Em Tunes NEWS FOR AND ABOUT EPA EMPLOYEES INSIDE: ~ FWP Boss Sought ~ Distinguished Scientists ~ The Scarlet Oak VOLUME 2 NUMBER 15 July 1985 What Are We Doing Here? Do you get pulled aside at parties to prescribe pesticides for crabgrass? Do your neighbors complain about the lousy air and ask what you're going to do about it? Are you held personally responsible for the local hazardous waste site? Congratulations! Somehow you must have managed to convey the scope and diversity of EPA's responsibilities. Nevertheless, an unofficial survey by The EPA Times found that many people cherish the following outrageous misconceptions about EPA and its employees: • They're officious tree huggers, easily identified by their L.L. Bean outerwear and heavy-duty backpacks. They live in caves and eschew modern plumbing. • They're legal barracudas, closing in for the death blow to American industry. In addition to regulating business out of existence, their main professional duty is to compete for the least intelligible prose, with the winners getting their work published in the Federal Register. • They're from another galaxy. Who else would spend so much time wading through kepone muck and shuttling among toxic dumps? Besides, no one has seen these people out of their moon suits in five years. •There is no EPA. There are only official spokespersons. When pressed, their job is to say convincingly "The Agency is in the process of developing a coordinated strategy to address this issue." Now for a little reality. EPA has more than 14,000 employees in over 200 job categories. And, contrary to one former administrator's belief, there's not an official tree hugger among them. So what kind of people does EPA employ? You would expect EPA to use the services of biologists, economists, chemists, physicists, and statisticians. /oe Gormley. a sanitary engineer with the Office of Municipal Pollution Control, is a member of our most populous job classification. Hut most members are called environmental engineers, a title that Gormley says is "sexier." Some employees like getting dressed up nice for the office, but George Prince and Royal Nadeau find face masks and parkas more appropriate for frozen ponds. The men are collecting samples as part of their varied duties on EPA's Environmental Response Team. And it does. But most of all, it uses sanitary engineers, 1746 of them. As of May 25, 1985, almost 40 percent of the Agency's employees fell into just four job categories: sanitary engineers: secretaries (1195); environmental protection specialists (1189); and physical scientists (1116). Those are the most populous jobs. (Note that, strangely enough, lawyers are not included; the Agency is left to fend with only 500 of them.) At the other end of the scale are the 39 lonely occupations that have only one employee each. Due to the unfathomable vagaries of the civil service classification system, EPA has. for example, only one official patent attorney, one lone industrial engineer, and one soil conservationist. And then there are the jobs you might never expect here, such as barge operator, psychologist. language specialist, and mediator. But the jobs our investigators voted "most unexpected" are held by six employees at RTP. They are cryptographic equipment operators, and they probably hold the only top secret security clearances you are likely to find in an environmental agency. They staff EPA's emergency preparedness communications system, and they're on duty 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Of course, most of us at EPA aren't on call like that. But in one way or another, it's our job to prepare for or prevent emergencies. From administering the Agency to maintaining the equipment, from typing reports to developing regulations— we're all in the same line of work. And if anyone asks what we really do here, just say we're in the protection business. ~ ------- People Region 10 employee Pamela Wright has received an Employee-of-the-Year award from the Seattle Federal Executive Board. A total of eight winners were selected from among the 19,000 Federal workers in the Puget Sound area. Wright received her award for work with non-community public water systems in Oregon. Walter Schuk, an engineering technician with EPA in Cincinnati, was named Federal Employee of the Year in the technician/assistant/aid category. Schuk, of Batavia, won for his accomplishments in instrumentation and for the technical assistance he has given many cities and municipalities. The award was given by the Federal Business Association and the Greater Cincinnati Federal Executive Board. The National Parks & Conservation Association has chosen Joyce Kelly, former Division Chief for Recreation, Cultural, and Wilderness Resources for the Bureau of Land Management, as the Mid-Atlantic Regional winner of the coveted Stephen T. Mather Award. Kelly, now with EPA's Drinking Water Program, received this award which recognizes public employees who have risked their careers for the preservation of America's environmental integrity. The Administrator has nominated Carolyn June, a secretary with the Office of Research and Development, for the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues' Fifth Annual Congressional Secretarial Fellowship. Retiree: Agnes Olsen, 30 years, Region 6. Quality Step Increases awarded to Michael Walker. Enforcement and Compliance Monitoring . . . Barbara Moore, John Walker, and Carol Parker. Pesticides and Toxic Substances. Special Act Awards presented to: Nelson Hallman and Pamela Weems, Administration and Resources Management . . . Victoria Edmunds and Dana Knudser. Research and Development . . . Laura Cross and Margaret Benson, Pesticides and Toxic Substances . . . John Jaksch, Policy, Planning and Evaluation . . . Janett Leno, Air and Radiation . . . Betty West, Water . . . Jim Marks, Janemarie Newton, and Amelia Libertz. Region 3. Sustained Superior Performance Awards to: Gloria Osman and Eric Peterson, Policy, Planning and Evaluation . . . Janis Jeffers, Water. Bronze Medals for commendable service awarded to: Allan Richardson, Stanley Lichtman. John Russell, Eleanor Jones, William Ellett, Christopher Nelson, Neal Nelson, and Byron Bunger, Air and Radiation. The EPA running team of John Moore, Gareth Pearson, Bob Snelling, Jim McNamara, and Don Betowski won third place in the seventh annual Las Vegas Track Club Marathon Relay on March 30. Their combined time of 3:03:33 was only 9 seconds slower than the winning time. All five men are EPA employees at the Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory, Las Vegas. ~ Training Opportunities The following courses will be held in the Headquarters Training Center. For further information contact the Progream Assessment and Support Branch at 382-2997. Introduction to Quantitative Decision Analysis. August 7-9. Writing Skills for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants. August 21-22. Congressional Briefing Conference for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants. September 9 and 10. ~ Secretaries Day 1985 observances in Region 2 included uuurds to Angela Hernandez (lull), secretary of Ihe year; Laura Cosenfino (center), Stay-in-School Program student of the year: and Rosetta Picca fright) clerk-typist of Ihe year. Around EPA Region 6 receives a plaque recognizing highest participation in the Agency's 1985 Savings Bonds campaign. Congratulations to Joe Swick. Rosemary Henderson, campaign coordinators, and John Floeter, Assistant Regional Administrator for Management. Nine top scientists selected as participants in EPA's Distinguished Visiting Scientist Program. The 1985 selections were made from a field of 70 candidates from five different countries. They will conduct research in the Agency laboratories. The winners are: Dr. Ananda Chakrabarty, University of Illinois: Dr. Peter Chapman, University of Minnesota; Dr. John Emlen, Oregon State University: Dr. Robert Floyd, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation: Dr. John Goldsmith, Ben Gurion University (Israel): Dr. Abraham Hsie, Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Dr. Goran Lofroth, Nordic School of Public Health (Sweden); Dr. Anil Nerode, Cornell University; and Dr. Ronald Olsen. University of Michigan. Ten summer fellowships are awarded through a cooperative agreement with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The ten fellows were selected from 200 applicants after a written and oral competition. Each awardee will receive a weekly stipend and an $800 relocation allowance. Eight of the Fellows will work with policy and regulatory officials in EPA program offices; while the other two will work in EPA laboratories. The 1985 winners are: Dr. Appiah Amirtharajah, Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Patricia Bradt, Lehigh University; Dr. Margaret Carter, West Chester University; Dr. Jerzy Filar, Johns Hopkins University; Dr. William McTernan, University of Wyoming; Dr. Lisa Nowell, University of California-Davis; Dr. Deborah Ross, Proctor and Gamble Company; Dr. Terry Shehata, State Toxicologist-Maine; Dr. Aarne Vesiland, Duke University; and Dr. Marylynn Yates, University of Arizona. Howard Messner, EPA's Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resources Management, has been selecte^^ as the first Vice Chairman of the President's Council on Management Improvement. In that capacity, he will be working directly to provide much of the planning, guidance, and coordination of the President's Management Improvement efforts. ~ ------- Agency Activities Conferences, Etc. EPA's Chief Judicial Officer holds that the agency cannot hazardous waste law enforcement action when a state a^Rorized by EPA to run its own hazardous waste program already has taken reasonable and appropriate action. This decision will reassure the states that EPA will lully support their actions to enforce compliance with hazardous waste rules But it also makes clear that EPA can act if state enforcement is inadequate. Ford Motor Company recalls approximately 119,000 1981 model year passenger cars to assure that the vehicles will meet federal exhaust standards lor hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. The affected 1981 model year cars are Ford Mustang. Grenada. Fairmont, and Tluiuderbird models and Mercury Capri. Zephyr. Cougar, and XR-7 models equipped with 4.2-liter or 5.0-hter eight-cylinder engines. California vehicles are not included in the recall. The repair will consist of replacement of the carburetor choke pulldown motor. EPA, the State of Indiana, the Countv of Monroe. Indiana, and the City of Bloomington. Indiana, reached a hazardous waste settlement with VVestmghouse Electric Corporation to clean up contamination from polvchlorinated biphenyls at six sites in the Bloomington area. EPA estimates the settlement is worth between S75 million and$100 million. EPA proposes a civil penalty ot S650.000 against the Imperial Petroleum Corporation of Seattle for improperly blending alcohols with unleaded gasoline. EPA sent Imperial, a distributor of gasoline in the Seattle area, a notice of violation, which cites the company for violations of the Clean Air Act fuel regulations for manulacturing an illegal unleaded gasoline blend from December 1983 through September 1984. •\ grand jury hands down a criminal indictment against the (iei of a Califoiilia-based automobile Import and emission testing facility which had submitted false emission test results on imported cars to EPA. The U.S. Attornev's office in l.ns Angeles is filing 35 felony charges a<;amsl Albert M;irdil'ian. owner of Trend Import Sales and Albert Mardikian Engineering in Orange County. California. EPA announces a national strategy to reduce the rusks from toxic air pollutants. The strategy specifically calls lor expanding the focus of the national air toxics control program from solely regulating individual pollutants to also regulating multiple pollutants from different source categories. EPA awards $45 million in grants and loans to the nation's most needy schools to help abate asbestos hazards. A total of 341 schools were selected from 4800 applicants to get federal funds under the Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Act ot 1984 (ASHAA). To help all schools. EPA is also pursuing a variety of federal assistance measures under a new group called the Asbestos Action Program, including helping states set up contractor certification programs, establishing training centers, and expanding and updating guidance and technical assistance. ~ Available Information Selections fro in k'PA Library holdings iWticli nxiv be <> I ^onern/ infiwcsl. A Bib/iogrnphv of Documents Issued hv the GAU on Mailers Related to A OP'. JK468.A8 1984 ^^pmpendium of GAU's Views on the Cusl Savings Proposals ipffie Grace Commission: Report Io the Chairman. Senate Committee on Governmental Allans Hv the Coinjilrol lei General of the United Stales. JK 42 l. A (Hi. 1985. Energy Productivily: Kev hi Knvironmenluf Protection li'conomic Progress. I IC79 VV(>7 no 1)3. 1985. Pollution Research and I he Research Coancds TDI78.7 G7 157. 1977 ~ The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) will hold its Sixth Annual Meeting November 10-13. 1985. in St Louis. Missouri. This year's theme is "New Perspectives in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry." For more information, contact the SETAC Office. P.O. Box 4352. Rockville. Maryland 20850 Telephone: 301-468-6704. The National Water Well Association and the International Ground-Water Modeling Center. Holcomb Research Institute, will present "Practical Applications of Ground-Water Models—a Conference and Exposition." This 2-day conference will be held August 19-20. 1985 at the Fawcett Center for Tomorrow. Columbus. Ohio. For more information, contact Lisa Ammerman, 500 W. Wilson Bridge Rd., Worthington, Ohio 43085. Telephone 614-846-9355. The Acid Rain Information Clearinghouse (ARIC) will sponsor a conference "Liming Acidic Waters: Environmental and Policy Concerns" October 30 and 31 at the Hilton Hotel. Albany. New York. For more information, contact ARIC. 33 S. Washington Street, Rochester, New York 14608 Telephone 716-546-3796 ~ Letters . . ci mucins for Agency ompkneus to conimmnccite Io oilier employees ivhcilovor messages of criticism, praise opinion, or explanation thc\ :io desire Ihvvitv and i;oni;tnicthi> suggestions cue encouraged obscenity and rudeness cue dn.nl/oivod Lulluru iidl be published iiy space allow:: and nine be edited for clarity und conciseness No attempt is made bi the editor to t'on/irm cmy data prusunted bv conespondents and tlw opinions e\pi\:;ised should not bo Icikun to represent Agency pouilioiui. unit::;:; ai^ncd by llu' hocid of thu appropriate office All letters must be ji^iu:d and ckVumpiiiik.d by submitter's office foccilion and telephone number Dear Editor. The article "New Dollars for New Ideas" (The EPA Times May 1985) is both encouraging and discouraging. It is encouraging because the fresh attention being paid the suggestion program may turn it into a better program. It is discouraging because it reminds me of the many problems we have had at RTP. This is not the place to list the local problems, but let me compare one local experience with the article's example ot the approved suggestion that we use word processing software to check spelling. In June. 1983. three ot us caretully researched and submitted a suggestion to put many EPA standard forms on Lexitron diskettes. It was rejected We responded to all reasons given for the rejection, and resubmitted the suggestion. It was rejected a second time So we implemented it locally, on our own. It is our understanding that the Information Systems Division also implemented it and made it available to anyone who wants it. The system works quite well: the forms are very easy to use, and here they now are used routinelv. This suggestion, if implemented Agency-wide, would save EPA thousands of dollars. Why it would not be ap|jroved. when a suggestion to buy readily available canned software would be. is difficult to understand. John Kobson Research Triangle Park ------- Women's Program Manager Needed by Patricia Minami EPA's Federal Women's Program (FVVP). established by law to work toward equal oppportunity for women within the federal government, is seeking a new manager (FWPM) for Headquarters. This position needs to be filled as soon as possible due to the pending resignation of Dr. Penny Fenner-Crisp, who served as FWPM for over two years. The FWP extends its thanks to Penny for her dedication and hard work. The duties of the FWPM include recommending sources for recruiting qualified women, identifying opportunities and barriers to implementing the Agency's Affirmative Action Plan, and promoting both the FWP and recognition of women at EPA. This is a collateral position—the incumbent, with the supervisor's approval, officially schedules FWP duties in addition to the incumbent's normal responsibilities. Anyone interested in this position may call Cecelia Scott at 382-4563. Note: Similar positions are open for manager of EPA's Black Emphasis Program and the Hispanic Emphasis Program. For more information, call Jim Maes at 382-4569. ~ Environmental News A selection of noteworthy lines chosen from the 300-400 newspaper unci magazine articles on environmental matters which we receive every two weeks. "Mounds of fish waste grew higher and smellier on fishing piers from Gloucester to New Bedford in one of the worst garbage-disposal crises ever to plague the Massachusetts fishing industry. The wastes have been accumulating since a Gloucester processing plant shut down more than two weeks ago because of residents' complaints of noxious fish odors. Tons of inedible parts discarded from fish filleted for restaurants and homes throughout the country have piled up in coolers, bins, and trailer trucks as leaders of the industry and state environmental officials have sought ways to get rid of the problem."—Boston Globe, 5/26. "The country's first full-scale wastewater treatment plant dedicated to bringing sewage effluent up to drinking water standards is going through final shakedown operations in El Paso, Texas. Scheduled for dedication on June 7, the$26-million plant will treat and polish municipal wastewater for injection into the city's main water supply, the shrinking Hueco Bolsen aquifer. El Paso Water Utilities General Manager John Hickerson estimated the Hueco Bolsen would be 97 percent depleted by 2040 if the city pumps water at a rate of 150,000 acre-ft per year without increasing the recharge rate. Using technology developed for industrial wastewater treatment, El Paso will treat its municipal sewage with a six-step process. Operating costs for the $33-million project are$1.90 per 1,000 gallon of water, \$1.30 more than present costs."—Engineering News Uncord. 5/9. "Microscopic bugs that devour toxic chemicals may one day be used to purify contaminated underground water supplies quickly and economically. Federal environmental scientists say discovery of the bacteria could provide the first real breakthrough in cleansing huge subterranean aquifers contaminated by leaching toxic chemicals. To clean an aquifer, methane gas would be pumped into the underground water reserve along with the bugs—actually a group of bacteria known as methanotrophs. The bacteria would oxidize the methane and degrade the chemicals." Syracuse Herald-Journal, 4/8. U In celebration of the University of Georgia's 200111 anniversary, a scarlet oak ivas planted at the EPA's Environmental lieseurcll Laboratory in Athens. The tree, provided by the t.'niversiM . is one of several hundred planted at public and private locations throughout the city. Participating in the planting ceremony (from left) were Mr. lames Finger. Director a I Hegion 4's Environmental Services Division: Mrs. Haley D. Haley. Contract/Administration Specialist; and Dr. liosemarie Husso. Director of' OHD's Environmental Research Laboratory. The location ot each tree has been registered with the University with the expectation that many will be in their full maturity for the tercentenary in 2085. As part oj the 50th anniversary celebration of the soil and ivater conservation movement this past April, a special exhibit highlighted ongoing cooperative soil and water conservation efforts. Pictured above is I'eter Myers. Assistant Se< relarv for Naturul Resources and Environment. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in front of a display illustrating cooperative efforts between FA'A and USDA In controlling nonpoint source water pollution. fMvers ivas Uhiel of the Soil Conservation Service This display was developed by /im Meek of EPA's Nonpoint Sources Branch a ml lul McKay o I EPA's Audiovisual Division. The HI'A l imns is published 24 times per year to provide news and ™ information lor and about 101 'A employees. Readers are encouraged to submit news of themselves and of fellow employees, letters of opinion, questions, comments, and suggestions to: Miles Allen, editor. The Kt'A Times, Office of Public Affairs (A-107). Telephone ;)82-4:(,r>9. Information selected lor publication will be edited as necessary in keeping with space available. I! 11H' It!1 I'totc, lion Atu, -------