Sunday Forum; Air Pollution And Its Controls
Good evening and welcome to the Sunday forum. Tonight we're presenting excerpts from a recent day long seminar on air pollution and its control recorded January 7th 1973 at Stonehill College in northeastern Massachusetts. The seminar was sponsored by the Norfolk County Extension Service and the portions we'll hear included presentations by the regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. A professor of Environmental Health engineering from Harvard. A plant biologist from the University of Massachusetts experiment station in wall Pham and the chief of the standard section of the Environmental Protection Agency from Boston Christos poultice of the Norfolk County extent.
Service introduces the keynote speaker is Mr. John a s. MCGLENNON who was selected by President Richard Nixon to serve as the first administrator of the New England regional office of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. On July of 1971 as regional administrator Mr. McGlennon is charged with overseen and integrated coordinated attack by EPA on the environmental problems of air and water pollution. Solid Waste Management pesticides radiation and noise in the six New England state area in addition to his EPA duties Mr. McGlennon serves as the first presidential he designated chairman of the federal regional council of New England. Prior to entering the federal service Mr. McGlennon suffered two terms in a Massachusetts House of Representatives. He also served as special assistant to the mat for Massachusetts who dunnit Governor Donald white for six months prior to that.
As you look down the program for today you are going to cover all the critical aspects that we are now struggling with in cleaning up the nation's air. I think I've forgotten exactly what the title says as far as the program is concerned for my speech that I think it's something like the federal approach to air pollution control and I'm not going to talk about that. In such general terms as that title might presume Instead I'm going to talk about one aspect of the federal control of air pollution which I think will help to highlight how critical we feel this problem is and what the implications are going to be in the near future. In the drive to clean up our air quality we're operating the Environmental Protection Agency was formed as many of you know and in 970 by executive order and the it was an attempt by the president to bring together a whole variety of federal agencies to in a concentrated attack on the cleaning up the quality of our general environment. We're operating now under a variety of federal statutes in our our federal progressives go into the and not only air pollution control but water pushing control solid waste disposal radiation noice pesticides and solid waste. In the air pollution field we're operating under the Clean Air Act of 1970 the Clean Air Act amendments of 1970. That particular act stated that by April of 971 the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency was responsible for setting air quality standards national air quality standards for six major air pollutants. It also stated that those standards had to be met no later than July 1. I 977 that it also stated that there were certain it acknowledges that there were going to be certain metropolitan communities in the United States that could not meet the national air quality standards except by the implementing implementation of certain transportation control strategies. That merely depending on the constraints that we are currently placing on Detroit in the manufacture of automobiles and their general annual over turnover that would bring our 900 73 74 and 75 miles into play and the resulting reduction in emissions and the controls that we're placing on stationary sources all across the country now through state air implementation plans that these were not going to be enough in certain metropolitan communities. And that special transportation Atro strategies would be required. For the first time I think the Congress contemplated or at least I hope they did acknowledge that. It was going to be a requirement placed on the American people for a dramatic change in their lifestyles. For the first time we were going to seriously impact the way some of our citizens conducted their daily lives in order to improve the quality of life in this country. There is there are a lot of people that are now beginning to question whether the federal government has this this right. In my opinion this is not unprecedented and particularly here in Massachusetts. The Public Health Council prohibited the outdoor burning of leaves and trash and whatnot. Several years ago on it and they made a declaration at that time that one person did not have the right to pollute the air of his neighbor by burning trash in leaves and whatnot and I would I I I commend the citizens of this state and others for the for the compliance that has been achieved voluntarily by that under that regulation. I think we're saying the same thing in transportation control strategies that citizens no matter where they live have no right or don't have a complete right at least to drive their cars with reckless abandon in and out of metropolitan centers that are to the point where they seriously degrade the quality of the air and therefore the quality of the life of the people who live in those cities. What are transportation control strategies. They have those measures which a state and that's the critical word here at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must take to reduce automobile or automotive air pollution to the point where national air quality standards can be achieved. And what's more to the point where those standards will be maintained. The strategies must include controls for air pollution that would be produced by projected increases in population. The anticipated gross growth of motor vehicle traffic expected industrial development or the addition of any other factor that would create conditions that would violate those standards. The Environmental Protection Agency. When this was first announced began to develop what they considered would be a meaningful alternatives for state governments to consider in developing their transportation control strategies. These strategies incidentally to give you some sort of a timeframe here are being developed now. The Massachusetts strategy will probably be announced this Friday or next Monday. It will be a public hearing on the strategy. Hopefully 30 days after the announcement of the strategy and must be filed by with the regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency no later than February 15 1973 and it's obvious to you as it is to me given that time frame that they'll probably file their strategy late we're well aware of that are our reaction is that it's more important to get a good strategy than to get what on time. I would suggest to those of you who are concerned as Zion about the implications of the strategy that is being considered here in Massachusetts that you want to participate in the public hearings that will be held on this particular program. And I I want to make it clear that this is a program that is initiated by the Commonwealth and not by the federal government it is THEIR it is their responsibility to enforce the strategy. Let's look at what some of the options are that the that this state and others are considering there are twenty eight metropolitan communities in which transportation control strategies are going to have to be implemented. There's only one in New England and that is the metropolitan community of Boston. The first option is emission limitations. These are either emission limitations placed on vehicles or industrial or stationary sources or a combination of both. And secondly the imposition of federal or state emission charges these would be levied against stationary sources principally industrial sources. The closing or relocation of residential commercial or industrial facilities changes in schedules or methods of operating commercial or industrial facilities or transportation systems. Here we contemplate the staggering of of hours of employment by major employers in the metropolitan area and the possibility of a staggered work week. A four day work week conceivably And we don't contemplate a four day work week that would just consider a four week days in a block either Monday to Thursday or Tuesday to Friday. But this staggering so that the other day was somewhere anywhere in the middle so that you could find yourself. On a three day holiday from Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday conceivably we would not no longer know the weekend as we now know it. In metropolitan Boston if this option was considered. Also we consider here for instance the delivery of hard goods into the Metropolitan Community. Only for instance during the evening hours say from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. that no hard good deliveries would be allowed during the daylight time those those times would be restricted for traffic. We consider periodic inspection and testing of motor vehicle and emission control systems and in my opinion in each instance in all 28 areas this would have to be part of a transportation control strategy. We consider emission control measures applicable to in use motor vehicles including mandatory maintenance installation of emission control devices fuel conversion to gash gas fuels. Now. Here we're talking about an argument that you may have read about in the newspapers on retrofitting automobiles and the effects of retrofitting the cost whether or not we have the technological capability to put a device on a model below that would measurably reduce its emission and then the consideration is what year vehicles would have how far back in to go a nine hundred sixty six of vehicles nine thousand sixty two vehicles to require this special special retrofit device seven seven measures to reduce a motor vehicle traffic including commuter taxes Bridge Road and tunnel tolls. Gasoline rationing parking restrictions and staggered work hours and already discussed a staggered workout. And lastly the expansion or promotion of mass transportation facilities by increasing the frequency of convenience and passenger carrying capacity of mass transportation system or by providing for special bus lanes on major streets and highways and the special bus lane theory has already been put into effect in in on for instance the Southeast Expressway. Some of you may have read that. Two days ago William Rockall sass the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency went to California. I don't think he announced it in Los Angeles and I think he may have gone to San Francisco only because of the hazard to his health and announced the EPA and Environmental Protection Agency promulgated control strategy for a Los Angeles County or the counties that in which the city of Los Angeles finds.
So in this instance this is the exception rather than the rule because this was a federally promulgated transportation control strategy not the concept of the Clean Air Act but in this instance the state of California threw up their hands and said we can't do it we it is impossible to promulgated transportation intro strategy that will handle the problem in Los Angeles and therefore the Environmental Protection Agency going to have to do it. And we look at the problem and and weave it.
It became clear to us that this was going to be a very difficult task and although we were working it over we didn't come up with a transportation control strategy right away and a group of citizens sued us and the case went to court and the judge declared that we would have to announce a transportation control strategy by January 15 1973 which is precisely what we did. At the same time we expressed some reservations about its practicality and whether or not it could be enforced. On the other hand the important thing was that I think this is helped to eliminate the whole issue by the people of this country and for the Congress of the United States. The difficulty of the path on which we are about to unbar the fact that this announcement came 30 days prior to the other announcements that are going to occur in 27 other cities I think is help to draw attention to the general public to what we are about to do. B I'd like to discuss does describe what we did in the US in California and then what are some of the options that are being considered here in Massachusetts and California. We are the cornerstone of the drollest of the strategy is gasoline rationing which it is designed to reduce the vehicle miles traveled by 82 percent during the smog season which is made to October within the city. The metropolitan city of Los Angeles now you can just ponder a minute of the implications of reducing the vehicle miles traveled by 82 percent. This is not the number of cars. The only way we can measure how we are going to reduce the air emissions is the emissions per mile. And but we are considering reducing the miles traveled within the city by 80 percent. We include a vehicle inspection program. We include the retrofit of all cars a manufactured between the years nine thousand sixty six and nine hundred seventy four. That will travel you have to have a retrofit device on your vehicle in order to travel into the metropolitan area of Los Angeles the cost is difficult to estimate it's going to differ depending upon model in year but it's going to be somewhere between 200 and 400 dollars per vehicle. And we feel that the vehicles there are so few vehicles that are. Ours currently registered below the year nine thousand sixty six that is not significant. Fourthly the conversion of all fleet vehicles to natural gas and a fleet vehicle is any fleet of 10 or more cars that are leased or owned by a single owner and additional lastly additional controls on all stationary sources within the metropolitan Los Angeles area. Well this this begins to blow your mind I think if you really think of the implications of what we announced in Los Angeles and as I said I hope that this is going to going to begin a debate on this whole issue and that there will be more public attention addressed to this problem and that has been in the past. Here in Massachusetts governor Sargent has already embarked on a transportation control strategy for metropolitan Boston. And this came in his balanced transportation policy announcement of about a month ago. At that time he announced that he would not build who would not authorize the building of the Southwest expressway or I-95. We have the Environmental Protection Agency. I did suggest to the governor that the building of the Southwest expressway would be completely counterproductive to the implementation of a transportation control strategy for metropolitan Boston didn't seem to us that on one hand you could begin to reduce vehicle miles traveled within the city and on the other hand build a road that would make it more convenient for more cars to go there. He also froze the construction of parking spaces within the within the metropolitan city. He announced a one point five billion dollar plan for the extension of our rapid transit system and a 100 million dollar project in parking and traffic management projects within the 128 area in other words are providing parking facilities for people to leave their cars and get on a rapid transit facilities in order to go into the inner city. Massachusetts we have been working with Massachusetts on the Boston Transportation control strategy. We have helped finance with the Department of Transportation Studies by two corporations to determine whether they get adequate baseline data to determine just what the extent of the problem was and what the extent of the reduction in vehicle miles traveled. I would have to be it's our estimate that it's probably going to be the reduction in vehicle miles traveled for the Metropolitan Community is going to have to be somewhere between 30 and 40 percent. And these studies also gave us some idea here of the cost benefits of. The options of the options that we were considering and some of the options that are now being considered. But I want to make it clear as anybody here from the press that there had not been any final decisions made on which options will be recommended nor has there been any final determination as to which options will in fact be imposed or suggested to the Environmental Protection Agency for imposition. We won't know that until the governor gives us his message. After the public hearing and after reconsideration of considering what was stated at the public hearing and then we will consider whether or not his proposal will meet ambient air quality standards and accept or reject his plan on that basis if we reject it. Then the Environmental Protection Agency will promulgated the plan for metropolitan Boston the same way we did in Los Angeles. Some of the things that are being considered. First they are considering the effects that we would achieve by the changeover in automobiles that are being produced in Detroit that are going to be used in the metropolitan area and they are also considering the general reduction in stationary sources from.
Compliance with schedules that we have sources under now in the metropolitan area that are going to reduce emissions anyway. And then we determine beyond that what is required. Number one a continued freeze on downtown parking facilities to the extension of the M BTA or rapid transit facilities in almost all directions from from where we now know it. Now I'm sure all of you recognize that this is dependent on increases in federal funding for mass transit facilities. I conceivably the requirement to break the highway trust fund as the Congress attempted to do last year or increasing federal appropriations for mass transit facilities for states and we are and the Department Transportation working towards that in a for a special limousine service to the airport and back again via existing tunnels by requiring the retrofit of all vehicles operating within the 128 area. And there are a lot of options here. What number one the year and of the automobile How will the automobile is whether you would allow it. Automobiles that are registered within 128 just insist that those registered within 28 be retro fit or whether you would require to say that no automobile could come within 128 without being retrofitted. So in other words if you lived outside of 128 but you didn't you regularly went to Boston or if you ever wanted to go to Boston in your car you would where you would have it fit with a retrofit device. But if you didn't and you never want to go to Boston you would have to do it. But if you live within Route 128 you would have to do it whether you liked it or not. These are options that are still being debated. It considers the possibility of a vehicle charge for those vehicles that are not retrofit that are registered outside of 128. If they want to come inside you don't have to retrofit but you're going to have to pay a tariff. It considers a four day staggered work week. It considers increasing the cost of parking in downtown Boston and it considers an absolute limit conceivably on cars entering into the core area of the city. In other words we would monitor how many cars that are going we would still we would say that the standards will be violated if more than 2000 cars are operating within the car and as soon as we get to a 2000 and no more cars go in. Now there are other options to this and I was you could say that you all have a code and you know code threes and fours can go in today are one two sevens can go in and and seven attends cannot go in and you say I have a windshield identifier that would show whether you are one of those vehicles allowed in or not.
These are these are a lot of different articles that options to control mechanisms are different. Most difficult part how do I know whether you have your retrofit. How do you know whether your code 3 or Code Yellow very difficult and one is certainly one of the considerations that we have to make in.
In the in approval or disapproval plan is whether or not isn't forcible because if it isn't forcible there's no there's no sense in having it. And also what kind of additional legislation we cry Friday to implement. Clearly the success or failure of the plan is going to depend on at least two factors. One is whether or not the federal and state governments will step up to their responsibility both in passing whatever legislation would be required to implement the plan and appropriating the dollars and particularly the mass transportation area that would be cried to put our new facilities on line. And secondly and perhaps more important is the spirit of public cooperation that with which the public approaches this whole problem. It's hard to to identify what all the effects of this are going to be on I on a metropolitan area. But let me see let me see if I can I can mention some of them. Certainly one of the things is going to be that this will facilitate access in and around the city. We won't have the kinds of situations that appear daily on the Southeast Expressway. You will be we feel that people will be able to move in around their city with greater facility. It mandates changes in lifestyles of those who use the inner city. It will probably result in small increases in certain prices of certain commodities. Certainly one of the changes that's going to take place is that the skies will be cleaner and clear that the air will be more palatable in our major cities. And that that in my opinion is a major benefit. These places will become healthy enjoyable places to be which in my opinion is not necessarily the case and in many of our cities that Fallon's of people with allergies and respiratory ailments will breathe more easily and probably live longer. And then millions of dollars will be saved in doctor's bills lost in vegetation and corrosion to buildings and statuary and and whatnot. Now a lot of these issues are going to be addressed later today on August 8. The cost and benefits of air pollution control on vegetation one of these it is it is vital that we get some of these issues and facts out on the table and for those of you who who are still after you hear heard those remarks I would question the advisability of embarking on this kind of a program. You can look at some of the charts up here on the blackboard in my opinion. There is no question but what but what the. But that the path. That we are currently embarking on is in the best interests of this country and of the people that live in these large metropolitan areas that's where most of the people of this country live. They're the people that are measurably affected by the extent of their lives and the condition in which they live that are measurably affected by air pollutants in their city. And we don't have the right. To shorten their lives and we don't have the light the right to cause their lives to be less comfortable and then ours too. Who don't live in these and metropolitan areas. I would I would urge your attention to do what we are working on. I think it is that it is a dramatic time and in the in the hope process of cleaning up our environment. I hope that those of you who who are concerned in this thread will participate in the public hearing and that obviously there will be a chorus of dissent and criticism. And for those of you who think we are doing the right thing I hope that you will stand up and say so. Thank you very much and I appreciate being here this morning. Thank you of.
A okay for any questions from the floor. Just don't say you know I don't think we'll change the standards.
I think that we may have to relax the enforcement of the standards.
We had quite a long session on this yesterday and the question that the governor is raising with me is are you going to enforce your force industry to use low sulfur fuel while at the same time schools and houses going heated. And I said I didn't say this but I thought to myself That's a ridiculous question. We can't do that. Obviously if there is not enough fuel to go around the fuel should be first be used in our opinion by your schools and houses and we get along. Later on the other.
The question was if the if retrofit is required on your vehicle. I want to be borne by the cost of the individual or by the lower to be some sort of subsidy for and if the answer is in my opinion it will be cost a billboard the cost will be borne entirely by the individual.
The only option would be for the God of the state a federal government to give you a tax credit on your income tax for it and I don't anticipate either the state or federal government doing that. Yes or.
Just do you.
Yes I do I use for public transportation whenever I don't need to use my automobile. But the automobile I do use is my own and not chauffeur driven.
Yes you are.
The AS and as I read the Massachusetts plan I did not see any carpool incentives in the plan. I can't recall it being there.
There were express lanes there will be a certain lens closed on the highways for express buses and it contemplates I think that the possible use of those express lanes for vehicles for automobiles for instance that. Have for passengers that that's one option they have that I think that the plan now talks about merely using those express lanes for busses. But there is a possibility that you could give an incentive for carpooling by allowing them to use express lane and therefore getting there faster. If you had four or four passengers and those guys that just two were driving in by themselves would have to use the two other crowded lanes.
Yes or. Lies.
That is a very good question. I do not recall any any mention of the use of bicycles in the draft of Massachusetts plan although there is a group called a penalty. I participated in a panel against pollution last fall with Senator Brooke and and I think that that crowd is still operative. They're trying to get interest both in state and federal level for bike lanes for bike racks outside of public buildings and private buildings and and also baggage check facility so that you can put your bicycle in the Innes in a drawer and lock it so it won't be stolen there. But there's no contemplation that that will measurably reduce mobile emissions in the in the metropolitan Boston to the point where it will be subsidized. Why don't we make this the last question because I don't have the right to take the time with the other speakers Yes ma'am. It's. I think what you're going to see is is a shift would be economic factors not a net loss necessarily. Clearly a chauffeur's there may be some chauffeurs out of work but there aren't that many chauffeurs left. The there are going to be jobs provided through them but through the manufacture of special automobile devices through the construction industry to build mass transit facilities through the kinds of a toll taking devices that would have to be established in this sort of thing. And I think that will you'll see a shift in the way in which people are employed but not necessarily a net loss in employment there's no reason to think that anybody who employs a person in Boston or for that matter mission dices in Boston what there would be any less access to his place of business or to buying anything in Jordan Marsh or file liens. These factors have been considered and aren't they don't appear to be critical negative factors in the impositions strategy.
Our next speaker is a distinguished environmental engineer is Dr. Melvin first who has received his Bachelor of Science degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in biology and public health. His Master of Science in cemetery engineering from Harvard University Graduate School of Engineering and doctor of science and industrial hygiene Engineering at Harvard University. He has been employed in several areas of responsible positions of which some is the he was toxicologist at the industrial health Conservancy laboratories in Detroit industrial hygiene engineering and Michigan Department of Public Health as well as a research associate department of industrial hygiene at Harvard School of Public Health and at the present time is Professor of Environmental Health engineering at the Harvard School of Public Health. He's also a registered professional engineer. He has written many many technical articles and a number all while 95 of which we're just going now to introduce Dr. Mel Forrest.
My topic today as you know from your program is the source of substances in the atmosphere air pollutants. But I think before discussing air pollutants it's probably necessary to define this term in some detail. In Massachusetts and in many other political jurisdictions air pollution is defined as the presence in the air of substances put there by the acts of man in sufficient concentrations to interfere with his health safety or comfort or the full use and enjoyment of his property. This definition makes several important distinctions. First pollutants are substances placed in the air by man natural phenomena by definition are not pollutants though they may indeed produce the same effects as manmade emissions.
You might ask why make this distinction while Quite obviously we can't control volcanic eruptions we can't control dust storms on the desert and many similar phenomena. Also we might define snow as an air pollutant under certain circumstances certainly it interferes with man's health and comfort in many ways.
So an air pollutant is something put in the atmosphere by man and not by nature. The second important point is that it must do some damage. The mere emission of substances into the air is not enough to be an air pollutant emissions and there are many such that do not damage. Do not produce damage in any way. Maybe class rather as contaminants which can be defined as substances which change the physical and chemical properties of the atmosphere. But do not produce harm and of course there are a number of familiar examples to you. Carbon dioxide is one. Water vapor is another. Finally this damage may be to health to property and perhaps important addition. It may even be to the aesthetic properties of the atmosphere and this would come under the definition of full enjoyment. So we see this definition covers pretty much all of the conditions that we're concerned with in abating air pollution. Now with this definition let's see where the emissions to the atmosphere come from.
Noticing at the top of the table we see that natural primary particles are emitted from soil and rock debris by erosion of the wind forest fires sea salt an important contributor of particles both over the ocean and those which blow into the land. Volcanic debris and a very important source of quite a large amount. This incidentally is in millions of metric tons per year. Now particles formed from naturally emissions natural gas emissions sulfate from hydrogen sulfide ammonia songs emitted to the atmosphere both of these from natural biological degradation processes nitrate from forest fires from lightning etc. and hydrocarbons from plant x and x a day sions.
You're probably familiar with the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The reason that there are Blue Ridge is that there are enormous pine forests there emit penes which are hydrocarbons these in turn react in the atmosphere to form very fine particulates matter not at all unlike the Los Angeles smog formation. And this is the blue color a natural air pollutant if you like to look at it that way. The lower part of the table refers specifically to manmade emissions and the important thing to note here is that the natural sources amount to seven hundred seventy three to twenty two hundred million tons per year whereas man made total was one hundred eighty five to four hundred and fifteen and we know specifically that naturally emissions represent 80 percent of the total emissions worldwide to the atmosphere and manmade emissions only a mere 20 percent. Well if this is the case you may well ask why are we worrying about manmade air pollution. And since by definition there's nothing we can do about the natural sources why don't we just relax and take what comes and not struggle so hard in the 1960 census the United States had approximately 180 million people of whom 66 percent lived in metropolitan areas in 1970 the population had gone to 200 million and seventy one percent lived in. Metropolitan areas and if we can look at the projections they're a little easier we would see that by the year 2000 85 percent of the people in the United States will be living in metropolitan areas. This means then that at the present time somewhat over 70 percent of our total U.S. population lives in on less than one percent of the total land area or all of the United States. If you ever have the experience of taking a coast to coast flight on a very cold clear winter day when you can see the ground from 35 or 40 thousand feet I think you will be impressed as I have always been with the vast emptiness of the United States. And this slide of course explains it and it also explains why we are concerned about manmade emissions to the atmosphere even though they only represent a fifth of the total. And that is that the amount of atmosphere over these crowded city areas is being overloaded by the pollutants that are emitted to it so we recognize the fact that air pollution is predominantly an urban problem.
This is where we have our difficulties. And these are. Enhanced or made worse by the fact of our automobile use and by the affluent society in which we live in and the fast amounts of electrical power that we consume. So we have a population increase. We have urbanization. We have industrialization. We have.
Affluence all contributing to problems of air pollution over a very small land areas limited.
Atmosphere above them.
Transportation of first item contributes most of the carbon monoxide to our atmosphere. Most of the hydrocarbon signified by the letters H C and a substantial fraction of the oxides of nitrogen.
And if we looked at the totals and looked at the total percentages of each column we would find that transportation represented primarily by the private automobile accounts for approximately 60 percent of the total tonnage the mission of substances to the atmosphere in the United States and by definition the automobile then becomes the principal pollution source in the United States.
Other principal sources of emissions are fuel combustion and stationary sources primarily are at least a major fraction of the electricity generation and we've seen that this particular activity accounts for a very large percent of the sulfur dioxide emitted to the atmosphere approximately two thirds at a very sizable fraction of the particulates matter and also about half of the oxides of nitrogen industrial processes that count for. The major fraction of particulates matter and some of the others and solid waste disposal which has such a bad name and rightfully so we see contributes almost nothing Percentage wise to any of these major categories. And again we may wonder why.
Solid waste disposal is a matter of major concern. And here we recognize the fact that there are intense local sources of pollution which exert their effects locally. And there are area wide sources such as the automobile which influence a an enormous area of an urban settlement. One result in intense pollution over a small area and the other lower concentrations over a very wide area so that even no solid waste does not represent a large. Fraction of total emissions.
It exerts an important influence locally when it is not carried out in a proper way. The final category miscellaneous of course takes in everything else. The bottom line shows the changes from 1969 to 1970.
We know that there's been a slight decline in the carbon monoxide and particulates matter reflecting the efforts of air pollution control at all levels and a slight increase in oxides of nitrogen because our control methods for this particular class of substances is not effective at the present time so that this reflects an increase in automobile usage and increase in industrialization without controls.
We can ask the question is the tonnage the mission all of the materials to the atmosphere the proper way to assess the air pollution problem. In other words is a pound of sulfur oxides equally important to a pound of hydrocarbons for example sulfur oxides we know have important irritant effects on humans. Damages of vegetation destroys property. Where is hydrocarbons in the concentrations which we normally experience in the atmosphere are innocuous but they are important because they enter into the gas phase reactions which I mentioned earlier. I think if we asked this question the answer probably is no. That total tonnage is not a full explanation of what we want to know about substances in the atmosphere. We have to take into consideration the concentrations which result in the atmosphere and quite obviously the effects which each of these substances has either on health or vegetation on property. You are on the formation of Hades in the atmosphere and other undesirable effects.
This slide shows the actual concentration of several important pollutants. Carbon monoxide probably the largest tonnage of any of them that we're concerned with and other shows that since 1964 there has been a drop in the concentration of carbon monoxide it's now in the average of seven thousand micrograms per cubic meter of air. And this probably reflects the control devices that have been placed on automobiles since the late 1960s we see the effects beginning to show up. The 30 current down is urban sulfur oxides represents an average of 21 cities we see here also that there is a decline or has been a decline in sulfur oxide concentrations in the atmosphere of large cities again I believe reflecting the effects of control programs which have become very vigorous in the last several years. The second and last. Kurds represent total suspended particulates matter the upper curve referring to urban communities of 60 cities and we see again that there's a small decline again representing control efforts in all probability. The bottom curve represents non-urban total suspended particulate matter and we see instead of a slight decline a slight rise.
This perhaps indicates that although the air over our cities is becoming somewhat cleaner the total size of the city is becoming larger and the emission of particulates matter to the countryside to the non urban areas is increasing. We know that this material will travel for very long distances in fact hundreds of miles before settling out of the atmosphere by Various. Mechanisms we are also acquainted with the fact that we tend to measure in the atmosphere those substances for which we have analytical methods and which those substances which we can measure with a relative amount of ease and consequently we concentrate we concentrate our attention on six classes of materials which were shown on the previous slide. It would of course be naive to conclude that these are the only substances that one finds in the atmosphere and in fact there are literally hundreds and thousands of compounds most of them on known unmeasured. On sought for in this particular slide we have a brief.
List of some of the articulate matter materials in the Los Angeles area saw and on the right column indicates the year measure or estimated. And I think you'll be a little bit astonished as I am to notice that some of the important constituents of the atmosphere such as lead represent measurements that were made 8 9 10 years ago. Where are the measurements that were made this year or last year. We see in addition that there are many different kinds of substances. And this list by no means exhaust the possibilities.
We see that the second item benzene Saudia bow represents the tare fractions which are also present in urban air from automotive use from industry from burning of fuel which may have some significance in lung cancer and obviously lead as a toxic substance and some of the others have specific actions which.
Aphex people as well as property including vegetation.
I've mentioned on several occasions of the formation of secondary particles kind of gas phase reactions.
And I would like to illustrate what happens by reference to a laboratory simulation of Los Angeles smog formation automobiles travel through the city and they are on burn hydrocarbons and nitric oxide and no discharge to the atmosphere.
The reason that the automobile discharge is nitric oxide instead of the higher oxidation compound nitrogen dioxide is that the engine operates at a slight deficiency of air or what you might call a very lean mixture it seems to work better under this mode.
So consequently at night the air of Los Angeles accumulates hydrocarbons and nitric oxide. At the dotted line which represents about eight o'clock in the morning if this were a real experiment the reason for doing it in a chamber of course is to simplify the reactions and to show the results a much more clearly than one can in the real atmosphere where there are obviously many interfering substances too complicated and obscure the major reactions at the dotted line the sun comes out the sun energy activates chemical reactions photo chemical reactions and we see that the nitric oxide N-O is converted to an O2 by a combination with oxygen in the atmosphere by way of the energy imparted through the molecule through certain wavelengths of sunlight. The nitrogen dioxide in turn splits again back to a.. Plus atomic oxygen which as you know from your chemistry is very active. This in turn begins to combine with the hydrocarbons and we see the top curve representing the hydrocarbons now begins to decline because we are forming a hydrocarbon oxidant combinations. These are known as peat and in the Los Angeles area which stands for proxy CTL nitrate. And this is a substance which forms droplets and is responsible for vegetation damage and fork by irritation in that area. So we've seen that the grape oxide declines the nitrogen dioxide increases till it gets to a critical concentration. It then combines with hydrocarbon to form p a n and. And when the hydrocarbon concentration declines to a minimum level then the oxidant begins to form.
And late in the afternoon we get ozone formation which of course is and then again a form of.
Oxidant as I mentioned Los Angeles has a predominant mixture of oxidant substances produced by the reactions I've just outlined. Whereas Boston New York Western Europe communities have predominantly a reducing type of atmosphere produced by the accumulation of sulfur dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. In addition the Boston atmosphere like New York and Western Europe has a large amount of particulates matter contributed to the atmosphere from fuel burning. This is totally or almost totally absent from the Los Angeles atmosphere because they don't burn coal or heavy oil there to any great extent. They burn natural gas predominantly.
What I'm trying to point out is that each community has its own emission pattern has its own pattern of concentrations of substances in the atmosphere so that in assessing the importance of the substances emitted to the atmosphere and the concentrations one must look at each community as an individual entity and not borrow the solutions from the West Coast to the east coast or vice versa because this may lead to some incorrect conclusions.
We notice even in small communities which are free from the enormous industrial and automobile pollution characteristic of large urban areas that those problems may occur from a single large industry which represents the community support. And here again we have quite a different pattern of emissions to the atmosphere and these will call for different solutions depending upon the articular mix that one encounters.
And so in conclusion I would like to emphasize this last point that even though the charts that I have shown and which you will find in many kinds of publications concentrate on a few predominant. Substances and give us very good average figures for totally emitted to the atmosphere in the United States or even a large metropolitan area in order to do something constructive about air pollution in a particular community. We must indeed look for the exact patterns of emissions and reactions which take place over that particular community.
Thank you. Thank you OK.
I don't think there's any question that man may have an effect on some of these emissions. Certainly far fires man can intervene but we do know that forest fires occur without man's intervention at all. And of course the dust example you mentioned is an excellent example of abuse of the Earth but again erosion and spalling of rock and so on does occur and will continue to occur if man disappeared from the face of the earth. The implication of the slide is that if man disappeared tomorrow the emissions to the atmosphere worldwide would decline only 20 percent.
Several really does that mean that. You know. This. Is the. Same. Thing.
Yes. Yes I am sorry to hear you ask that question because I had hoped I had made that point very clear that what we are concerned with in air pollution control is not the worldwide emissions which are quite substantial aside from man but the specific manmade emissions which occur over a very very tiny fraction of the total earth's surface.
And these are indeed important and if I given the impression that they aren't I have certainly failed in my purpose in using last example I had the opportunity of the year you know the people I visited said this last year much better than your living standards. I guess it was a few years ago. I have cleaned up their gear. Appreciate. You have this life you showed. Feel them. So no delisting is right.
I think the cleaning up is fairly recent. I read just a few weeks ago a publication put out by the Los Angeles County air pollution district in which they were probably quite proud of the fact that in the last year the occurrence photochemical smog has been less frequent and the intensity has been less and they have concluded that the controlled activities are beginning to take effect. Of course it's a little dangerous to make such conclusions on the basis of a single year's observations because we know that the meteorology of the area plays a very important part on the concentrations which will exist if we have a year in which the wind doesn't blow very hard we might expect that the concentrations would rise even though the emissions remain constant. And of course vice versa. We've seen over the years many air pollution control officers who have bragged about the fact that they brought the air pollution down last year quite substantially only to have the weather. Play them dirty the next year and see a very substantial rise and that becomes very difficult to explain after the previous years. Credit that they have taken so yes you're answer is quite right. The measurements do show that progress is being made and if it persists for another year or two will really believe it.
Like sorry you have your way. Oh.
The burning of wood will contribute particularly matter from the ash which gets untrained depending on how it's burned one of the problems with wood burning for land clearing for example. This is similar to a leaf burning wire leaf burning has been outlawed in most organized communities and other such burning is that it's not done and fission only one piles the wood up in a big pile puts a match to it and allows it to go its own way and a consequently enormous amounts of partially burned organic compounds are released. We get smoke which is a combination of carbon and hydrocarbon materials. We get aldehyde we get organic gases we get a tremendous range of organic compounds from partial burning of wood which are harmful to health and have other effects. So if one were to take wood and burn it in a properly designed furnace just as utilities for example burn gas or oil the emissions would be almost none other than carbon dioxide and water vapor and would be quite innocuous. But one just doesn't burn wood that way. If you burn it in your wood in your living room fireplace and go out and look at your stack I think you'll usually find you have a pretty good wisp of smoke coming out. This is high on burn hydrocarbons.
The next speaker. Is Dr. William fader. It was plant pathologist for the University Massachusetts and stationed at the suburban experiment station while Pham. He was educated at John Hopkins University where he obtained the AB degree in implant pathology in the University of California Berkeley. He obtained his doctor of philosophy in plant pathology and botany.
Dr. Fader has held many posts at the University of Hawaii Cornell University and for 12 years was associated with the Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture. Dr. Fader has been involved in developing and implementing research programs on the effects of air pollution on agricultural productivity at the Massachusetts campus since 1966.
And this morning he will give us some information on some of the research results to which he has obtained his title August talk is the effects of air pollution on vegetation. Fuck the feta.
I would like to first start off by making trouble. And I was taking exception to what Dr. first said. We do indeed. In. The eastern part of the United States have an air pollution problem which is very similar to the air pollution problem in Los Angeles in the Los Angeles basin. We don't happen to have it in metropolitan downtown Boston or in metropolitan downtown New York where he indeed particularly loaning is very important and sulfur dioxide is very important.
But in. Brockton and Easton and Waltham and the countryside the automobile is all pervasive and we have an oxidant problem and he showed you what oxidant was and where it came from.
We have an oxidant problem which. Actually is becoming very similar to Los Angeles oxidant problem and the peculiar part of it is that it's relatively unrecognized here for a very specific reason and that is that on the East Coast. In the northeast or even the eastern corridor which goes all the way down to Jacksonville Florida probably now one large city. We deal in an atmosphere which has a relatively high relative humidity whereas the West Coast atmosphere in the US Angeles Basin Riverside Oxnard with a year. Some of the other famous places that we hear about have a relatively low relative humidity so that an oxidant level. Of 60 parts per hundred million which by the way was measured just this past summer in Los Angeles in spite of claims that the air is getting better 60 parts per hundred million is equal to about 15 parts per hundred million. In terms of the amount of plant damage that's done on the East Coast. And we have air patterns here which we see to it that from time to time we have considerable plant injury. At the considerably lower levels. Another problem. Which we find difficulty in dealing with is that as you noticed when Mel first gave his paper he described an air pollutant and he talked about health and welfare and aesthetics. And I would imagine build into that now probably some place is agriculture but it's never really nobody ever really comes right out and says agriculture and we talk about secondary standards and nobody's quite clear what those secondary standards are going to be.
And one of the problems that we struggle with is that plants are much more sensitive to air pollutants in terms of the level the threshold level of injury. Then our animals and humans and of course one immediately suggests that this is very fortunate for the humans. And that's the end of it. The difficulty however is as someone pointed out here this morning we're all built into the same biological system. And the human race doesn't do very well unless it's Gates. And if there is a reduction in agricultural productivity from air pollution then while this is not directly injuring the human lung tissue It is however. Perhaps. Somewhat retarding the development of the human race now maybe this is good. Maybe what we need is fewer human beings maybe this is a solution but from an air pollution point of view plants are more sensitive and we are very concerned as is the EPA about how we deal with both kinds of standards at the same time if we set standards for the welfare and health of the human being then how do we at the same time make sure that our agricultural productivity continues at the level which we need it. We all know that agriculture means going to the supermarket and buying the lettuce. But there is probably something behind that if you examine it. And what I'd like to do today is show you a little bit of what's behind the agricultural productivity and how air pollutants which operate at levels which we're familiar with on the East Coast affects plant materials vegetation and then. An attempt to measure agricultural productivity but the difficulty of course is that the public health people want to know from us what does that have to do with human beings. How does it relate. And I don't propose to explain to you that it relates directly to human beings except that they all are similar biological systems. Plants have to breathe too but plants also very importantly for us have to photosynthesize. And apparently one of the places where air pollutants impact. Is on this ability to photosynthesize on the chloroplast on the photosynthetic mechanism which makes the plants able to do this marvelous thing of making food for us to eat either us directly or via the corn. Pig human being route whatever route you want to take. So I want to I want to first show you the fact that air pollution does indeed affect plants and then a little bit if we have time about how we go about studying this sort of thing. So to get some picture of what can be done and what still needs to be done.
You've seen figures but this is more or less of a graphic demonstration. This is a. Picture of two pieces of glass wall the one on the right is a clean piece of glass wall the one on the left was the same kind of glass wall inserted into a filtering system which we were going to use for an experiment. This is six weeks of passing while Family air through glass wall. Now we're talking about working out in a room relatively suburban or rural area we're not talking about downtown Boston. And you see impacted on that glass wall the same kind of thing that your last speaker was telling you about becomes impacted in your lungs. This is a mixture of carbon particles natural pollutants such as fungus spores plant Hereupon grains and so forth. A nice greasy mass which very rapidly impairs the ability of that glass wall to pass air through it. I'll pass on from from this because Doctor first one went through this pretty closely. Clearly now.
Here we are and someone mentioned Virginia these are the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia. And these people are making gypsum and in the process they are passing off their effluent their waste material. The cheapest way they know how into the air. Now obviously what got goes up has to come down. And sure enough it comes down along this valley wall and these valleys in the Allegheny in Virginia and western ridge in Virginia are run north and south more last in parallel ridges with valleys in between. And most of this junk gets deposited in this valley which has a little stream running alongside of it and the valley as you can see by the trees is coated with this dust. We have made measurements there over the past few summers and there is a distinct difference in the ability of the conifers the evergreens to grow in this kind of an environment. Never mind the people. Now the company was asked to do something about this. So it did what it did was take another pipe and patch the material into the adjacent valley where it was out of sight. That is if you came up the first valley and you saw this moving landscape and that pipe pumps to stuff out at five minute intervals and it piles up and it's a mixture of lime dust and so forth that sort of caked. And it is essentially destroyed the vegetation where it's dumped.
But simplistic solutions as we heard from the first speaker are not to be used in this kind of thing. If you go around as we did and talk to the people who live in the valley and who work the plant. And say to them Do you mind the dust and dirt and they say sure we do. And then you say to them Well we've we've talked to the company the company says if they have to make the improvements that are suggested they will undoubtedly close the plant and move somewhere else because they can't afford it. They say the valley and have it and simply say that in that case leave the plant and we'll suffer with the dust because this is the only employment for us in a region which is so many X miles square so you can't simplistically say close the plant.
There have to be other solutions. There probably are other solutions. If you go up the valley you see the valley turns and down away from camera. Is the affected part of the valley Waugh and as the valley bends you see the trees look perfectly normal. All right now we're back in New England and this is one of the New England power companies plants down near Fall River and here has and effort has been made after the plant site was built up to landscape the plant site.
And you can see it hasn't been too successful. Now this. This is this is you know it's Treme So it's funny but suppose it were people also. It's an honest attempt on the plants part to make the landscape once again a statically bearable. What you see there are two very important things. Number one the effect of soft rock sides in this case at relatively high levels on the growth of this type of pine. And secondly which you should not ignore because this is one of the few things which we can do which we're not sure that the human biologist and M.D. can do for us. Notice that certain of the trees are not affected. There is genetic variability amongst plant species and plant called of ours are varieties which gives us the option possibly of providing the farmer and the homeowner and the landscaper with plants which may survive in spite of pollutant levels until the pollutant picture changes. So this is very important.
This doesn't mean that we're controlling pollution with plants but it means we're learning to live with it I'm not sure that the human animal is going to be able to do this this is for the physicians to tell us.
This is eight miles from the sea power stack of that particular plant on a day or after a day when they had quote an accident and there been a number of accidents there. The plant is now under better control and these accidents don't occur. And here you see lilac leaves which were affected eight miles downstream from this plant downwind from this plant. A mixture of software oxide and perhaps some particularly materials as Dr. first explained you. These are the mix of sulfur dioxide and particulates especially when there's a humid atmosphere may cause considerable trouble. All right we're going to illustrate was more and more of this kind of thing going going through software oxides and then coming back. To.
Then coming back to it they pollute an owner's zone which we consider actually the most important pollutant in the northeast at any rate. From a plant vegetation point of view this is not to say the sulfur oxides are much more important from a human point of view but certainly from a plant point of view. So for our own zone it's probably our most important Fido toxic photochemical Occident. We don't at this point. Have any record any good record of PH again in along the East Coast Ph. And is the other material which Dr. first mentioned as part of the photo chemical complex we've been looking for it but we haven't got any good solid evidence of the injury on plant materials.
Notice the main point. Notice the reddish discoloration on your left on the maple that is not injury.
That is next year's leaves being produced this year because the software oxide plume drifted by that maple tree and dropped all of this year's leaves. This was in early May this is two years ago now but one time Alice this year versus next year in terms of time the plant has recovered you see just as the emphysema patient tries to recover by breathing harder. The plant has recovered by putting out next years leaves.
Now this is fine as long as it doesn't have any further incidents of exposure to software oxide or other pollutants. But those new Those are juvenile leaves. Again about eight miles away from the plant. Now this is the other thing which Dr. first alluded to. I don't know what this does to human lungs but this is what happens to top what this is an instance you see of where particulates material from that stack mixed with Soffer dioxide with sulfur dioxide and water vapor to form a software dioxide aerosol on a little particle. And undoubtedly that suffer dioxide by the time it landed on that doggedly was pure soft Euro gas it. And it does what sulphuric acid does naturally the living tissues.
It simply dissolve its way through. And you see the holes that it created. Here's a picture of the flowers to give you an idea of the time of year. And you see it's dropped little holes in the flowers. Now undoubtedly these things happen to long tissues and other tissues but we're only talking about plants here. Right now we move to a another area. Talk about another pollutant which is not really a problem in the Massachusetts or the Northeast. This is fluorine fluoride.
In this case ironically caused in an attempt by man to enrich the agricultural environment phosphate is mined not far from this place in Florida and it's dragged over to an area north of here and is processed into super phosphate in this processing of phosphate to super phosphate fluorine is lost as a byproduct and it drifts down on the plant materials and causes destruction. So I one case we're producing fertilizer in the other case the spin off is a pollutant. Now this can be controlled it has been controlled very well to a large extent in Florida.
But notice again with the glad season Gladiolus that one variety is severely affected and the others are not.
All right here's another pollutant which is probably the source is probably also automobile exhaust. We don't see too much of it because it's pretty elusive and it operates a very low levels. If we talk about always on in terms of 10 or 12 parts per hundred million to cause injury on plant materials in the northeast this is ethylene and we talk about it in terms of four or five parts per billion to cause injury on orchids and other materials like orchids in one weekend over the Thanksgiving 966.
There were some three and a half million dollars worth of orchids lost in the greater Boston area by ethylene.
And you can see the damage which rapidly sets in and then followed by rotting wood sets and of course no girl wants a cat playing that looks like that for a corsage. So that stuff had to be thrown away. If the plants were affected before they flowered the buds look like this. And this reflects another problem which we face all the time in the field that a dead ringer for a disease of orchids caused by nematodes certain kinds of worms which live in the buds.
This is prevalent in Hawaii and various places where certain kinds of orchids are grown. It's also a dead ringer for an insect called a thread which also invades orchid buds so you have to be very careful before you blame air pollution for everything that's happening. And believe me many farmers try to do this because it's convenient now I want to show a similar chart to the one the doctor first showed on me this wasn't taken in the L.A. basin and it wasn't taken in a chamber but it was taken by monitoring air pollution in the wall family area over a summer for a couple of summers ago.
And here we have a.. Which doctor first showed you and the same pattern of a build up during the night and then a dropping off during the day and then a build up again in the evening and notice how it follows more or less power of the rush hour. Here you have the other material and O2 which follows. Further along with the lag phase he showed you by 10 o'clock in the morning it's begun to vanish by two o'clock in the afternoon it's begun to climb again. Remember this is a pattern for a whole summer of these averages for all summer. Now this is what we call a biological indicator and it also happens to be a plant of Commerce this is tobacco and this is the famous bell W3 tobacco which has been used as a biological indicator to indicate when ozone is present in the areas characteristically sensitive to ozone. Over and above many of the other gashes photo chemicals and when there's a little ozone in the air it reflects it by having a small amount of injury.
When there's a little more a little more injury and when there's lots more lots more injury now none of these pictures were taken on plants which were artificially treated with ozone. These are plants which are standing out.
In the open ambient air as part of a northeast regional project which has been going on for the last five years in attempting to correlate planning injury with accident levels in the northeast. Remember that each. Patch of whiteness is where the chlorophyll no longer functions it's dead which means it from a plant's point of view it's lost a relatively large amount of leaf area that's functional from the growers point of view this is cigar wrap tobacco which used to be grown in the Connecticut River Valley. It's been wiped out for some time now and been replaced twice now by new varieties of cigar up tobacco. Each time the new variety seemingly more resistant has had to be replaced by a second variety or a third variety as the pollution levels rise slowly in the valley.
But from a cigar wrap operation point of view none of this is and of any value because these white spots drop out and you have leaves with holes in them they can't make cigars with them. Cucumbers are squash in the woman area affected by Occidental pole beans affected by accident in the Lexington area. Potatoes again the same picture. Notice the healthy looking potato variety on your left. A healthy variety in a thin strip on your right and the affected variety in the center much more susceptible to ozone. This is in the middle of nowhere outside of Worcester. Very hard to explain in terms of urban activity but not too difficult to explain in terms of the movement of oxidant clouds. And I wax clouds as the meteorological conditions come and go and we'll talk more about that if I have time. This is why pine in the Orinoco main area now or I know Maine is hardly what you call an industrialized area. They make canoes and they have a few craft paper mills and so forth. But this is not downwind from the paper mill This is just out in the woods in or on out. Nope this tuft of leaf of needles compared with this. Now those true trees are standing side by side again showing you that there is a genetic variability among species and varieties which is very important from our point of view. Ashes affected by ozone at any rate the eye thing.
Probably that will suffice to show you that air pollution does indeed cause injury to plant tissues. And what I'd like to say is this that since we know that air pollution does affect plant tissues the next step which the MPAA try to encourage us and other people was to try and get some estimate of what kind of damage was being done in other words how much was it costing the farmer and the American public for air pollution and there been a number of surveys supported by the EPA putting one which we did ourselves in which they attempted to describe what was happening to agricultural productivity by looking at the symptoms and estimating then what had been done in the way of yield loss. And it just doesn't work. Now if you're dealing with tobacco or lettuce the salable part of the crop is the leaf and if the leaf is injured then very simply you can figure out how many leaves are injured and how badly and you have a net cost estimate. But you remember the potato picture I showed you. All right. Those potatoes as far as we're concerned looked like a disaster and we were commiserating with the grower about the fact that he was in such trouble with these potatoes.
And he agreed they didn't look very good. And we said well what does this mean in terms of loss he said well this is no loss at all. So we said well how do you account for that he said will dig up a couple of the potatoes and so we dug up a few of the of the plants and on them were potatoes about that size. And we said we still don't grasp your meaning. He said well these potatoes I have special customers for and they'll pay higher prices for these small potatoes than they will for the normal potatoes.
So you see you cannot simplistically go through a field and decide because you feel sorry for the grower because you see injury that he really has a problem he may or he may not. Now it's also important not to lose sight of the fact that that particular potato variety is rapidly disappearing from the East Coast.
It is no longer profitable to grow it in Massachusetts in Maine along the Eastern Shore of Maryland Delaware because of oxidant injury this is a variety called nor land potato. And it will be undoubtedly a vanishing species or variety of potato because of this problem so there is a problem. But you can't simplistically measure it that way. Now the rest of the slides are going to show. I was going to show you were slides of techniques which we developed to try and measure this kind of thing and what we've been struggling with is to come up with some kind of an environment which would allow us to measure what the losses were and what our initial. Our Nischelle set ups were large plastic greenhouses each of which fed by outside ambient air and then every other greenhouse filtered with a charcoal filter so that one greenhouse in the pair is getting ambient air as it is the junk you saw on the very first slide with the dirt and so forth and at the kind of thing that Dr. first talked about and the other slide the other house with the same immediate air filter through charcoal and with the dust and so forth removed. So it theoretically at any rate we're removing at least the oxidant part of the thing and as I told you oxygen is our most important problem. Now we've run several years with these greenhouses and one of our data seem to indicate that under these conditions if you grow up if you grow the same plant in quote clean air and dirty air that plant grown in clean air. Has a great advantage or a statistically significant advantage over the plant grown in dirty year. It makes a bigger plant. If flowers earlier it produces more flowers more fruit and the yield is usually greater. Now of course it depends on the parietal susceptibility whether this is true or not but the point is we can this way begin to get some clue as to what the differences are and what the effect of air pollution is actually having. On the other hand we're not happy with this either because we have a we call a greenhouse effect. It always just looks like a nifty experiment. But when I tell you I told you before that susceptibility is dependent not only upon plant variety but it's also dependent upon plant age and is dependent upon a whole series of environmental factors like temperature relative humidity soil moisture and so forth. The minute you put something over the plant the conditions are not the normal conditions which the plant would would enjoy if it were outdoors and we have data showing that petunias for example grown in clean air in a house and dirty air in a house show marked differences. Those same Petunia varieties grown in the same air but not covered with plastic show no injury at all. And show no changes at all. So obviously something is different we're doing something when we make our artificial environment. We now have a new tool which we are pondering whether I say puttering at this point because we don't know enough about it. There are certain materials available to us now which seem to prevent accident injury when they're sprayed on the plants as the plants are growing. Or when the plants are which can be drenched in the soil but in the soil as the plants are growing. This means that we can add these materials to the soil or to the plants as they're growing not do anything else to the plants in other words it's the same way you would normally grow a plant you would spray a little insecticide or fungicide you would take care of it during the summer but it would be exposed to the outdoors as it is. The only difference being it would be treated or not treated. And we so far have one summer's data with this kind of treatment and there with beans last summer we were able to demonstrate that there is indeed an effect of air pollution on productivity. Now the effect is very great on sensitive varieties as you suspect and relatively modest. On the more resistant varieties but we do have finally perhaps a handle on how to get at this and measure it from an economic point of view. I'm sorry that Mr. McGlennon is gone because this is of some concern to his region and to all the other EPA regions too because we will not be able to come back to him and I hope before everything is set in concrete and say to all these levels are OK for human beings but we're going to need a little help with the plants because we can now tell you in dollars and cents how much we're losing in this particular crop which is relatively sense sensitive whereas we're not doing too badly in this particular crop which is relatively resistant. So we're beginning to get there but we need more time and we need more help. And I was hoping he was going to be here so I could say we need more dollars. Thank you.
The afternoon session was moderated by Dr. Chester Krause the director of the University of Massachusetts cranberry Experiment Station in East where a Massachusetts doctor crosses a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in botany and also he took his Master of Science degree in botany and university of mass and biology is Ph.D. at Harvard University. And he is now way ahead of the Cranbury Station Experiment Station at least with him.
Dr. KRAUSS Well the first point that I'd like to make is that in times of environmental concern like this. It seems to me there is a great need for historical perspective. If people look at environmental problems quickly shows that history has something to teach us and some guidance to provide us if we will attend to the Council of history. Let me illustrate. On Boxing Day which is the day after Christmas in England in 1963 I was in London and was taken for a drive to Winchester which as you will remember was King Alfred's capital city. I have never forgotten the last few miles of that ride in what was described as a rather typical London fog. I have lived many decades now on Cape Cod and I know what fog is. In fact my home is located only two miles from the east end of the Cape Cod Canal. But I'm here to tell you that I never saw. If SAW is the right word to use in this context such a fog as that along the Thames in Chizik and Hammersmith on that boxing day in 1963. Since then the industrial and the domestic burning of soft coal. There are hardy people the English you know. I live in England and in Ireland they burn soft coal in small grates and if you were lucky enough to be in a small group you could get near enough to that great and it's burning soft coal to toast one side of you but all the rest of your I can tell you froze. But they'd stop the burning of soft coal in London. And I understand that Englishman an English scientist now write as though the London Fog is a matter of history. I think this is encouraging for those of us who are really interested in the environment and in the conservation of a quality environment. Four or five years ago a new electric generating plant was established in the town of Sandwich where I live down on the Cape Cod Canal and it went online. As I say about four or five years ago the plant was then burning number six bunker oil and the fallout ruin the paint finish of automobiles dozens of them.
It turned new fallen snow to green in nearby towns complained bitterly about the smoke of sand they had every reason to complain about smoke. It was the chief donation of sandwich to its neighboring towns while the town of Sandwich eagerly raked in the tax revenue that tax revenue was considerable. It was paying for half of all the bills in the town of sandwich. But even the town of Sandwich residents were unhappy about the smoke. A large part of it going elsewhere but nonetheless much of it falling on us too and we complained bitterly we had many mass meetings in the town. We raised all kinds of harm. And since then a new precipitator costing the electric utility four million dollars tax exempt by the way. We can't tax that precipitated. But that's been in operation now for 21 months.
And last night I was talking to William Smith who is the chief plant operator at that place and he tells me that monitoring devices not only in the town of sandwich but in the neighboring towns as well paid for by the way by the utility has shown over the last 21 months at ground level the air contains point 0 0 8 parts per million of sulfur dioxide even though during that 21 month period the canal electric plant at times was using two and a half percent of oil. And at other times less than 1 percent or so for oil.
Now the reason I mention these two items is that it seems to me. That rather than taking the attitude that we need to go back to something primitive something simple which I don't think American citizens or American society would tolerate that it's best for us to think in terms of regulation. And I mean enforceable regulation. But I think that an informed citizenry which And I think most most communities can find some leadership amongst its citizens and clamor for what is right what is just that we can see to it that an improved environment for all of us can be attained. I would like to recommend to your reading I don't want to call it leisure reading because I don't think it is that simple. But it is to me refreshing reading by a man named John Maddox who happens to be the editor of the prestigious British Nature magazine and it's called the doomsday syndrome. I think many conservationists. Perhaps I should say environmentalists have carried their cause to such an emotional extreme that they've turned off the rest of society. I think what we need is data. I think what we need are facts. And then I think we need an awakened public interest. Anthony D core TC. He has a B.S. in civil engineering environmental a tough University in 1968. He has an M.S. in civil engineering environmental at Tufts University in 1972. At present he is chief planning and standard sections for the air branch in region number one responsible for assisting the New England state in developing evaluating and carrying out the implementation plans required by the Clean Air Act.
Tony I understand that my boss was here this morning talking to you about sort of the federal role and emphasizing the need for a transportation control strategy in Boston that is required under the Clean Air Act so what I will try to do this afternoon is very briefly outline the major provisions of the Clean Air Act. And then during the question and answer period I would welcome all the questions that you have about what we're trying to do in trying to accomplish.
As you all know on December 30 first 970 President Nixon signed into law the Clean Air Act amendments of 1070 probably the most comprehensive piece of federal air pollution control legislation ever enacted and setting in motion one of the most stringent and ambitious timetables for air pollution control in history and addition to authorize authorization of increased funds for research and Control Agency program grants the Clean Air Act contains four major regulatory provisions. The first one and probably the most well-known is that of mobile source national nationwide emission standards. And as you all know by 1975 automobiles must have achieved an emission reduction which is equivalent to 90 percent over those levels that were of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons that were emitted in 1970 and by 1976 a 90 percent reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions over the levels of 1971.
They're also in terms of mobile source emission standards aircraft emission standards and these will be nationwide standards to apply to most airports across the country. We have just proposed the aircraft emission standards and after 90 days after having public hearings we will actually promulgated national emission standards for aircraft. I might point out that Boston is one of the four cities across the country in which the public hearings on these aircraft emission standards are going to be held and the hearing will be held in Faneuil Hall on January 29 30th and 30 for us and as long thereafter as it will go. The second major provision is that of national emissions standards for stationary sources. Now here we have two types. First of all new sources across the country all new sources of pollution will have to meet national emission standards which are based on the best available technology of control. Secondly there are a hazardous pollutant standards. And you you might ask what is a hazardous pollutant. Well generally the law defines a hazardous pollutant as a pollutant which causes serious irreversible or incapacitating reversible illness. Well you might apply that to sulfur dioxide or to particulates or some of the other pollutants that we deal with. However what we are really talking about are the types of pollutants that are really not very ubiquitous in the atmosphere they're causing They cause a localized problem. They are not found in great concentrations across the entire United States but you do find them in high concentrations in localized areas which cause some real problems. And for these we are setting national emissions standards which apply to both new and existing sources. This is a very stringent provision of the law because for existing sources they must be in compliance within 90 days after the standards are promulgated unless they are able to obtain a two year waiver of compliance in order to come into compliance with the standards. The only person that can exempt a source from compliance with these standards is the president of the United States and that can only be a two year exemption providing only that the technology for control is not available and secondly that the source be essential to the national security. So far we have not problem get any hazardous pollutant standards. However we are going to propose very. We have proposed excuse me a hazardous pollutant standards for as best US and Mercury final promulgation is to occur with it by mid-February. The third major provision calls for very stringent enforcement provisions that were not available under previous federal laws enforcement provisions under the Clean Air Act provide that anyone who has any source person or operator who violates a regulation a state or a federal regulation is subject to penalties of up to one year imprisonment up to $25000 a day for criminal penalties and also to injunctive relief for those of you who are not legal what that means is that a court can order a source to shutdown in the event that the that the the court rules in favor of the government. The fourth major provision is that for air quality standards and implementation plans. And this is the one that this is the provision that we are we deal with most here in New England and that applies to all the states and local agencies and applies to them to the general citizenry of New England. Under Section 1 0 9 of the Clean Air Act. The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency was required to set national ambient air quality standards for pollutants which have been found to be hazardous to health and welfare. Now an ambient air quality standard is a concentration that people are able to breathe down on the ground. This isn't to source the minutes but what people are breathing down at ground level. That is to be protective of health and welfare and which is not to be exceeded at any time. We set national air quality standards for six pollutants particulates sulfur oxides carbon monoxide photochemical oxidants nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons in on April 30th of 1971. And once we have established these these air quality standards and there were two types there are primary standards to be protective of public health and secondary standards to be protective of public welfare. The secondary standards are to be. When we talk about welfare and the secondary standards we really mean effects on vegetation materials effects on meteorology on visibility the kinds of the kinds of things that affect the quality of life that we lead whereas the primary standards are to be protective of Public Health.
After setting the standards the law required that within nine months or by January 30 1st of 1972 that state submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency for approval a plan to achieve these standards. Obviously it's fine to set standards and goals and all the kinds of things you're going to do but unless you have a plan and it's a plan that is implementable then you really don't have much you don't have much of a program for controlling air pollution. So states are required just to establish implementation plans and submit them to the Environmental Protection Agency on January 30 First of 72. And what is an implementation plan and this is a term that is used in all levels of government and bureaucracy. And you know generally it means we're going to implement a plan. Well I define an implementation plan as a blueprint for a comprehensive program of air pollution control needed to attain and maintain the national air quality standards. That's a mouthful What does it mean. Well there are 10 major sections that we required an implementation plan. First we require that the states have adequate legal authority to carry out a plan and as such we require that they have the authority to adopt rules and regulations to be able to enforce their laws to be able to abate a pollutant a pollution problem on an emergency basis when it was imminent and substantial endangerment to how to prevent the construction of a source if it would interfere with the attainment or maintenance of national air quality standards. This is an important provision because. Congress not only said that we should achieve the air quality standards but that we should also maintain them once they were achieved. Therefore states have to have the authority to disapprove the construction and not allow the construction of a source if it would interfere with the national air quality standards. Fifth to have the authority to obtain information be able to require sources to keep records to be able to inspect and test the source to be able to monitor emissions and its source. To require sources to install devices to monitor emissions to make periodic reports to the state and very importantly to make emission data available to the public. And the seventh part of the legal authority provision is that where it's necessary to meet air quality standards the authority to adopt land use and transportation controls. And once you have legal authority it's fine to have authority to do things but you then have to do something about trying to implement this authority. And the heart of an implementation plan is really the control strategy. That is what are we going to do to the sources of pollution in an area in order to achieve the air quality standards and we require that the control strategy in a plan be specifically spelled out and it will be demonstrated that it was adequate to achieve the air quality standards. After establishing control strategies then necessary to enact regulations. We've got legal authority you've got laws but now you need specific regulations in order to recall to define the requirements of the sources within an area. So we require that the states take the control strategy the types of controls they're going to implement and act them as legally enforceable regulations. I have to taking a legally enforceable regulation. It's time to set up a schedule for complying with that regulation. And we want to see that the states had definite definitely enforceable schedules for compliance for each source to comply with the regulations. We also require that the states have an emergency episode plan during the time in which we are going to achieve the air quality standards. We are aware that there are possible situations where due to due to adverse meet or illogical conditions you get a rapid build up of pollutant concentrations such that you can get concentrations high enough to present imminent and substantial investment to health during such times we require that the states have an episode plan a plan for monitoring the air during that time to determine whether there really is a problem. A plan for going out and actually getting sources to cut back and reduce their pollution load in the atmosphere to reduce the threat to health during that period. We also require that the states have a program of surveillance and this would be of two kinds. Now it's fine to say that you're going to have a control strategy and that you're going to achieve air quality standards but how are you going to monitor progress towards meeting those air quality standards. Well the obvious way is to put out a surveillance network and we require that the states have an adequate air quality surveillance network to be able to determine whether we're making any whether we're making adequate progress towards meeting the air quality standards. We also require a source of valence network. What does that mean. Well as I said before we enacted a control strategy we said are we going to do to achieve air quality standards and then we said we're going to act regulations. How do you monitor whether the sources are actually actually going to comply with those regulations you need in a foursome program this we call a source surveillance program and we require that the states have be able to have an inspection program where they go around to determine where the sources are in compliance that sources submit records and information to turn to allow the state to make a determination whether they are in compliance and that the states have a system for investigating citizen complaints when they are called in. Resources. Obviously the things that we've said are going to require increased resources for at the state level. We require the states to tell us exactly what they were going to do to obtain increased funding and manpower in order to carry out their implementation plans. And last. There's a provision for intergovernmental cooperation. We know that air pollution as all other types of pollution holds no political boundaries. Obviously you have situations where pollution travels from one state to the other. And obviously the example is here down in southeast Massachusetts you are very close to Rhode Island and consequently pollution can sometimes travel from Massachusetts to Rhode Island although in Massachusetts they tell you it comes from Rhode Island and Rhode Island they tell you it comes from Massachusetts. But obviously that has to be a program such that both both states will cooperate in trying to get the best the best program for air quality control that is possible. So we required some definition of the type of intergovernmental cooperation that there would be. Now what's the timetable for doing all these things this is an implementation plan and what is that. What is really the timetable. Well the law requires that in order to that in terms of primary standards which are to be protective of Public Health. That the standard should be achieved as expeditiously as practicable to use the exact wording of the law. But in no case let it later than mid 975. So what Congress said was in terms of health related standards the longest you could take was up to three years in order to achieve those standards unless the technology was not available. In that case you could get a two year extension up to 1977. Now we do have a situation which I will explain in a minute. That requires that we go to 977 in order to meet their quality standards that are protective of health. But secondary standards are to be achieved within a reasonable time. And what is a reasonable time the law didn't define it. But the Environmental Protection Agency defined it as also made 975 where the technology was available to achieve the standards. Now when we were developing these plans and the state submitted them in January 30 first 72 We then had formal four months in which to approve or disapprove these plans and the significant provision from the federal standpoint is that if we disapprove the state plan we were required by law within two months to promulgated regulations to correct the deficiencies in the state plans. So I'm a 30 First of 70 to four months after January 30 first we did approve the state state and territorial plans in a 55 state and territorial plans only 14 were completely approved. That meant that on July 5 July 30 First of 72 we had to promulgated regulations to correct the deficiencies in these other plans in New England we had two that were completely approved on May 30 First of 72 two out of the six. Massachusetts was not one of them but they now have up to this point a completely provable plan they have amended their plan and we now have four out of the six in New England which have approval plans. But we found ourself into situations where we couldn't require the states to comply with the law. And one was in the in the development of a transportation control strategy. I think you've heard this morning that Boston requires a transportation control strategy in order to achieve primary standards by nine hundred seventy seven. But what does this mean. I've already said that the Federal Clean Air Act requires a 90 percent reduction in automotive emissions for new automobiles starting in 1985. But the problem is that the in 1075 the new automobiles will only make up about 10 percent of the automobile population in Boston and the air quality concentrations in 16 cities across the United States are so high that they require something beyond the new federal motor vehicle controls and 975 and whatever you can do to the stationary sources in the area in order to achieve the air quality standards for carbon monoxide for chemical accidents and hydrocarbons. Well it was obvious that the states couldn't do this by January 30 First of 72 you understand. Probably from hearing Mr. McGlennon this morning that there are grave economic political and social consequences of a transportation control strategy. So we arbitrarily gave the states an additional year up to February 15th of 73 to submit this transportation control strategy. The state plans to announce a public hearing on its strategy and following public comment and public hearings which will be held in Boston. The state will decide whether or not to submit a plan and then submit it to the Environmental Protection Agency for approval. The other situation that we found ourselves in was in that in the area of compliance schedules I mentioned before that that once you have regulations you have to set up a time table for sources to come into compliance with these regulations. Well it was obvious that the kinds of timetables that we were asking for whereby a source would come in and negotiate with the state how it was going to finally put on the pollution control equipment what timetable would do this. That this was not could not be done by January 30 vs. 72 again we arbitrarily gave states an additional year up to February 15 1973 in order to submit these compliance gauges.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
- Sunday Forum
- Air Pollution And Its Controls
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