas and sub-
sequently, the Bahamian Minister of Health
denied a license for the disposal site. Since

                                       .   •
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                                                                                                 ;  • -*•*• • '      •' .•.-"• ..

the negotiations took place directly be-
tween the U.S. waste broker and the private
consignee, the Bahamian government was
originally not provided information which
it would need in order to evaluate any risk
of injury to health or the environment.
   In addition to these two cases, there
have been several other less detailed re-
ports of U.S. companies proposing hazard-
ous waste exports to Haiti, Chile, Honduras
and several unnamed African countries.
   Hazardous waste exports from the U.S.
to Canada and Mexico present a unique
situation because of our common borders
and common environmental protection
interests. In order to protect our close
relationship with these two neighboring
countries, special consultative procedures
have been established with Mexico's Sub-
secretariat for Health and Environmental
Improvement and with Environment
Canada. As a result of these consultations,
at least one case is now pending concerning
the unlawful entry of wastes from the U.S.
into Mexico, and several shipments from
Canada  to bona fide U.S. waste reproces-
sors are being facilitated.
   In some instances,  where there are
adequate resource recovery and recycling
operations and appropriate treatment and
disposal facilities (or regional approaches
to  environmentally sound waste manage-
ment, e.g., between the U.S. and Canada),
waste export may be acceptable and bene-
ficial to all concerned. In other cases like
those described here, waste exports may
lead to real or perceived adverse environ-
mental or health effects, and could have
harmful repercussions on U.S. foreign
relations. A variety of wastes meet one or
more of  the criteria for being defined as
"hazardous" under the Resource Con-
servation and Recovery Act (RCRA),
and the state-of-the-art for  safe handling
and disposal also varies considerably.
Some hazardous wastes can be handled
quite safely using safeguards that a re in
widespread common practice; others
require extremely sophisticated techniques
and facilities that are available in only a
few locations worldwide.

Law Stimulates Waste Export
   The principal  U.S. law governing hazard-
ouswastes in the Un'ited States is RCRA,
passed in 1976. In November 1980, regu-
lations implementing major RCRA pro-
visions came into effect providing national
U.S. standards for the management of
hazardous waste. The regulations establish
a manifest system designed to track
hazardous waste from "cradle to grave."
The regulations also require owners and
operators of facilities that treat, store,
or dispose of hazardous waste to obtain a
permit, and operate according to the regu-
latory and permit conditions. RCRA pro-
vides for severe civil and criminal penalties
for violations.
  One of the potential results of the regula-
tions may be to increase the level of
interest among U.S. hazardous waste
generators to export the waste, since the
Act imposes no controls over exported
hazardous wastes after they have left U.S.
  The U.S. has no regulations under RCRA
that prevent the export of hazardous waste,
but EPA has established a notification
system for such exports, which do take
place, in recognition of the potential prob-
lems. The regulations stem from the Act's
requirement that all wastes within U.S.
jurisdiction must go to a treatment, storage
or disposal facility which has been ap-
proved by EPA. Since the Agency does  not
approve sites outside U.S. jurisdiction, a
notification of any export to a foreign con-
signee is required to be given to EPA.
  RCRA regulations that went into effect
last November require generators of mate-
rials that are to be exported and are
classified as hazardous under the Act to
notify EPA Headquarters (Office of Inter-
                    Contmued to page 40
JUNE 1981

Power Plants, Roses,  and Catfish
By Chris L. West

Northern States Power Co. plant with greenhouse in foreground.
  It's no secret to the American homeowner
   —or even the average renter, for that
 matter—that the loss of household heat
 from furnaces, clothes dryers, ranges,
 toasters and other sources is a drain on
 the pocketbook.
   But if you think that's a big expense,
 imagine how much money a large power
 plant loses every day in the form of
 "waste" or rejected heat. Only about a
 third of the heat produced by even the most
 efficient of fossil-fuel power plants can be
 converted to electric energy,
   This is not a criticism of the power
 industry, but rather a consequence of the
 second law of thermodynamics. It simply
 isn't possible to avoid the loss of heat
 energy in converting fuel sources  into
 electric energy. Most of the unused heat
 at power plants is either discharged
directly into the air or is absorbed by
cooling water.
  To protect aquatic life, the heat in the
cooling water pipes normally would be
released into ponds or to the atmosphere
through large towers.
  Let's look for a moment at another
important and even larger industry—
agriculture. The good news in agriculture
is that the "Green Revolution" continues
around the world.
  There is a link between power plant heat
losses and agricultural production. Finding
a way to convert thermal waste into im-
proved crop production or to reduce the
fuel needed for generating a given elec-
trical energy level would help reverse the
seemingly-unavoidable chain of  increased
pollution resulting from better living; cut
the cost of producing electricity; and  at the
same time boost production, of cheaper,
more-plentiful food.
  With this concept in mind, EPA's Indus-
trial Environmental Research Laboratory
at Research Triangle, N.C., teamed up
                                                                               in 1975 with the Northern States Power
                                                                               Company of Minneapolis, Minn, and the
                                                                               University of Minnesota for a three-year
                                                                               study to demonstrate the concept.
                                                                                 Their goal was to show that warm water
                                                                               from a coal-fired power plant could be used
                                                                               to heat commercial greenhouses — and at
                                                                               the same time, to cut fuel costs. Objectives
                                                                               of the study were to:

                                                                               • Productively use waste heat from elec-
                                                                               tric power generation;

                                                                               • Demonstrate methods for economically
                                                                               and reliably heating and managing this
                                                                               novel form of greenhouse;
                                                                               • Encourage private operators to build
                                                                               their own greenhouses at a power plant
                                                                               site to take advantage of the low-cost
• Determine the costs and problems asso-
ciated with building, operating, and main-
taining such innovative waste heat recovery

  "We consider this project an unquali-
fied success," said Frank T. Princiotta,
Laboratory director. "Using the utility's
Sherburne County Generating Plant near
Minneapolis as our 'laboratory,' we have
found that using warm water from electric
generating plants to heat commercial
greenhouses can cut annual costs about
$13, 000 per acre and save 50,000 to
60,000 gallons of fuel oil per year in
northern U.S. climates.
  "These savings, which consider capital
and operating costs, are based on 1978
oil prices, I might add. Because the 1981
fuel prices would be more than twice that
high, savings would be even greater
  Princiotta said the $1 million demon-
stration project was jointly funded, with
EPA providing 54 percent of the money
and Northern States Power contributing
the other 46 percent. The Un-iversity of
Minnesota's Agricultural Experiment S

lion at St. Paul provided technical
   During the demonstration, part of the
power plant's 85-degree cooling water was
diverted from its normal circuit and piped
about half a mile to the greenhouse com-
plex, said Dr. Theodore G. Brna, EPA
project officer for the study. Heat exchang-
ers located in each of the 14 interconnected
sections of the greenhouse, aided by large
fans, heated the insideair during the
winter. Warm water also was pumped
through an underground grid of pipes to
heat the soil in the half-acre facility.
   The greenhouse itself was constructed
of materials proven  effective in minimizing
heating requirements in cold climates.  The
outside walls were strong, corrugated
fiberglass to protect against the elements,
with a  layer of polyethylene inside to pro-
vide an insulating air space. The roof was
a double layer of polyethylene.

Battling 40-Befow Winters
   Nighttime temperatures inside the green-
house averaged about 60 degrees Fahren-
heit (16 degrees Celsius) during the
winter, even as temperatures outside fell as
low as 40 below zero (minus 40 is the same
on both the Celsius and Fahrenheit ther-
mometers) .
   Crops were irrigated through a system
of tubes which allowed water to soak into
the soil. All plant feeding was done through
the irrigation system.
   Water left the growing area about 10
degrees cooler than  when it entered. From
the greenhouse, it was pumped to giant
cooling towers.  The towers reduced the
water's temperature another 20 degrees
before it was returned to the power plant
to be re-used in the process of generating
   In January 1976,  University of Minne-
sota horticulturists planted the first  crops:
5,250 rose bushes, 3,400 tomato plants,
and 500 green pepper plants. Lettuce and
snapdragons were planted the following
Ijmmer, and geraniums were introduced
TI December.
   During a highly-successful, two-year
period (1976 to 1978), all the crops
yielded impressive returns (all were mar-

• 51,172 pounds of tomatoes (the harvest
of two full growing seasons of six months

• 3,450 pounds of leaf lettuce (one six-
month season).

• 5,000 green peppers (one six-month
•  5,489 bunches of snaparagons (one 11-
month season).

•  6,000 pots of geraniums (one six-month

•  2.8 million roses (grown during the
entire 24-month period).

   A commercial nursery also planted and
maintained a bay of containerized tree
seedlings early in the study. That planting
consisted of 57,000 Mugho Pine, 2,000
Colorado Spruce, 2,000 Black Hills Spruce,
and 2,000 Austrian Pine. The year-around
controlled growing climate speeded the
evergreens to field planting size four times
faster than would have been expected in
an outdoor nursery.
   "There are many facets to consider in
deciding the feasibility of this type of
program on a commercial scale," Dr. Brna
said. "Such things as the price charged
for waste heat and its availability, the
weather in the area and  the location of the
greenhouse with regard to market.
   "The location is an extremely important
factor, because most power plants are
located a distance from  metropolitan areas
for air quality and other  reasons. The green-
house operator must, therefore, calculate
additional transportation cost. After weigh-
 ing these variables, the operator must
 decide whether the project is economically
   "In the case of our demonstration in
 Minnesota, the economic incentives defi-
 nitely were there."
   Russell V. Stansfield, administrator of
 Agricultural Research for the utility, also
 speaks of the study in glowing terms. "I
 don't think the outcome could possibly
 have been any better," he said.

 Soviet Visitors
   "The greenhouse complex has become
 an international showcase. Industrial and
 governmental officials from all over the
 world have visited the site in hopes of
 adapting our model to their own particular
 needs. We have had scientists and engi-
 neers from as far away as the Soviet Union
 inspect the facility and request technical
 data on it."
   Not all of the interest has come from
 great distances, however. In 1977 the
 utility leased  an acre of space adjacent to
 the Sherburne County Plant—along with a
 continuous supply of warm water—to a
 Minnesota floral  company. Starting with
 one acre, the firm has since expanded to
 include nearly the entire additional  half-
 acre demonstration facility, and is now in
 the process of doubling that growing area.
   Today the commercial florist maintains
 more than 32,000 rose bushes of different
 colors and varieties in its greenhouse. The
 plants are cut daily, and the roses are sold
 wholesale to Minnesota florists.
   The nursery company also leased one
 bay of the demonstration facility to  grow
 containerized evergreen seedlings.
   A third commercial  firm has leased one-
 fourth of an acre at the power plant  and
 is successfully growing vegetables  in a
 liquid nutrient solution mixed with the
 warm water. Its crops include tomatoes,
 cucumbers, lettuce, spinach and water-
 cress. This firm also plans to expand in the
 near future.

 Fish Farming
   Spin-offs from the successful demonstra-
tion project doesn't end with horticulture,
JUNE 1981

                                           it the utility's aquaculture project.
however. Aquaculture—or fish farming—is
the latest experiment being conducted with
warm water from condensers at the
plant. Researchers want to see if fish will
survive and grow faster than normal in
water that has been used for power plant
   While others have experimented suc-
cessfully with aquaculture, Northern States
Power is testing fish in warm water from a
closed-cycle power plant cooling system.
EPA is indirectly funding about 10 percent
of the cost for the $130,000 project
through "income" received from the sale
of produce during the three-year horticul-
tural demonstration.
  Researchers are growing approximately
1,000 catfish, a species that does well in
warm water.
  If enough fish reach an ed'ible size,
about 12 ounces each, and contain safe
levels of plant waster concentrates, the
University of Minnesota will conduct taste
   The next step in the experiment would
be to study the market potential for the
fish. Possibilities  include fresh, year-
around food for people, sport fish for the
area, or bait fish.
   As with the commercial horticultural
operations now thriving at the plant, utility
officials hope to attract fish farmers, who
would  (ease land and warm water to begin
their own aquaculture facilities.
   Taking the waste heat possibilities still
a step further, Northern States Power
is using warm water from the fish farm
(now containing fish effluent enriched
with nutrients) to irrigate open fields of
farm crops on its property. Researchers
already have used the warm water to
irrigate a 1.5 acre test plot of alfalfa and
   "The present greenhouse, fish farming
and irrigation operations at Sherburne
County consume only a fraction of the
plant's waste heat," Dr. Brna said. "There-
fore, there's a high probability of further
expansion of these projects. The company
has projected that there will be another
14 acres available for waste heat utiliza-
tion facilities in the near future, and up to
1 00 acres couldbeaddedatalatertime.
   "The only other limiting factors in
future commercial development at this
agro-industrial complex  are the number of
entrepreneurs who are willing to build near
the plant and the ability to raise the capital
necessary to build the facilities.
   "In view of what we've learned  through
these experiments, I believe we now have
an excellent key for solving the problem of
waste heat from the power industry. We
are firmly convinced that the economic
benefits demonstrated at the Sherburne
Plant will lead other large industrial
operations to follow suit." D

Chris West is Public Information Director
with EPA's Environmental Research Center
in Research  Triangle Park, N.C.

                               FYI —Background Reading
                                \ new and important guide
                              f\ for professionals who
                               respond to chemical and
                               other spill emergencies, is
                               Managing Hazardous Sub-
                               stances A ccidents by Al J.
                               Smith, Jr. {McGraw-Hill,
                               1981, $19.95). Written in
                               simple, straightforward
                               language, the book is a use-
                               ful text for government
                               officials, medical person-
                               nel, firefighters, police, and
                               others concerned with
                               hazardous substances
                                 Smith is Chief of the
                               Hazardous Emergency Re-
                               sponse Branch, EPA Re-
                               gion 4. He also serves on
                               the faculty of Vanderbilt
                               University's Toxic Sub-
                               stances Control Labora-
                               tory's Hazardous Materials
                               Training School and has
                               managed the mitigation of
                               damages in several thou-
                               sand accidents and spills
                               over the past decade. He
                               holds degrees in civil and
                               environmental engineering
                               and  law.
                                 His book is dedicated to
                               Kenneth E. Biglane, Direc-
                               tor of EPA's Oil and
                               Speciaf Materials Control
                               Division. Of  Biglane, Smith
                               declares: "Without ques-
                               tion, he has been 10 years
                               ahead of his  time in this
                               vital business. His innova-
                               tive leadership inspired
                               this book and is evident
                               throughout the instruc-
                               tional content and con-
                               ceptual techniques. The
                               excellence of Ken's con-
                               cepts concerning the
                               planning for  and manage-
                               ment of  spill contingencies
                               is equaled only by that of
                               the technology he has
                               personally advanced."
Environmental Careers

Interested in a future pro-
tecting the environment?
  The U.S. Department of
Labor has just released a
205-page publication,
Environmental Protection
Careers Guidebook, describ-
ing responsibilities and
requirements for 106 differ-
ent occupations in this field.
   Many of the occupations
have never officially been
described before, according
to Jules Spector, the analyst
who heads the guidebook
program. In fact, because
environmental protection
continues to be a developing
field, many of the jobs
described in the guide did
not exist a decade ago.
  Although many environ-
mental careers are highly
technical and require years
of undergraduate and gradu-
ate work, there is a broad
range of other jobs that meet
important community needs
but do not require advanced
training or schooling. An
example is "water-filter
cleaner"  in a municipal
treatment plant, which the
guidebook says  is "elemen-
tal work and requires no
previous  training. Most em-
ployers probably prefer
someone with an eighth-
grade education, although
less is sometimes suffi-
  The guide I'ists other
skiffs such as fish biologist,
forester,  landscape archi-
tect, air chemist, and radia-
tion engineer. Where appli-
cable, college and other
training programs available
are given.
  The guide is generally
available for job-seekers and
counselors at the 2,700
local Job Service offices
throughout the United
States affiliated  with the
U.S. Employment Service.
Many public and school
libraries also keep them on
hand. For an individual
copy,  write the Superintend-
ent of Documents, U.S.
Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402.
Price: $6.50.
Toxics Guide

The World Environment
Center has published
CONTACT: Toxics, a
guide to a national network
of over 1,000 specialists
in toxic substances. These
specialists come from gov-
ernment, industry, labor
unions, universities, and
environmental organiza-
tions, and have agreed to
answer news media queries
as a public service.
  The project received a
$90,000 grant from the
National Science Founda-
tion, and additional fund-
ing from foundations and
corporations including
Monsanto, Atlantic Rich-
field and Ashland Chemi-
cal. The guide is being
distributed to members of
the media free of charge
and contains listings of
names, addresses, affilia-
tions, biographical infor-
mation, and telephone
  The toxics guide is not
available to the general
public, but professionals in
the toxics area, govern-
ment representatives, and
non-profit groups can order
the  guide from World
Environmental Center,
300 East 42nd St., New
York, N.Y. 1001 7. The cost
for non-profit organizations
is $37.50, and for all other
groups, $49.50.
JUNE 1981

EPA and
By Valerie Whitney
    Have you ever wondered
     where EPA gets the mile-
 age figures it uses for your car?
 Or what the Agency considered
 to be "hazardous waste?" Or
 as a businessman, do you know
 what implementation of the
 "bubble policy" could mean for
 your company?
   Last year almost 40,000
 people found the answers to
 these and other questions on
 EPA budgets, programs, poli-
 cies and even copies of reports
 through a Federal service that
 supplements EPA's efforts as
 well as those of other agencies
 in keeping the public informed.
   The service is performed by
 41 Federal Information Cen-
 ters located in key cities across
 the country.
  According to Warren
Snaider, a staff member with
the program's national office in
Washington, D.C., questions
regarding cars such as emission
controls and tampering were
the topics of most inquiries
nationwide. Many of the re-
quests were for copies of re-
ports on these subjects, said
Snaider. This is subject to
change, however, depending
on which EPA-related issue is
in the. news at any given time.
  Just a couple of years ago,
questions about gas mileage
were the basis of most in-
quiries in cities like Atlanta,
Ga., which in the past has got-
ten quite a few calls concerning
EPA. Today, most callers to
the Atlanta center are interested
in many new EPA programs
such as the Superfund.
  Other issues that generate
numerous calls are requests for
information on clean water,
clean air, toxics and hazardous
waste. This has been particu-
larly true of the Center in
Cincinnati, Ohio.
  "Unless there is something
currently in the news about
EPA, most of the calls involve
water-related issues such as
swamps or drinking water,"
said Marion Bailey, manager of
the Center there.
  Deloris O'Guin, manager of
the St. Louis, Mo., Center, re-
ported that water  is the  subject
of many inquiries  there, as is
the labeling of pesticides and
the discharge of toxic chemi-
cals. But she emphasized that
once any issue becomes a news
item, the number of calls about
it increases.
  Although each Center con-
tains a collection of  reference
material on government agen-
cies, programs and services,
very technical questions are
usually referred directly to the
agency in question.
  Trained  personnel at the
Centers usually search out the
information themselves for
callers, cutting through red
tape and go-ing directly to the
source of the information
needed. Publications such as
the Catalog of Federal Domes-
tic Assistance, the Federal
Register, the Weekly Compila-
tion of Presidential Documents,
and the Government Manual
contain valuable information.
The primary source at each
Center is a directory of govern-
ment and related private service
and resource providers, in-
dexed by key words to make
access to information easy and
fast. These directories are
developed individually for each
Center and reflect the needs and
sources available in the area.
   The key to getting a problem
solved or at least referred to
the right office, whether it is
environmentally-related  or an-
other subject, is to provide the
Center with as much informa-
tion as possible regarding the
   "Often people fail to articu-
late their questions correctly
and as a result, do  not get the
information they really need,"
said Linda S. Neighborgall,
deputy national coordinator
for the program. Sometimes
this is a result of the confusion
that people experience in trying
to figure out what each agency
   For example, one woman
called a Center in California
requesting information on how
to get an EPA permit to cut
down a tree. Following further
questioning, it was revealed
that the tree was a  landmark.
Under county  rules, in order to
cut down such a tree, you had
to have a  good reason; in this
case the tree was diseased. As
it turned out, a county inspector
just needed to look at the tree
and certify that it was all right
to cut it down.
  By asking the right questions,
staffers have been largely suc-
cessful at getting to the heart of
most inquiries, which is half of
solving the problem; as a result
almost eight million people
used the service last year.
  Questions routinely con-   ^
cern the environment, veteran's^
benefits, social security, immi-
gration and  naturalization,
patents, copyrights, tax assist-
ance, wage and hours laws,
Medicare, and Federal job in-
formation among others.
  In addition to those classi-
fied under "environment," a
large number of calls listed in
other categories dealt with sub-
jects actually mandated by
EPA, but under State  or local
  Accessibility to a Center is
an important factor in the serv-
ice. In 43 cities that do not

 have a Center, direct access is
 available through free tieline
 service. This has proven to be in-
 valuable in many instances. In
 addition, Statewide, toll free
 "800" telephone service is
 currently available in Florida,
 Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and
   The Federal Information Pro-
 gram was established in 1965
 by Presidential directive. The
 first Center opened  in Atlanta
 in 1966, and major  expansion
 of the program occurred be-
 tween 1970and 1973. In 1978,
 a permanent system of Federal
 Information Centers was
   Center staff specialists in
 many cities speak other lan-
 guages in addition to English,
with Spanish being the most
frequently available. A variety
of interesting and useful pub-
lications on consumer topics
are on display and available to
visitors and callers. The Cen-
ters also work closely with
information and referral agen-
cies of State and local
   From the first, the aim of the
program has been to provide
people with a one-stop source
of information on Federal gov-
ernment-related programs,
policies, and activities. Some-
times people get more than
they bargain for.
   For example, in St. Louis,
two walk-in inquirers con-
cerned about a chemical com-
pany disposal in their area were
able to talk directly to the EPA
regional office in Kansas City,
Mo., courtesy of the Federal
Information Center there.
   Or take the case of the man
in San Diego, Calif., who called
his local Center to inquire
about a report on asbestos and
insulation. During the course of
a routine search, the staff per-
son at the Center discovered
that EPA had participated
with several other government
agencies in the publication of a
report on asbestos. She con-
tacted the EPA regional office
in San Francisco which for-
warded a copy of the report to
the caller. In addition, someone
from the San  Francisco regional
office telephoned the man. He
was impressed, to say the least,
and called the Center in San
Diego to let them know.
   " 'Gee, thanks. I didn't know
any persons like you were there
to help,' is how they usually
put it," said Neighborgall. D

Valerie  Whitney is an
Editorial Assistant with
EPA Journal.
For a brochure about the
Federal Information Centers,
contact the Consumer Informa-
tion Center, Pueblo, Colo.
81009 or in major cities con-
sult your phone book under
"U.S. Government—Federal
Information Center."

If you need to contact EPA
directly, the Agency has 10
regional offices which can often
provide assistance. For the lo-
cation and phone number of
the EPA Regional  Office which
has jurisdiction for your State,
see the listing on Page 39.
                                                                                                 Scranton*     •Tranton
                                 Des Moines _
                                  _          Indianapolis
                          Omaha 0\
                                  \Q+ I rtnic^^H
                          Salt Lake City-
                                Colorado Sp
                                                                               •I i\asnvnie
                                                                                  s  Chattan
                                                                                 ^ \
                                                                                                           t Palm Beach

                                                                                                             rt Laucterdale
 • Federal Information Center
    Tie-Line City
JUNE  1981

Dr. Julius Axelrod. Nobel prize-winner, in /j;'s laboratory nt National Institutes of Health,

N.I.H.  and
Pest Control
By Dr. M. Sayeed Quraishi
Scientists at the National Institutes of
C5 Healih work under highly unusual
conditions. We have patients whose
maladies have baffled the physicians. We
need to locate them in a research center
where doctors and research scientists are
in continual attendance, collaborate close-
ly, and have immediate access to research
laboratories on a round-the-clock basis.
Because of this, in the Clinical Center twice
as much space is devoted to laboratories
as to pat'ient care.
   In addition, to help us understand life
and the oisease processes, we maintain
large animal collections and breeding
stations all over the country and abroad. In
these we  rear, among others, germ-free
animals, specific genetic strains, and hun-
dreds of vertebrate and invertebrate
species. Animals, especially primates such
as Rhesus monkeys, also are imported for
research and are quarantined before ex~
perimental use.
   So it is obvious that the Institutes must
exercise unusual precautions to make sure
no foreign substances or alien bacteria  find
their way into the sites of this research
where they could disrupt studies and dis-
tort the findings of scientists.
   Every year we bring hundreds of millions
of dollars worth of materials and animals
inside N.I.H. In this environment, therefore,
introduction of pest or disease-carrying
insects could create a potentially danger-
ous situation.
   The whole picture is made even more
compJex by the very delicate nature of
research being conducted in our labora-
tories. Scientists at N.I.H. are working to
understand how biological systems func-
tion both in healthy persons and in dis-
eased patients. The whole process is so
complicated that scientists must handle it
piece by piece, not only to unravel the
mysteries associated with each segment
but also to understand how the pieces in-
terlock with the almost unfathomable
jigsaw puzzle of life.
   This research of course involves very
powerful microscopes and cell and tissue
cultures that must be handled with extreme
care. To enhance our knowledge of bio-
logical systems we are trying to trace the
progress of molecules through experimen-
tal models to understand better the make-
up of each component and how they inter-
act in a system.

Unwelcome 'Passengers'
  Unfortunately, many of the warehouses
from which we obtain supplies are not free
of d'isease-carrying insects or pests, and
as we do not have the resources to examine
every consignment thoroughly for infesta-
tion, many of these unwanted vectors or
organisms transmitting pathogens arrive
with incoming materials. Also, we allow
free access to persons visiting NIH for
consultations or to see patients. Occasion-
                                                                 EPA JOURNAL

aMy they unwittingly introduce insects with
various gifts that rhey bring to patients.
   There i-s still •another problem complicat-
ing this whole picture. The very nature of
the research at N.I.H. requires an atmo-
sphere conducive to the growth and devel-
opment of life. Unfortunately this also
encourages^the growth and multiplication
of pest-bearirvg forms of life that acci-
dentally enter, and they continue to spread
•and develop.  Constant monitoring there-
fore is essential to catch these infestations
in their early stages, so we must maintain
an efficient-surveillance system.
   Insects &i course exist almost every-
where—30 species even in Antarctica. And
without them life on earth as we know it
could not exist, since many legume crops
depend on the honeybee for pollination,
and wilderness vegetation important to soil
formation needs insects for reproduction.
Yet in-sects, whose ancestors appeared on
earth probably 350 million years ago, also
number villains among their ranks.
   Research has implicated a number of
pests as suspects in transmitting infections
in hospitals. For example, some recently
reported cases include Staphylococcus
auretss and gram-negative bacteria trans-
mitted through a species known as the
pharaoh ant, a little red ant that is a com-
mon household pest. Bacteria; salmonella
which can cause food poisoning and gas-
trointestinal inflammation; cocc'idia, which
are often parasites that make their way into
the digestive tract; and toxoplasma, an-
other type of parasitic microorganism, all
can be carried by cockroaches. In addition
there are other disease-producing organ-
isms that may be transmitted through
various  arthropods, a group that includes
insects. Since insects sucti as  cockroaches
frequently take shelter in sewer systems
and during  the night wander -in buildings if
not controlled, their potential as carriers of
disease cannot be ignored.
   N.I.H. scientists also have found that for
some reason mites are attracted to fungus
cultures, and  the capacity of mites to be
just-about everywhere makes them another
concern. The  risk of infections therefore
spreading by  means of such vectors and
pests exists for both patients and staff,
though of course our greatest concern is
for the patients wim reduced resistance to
   The need to control these insects at
N.I.H. therefore cannot be overemphasized
—but for the  reasons I have just described,
we must give careful attention to which
methods and  materials we employ.
   The first  step of course  is to eliminate as
much  as possible the hiding and breeding
places of these disease-carriers, to deny
fcem the opportunity to flourish and nrnjlti-
JFy once they gain access to the various
buildings. We try to employ nonchemical
methods to achieve this control.  Oneof the
simplest and most obvious techniques is
 to block the many cracks and tiny holes in
 a building's surfaces with caulking com-
 pound. In addition, since insects like to
'harbor themselves in any cenvenient
 crevice of •a package, we recommend to
the laboratories that they avoid the use of
 cardboard boxes containing corrugated

 Delicate Research
   However, it is not possible to have effec-
 tive controls by such means alone, so we
 must also use pesticides in some areas. lt
                    News Briefs
     EPA has accepted  the ruling of  an administrative law
     judge supporting  construction of a Pittston  Company
     oil refinery  in Eastport, Maine.  Administrative Law
     Judge Spencer T.  Nissen ruled in favor of issuing a
     wastewater discharge permit to  Pittston allowing
     construction  of the oil refinery.  EPA has been
     reviewing the permit request since 1975, including analysis
     of  all environmental risks and  economic benefits of the
     refinery.  Pittston has agreed  to make several  con-
     cessions beneficial to the environment, including
     protection of the bald eagle and two species of whale,
     all endangered species.

     Nissen concluded  that there is  no reasonable likelihood
     that construction and operation of the refinery will
     jeopardize the continued existence of bald eagles or
     whales in the area.  In his decision, .Nissen ruled that
     Head Harbor,  the  passageway to  Eastport, is  adequate for
     the safe navigation of supertankers.  One tanker would
     enter the harbor  per week and only a single  tanker would
     be  able to enter  the passageway at one time, both factors
     limiting the  risk of a major oil spill taking place,
     according to  Nissen.
     EPA has proposed rescinding  an  unused air quality stan-
     dard for hydrocarbons as a class  of pollutants.   A
     review of the  scientific data underlying the  standard
     confirmed the  regulation has no utility under the current
     Clean Air Act  and should be  dropped.  EPA has determined
     that smog control plans across  the country  can be
     carried out more effectively through monitoring ozone
     levels rather  than attempting to  monitor hydrocarbon
     levels.  The hydrocarbon standard has not been enforced
     since it was set in 1971, but has been used only as a
     guide in meeting EPA's national atmospheric standard for
     smog.  The proposed action will not affect  the Congress-
     ionally  mandated tailpipe emission hydrocarbon standards
     for automobiles.
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                                                          EPA JOURNAL

                             Superf und  Community
                             Relations Policy
                             By Steven Cohen
                                 For the past year, EPA has
                                  carefully studied relations
                              between communities and gov-
                              ernments during hazardous
                              waste emergencies. The Office
                              of Hazardous Emergency Re-
                              sponse has issued interim com-
                              munity relations guidance
                              based on studies by ICF,  Inc., a
                              private research organization,
                              and the experiences of EPA
                              Regional Offices.
                                This policy recognizes
                              the fact that abandoned
                              hazardous waste sites and
                              spills of hazardous materials
                              are not simply environmen-
                              tal matters, but are political,
                              economic, psychological, so-
                              cial, and human health prob-
                              lems as well. There are good
                              reasons why people are likely
                              to be highly concerned about
                              hazardous waste problems and
                              proposed clean-up efforts. Un-
                              less community relations are
                              arranged with care and skill,
                              there can be a tense, agitated
                              public looking for  help but un-
                              sure where to turn and likely
                              to be suspicious of any response
                              that seems to be half-hearted.
                                EPA intends to handle the
                              concerns and expectations of
                              local communities with fore-
                              sight, care, and compassion.
                              The purpose of the policy is to
                              assure that actions at uncon-
                              trolled hazardous waste sites
                              are understood, accepted, and
                              supported by those commu-
                              nities requiring assistance, The
                              policy stresses the importance
                              of carrying out clean-up actions
                              without disrupting the normal
                              life of the community. EPA in-
                              tends to give local commu-
                              nities the opportunity to influ-
ence the conduct of clean-up
actions, and is committed to
informing the community of
proposed actions.
  Superfund community rela-
tions policy requires EPA
Regions and States to develop
community relations plans for
any hazardous waste site where
Federal funds will be spent for
more than two weeks. The plans
require that a substantial level
of effort be devoted to inter-
acting with local communities
at each site. The amount of
interaction is determined by
projecting both the degree of
citizen  concern and the com-
plexity  of the environmental
problem at the site. The more
visible  and serious the hazard-
ous waste site, the more active
the community relations
  The  policy establishes the
following principles for sound
community relations:

• Inform the public about pro-
posed plans and programs.

• Be sympathetic and under-
standing of local concerns.

• Learn about the history of the
waste site and about the com-
munity affected by the site.

• Avo!id generating unrealistic
expectations about the  amount
of help that government can

• Be open and forthright with

• Seek out and work with local
groups concerned about waste
• Coordinate actions with
local officials.

• At serious problem sites,
assign a community relations
coordinator whenever possible.

• Be flexible, and use a variety
of techniques to interact with
the community.

• Consider establishing a Citi-
zens' Advisory Committee at
any site or spill having a high
degree of citizen concern.

  The Superfund legislation
requires the implementation of
cost-effective solutions to haz-
ardous waste problems. A well
thought-out program of com-
munity relations is an integral
element of EPA's strategy to
achieve cost-effective solu-
tions. It is believed that unless
the concerns of affected com-
munities are understood and
addressed in the planning
process, it is quite possible
that misunderstanding will
cause long delays and cost
overruns. The problems at
some hazardous waste sites are
often difficult to understand,
and occasionally frightening to
the uninformed. The Superfund
program takes very seriously its
responsibility to deal honestly
and effectively with the con-
cerns of these local citizens. Q

Steven Cohen is an environmen-
tal protection specialist in
EPA's Office of Hazardous
Emergency Response.
JUNE 1981

Crisis Training
for  Hazardous
By Thomas C. Sell
    An abandoned storage warehouse catch-
      es fire. Local volunteer firemen extin-
guish the blaze, but observe many drums,
containers, and cartons with labels and
signs indicating they contain a variety of
chemical compounds. Pungent odors are
also noticed by the firemen. Realizing their
lack of expertise in dealing with chemicals
which could present a serious  toxic threat
to themselves  and inhabitants of the area,
the firemen seal off the warehouse and
request outside help.
   In another episode, at 9:30 a.m. at an
intersection off a freeway exit, a flat-
bedded tractor trailer rig, placarded with
diamond shaped signs reading "DAN-
GEROUS," spills  its load. A number of
55-gallon drums and boxes of various sizes
litter the site of the accident. A deputy
sheriff arrives  on the scene, reroutes traffic
around the site, informs his office by radio
that a serious situation involving hazardous
materials could exist, and that expert
assistance is needed immediately to assess
the situation and provide advice on
   These two scenarios are examples of
situations involving  the release or potential
release of hazardous substances which, if
uncontrolled, could  have had an adverse
effect on the public's health or a detrimen-
tal impact on the environment. The inci-
dents, however, were staged at EPA's
Region II Surveillance & Analysis Labora-
tory located at the GSA Raritan Depot,
Edison, N.J. In the simulated accident,
the assistance was provided by par-
ticipants in a  training course  entitled
"Hazardous Materials Incident Response
Operations." The culminating  activity of a
week of instruction, the staging of the
hazardous waste incident provides a mock
crisis to which the class acting as a team

responds. The situations are designed to
approximate real events as closely as
   Before September 1979, the Federal
revolving -fund for emergency hazardous
response was limited to releases or dis-
charges of oil into navigable waters. The
Clean Watered and its Amendments, the
legal basis for response activities, provided
for tine revolving fund to handle inci-
dents involving oil and  certain hazardous
substances. On September 22,1979,  a
list of approximately 300 specific hazard-
ous substances was published in the
Federal Register. However, it was realized
by EPA, other government agencies, pri-
vate environmental organizations and
Congress, that this law was inadequate for
dealing with the magnitude of the problems
presented by abandoned or uncontrolled
hazardous waste sites. As a result, in
December 1980, the Comprehensive Envi-
ronmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Act (Superfund) was promulgated
providing a broader legal mandate and
additional money for remedial actions at
abandoned sites and for emergency re-
sponse to environmental episodes. This
enables EPA to  respond to hazardous  mate-
rials released on !and, surface or ground
water, air, and any combination of the
   To prepare EPA response personnel
better for managing environmental episodes
involving a wide range of hazardous mate-
rials,  the Oil and Special Materials Control
Division  (now the Office of  Hazardous
Emergency Response) assigned its
Environmental Response Team to plan,
organize, and carry out a training program.
As a result, six  courses were developed to
train personnel in five areas of hazardous
environmental response: monitoring and
sampling, hazard evaluation, mitigation
and treatment, personnel protection and
safety, and a general introductory course
for inexperienced personnel.
   During the initial planning, discussions
were held with the U.S. Coast Guard
regarding the need for a practical "hands-
on" course. Neither EPA nor the Coast
Guard, the two  lead Federal agencies  for
managing environmental episodes, were
aware of any available courses that met
their needs for field-oriented training. As a
result of  these discussions, they coopera-
tively developed and funded the "Hazard-
ous Materials Incident Response Opera-
tions." The EPA Region 2 Surveillance &
Analysis Division's location at Edison, N.J.,
was selected as the training site because
of its available space and facilities and the
proximity to the Environmental Response
Team and other support services.
   The goal of the course is to provide
practical knowledge about activities during
the initial phase of an incident involving
hazardous materials. It focuses on team
functions, methods, procedures, organiza-
tion, and safety in responding to such
episodes. The emphasis is on using infor-
mation presented by the lecturers in critical
situations.  Each lecture period is immedi-
ately followed by problem-solving sessions
in the classroom or in outdoor exercises.
  The course emphasizes the concepts
and principles associated with all response
activities. General considerations are:
• Recognizing the hazards associated with
specific materials.
• Determining the risks to the public and
the environment.
• Developing methods to reduce or prevent
the effects of an incident.
• Insuring protection and safety of re-
sponse personnel.
  Although each release of a hazardous
substance presents a unique situation,
principles remain the same, but are
adapted to meet the requirements imposed
by the specific incident.
  The  course is limited to 18 participants
per session. Students are divided into
smaller work groups which operate inde-
pendently during the first part of the
instruction on problem-solving and deci-
sion-making involving hazard recognition
and evaluation, risk determination, and the
selection of appropriate personnel protec-
tive equipment and methods.
  The  next block of instruction concerns
protective clothing and breathing equip-
ment, the first line of defense in protecting
the  body from hostile, toxic environments.
All students-receive a self-contained
breathing apparatus and full-face air puri-
fying mask. After thorough instruction in
the  uses, limitations, and inspection proce-
dures with this equipment, students  use it
in a smoke-filled environment, on obstacle
courses, and while operating field instru-
ments. The participants also practice
wearing various types of fully encapsulat-
ing suits, over the self-contained breathing
 apparatus. Both laboratory and outdoor
 exercises provide students with a basic
 understanding of the fundamental instru-
 ments available for initial hazard assess-
 ment and site characterization. Students
 operate field instruments while wearing
 protective clothing and respiratory appara-
 tus so that they can learn the difficulties
 of working under adverse conditions.
 Students also set up a series of decon-
 tamination lines for demonstrating the
 correct procedures for removing chemicals
 from protective clothing during response
   As students move through their exer-
 cises, they begin to develop an awareness
of the complexities involved in hazardous
 substance incidents. Each situation that
 might be encountered involves factors
 dictated by the specific incident that must
 be evaluated and managed, based upon
 the information that is available. The class
 learns to organize, develop and carry out
 a team effort capable of effectively reduc-
 ing the impact of the incident on the
   The final exercises are designed to test
 the participants' ability to use the informa-
tion presented to them in a full-scale
environmental episode. Although the
 incidents are simulated, they represent
 events that have happened. These present
a series of problems for the response team
to solve. Throughout the course, the princi-
ples and procedures are discussed.  The
final test is the application of the discus-
sions to the environmental episode.
   To date, seven operations courses have
been presented at the facility in Edison,
with approximately 150 students partici-
pating in the courses. Attendees have been
from EPA, U.S. Coast Guard, State and
local emergency response offices, other
Federal agencies, and private organiza-
tions. Plans call for at least one presenta-
tion per month for the next fiscal year.

Thomas Sell is Training Coordinator for
EPA's Environmental Response Team.
For more information about this course,
contact him at:

26 West St. Clair Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45268
Tel. (513) 777-27 50 or FT S 684-7 537.
JUNE  1981

On Call
Around  the
By Stephen Dorrler
t ast March a holding lagoon for waste
I—  chemicals in Epping, N.H., was in
imminent danger of spilling over due
to heavy precipitation. EPA's Environmen-
tal Response Team was activated by EPA's
Region 1, with headquarters in Boston. The
team was requested to use its mobile treat-
ment trailer to treat the wastes and lower
the liquid level in the lagoon. "Within 24
hours of the initial request," according to
Ed Fitzpatrick, chairman of the Region 1
Regional Response Team, "the unit was in
place at the site. In light of all the confusion
that can accompany an environmental
emergency, it was a welcome sight to  see
this methodical and well-orchestrated
  The environmental response team was
established in October 1978 by authority
of the National Oil and Hazardous Sub-
stances Pollution Contingency Plan. This
Plan directed EPA to establish the team to
advise the on-scene coordinators and
regional response teams on environmental
issues related to spill containment, clean-
up, and damage assessment. The March
24, 1981, draft of the new National Con-
tingency Plan continues this direction by
outlining the team's responsibilities. As
spelled out in this document, the unit is to
provide expertise in biology, chemistry,
and engineering for emergency disaster in-
cidents. The team also provides special
equipment to control and clean up chemi-
cal discharges.

Expanded List of Substances
 Mike Cook, EPA's Director of the Office of
Hazardous Emergency Response in  Wash-
ington, states that the team makes it pos-
sible for EPA to provide around-the-clock
support to the Regional offices through
personnel whose sole responsibility is to
respond to environmental emergencies.
This support comes at a time when EPA is
becoming increasingly concerned with en-
vironmental emergencies and the problems
of such waste sites.
  Ken Biglane, the chairman of the na-
tional response team and Director of the
Hazardous Response Support System,
                                                                           emphasized that the magnitude of the
                                                                           problem requires a massive commitment
                                                                           of resources by government and private
                                                                           industry. The Comprehensive Environmen-
                                                                           tal Response, Compensation and Liability
                                                                           Act of 1980 includes a greatly expanded
                                                                           list of hazardous substances and signals
                                                                           greater responsibilities in the area of envi-
                                                                           ronmental emergencies.
                                                                              The Environmental Response Team is
                                                                           EPA's focal-point for technical assistance
                                                                           to the Regions and Program Offices during
                                                                           emergency episodes involving toxic and
                                                                           hazardous materials and hazardous wastes.
                                                                           The team, which is a branch in Biglane's
                                                                           new division, has two locations: Edison,
                                                                           N.J. and Cincinnati. In genera], requests
                                                                           for help from the unit come from each
                                                                           Regional Administrator's Emergency Re-
                                                                           sponse coordinator once the conclusion
                                                                           has been reached that technical assistance
                                                                           is needed. "In case of  a chemical spill into
                                                                           a river, for example," Biglane said, "the
                                                                           Response Team will provide immediate as-
                                                                           sistance to the Regional On-Scene Coordjr
                                                                           nator. The aid will  include monitoring th^l
                                                                           chemicals, predicting  when they will pass
                                                                           a certain water intake pipe, and providing
                                                                           emergency water treatment technology or

                                                                                    Drums of white phosphorous, brought to
                                                                                    Fort A. P. Hill. Vs. as part of n cleanup by
                                                                                    EPA of hazardous waste, are exploded by
                                                                                    Army personnel under controlled condi-
                                                                                    tions. A member of the EPA Emergency
                                                                                    Response Team (right photo) briefs per-
                                                                                    sonnel fit a waste site near Pittston, Pa.
arranging to have alternate water supplies
provided. The team will assist in develop-
ing solutions, techniques, and measures
to minimize the immediate threat."
   The team consists of 13 individuals with
long experience in dealing with various
types of environmental emergencies and
responding to requests for assistance at
uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
   Since the work is physically demanding
and requires exposure to hazardous wastes
and toxic chemicals, team members are
highly trained in use of the latest safety
equipment and decontamination require-
ments. The unit is constantly striving to
upgrade safety practices and medical
monitoring programs. Its basic operating
philosophy is to err on the side of safety
when considering respiratory protection
and clothing protection requirements.

National Contingency Plan

   The team concept had  its origin in Sec-
       of the 1972 Water Pollution Control
          called for the preparation of a
A review of recent major
EPA activities and devel-
opments in the pollution
control program areas.


Conference Held
EPA recently hosted a
regional conference on
regulatory reform and
cost-saving approaches to
controlling air pollution.
  The conference,  held at
the Doubletree Plaza Hotel
in Seattle, Wash., focused
on how EPA's national
regulatory reforms can
help western business in-
terests improve air quality
at less cost and with less
government  intrusion.
  Representatives from
industry, the environmen-
tal community, and State
and local governments
reviewed the latest  reform
developments and dis-
cussed with  top EPA offi-
cials the applicability of
these reforms to their own
particular situations.
  EPA and the States are
now developing and carry-
ing out a series of impor-
tant regulatory reforms
called Controlled Trading,
which lets companies meet
air pollution  laws by secur-
ing needed pollution
reductions from other
firms, or from other
sources within their own
facilities. This, in turn, can
increase  industry's flexi-
bility in meeting existing   further reduce emissions
requirements while sharply of sulfur dioxide and
reducing compliance       particulate matter.

Agreement Signed
recently announced the
signing of a consent de-
cree settling issues relat-
ing to air quality control at
the company's copper
smelter in Hayden, Ariz.
   The agreement, filed
with the U.S. District Court
in Tucson, caps 12 months
of discussions, and re-
solves such issues as the
amount of emission reduc-
tion and the timing of
modernization. Under the
pact, ASARCO will bring
the smelter into compli-
ance with air pollution
standards by April 1, 1984.
unless circumstances be-
yond the  company's con-
trol force a deadline exten-
   Such smelters basically
melt copper ore in a fur-
nace to obtain relatively
pure copper. The Hayden
plant has the capacity to
smelt 720,000 tons per
year of copper ore concen-
   The agreement calls for
the present roaster and
reverberatory furnaces at
the Hayden plant to be
replaced  by a flash furnace,
which can melt ore more
quickly and efficiently,  and
Penalties Sought
EPA has filed an adminis-
trative complaint asking for
$1,428,000 in penalties
against Atlantic-Richfield
Company of  Philadelphia,
Pa., charging that the com-
pany violated Federal regu-
lations under the Clean Air
Act by using leaded gaso-
Hne in company vehicles
which are designed to use
unleaded gasoline.
   Specifically, the com-
plaint charges that com-
pany vehicles located at its
refinery in Philadelphia
were fueled with leaded
gasoline in the time period
between May 25, 1978
through September 14,
1979, when  they required
unleaded gasoline to pro-
tect the pollution control
   Violators  of the unlea-d-
ed fuel regulations can be
assessed administrative
penalties of  up to $10,000
per violation. EPA consid-
ers the seriousness of a
violation when setting a
penalty and  may consider
actions taken by the viola-
tor to correct violations
and prevent future recur-
rence before assessing  a
final  penalty.
   The company has indi-
cated that it intends to
contest the charges, and
may request a formal


Survey Underway
A survey to pinpoint the
precise location of all of
the thousands of aban-
doned hazardous waste
sites across the United
States is being taken by
The Agency said it wili
obtain the information pri-
marily from companies and
individuals that owned,
operated or used sites
where dangerous chemical
wastes have been depos-
   The Superf und law re-
quires these reports to be
submitted, and EPA is pre-
paring to supply notifica-
tion forms and establishing
receiving points in EPA
regional offices. The law
provides penalties not to
exceed $10,000 or one
year in jail or both for
failure to comply with the
provisions of the notifica-
tion program.
   The law establishes a
broad Federal-State capa-
bility using a fund to
locate, investigate, and
clean up those hazardous
waste sites causing the
most serious environmen-
tal and public health
Consent Order
EPA recently obtained a
consent order with the
operator and users of a
hazardous waste storage
facility in Hidalgo,
Texas, requiring the
moval of 797 drums of
hazardous waste, including
highly toxic mercury, from
the facility in compliance
with Federal hazardous
waste regulations.
   The facility, operated by
Inserv, Inc., served as a
freight forwarding depot
for the ultimate disposal of
wastes at other locations,
including those outside the
country. According to EPA
Inserv had not notified the
Agency of the existence
and operation of the facil-
ity, in violation of EPA's
new hazardous waste
   The parties in the con-
sent agreement include:
Inserv, Inc., which owns
and operates the facility;
Monochem Inc., which
generated and secured the
transportation of wastes
to the facility;  Borden, Inc.
and UniRoyal Inc., owners
of Monochem Inc.; ;
Diamond Shamrock
which generated and se-
cured the transportation of
wastes to the facility.
   Under the order, Mono-
chem and  Diamond Sham-
rock must remove the
drums and ship them to a
facility which complies
with the hazardous waste
regulations. D

                               Lawrence W. Reiter

                               He has been named director of
                               EPA's Neurotoxicology Division
                               of the Health Effects Research
                               Laboratory at Research Triangle
                               Park, N.C. He was most recently
                               chief of the Division Behavioral
                               Toxicology Branch.
                                 In his new role, Reiter will
                               supervise both in-house and
                               extramural neurotoxicological
                                     research in the Division which
                                     studies the effects of toxic
                                     substances on the function and
                                     structure of the nervous system.
                                       Reiter joined EPA in 1973
                                     as a research pharmacologist to
                                     study the neural and behavioral
                                     toxicology of environmental
                                     agents in what was then the
                                     Experimental Biology
                                       Prior to joining the Agency,
                                     he was a postdoctoral fellow
                                     and lecturer in environmental
                                     toxicology at the University of
                                     California at Davis.
                                             Reiter holds adjunct fac-
                                          ulty appointments in phar-
                                          macology and toxicology
                                          at the University of North
                                          Carolina, Chapel  Hill, and in
                                          zoology at North Carolina State
                                          University, Raleigh.
                                             He received his bachelor's
                                          degree in chemistry with a
                                          minor in biology from Rock-
                                          hurst College in Kansas City,
                                          Mo. He earned a doctorate in
                                          neuropharmacology from the
                                          University of Kansas Medintf^
                                          Center in the same city.  W

                             Environmental Almanac: June  1981
                                      A Glimpse of the Natural World We Help Protect
                                        Pack  Horse  Ford
A    frightened and bleeding
    stag burst through the
dawn fog, plunged into shallow
water in the Potomac River
about a mile below Shepherds-
town,  W. Va., and lurched
across in great splashing leaps
to the Maryland shore.
  Once safely on shore the
buck snorted mightily and
paused before crashing through
some underbrush and then dis-
appearing into the nearby
woods. On the West Virginia
shore a hunting hound howled
in frustration as the poacher
who had shot the  deer called
the dog to give up the chase and
  Only a scarlet pool of blood
on the river's muddy bank
marked where the buck had
rested momentarily after cross-
ing the river some 60 miles
above Washington at a  low-
water crossing known as Pack
Worse Ford.
P This ford, which provided a
river crossing for  animals and
Indians long before the white
man arrived in America, has
often been stained with biood.
Predator animals  waited here
for their prey. Indian tribes
fought each other at this water
   During the Civil War both
Union and Confederate troops
frequently used this ford be-
cause the bridge at Shepherds-
town was burned early in the
war. After Gen. Lee and his
Confederate troops were de-
feated at Antietam, Md., the
Confederate forces built bon-
fires on the night of Sept. 19,
1 862, to deceive the northern
troops into thinking the south-
eners were still there, while
thousands of these men made a
crossing at Pack Horse Ford
under cover of darkness into
what was then Virginia.
   Pioneer settlers bound for
the Shenandoah Valley also
often used this ford which got
its name from the heavily
loaded pack horses the travelers
brought with them before
wagon roads were built.
   A sign along the C & 0 Canal
marking the approximate loca-
tion of the ford has been erected
by the Maryland  Civil War Cen-
tennial Commission. Although
rarely traveled by people now
that there is a bridge at Shep-
herdstown, the ford is still
occasionally used by hikers and
   Normally water at the ford is
low enough to permit crossing
about eight months in a year.
Even when the river flow is
down, we discovered while
crossing the ford a few years
ago that the current  is powerful.
Walking through the ford water
can be dangerous and use of a
stout stave is helpful to keep
your body from being pushed
   Apartfrom its historic im-
portance in commerceand
warfare the ford is a center-
piece in an unusually striking
section of the  Potomac River
and the parallel C & O Canal.
  Along the canal in this area
a stunning assortment of wild
flowers marks the seasons.  In
spring nearly a half acre of pink
shooting star flowers can be
seen in a protected location
above the river bluffs. Wild
columbine nod from rocky out-
   Dutchman's breeches, squir-
rel corn, star of Bethlehem,
sweet cicely, bloodroot, may-
apple, anemones, toothwort,
saxifrage, Virginia bluebellsand
great clumps of violets are
among the other flowers that
adorn the C &  0  Canal path.
   Bird life is also abundant  in
this area. Bluebirds  nest in tree
holes drilled and abandoned by
woodpeckers, osprey can some-
times be seen carrying fish to
their young, and the song of the
Louisiana water thrush whistles
through the woods.
  On the river banks, great
sycamores and box elders lean
out over the water. River birch
grows in sand bars off shore.
The river current will carry the
seeds of this birch downstream
to other sand bars and river
banks where its new shoots
quickly spring up and hold the
land against the assault of the
water currents.
  As evening descends, tree
swallows soar and dip over the
river in an aerial ballet as they
catch flying insects for a final
meal of the day.
  Some teen-age boys arrive
with fishing poles and a kero-
sene lamp. As the lamp flickers
in the darkness, a summer wind
whispering in the tree leaves
carries the perfume of the
blooming honey sucklewhich
carpets much of the area—an
enticing whiff of the environ-
mental richness free to anyone
in the Washington area who can
walk.—C.D. P.
JUNE  1981

Managing Michigan's Hazardous
and the other a chemical engineer. The
temporary members include two residents
of the municipality and two residents of
the county in which the facility is pro-
posed to be  located.
   The site approval boards were created to
recognize concerns that both the State and
the local communities have in dealing with
hazardous waste disposal and treatment,
These boards face the toughest decisions
because they select the locations where
waste disposal facilities will be iocated.
For every individual who may  object to the
location of a facility, there will be hundreds
who will need  that facility to maintain
local jobs and  to provide goods and
services to the people of Michigan.
   When a site approval board approves
construction of a facility the Department
of Natural Resources will then issue the
necessary construction permits. Once fa-
cility construction is complete, the facility
owner or operator must then apply for and
obtain a facility operating license. All these
safeguards and inspections are designed
to prevent future environmental and health
problems, because safety is of paramount
concern. State specialists are  required to
inspect each operating facility and to file
a written report on the facility at least four
times each year.  And as an example of the
State's  desire  to  maintain close communi-
cation with local units of government, the
Act provides that local officials may notify
the State whenever they are concerned
that a disposal facility, or a transporting
unit, or a processing facility may not be
operating safely. Upon such notification,
the State must immediately investigate the
concern and provide a written report to the
local unit of government.
   Although all presently existing facilities
will also have  to be licensed. Act 64 is not
a program to clean up past disposal prac-
tices. Those must be dealt with separately.
Instead, this new law is a program which
deals with present and future needs to
manage wastes safely. Sophisticated waste
treatment systems must be developed for
substances which can either be destroyed
biologically  or treated to convert them to a
non-hazardous form. Resource recovery
methods will be used whenever possible,
because certain wastes can be recycled for
reuse by industry. Such recovery programs
can provide  economic benefits while reduc-
ing total waste volume, as well as lowering
levels of toxicity. High temperature incin-
 eration will be employed where necessary
 for disposing of certain types of difficult
   A common misconception is that all
 hazardous wastes must be disposed of
 in landfills. That's simply not the case. In
 fact, prior to using a landfill for hazardous
 wastes, the new law requires that a legal
 document be signed by all owners of the
 land and by the Department of Natural Re-
 sources stating that the land has been or
 may be used for hazardous wastes and that
 future filling, grading, excavating, building,
 drilling, or mining will not be alfowed
 under most circumstances.
   Act 64 also establishes a "cradle-to-
 grave" system for tracking hazardous
 wastes from their point of generation to
 their ultimate disposal. The Act contains
 specific manifest requirements which must
 be complied with by all hazardous waste
 generators, haulers, and owners or oper-
 ators of waste management facilities. That
 is, for each shipment of wastes, detailed
 documentation  must be recorded and  given
 to the Department of Natural Resources and
 other agencies. This review will allow the
 State to confirm that the wastes are being
 properly handled and properly disposed of
 in accordance with the new law's require-
 ments. In addition, the Act requires the
 annual licensing and inspection of waste
 hauler vehicles to ensure that safety is
   Two funding sources were established
 by the new law to ensure long-term care of
 the facilities and to make sure the State has
 the financial means to properly respond to
 emergency situations. A Disposal Trust
 Fund created by user fees will provide
 resources for long-term care of disposal
 facilities after any facility closes down.
 Under the Act the fund may collect as
 much as  $2 million annually, and up to $30
 million over a period of years, to cover
 the expenses of long-term facility care
 after closing down. However, the Act re-
 quires that an owner or operator of a facil-
 ity must monitor and maintain the facility
 for 1 5 years after closure before a deter-
 mination will be made on the future owner-
 ship or use of the land.
   The Act also  establishes a Hazardous
 Waste Service Fund of not less than $1
 million. This fund will be used to respond
to actual  or potential emergencies caused
 by hazardous waste. After an expenditure
from the fund has been made to deal with
an emergency situation, the Department of
 Natural Resources must immediately re-
quest the State Attorney General to recover
the expenditure from those individuals
responsible for the emergency.
   Supplementing the Act, Michigan's new
Hazardous Waste Management Rules  be-
came effective April 15, 1981. Within  120
days after that date, hazardous waste haul-
ers and disposal facility operators must
file completed applications to continue
   Alan Howard, Chief of the State's Haz-
ardous Waste Management Office, said
the 95-page set of regulations provides the
mechanisms needed to carry out the con-
cept of controlling hazardous wastes pre-
scribed by 1979 Michigan legislation.
   "That means generators of hazardous
wastes will be under regulation, as well as
transporters and disposers of hazardous
materials," Howard said. "Generators of
hazardous materials must adhere to a mani-
fest system from now on, listing hazardous

wastes being shipped to ensure safe arrival
at their destination. The new rules require
disposal facilities to issue certificates of
disposal as each load of hazardous waste
is properly disposed of according to law.
  "Michigan's new hazardous waste rules
closely correspond with Federal regulations
under the Resource Conservation and Re-
covery Act (RCRA)," said Howard. "We
are applying for interim authorization from
the Environmental Protection Agency to
run the hazardous waste program in Michi-
gan. RCRA regulations are being promul-
gated in phases. Final authorization will
allow Michigan  to carry out all aspects  of
       eral program."
  r he State's objective in creating its new
hazardous waste management legislation
and rules is to bring together a wide range
of interests in the hope that balance, com-
mon sense, and understanding among all
parties will lead us  to a suitable long-term
solution to our hazardous waste problem, rj

Bill Marks is Assistant Chief of the Michi-
gan Department of Natural Resources'
Bureau of Environmental Protection.
Persons seeking more information about
Michigan's hazardous waste program
should contact the State's Department of
Natural Resources,  Environmental Services
Division, Box 30028, Lansing, Ml 48909.
Tel. (517) 373-2730.
Management of waste drums at Anker son
Development Co., Oakland County, Mich.
JUNE 1981

Around the Nation
Arsenic Investigation
The regional office has
been involved in investi-
gating widespread arsenic
contamination in New
Hampshire's well water.
Preliminary studies indi-
cate that the contamination
is not coming from illegal
dumping of hazardous
waste. Thus far, the
Agency has determined
that the arsenic is probably
coming from bedrock or
deep wells and virtually
none is in wells where one
would expect to find it if it
were coming from surface
  The regional office will
continue to investigate
how widespread the con-
tamination is, and what
kind of arsenic is actually

Ecology Program
Nearly 4,000 teachers rep-
resenting 110,000 children
in New England partici-
pated in this year's Ele-
mentary Education Ecology
Poem and Poster Program
sponsored by Region 1.
Award ceremonies citing
those youngsters who ex-
celled in the program were
held in each State. Joining
in helping EPA present the
awards  in their States were
U. S. Senators William
Cohen of Maine,  Christo-
pher Dodd of Connecticut,
Edward Kennedy of Mass-
achusetts, Patrick Leahy
of Vermont, and Warren
Rudman of New Hamp-
shire. Plaques and certifi-
cates were  presented to
those submitting the best
Violations Cited
Region 2 has issued an
administrative order to the
city of Buffalo, N.Y., citing
violations of the Clean
Water Act at the Bird
Island Wastewater Treat-
ment Plant.
  Buffalo has a National
Pollutant Discharge Elimi-
nation System permit au-
thorizing the discharge of
pollutants at restricted
levels from its Bird Island
plant into the Niagara
River. Based on discharge
monitoring reports and
information provided  by
the New York Department
of Environmental Conser-
vation, EPA has reason to
believe that the facility has
been discharging pollut-
ants in excess of permit
requirements  for suspend-
ed solids and  phosphorous.
The Agency also believes
the plant has not been
properly operated and
maintained for long peri-
ods of time.
   At EPA's order, officials
of Buffalo appeared before
the Regional Director of
Enforcement to explain
why the Agency should  not
refer this facility to the
U.S. Department of Justice
for civil and/or criminal
sanctions. EPA's decision
in the case is expected in
early June.
Legal Opinion
EPA has issued a legal
opinion on whether a haz-
ardous waste disposal
facility meets the require-
ments for "Interim Status"
under the Resource Con-
servation and Recovery
  The case involves the
Sunny Farms Ltd. facility
in Seven Valleys, Pa. It
was EPA's opinion that
Waste Management, Inc.
of Oak Brook, III., owners
of the Sunny Farms facil-
ity, had met the require-
ments of Interim Status.
Under Federal law, any
hazardous waste facility
that meets Interim Status
requirements has tempo-
rary authorization to con-
tinue construction and/or
operation until standards
for  such facilities become
effective and a final permit
can be considered.
  Local officials and resi-
dents had questioned
whether Sunny Farms met
the legal requirements of
an existing facility. These
requirements called for
operation or construction
of the site to begin by
November 19, 1980 and
for  the facility to have
obtained all required State
and local permits. Citizens
also claimed that the loca-
tion of the facility was
unsuitable for hazardous
waste disposal.
   In its opinion, EPA de-
cided that the owners had
performed a sufficient
amount of construction
activity to meet the require
ments of the law. It was
also decided that a local
ordinance, requiring a per-
mit to operate a waste
disposal facility, did not
apply to the issue in ques-
   The Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania recently
suspended the Sunny
Farms permit because of
operating irregularities at
another facility in the State
owned by Waste Manage-
ment, Inc. EPA's ruling
does not overrule the
suspension, and all work
at the facility has been
halted until the issues with
the State are resolved.
Emissions Program
A mandatory automobile
exhaust emissions program
began recently in a three-
county area of Atlanta, Ga.
The metropolitan Atlanta
area exceeds the standard
set for vehicle-related air
pollutants, specifically
ozone and carbon monox-
   Drivers of gasoline-
burning automobiles and
light duty trucks are having
their vehicles' emissions
tested at the same time
safety checks are made.
The air control test costs
$3. Inspections are re-
quired, but repairs, if
needed, are voluntary until
April 1, 1982 when both
inspections and repairs
become mandatory.
   The emissions testing,
administered by the Geor-
gia State Patrol, exempts
any vehicle 10 years and
old-er, motorcycles, off
highway use vehicles,
other gasoline powered
vehicles, and trucks with
gross weight of 6,000
pounds or more.
   Memphis and Nashville,
Tenn., Charlotte, N.C.,
Louisville,  and Boone
County, Ky. are preparing
to install similar programs.
Two other  Kentucky coun-
ties, Campbell and Kenton,
chose not to adopt the pro-
gram. Hence, both counties
have been  denied Federal
funding assistance for
sewers and certain highway
projects as required by the
Clean Air Act.
Grant Awarded
Region 5 recently awarded
a $19 million grant to the
Ohio Environmental Pro-
tection Agency to begin
administering municipal
wastewater treatment plant
construction grants proj-
ects in the State. Under
terms of an agreement
signed by the Federal and
State agencies, the grant
will be used to fund a new
Office of Construction
Grants within the Ohio EPA
which will take over most
of the administrative and
managerial tasks in the
program which had pre-
viously been performed by
Region 5.
  The Clean Water Act,
which authorized grants
to local governments for
the planning, design and
construction of wastewater
treatment facilities, dffv
provided that EPA sr^ d
delegate administration of
the program to the States
when they were prepared
to undertake the task.
  The agreement gives the
Ohio EPA authority over
600 active grants made to
Ohio municipalities.
                                                                           Fine Levied
                                                                           The Louisiana Department
                                                                           of Natural Resources lev-  .
                                                                           ied the largest water pollu-
                                                                           tion penalty assessed so
                                                                           far by a State in the Region
                                                                           when  it fined Georgia-
                                                                           Pacific Corp. $350,000 for
                                                                           massive dumpings of the
                                                                           toxic chemical phenol into
                                                                           the Mississippi River in
                                                                           early February. One hun-
                                                                           dred and ninety th^T^nd

dollars of the fine was for
failure to notify authorities
of the dumpings.
  From February 6 through
        8, the company
        almost 46,000
pounds of phenol into the
river. Immediate notifica-
tion of authorities could
have prevented the phenol
from getting into New
Orleans area  drinking
water supplies, state offi-
cials said.
  EPA commended the
State for. its quick, decisive
action and the EPA re-
gional office will complete
work on its administrative
order, issued March 2,
determining what action
the company  has taken to
remedy problems and to
prevent this kind of inci-
dent from recurring.
The three-year project will
be led by Dr. Frank de
Noyelles of the Depart-
ment of Systemics and
   The cooperative agree-
ment with the school came
after the Water Quality
Planning Branch of the
Water  Division and the
R&D staff of the Regional
Office recommended ap-
proval  by the EPA Corvallis
Laboratory and R&D
Fuel Violations
EPJM|cently filed an
ad^JIstrative complaint
against the Yellow Cab
Company of St. Joseph,
Mo., for using leaded gaso-
line in company vehicles
which are required to use
unleaded fuel and for other
violations of the Federal
Clean Air Act's fuel regu-
lations. A penalty of
$58,100 is being sought
by EPA.
   The complaint alleges
that leaded gasoline was
repeatedly introduced into
seven of the firm's vehicles
and thatthe gasoline pump-
ing facility operated by
the taxi fleet had an
unleaded gas nozzle on a
leaded gas pump. The
company is also charged
with failing to post re-
quired labels and warning

Aquatic Study
Region 7 has announced
that the University of Kan-
sas uApceive $201,593
for a^^iy on the effects
of agricultural herbicides
on the aquatic food chain.
Grant Awarded
South Dakota's Oglala-
Sioux Tribe will take an
important step toward
establishing a complete air
pollution control program
including air quality monii-
toring and emission con-
trol on its reservation
with the help of an $83,155
grant from EPA Region 8.
   The money will help the
tribe monitor air quality
on the 2.7 million acre
reservation. Information
on particulates, meteoro-
logical influences on air
pollution and visibility
problems caused by air
pollution will be collected
for analysis. Also, the tribe
will evaluate its scope of
legislative authority to
regulate air pollution on
the reservation.

Alleged Violations
Colorado Chemical Spe-
cialties Inc., of Golden,
Colo., which was partially
destroyed by fire recently,
faces a possible fine of
$20,000 by EPA for al-
leged violations  of Federal
hazardous waste control
regulations found during
routine EPA inspections in
February 1981.
   In an administrative
action filed by EPA, the
company was cited on four
counts. They include: fail-
ure to have an adequate
fire control system for the
chemical wastes on the
site, failure to have a con-
tingency plan for respond-
ing to emergencies
involving hazardous wastes
at the plant, failure to mark
accumulation dates on
150-pius drums of hazard-
ous waste stored at the
facility, and failure to
submit to EPA a permit
application required of all
hazardous waste storage
facilities. Toluene is the
specific hazardous waste
generated by the facility.
   The company was or-
dered by EPA to correct
the deficiencies immedi-
ately. Additional penalties
of up to $25,000 for each
day of continued noncom
pliance with hazardous
waste regulations may be
imposed for failure to
comply with the order.
an Advanced Erosion Con-
trol Training Course. Grad-
uates of this course will be
recogmzed by the District
as qualified preparers of
erosion control plans.
   The District has also
prepared a document en-
titled, "How to Develop
an Erosion Training and
Registration Program."
Copies can be obtained
from the District Conserva-
tionist, Santa Cruz County
RCD, P.O. Box 267,
Soquel,  Calif. 95073, Tel.
(408) 475-1303 or Thomas
Mix, EPA Project Officer,
Region 9, {415} 556-8042,
in addition to further ero-
sion control information.
Erosion Training
As a result of the 208
Grants Program, the Santa
Cruz County Resource
Conservation District, in
cooperation with the Soil
Conservation Service, has
developed a highly suc-
cessful erosion control
training program.
  The program will pro-
vide training for persons
implementing erosion con-
trol practices. The demand
for this training in Santa
Cruz County has become
so great that the course is
now being offered in the
local community college.
Training sessions have
been covered by the local
and national media and
other Resource Conserva-
tion Districts are planning
or sponsoring similar
courses modeled after the
County program. In August
1981, the  District will offer
Air Pollution
Idaho, with no funds ap-
propriated by the 1981
Legislature, has been left
completely without a State
air pollution control pro-
gram as of July 1, a situa-
tion that is forcing EPA to
assume as much as it can
of the air quality work per-
formed by 24 State em-
ployees in the Idaho
Department of Health and
   Region 10 Administrator
Donald P. Dubois has
started preparations for
EPA to assign personnel
and financial  resources to
protect and maintain air
quality in  the State. "EPA
can come nowhere near
replacing  the Idaho air
program personnel, neither
in terms of numbers nor
in their 'hands-on' familiar-
ity with industrial sources
of air pollution in the
State," Dubois declared.
   While acknowledging
that EPA's efforts will be
"minimal" compared to
work done previously by
the State, Dubois said that
careful marshalling of
available EPA resources
will enable the most criti-
cally important planning,
monitoring and compliance
actions to continue. D

States Served by EPA Regions

Region 1 (Boston)

Massachusetts N
Hampst-         siand

6T7 223 7210

Region 2 (New York
Ni-w Jcrso\ New York.


Region 3
Delaware. V .  . .
Pennsylvania, Virginia
      i-guna  Disr ,

Region 4 (Atlanta)

North Carolina. South

404881 4727

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

Regions (Dallas)
Arkansas. Louisiana.
Oklahoma rrnas Nrw
214 767 2600

Region 7 (Kansas
Iowa. Kansas.  Missouri.
816 374 5493

Region 8 (Denver)
Colorado. Utah
Wyoming Montaiut
North Dakota  Soulli
303 837 3895

Region 9 (San
41'.. r.
      i :>320
Region 10 (Seattle!
Alaska. Idaho Oi f;ji in
Wasbn' '
206442 1220
    JUNE  1981

Hazardous Waste and
U.S. Export Policy
national Activities, A-106) four weeks prior
to the initial shipment each year of a given
hazardous waste to a given foreign con-
signee. Additionally, the U.S. generator
must obtain written acknowledgment from
the foreign consignee of receipt of ship-
ment. The notification to EPA must include
the name and address of the waste genera-
tor; the name and address of the foreign
consignee; the EPA waste classification
number; and the Department of Transpor-
tation number and shipping description,
which indicate the characteristics of a
given hazardous waste.
  Upon receipt of this,  EPA's Office of
International Activities, through the State
Department, notifies appropriate officials
in the country receiving the hazardous
wnste shipment. During the four weeks prior
to shipment, the receiving country has the
opportunity to review the information and
request additional details concerning the
waste. The notification helps a country to
evaluate any hazardous waste entering its
jurisdiction and to determine if any action
should be taken. The U.S. government does
not requ'ire any response to its notice from
the foreign government, and the exporter
may proceed  with the shipment at the end
of four weeks if it does  not hear from EPA.

No PCS Exports

  Although RCRA is the principal U.S. law
governing hazardous wastes, the Toxic
Substances Control Act (TSCA) also con-
tains limited authority to regulate the
export of chemicals and chemical wastes
which are regulated domestically under
TSCA if EPA  finds the export will present
an unreasonable risk of injury to the health
or the environment within the United
States. It is under TSCA that wastes
contaminated with polychlorinated biphe-
nyls (PCB's)  or TCDD (dioxin) arecon-
trolled for export. Under present regula-
tions, PCB's may not be exported for dis-
posal unless the U.S. and the other country
have entered  into a Memorandum of Under-
standing which establishes mutually agreed-
upon criteria  for their storage, transports
tion and disposal. At the present time there
are no such Memoranda between the U.S.
and any other nation, and exports and
imports of PCB wastes are banned. For
wastes containing TCDD, EPA requires a
60-day advance notice of shipment, and
exports are dealt with on a case-by-case
   The hazardous waste export notification
procedures and export policy are part of a
larger U.S. concern about exports of
domestically regulated substances in gen-
eral. Several laws which are administered
by EPA, the Food and Drug Administration
and the Consumer Product Safety Commis-
sion require some type of notification and
consultation procedures for exports of
certain hazardous products, pesticides and
other chemical substances. A 21/2 year
study by an interagency working group led
to an Executive Order signed by  President
Carter in January 1981 implementing a
hazardous substances export policy. How-
ever, the Order was rescinded by President
Reagan in  February 1981 as part of an
effort to simplify regulatory procedures.
President Reagan has directed the Depart-
ments of State and Commerce to work with
relevant agencies to consider alternatives
which would be less costly and less admin-
istratively burdensome.
   In addition to the United States, many
other countries recognize the need for ade-
quate hazardous waste treatment and dis-
posal. Th'is concern is reflected in several
hazardous waste projects in international
   Since 1973, NATO's Committee on the
Challenges of Modern Society has con-
ducted a major pilot study on hazardous
waste disposal. This Committee of 1 5
member nations  of NATO has compiled
up-to-date reports in six areas, including
chemical,  physical and biological waste
treatment and landfill practices.  Work is
continuing on the development of addi-
tional techniques for the treatment and
disposal of hazardous wastes.
   The Organization for Economic Coop-
eration and Development is made up of 24
industrialized nations working together on
matters relevant to economic, environmen-
tal and social policy. One major  project
deals with the control of hazardous wastes
emphasizing studies on the transportation
of waste across frontiers, costs of industry
for treatment or disposal, and the assur-
ance of safe operations for storage, trans-
port and disposal.
   In April 1980, the Governing Council
of the United Nations Environment Pro-
gram passed a resolution calling on mem-
ber governments to exchange information
on hazardous waste disposal and to
develop notification procedures and
controls for international transfers of such
wastes. In cooperation with the World
Health Organization, it now is drafting
guidelines on hazardous waste which will
be presented to member countries.
   In addition to participation in inter-
national organizations, the U.S. has
several  bilateral activities with other C
tries on hazardous waste and resource
recovery. Under the U.S.-Japan Environ-
mental Agreement, American and Japa-
nese scientists are cooperating on projects
in solid waste management and EPA is
working with the Federal Republic of
Germany's  Ministry of Interior and re-
search universities on exchanging
advanced technologies for safe hazardous
waste disposal and resource  recovery.
  With the increasing interdependence of
countries and the growing volume of haz-
ardous waste being produced all over the
world, the need to find improved methods
for its safe treatment or disposal becomes
more and-more urgent. The U.S. and the
international community share a respon-
sibility to protect health and environment
through continued cooperation on all
aspects of safe hazardous waste treatment
and disposal. D

Wendy Grieder is a Policy Specialist in
EPA 's Office of International Activities.
Back cover: Explosion of chemical wastes
at a site in Elizabeth, N.J. last year.

nical background to a top ad-
ministrative position." Dr.
Hernandez holds graduate de-
grees in sanitary engineering,
environmental engineering, and
water resources, and has had
extensive experience in these
   Gorsuch also paid tribute to
Walter C. Barber, Jr., who
served earlier this year as Act-
ing Administrator. Presenting
him with the EPA Special
Achievement Award, she said
of Barber: "His understanding,
tact, patience, and tireless
efforts to launch a new team at
EPA a re much appreciated."
   Turning to the future, the
new Administrator declared:
   "The Environmental Prote.c-
tion Agency of the 1980's will
hopefully evolve into a changed
but more efficient and thrifty
organization than its predeces-
sor of the last decade. But pro-
tecting the health and surround-
ings of our citizens will remain
unchanged. The budget
increases of the 1970's
have turned  into the necessary
cutbacks of the 1 980's as EPA
is asked to share in the battle to
fight inflation and enhance eco-
nomic recovery. But just  as
President Reagan has asked us
to run a tighter ship, it is  the
job of every crew member
aboard EPA not to lose sight of
what it means to be a public
servant. We must become more
sensitive to the special needs
of small business and smaller
communities on whom the fiscal
burden of regulation has  fallen
especially hard. It will become
increasingly urgent to cut down
on response time to public in-
quiries and to process permits
with greater  efficiency. It  is also
vital that EPA shed the image of
inflexible regulators and  actu-
ally findwaysto ease thepaper-
work and the reporting burden
of businesses and communities.
   "President Reagan has made
it clear that EPA will be at cen-
ter stage in his ongoing regula-
tory reform process, and  I am
excited that this Agency has
been chosen to lead the way in
making government more re-
sponsive to its citizens."
  Gorsuch, who was sworn in
as Administrator May 20, had
a persona! message for her
  "Within the framework of the
initiative I have just men-
tioned, " she said, "there are
three goals which I hope will be
adopted by each EPA employee.
First, each worker should strive
for improved individual initia-
tive and personal productivity,
creating a more  efficient Agency
even with scaled-down budgets.
Second, EPA staff must avoid
the adversary role when dealing
with the public and other Fed-
eral, Stateand local agencies.
Third, EPA employees must
remind themselves each day
that they are public servants,
paid every two weeks by the
American people to serve the
  "As the U .S. Senate confirms
our nominees for Assistant
Administrators, employees in
each division will receive more
details on the policies of the
new Administration and how
that relates to the work of each
individual. Dr. Hernandez and I
are moving quickly to fill  key
management slots in Washing-
ton and in the Regional offices
so we can get on with the busi-
ness at hand. However, the real
key to improving or changing
any organization for the better
is the attitude of the people who
show up for work every day.
Without the  dedication of our
career employees, in reality.
tittle can change. And although
weare asked to  work in a physi-
cal plant that most of us con-
sider a mess, I am impressed
with the people who work here,
with the talent of our scientists,
researchers, managers, lawyers,
and communicators. The mess
that besets most government
agencies has not totally escaped
EPA, and a bit of house-clean-
ing should be in order. But I am
convinced that within our or-
ganization lies the creative
potential to turn this situation
around and make EPA even
more responsive to its mandate
and the citizens it serves."
   The Administrator said that
President Reagan "has created
the opportunity for EPA and the
rest of our government to par-
ticipate in the New Beginning
which the American people
demanded last November.
   "The President has assured
me personally that EPA will be
a  'keystone' as the Administra-
tion moves forward with its
national goals of economic re-
covery, new Federalism, and
protection of our environment.
Certainly we must take our
share of the budget cuts and
serve within the framework of
efficient austerity. But the
President has asked EPA to take
much less of a reduction than
many agencies. This under-
scores President Reagan's per-
sonal commitment to the mis-
sion of this Agency, which
continues to be the enhance-
ment of our environment."
   Calling EPA "an  important
and strong organization,"
Gorsuch said: "In fact, this
country needs the Environmen-
tal Protection Agency.
   "Ronald Reagan believes this,
Anne Gorsuch is committed to
this and would enlist EPA
workers in Washington and in
every Region in attaining our
goals. What I ask is that we
work with each other to make
this a result-oriented operation,
and thus confirm the confidence
that President Reagan places in
all of us.
   "I am aware that within EPA
lies the knowledge, skill and
management talent to turn the
corner on the problems that face
all agencies. But the road to
success begins at the desk of
each EPA employee each work-
ing day. Dr. Hernandez and I
encourage your participation
and enlist your creative dedica-
tion and hard work on behalf of
our new EPA team, our new
Administration and for the
American environment we are
all sworn to protect." n

umtea states
Environmental Protection
Washington 0 C 20460
r usioye di'u
Fees Paid
EPA 335
Official Business
Penally for Private Use 5300
              Third Class
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