« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
without serious attention to the possible side effects of our activities on the environment. Today, it is apparent that we can no longer with impunity discharge wastes indiscriminately to the environment. It is apparent today that we must use our science and technology to control the byproduct problems of our industrialized society, as well as to produce the goods and services we all increasingly enjoy. And it is apparent that we are going to have to run very hard in the immediate years ahead just to keep pace with the problem. We must greatly expand our application of technology to the sources of pollution, and we must accelerate our efforts to further develop that technology. I am convinced, Mr. Chairman, that the attention focused on these needs by this committee will make a substantial contribution to our progress toward the control of environmental pollution.
Mr. MosHER. Mr. Stern, just a question concerning the Department's research activities.
Page 14 of Secretary Cohen's prepared testimony has to do with motor vehicle pollution, and he says there, “but even the most effective technology we can envision will not be adequate.” Is your Department funding research, either in-house or independently, which you might refer to as “far out”—that is, technology which, even though you can't envision it today, may become a reality tomorrow? Are you using some of your research funds independent of the automotive industry, looking for "breakthroughs” that will make this statement of Secretary Cohen no longer true?
Mr. STERN. In our research plans for this fiscal year, we have allocated approximately a hundred thousand dollars for studies in the socalled far-out area that you are talking about—the electric batterytype automobile, the fuel cell-type automobile. We recognize that this is such a small sum that it can do no more than accumulate the necessary information on which to base a much more substantial program that can be recommended at a later time.
Mr. Mosher. You are hoping, though, to put some people with creative capacity to work on this?
Mr. STERN. Yes; we already have some people who are quite conversant with the field, have made a number of visits to places that are working in this technology and assembled a large amount of data, so that we are in a position at this time to get an appreciation of the nature of the work that has to be done in order to even start on investigations in this far-out technology.
Mr. MOSHER. For example, I heard the other day about claims by a Professor Melman, of Columbia, concerning ideas that he has for reverting to steampower but using combustion from fossil fuels in a way that would not pollute the atmosphere. Does this committee have assurance that you folks are considering ideas like that even though they may sound impractical? Are you working on that sort of idea?
Nr. STERN. We have no reservations on new ideas. We are prepared to encompass any and all ideas in this far-out technology because we recognize that when you are looking this far in the future, you can't draw a diagram as to just what the vehicle is going to look like. You have to accept ideas which include the use of steam, the use of bat
teries, the use of fuel cells or, as I believe Professor Melman has also indicated, a vehicle that stores up energy in a rotating flywheel, and which occasionally stops at a place where an electric motor can resupply energy to the flywheel. All of these ideas are grist for the mill.
Mr. MOSHER. That is all.
Mr. Ryan. Mr. Chairman, I was concerned about a statement on page 12 of the Secretary's statement. He stated that the first goal is a 25-percent reduction in air pollution from industrial and municipal sources by 1975. My question is, could we get a greater reduction if we spent more money? And, if not, why not?
Mr. STERN. 1975 is quite close in terms of the time it takes to rebuild any substantial part of our industrial establishment. Since we are talking here not essentially of new construction but things that have to be done to plants which exist at present, I think it would be a tremendous achievement if we even made this goal.
Mr. MacKENZIE. May I comment on this further, sir.
Mr. MACKENZIE. I think one of the impediments to making more rapid progress than has been indicated in Mr. Cohen's statement relates to the existence and scope of activity of State and local government regulatory control activities. I would like to point out to the committee that not more than half of the urban areas which are in need of regulatory control programs for air pollution control now have them, and of these the majority of them are operated at an inadequate level to do the kind of job that you are inferring might be looked for.
On the State government level, it was only about 14 years ago, in 1952, that the first State set up a State air pollution control law and started operating a significant air pollution control program.
In the intervening period we now have about half the States that have significant laws on the books. But, only a handful of these are operating programs that are at an effective level. So that I think what is lacking as related to this goal is not so much the technology as it is the development of the control programs on the State and local levels of government that would effectively see that the available technology is employed.
Mr. DADDARIO. If that were to be done, what effect would it have on the percentage figures Mr. Ryan referred to?
Mr. MacKENZIE. Well, of course, in any of these, as was indicated by Mr. Cohen, necessarily there is a time schedule that is involved in effecting a rollback of pollutant emissions.
As an example, many of the major steel manufacturing centers in the country in the past several years have been confronted with the problem of controlling pollution from steel manufacture, and in the main this has required looking at the feasible design and construction periods that could be incorporated in the scheduling in order to effect the necessary improvements. In the majority of these centers this has led to agreed-upon schedules that would reduce the pollution from this source, which I am using solely as an example, over a period which varied from 7 to 10 years generally.
Now, this is significant progress but I think it needs to be pointed out that there isn't any valve that you can shut off that would stop the pollution. In the main it takes a significant time period to actually accomplish some degree of improvement. As a further example, in the field of pollution from automotive vehicles, we have issued standards that are obligatory on the manufacturing industry beginning with the 1968 model year. Now, with something over 80 million vehicles already on the road, the incorporation of controls on the 9 or 10 million vehicles that will come out in any one year is not going to result in a rapid change in the pollution emission picture from automobiles.
This will be a gradual change for the better and is reflected in the percentage improvement figures that were cited by Secretary Cohen. These factors, sir, limit what we think can be accomplished reasonably, We are hopeful that these actions can actually be accomplished, and if they come about, then I think we will be well on the road to significant improvement. I want to be not only hopeful about what we can do, but also realistic about what it is possible to accomplish.
Mr. Ryan. Well, if the political institutions were more advanced, I take it that technology could go ahead and develop the means to reduce air pollution by more than 25 percent in the next 10 years.
Mr. MACKENZIE. Yes, I think the limitation on our improvement is more of a political and social nature as of now, certainly with respect to pollution from stationary sources, than it is technological with some important reservations. The sulfur pollution problem is one in which there is a real basic need for improvement in technology.
Mr. MOSHER. Another major element certainly is the private investment that would be required. You are talking about steel plants. Isn't the capital investment
Mr. MacKENZIE. Capital investment is relatively high but in terms of percentage of the total investment in the manufacturing plant, it is not great.
Mr. DADDARIO. Mr. Ryan?
Mr. Ryan. I would like to bring out one other point on this question of political institutions. It refers to the matter of air sheds and regional control. How much thinking has been done in terms of developing this on a nationwide grid pattern or something of that nature ?
Mr. MACKENZIE. We have been endeavoring to sell this concept sir. In the Clean Air Act there is provision for additional financial incentive by grants for program development to State and local agencies when the regional concept is incorporated in the applicant's plans.
In this way, for example, on a program improvement project, the grant, instead of providing $2 of Federal money as is usual for most projects, would be increased by 50 percent for a regional project to make it $3 for each matching dollar by the applicant.
In spite of this, I frankly am personally disappointed at the extent to rhich this financial incentive has resulted in regional programs. I don't think it has been as effective as I had hoped that it might be.
Mr. Ryan. There you are leaving the initiative to the local governments and the regions. Has your Department or any agency of government given any thought to developing a national air shed grid so to speak, which would then be something that you could present to the Congress?
Mr. MacKENZIE. We have currently been operating on the directive that is included in the Clean Air Act that the primary responsibility for control of air pollution rests with the States and local governments. We think we need to give this a fair trial. If it does not result in the improvement that we think is desirable, we will come back and report so to the Congress and hope that the policy will then be changed.
Mr. VIVIAN. Will the gentleman yield a minute. I can appreciate his concern because I remember driving to his district, and by the time I got through the Holland Tunnel I was incapable of smelling anything
Mr. Ryan. How much time do you intend to give the local communities and governments before you come forward with something that is a more nationally oriented plan?
Mr. MacKENZIE. Well, I wouldn't like to set down a definite time scale for this, Mr. Ryan, at this point. Under the terms of the Clean Air Act, however, in certain regional areas which are interstate in character, we are making studies for the purpose of determining whether or not more direct Federal action may be called for.
With respect to the New York City metropolitan area we have already initiated a Federal abatement action involving pollution which flows either way across the State line from New York to New Jersey or vice versa from New Jersey to New York.
We expect to hold the first formal conference in connection with this abatement action a little later this fall.
Mr. DADDARIO. So the techniques are developing in this direction?
Mr. Brown. Mr. Chairman, could I explore a slightly different aspect of this? Perhaps this was touched on by Secretary Cohen, but is there any scientific discipline which is primarily concerned with the development or the progress in the field of waste management or pollution control which could be assisted in the same fashion that we provide assistance to other scientific disciplines? Is there a developing discipline in this single area? I recognize the fact that many disciplines contribute to it but is there something more specific that could be encouraged ?
Mr. STERN. There is support provided by the Public Health Service both in the specific area of training for air pollution and in the more general area of environmental health which includes not only air but also aspects of land and water. Support is thus being provided both at the level which looks at all of these disciplines as a unit, and at the separate discipline.
In the particular area of air pollution we are supporting university training this year at 20 universities and in the coming fiscal year we expect to expand this to 38. This year we are supporting as either fellows, or by stipends from the university training grants, 159 fellows at university level air pollution training and this will be expanded this fiscal year to 268.
And, at our own training facilities in Cincinnati, where we have short-term training courses this past year we have trained about a
thousand people in 1- and 2-week training courses and we will expand this by 50 percent this year.
Mr. Brown. Well, I would like a little more information on this. I know that in California we have the State government enter into certain contracts to make use of aerospace technology, the so-called systems engineering groups. One of these was a waste management contract. It went to a company which had no prior experience in waste management per se, but was loaded with systems engineers. So, I presume they brought in the specialists that they needed and at tempted to construct in the brief study that they made, some sort of approach based upon their particular expertise. But, there's a very real problem in developing a specific scientific skill directly related to this. I know when Los Angeles County set up their air pollution control district, they brought in chemists, civil engineers, all sorts of people that they thought would have a background related to this, but none of them really had experience in the total problem of how you control air pollution in the sense that you have been talking about it here.
I think we need to encourage this sort of approach, and if necessary we need to look backward. It just occurred to me while you were talking, that in this country we have had some examples of very skillful waste management in very prosaic ways. For example, the Dutch farmers in Pennsylvania used to and probably still do, carry on a very fine type of agriculture based upon the fact that they don't waste anything. They compost the manure, they do everything necessary to build a closed loop out of their agricultural operation. And, we need this sort of an approach to our whole scientific technology or industrial technology today. I'm just wondering if we are making any approaches in this direction or if we need to encourage further approaches to additional training drafts and things of that sort.
Mr. STERN. This is the sort of approach that is being encouraged in these environmental health type of training grants which are being made to universities where the students are being given course work and do their research in an interdisciplinary area that unites and relates all of these problems, one to the other.
Mr. DADDARIO. Mr. Roush?
Mr. Roush. Mr. Chairman, although you indicated that the committee would be getting this I want to restate my own feeling that we should know the answer to several questions, pertaining particularly to specific information. For instance, we should know how much money is being spent by HEW to whom it is being allotted, how many people are involved, the nature of their skills, where the research is being done, a description of the work which is being done by HEW, by other Government agencies who are being financed with HEW funds, and by private institutions and nonprofit institutions carrying on work with HEW funds. Then, Mr. Chairman, I had a more specific question. I'm wondering how you bring together the information which is obtained by the various research projects being financed by HEW and various other governmental agencies. Is your office the clearinghouse for the bringing together of such information? (Information requested is contained in vol. II, under section for HEW.)
Mr. STERN. We have within our organization an Air Pollution Technical Information Center. This is the first of the governmental