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Results of recent investigations of lead content in the human body and of daily intake through air, food, and water do not differ greatly from those shown by older investigations. If there has been any change the report says it would appear that at present man is exposed on the whole to less lead in his environment than he was 20 years ago, although greater tonnages are now used in industry and motor fuel additives.
That is what I had in mind. We will have to ask some of our later witnesses this morning how they interpret these medical statements. Thank you very much, Mr. Wormser. Mr. WORMSER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator MUSKIE. Our next witness is Mr. P.N. Gammelgard, of the American Petroleum Institute.
STATEMENT OF P. N. GAMMELGARD, DIRECTOR, COMMITTEE FOR AIR AND WATER CONSERVATION, AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE; ACCOMPANIED BY DR. R. E. ECKARDT, MEDICAL ADVISER, AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE
Mr. GAMMELGARD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is P. N. Gammelgard. I am director of the committee for air and water conservation of the American Petroleum Institute. With me today is Dr. R. E. Eckardt, medical adviser on the API staff.
I am appearing today in response to an invitation from your committee to review with you in broad outline the cooperative research agreement we have recently entered into with the Bureau of Mines. We welcome and thank you for this opportunity.
I would be somewhat remiss if I didn't thank the Washington press for the part they apparently played in putting me in this seat today.
Before discussing the particular project in which you are interested, I should like to point out that this is only one of many new research endeavors we are initiating this year. The API-continuing its longtime efforts dedicated to environmental conservation—is sponsoring a wide range of projects to help accumulate the kind of knowledge needed to assure sound and effective air pollution control steps.
The API-Bureau of Mines project was developed out of recognition that, in certain areas and under certain conditions, exhausts from automobiles are a substantial contributing factor in air pollution.
We chose the Bureau of Mines Eartlesville station for several reasons; their excellent facilities, unbiased position, and highly competent personnel
Effective ways to control auto emissions—as this committee well knows are still being sought. The
purpose of our research, being carried out in cooperation with the Bureau of Mines, is to determine what, if any, effect on auto emissions would be brought about hy varying fuel composition and volatility, and blending gasoline with and without lead.
project has been well thought out by Bureau of Mines and API representatives. It is designed to find the effects on evaporative and exhaust emissions brought about by varying fuel formulas under different automobile operating conditions.
At least 25 passenger cars, selected to encompass a wide range of types, will be employed in the tests. All vehicle emissions will be
measured in terms of total quantity, composition, and smog-forming potential using the very best available scientific knowledge and equipment.
In the tests an effort will be made to determine the effect on the output of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide resulting from variations in gasoline formulas,
In brief, this research will not necessarily find any gasoline formuas that will be better from an air pollution standpoint-than those gasolines which we use today. The project is designed only to find out what happens to emissions when you do vary gasoline composition and volatility, with and without lead.
Yesterday there was some discussion about the possibility of those findings--whatever they may be-being inhibited by either of the parties to the cooperative agreement between API and the Bureau of Mines. I want to assure the committee that the American Petroleum Institute has always made public all of the findings of the research sponsored by it. The result of this research will also be made generally and freely available to the public when completed. Dr. Hibbard stated that this would be the case and it will be.
In section 8 of the cooperative agreement there is the following language:
Subject to the provisions of this section, it is expressly agreed by both parties to this Agreement that information obtained hereunder is to be released publicly at the earliest time that it represents technically useful and valid findings.
This reflects the continuing attitude of the API in relation to its research projects—full disclosure of the findings at the earliest possible time. We do, however, always try to avoid announcements before the results are conclusively developed.
Senator Muskie. You had some language about at the earliest time. Would you repeat it?
Mr. GAMMELGARD. It is to be released publicly at the earliest time that it represents technically useful and valid findings.
Senator MUSKIE. At the time that it constitutes technically useful and valid findings, on that must there be an agreement between you and the Public Health Service as to when that time is reached !
Mr. GAMMELGARD. Do you mean the Bureau of Mines?
Senator MUSKIE. Between you and the Bureau of Mines. Suppose there is disagreement on that point? What happens under the agreement? Suppose the Bureau of Mines feels that that time has arrived, that there is technically useful and valid finding and you do not agree. Are they to publish under this agreement if that should happen?
Mr. GAMMELGARD. No, they would not, under these terms, but I can't visualize that happening.
Senator MUSKIE. We have had disagreement between scientists in these hearings, so they can disagree. This is not a black and white certainty that we are talking about, but technically useful and valid findings. I am not questioning anybody's motives, but it seems to me that if the language has the effect that you say it has, you might have the situation where an agency of the Federal Government of the United States feels that there is information that should be made public and you mav disagree because you don't feel that there is technically useful and valid findings. The result of such a disagreement, it seems to me, is to tie the hands of the public agency.
This is an accurate description, apparently, of the nature of your agreement.
When I say that, I am not saying that I am anticipating lack of good faith or a breakdown of honest efforts to agree. All I am saying is that if, despite all of the good faith and the honest efforts to agree you can't agree on this point, then the Government agency's hands will be tied, and I am not sure that is good.
Mr. GAMMELGARD. Look at it, if you will, please, in this light: This project is between groups of engineers and scientists. I think in their working together in good faith certain phases of this project will be completed before the entire project is completed.
I don't think it is difficult for engineers to sit down on a joint project and determine it now has a phase completed and it is time to publish an interim report.
I can also recall one project that we had some years ago at the Bureau of Mines cooperatively in which API could not publish without getting the prior permission of the Bureau of Mines during the project.
After the project is completed, there is no question, as I think this testimony shows, that either party is completely free to publish whatever they wish in connection with the project. We don't want to wait 3 years, certainly.
Senator MUSKIE. I think the agreement is clear, but I think we have here a very significant public policy question. I am not certain at this point as to the efforts that were made by the Bureau of Mines to get public funds to undertake this research before they entered into this agreement with you. But if Government agencies undertake to use cooperative agreements of this kind as a substitute for wholly public supported research, and if we do so under this kind of policy which you and I have been discussing, then I think a serious question is raised as to whether it is in the public interest to enter into such agreements that are binding on this point,
I am not sure that private agencies are as attuned to the need for public disclosure of information as public agencies ought to be. There is a great deal of criticism in the press because public agencies now are not as willing to disclose information that should be in the public domain as they ought to be. But at least I think they are motivated to disclose information to a greater extend than purely private agencies which, in their day-to-day work, are not particularly concerned about that.
Now if we add the inhibiting effect of agreements of this kind to the reluctance, sometimes, of public agencies to publish their reports and findings, then I am not sure we are getting good results. I think it is useful to expose this point and I am going to pursue it, frankly, to try to determine the extent to which agreements that are binding in this way are being used by Government agencies in the research field.
I think it is a very important point. I don't want to overdramatize it. I am sure these agreements were entered into in good faith and to achieve a constructive purpose. I am not questioning that at all. But I am worried about this one point.
I don't know whether Senator Boggs would like to explore this point or not.
Senator Borgs. I have no other questions to ask on it, but the thing that was going around in my mind was suppose API and the Bureau
of Mines entered into a subsequent agreement to take out this section. where would that leave you?
That would leave you, when you had technically useful and valid findings, in making them available, wouldn't it?
Mr. GAMMELGARD. That wouldn't bother API in the slightest, I can assure you, because we have full confidence that the Bureau of Mines would not publish something before that phase had been documented in their studies--that they wouldn't anticipate results.
This has been one of our problems. We have had a few cases in past years with research projects placed in universities in which a professor working on the project wanted to anticipate the results and publish interim reports before they really had the project documented.
Thus we try to tie their hands somewhat because we don't want premature disclosure. But we have never "sat on" the results of any of our research projects and kept them from the public. We don't intend to in this case.
Might I point out one thing? If the attitude were that the Bureau of Mines could not take on an outside research project for industry, this would put us in the position of having to do this type of a project “inhouse”-in other words, in an oil company laboratory. There are a number of oil company labs that are perfectly well equipped and staffed to do this type of project.
We deliberately did not try to place the project within an oil company research facility because we wanted the results to be accepted when they finally do issue. We couldn't think of a better place than the Bureau of Mines with their excellent facilities and excellent staff to place this project.
I can't see any conflict whatsoever. We have about 15 of these projects underway right now in lead, volatility, sulfur, and we make a practice of placing them in universities or research centers, such as Stanford Research Institute, or Battelle or similar research institutes, wherever possible, just to give credence to the results and also to prove
that we are not controlling the results or even trying to. It is a very important point to me. I want to be certain that the record shows our position on it.
Senator MUSKIE. W want it to. We don't want to see some bad habits developed on projects that are well motivated. I think there has been a great deal of cooperative effort between Government and industry in the research field, and increasingly since World War II. I think we have been more aware of that which has been financed with Government funds than has been done by industry and by educational institutions and other private agencies.
But here is the reverse, with the funds coming, in part at least, from industry, and the research being performed by the Government. I am tempted to the conclusion at this point that however well you may try to sa feguard the public interest it may not be possible to do it completely with that kind of an arrangement. That is why I am anxious to expose the problem and to discuss it. Then we can begin to form our opinions about what ought to be done.
Mr. GAMMELGARD. I will make a definite offer right now, Mr. Chairman, to amend the contract on behalf of API to let the Bureau publish any time they wish during the course of the project as well as at the end, which they now have the right to.
It would be interesting to see whether the Bureau would do the same with us.
Senator MUSKIE. I think that would be reassuring at this point.
During the term of this agreement neither party hereto shall publish or
I want to call your attention, however, to the remaining part of the sentence, which says: * * * it being understood and agreed that such prior approval from such other party shall not be required after termination or expiration of the terms of this agreement.” Thus, it is clear that full disclosure of the findings is what we want.
Returning for the moment to the project itself, it is a fact that among the many variables in gasoline to be investigated are lead antiknock additives. But, once again, by inclusion of these compounds in the study we do not mean to imply that these compounds should be removed from gasoline. If we knew that action to be necessary, then that phase of the research now getting underway would not be needed. As indicated in these hearings by the Surgeon General, the evidence that we have, based on considerable medical research, does not at this time justify the removal of lead from gasoline.
Actually, we probably have more knowledge about lead in the atmosphere than about any other substance. The “Survey of Lead in the Atmosphere of Three Urban Communities,” issued by the Public Health Service in 1965, is but the latest of many studies in this area. This study reported that concentrations of lead in the atmosphere of three cities-Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati—were all in an extremely low range and did not show any overall upward trend during a 5-year period.
In fact, the data from Cincinnati shown in the report actually indicated a downward trend since 1946—in spite of a doubling of automobile population.
A second finding of the survey was that the concentration of lead in the blood and urine of some 2,300 individuals examined was well
The results of this survey, sponsored by the Public Health Service and in which API and others were participants, convince us that the question of lead in the atmosphere is not now a concern from the public health point of view. No one accuses lead, either, of being an air pollution nuisance or a contributor to smog formation. And so, in our view, lead from gasoline exhausts is not at this time an air pollu
We do, however, as demonstrated by our intent to pursue research in this area, want to keep a close and continuing watch in this area. We believe, particularly, that continuation of studies of the type of the three-city survey or a modification thereof, would serve a most significant function. The findings published in 1965 now provide an invaluable benchmark against which we can actually measure any changes in atmospheric or body concentrations of lead. We have already approached the Public Health Service regarding renewal of such a
within the safe range.