Page images
PDF
EPUB

engine, when it was fueled with kerosene, produced an odor similar to that from diesel engines; however, the odor was not severe.

It is important to note that the tests conducted by the Division of Air Pollution do not represent a full evaluation of the turbine engine's potential for contributing to community air pollution. As previously noted, the testing was focused on well known motor vehicle pollutants. No attempt was made to determine whether turbine engines produce significant amounts of lesser known or hitherto unknown classes of pollutants. In addition, because there is often a substantial degree of variation in emissions from individual cars of the same general type, the fact that only one turbine car was tested must be kept in mind. The results are believed to be representative of this type of engine, but data to confirm this are not available.

In the context of these reservations, turbine cars of the type tested by the Division of Air Pollution appear to produce less pollution than do motor vehicles now in use which are powered by piston engines. The difference is indeed marked, at least with respect to hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. But the comparison of the prototype turbine car with motor vehicles now in use may be misleading in some degree. The apparent advantage of the turbine engine may be wiped out as improvements are made in technology for controlling air pollution from piston engines and as the Federal standards are revised to take advantage of such technical advances. For the time being, then, the benefits of the turbine car, from the standpoint of reducing motor vehicle pollution, remain uncertain.

In any event, the outlook for the future development and application of the gas turbine engine to motor vehicles depends on many factors other than its bearing on the air pollution problem. Though such engines provide the motive power for jet aircraft, their practicability for automobiles has not been firmly established.

Insofar as can be determined from available information, the outlook for the use of turbine engines—at least in trucks and buses is essentially the same as it was in 1962 when, in a report to the Congress, the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service said: "There is no doubt that the turbine will find application for a number of purposes where its advantages are clear-cut. This includes fire engines and other emergency vehicles. For pulling one or several heavy trailers over turnpikes and interstate highways, turbines are unquestionably superior power plants." Both the Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation are known to be actively engaged in the development of turbine-powered trucks.

The prospects for using gas turbine engines in passenger cars have generally been considered less promising, principally because of their relatively high fuel consumption and their lag in providing acceleration from a standing start. In recent weeks, however, the Chrysler Corporation has taken a more hopeful view, at least in its statements to stockholders and the public. Chrysler is the only major automobile manufacturer known to be involved, to any appreciable degree. in efforts to develop turbine-powered passenger cars.

Chrysler has already completed a two-year survey in which 50 prototype turbine cars were tested by more than 200 motorists for periods of up to three months; it was one such car that was furnished for testing by the Division of Air Pollution. Test drivers reportedly were dissatisfied with the fuel consumption and acceleration lag but pleased by the turbine car's vibration-free ride and the fact that the engine required little maintenance. On April 19, Chrysler announced development of a second-generation turbine engine which will serve as the basis for its future work in this area. The new model was said to overcome, to an unspecified degree, the disadvantages of the earlier prototype. Air pollution data for the new model have not been released.

The problem of fuel consumption has always been a major obstacle in the development of turbine engines for use in passenger cars. The 1962 report of the Surgeon General noted that turbine cars had been shown to provide reasonably good fuel mileage in cross-country driving but only poor mileage in urban driving. Exact figures have not been released by the automobile industry, but trade journals have reported that turbine cars ran 15 miles per gallon of fuel in proving-grounds tests covering a wide range of operating conditions. This is equal to, perhaps better than, the fuel consumption of some American cars now in use; however, there is considerable question as to whether turbine cars will provide such mileage in ordinary use.

To be sure, turbine engines can be fueled with kerosene, which is currently much less expensive than gasoline. But it is important to note that a major portion of the difference is accounted for by Federal and State gasoline taxes;

such taxes would probably be applied to kerosene if it were used as a fuel for motor vehicles. In addition, the economics of large-scale kerosene production are unknown. As a consequence, it is not possible to predict whether, or to what extent, the higher fuel consumption of turbine engines would be offset by a lower cost per gallon of fuel.

The fact that turbine engines require less maintenance than is needed by piston engines is a distinct advantage. Other advantages, in addition to the vibration-free ride provided by turbine cars, include the lighter weight of turbine engines compared to piston engines of comparable performance capabilities, and their longer operating life. On the other hand, turbine engines tend to be bulkier, and they are poorer in retarding a motor vehicle once the accelerator pedal is released.

In summary, there is some evidence that turbine engines constitute an automotive power source with less inherent capacity for polluting the air than is the case with piston engines. On the other hand, there are numerous technological and economic problems standing in the way of routine production and marketing of turbine-powered motor vehicles, particularly passenger cars; some of these problems have already been discussed. The cost of such cars is still another problem. Estimates have been made which indicate that the cost of a turbine car may, initially, be well in excess of the cost of a comparable pistonengine model, but it is not unreasonable to expect the difference to be narrowed by continuing production of turbine cars. The need for a substantial capital investment to enter mass production is another problem. In all likelihoodbarring any radical and presently unforesen technological breakthroughs—if turbine engines are used to any appreciable extent in the next few years, their use will be limited to prestige cars and large trucks.

Senator RANDOLPH. Mr. Chairman, I want to stress again and again that this committee, through its Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution which you so capably chair, is going into in depth and scope these problems as we have never gone into them before. I do not disparage what we have achieved in degree, but all any American citizen has to do is to travel throughout this country and to see and sense and feel what is happening and know that we must purify our air and clean our water. This is a challenge which we legislatively here must accept.

Senator MUSKIE. Thank you, Senator Randolph. May I express the appreciation of the subcommittee for the unreserved support which you have always given the subcommittee. I think I would like to echo the sentiments which you have just expressed about the mood of the country. I think the mood of the country with respect to these problems is ahead of our capacity at the moment to provide the leadership and the will to act.

There still seems to be some reluctance in some quarters to respond to the mood of the country as I think the mood of the country exists today. We want you fellows to be pushing us for action. This has not been the posture in the last 3 or 4 years.

I am delighted, Mr. Secretary, with your commitment and dedication to this objective. So we are going to begin to look to you to push us. If you don't, we are going to push you to push us. Secretary GARDNER. We will try to be equal to both those roles. Senator MUSKIE. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. We will go into the various questions which you have raised in your statement more exhaustively next week when Mr. McKenzie and others come before us.

Secretary GARDNER. Very good. Thank you, sir.

Senator MUSKIE. I would now like to welcome an old friend who is chairman of the Mayor's Task Force on Air Pollution, New York City, Mr. Norman Cousins.

[ocr errors]

We appreciate your interest, Mr. Cousins, in coming down to testify to us and to present the program of the city of New York. I know it is a labor of love with you. We are most appreciative of your interest and your cooperation.

STATEMENT OF NORMAN COUSINS, CHAIRMAN, TASK FORCE ON

AIR POLLUTION OF THE MAYOR OF NEW YORK, NEW YORK CITY, AND EDITOR, SATURDAY REVIEW

Mr. Cousins. Thank you very much, Senator Muskie.

First of all, I would like to thank Chairman Muskie for the invitation to appear before this body, although, Senator, when you said before that your committee came here to be educated I must say that I feel somewhat in the position of a man who answered the doorbell summons and found a representative of the Salvation Army waiting there and the Salvation Army gentleman said, “Sir, what do you do with your old clothes?” He said, “Well, to tell you the truth, I hang them up very carefully at night and I wear them the next day.”

I don't think I have any new clothes to offer, Mr. Chairman.

Senator MUSKIE. You know, I can not resist telling a good Maine story on the subject of being educated. This is the story of the traveling salesman who was trying to sell the mink farmer an encyclopedia on mink farming. The mink farmer said, “Hell, Mister I'm only farming half as well as I know how now."

Mr. Cousins. I do thank the chairman for the invitation to appear and I congratulate the committee for its leadership in initiating vitally important legislation and focusing the attention of the American people on the need to develop a truly national program to combat the steady poisoning of the natural environment, that is, the natural environment that is the most important resources of this Nation.

Incidentally, I should also like to thank Secretary Gardner for the cooperation of the officials of the U.S. Public Health Service in particular, Vernon McKenzie, and Thomas Williams, in the study we have conducted in New York City and preparation of our report.

Their heln has been invaluable.

The situation in New York City, as you know, and as Senator Douglas emphasized, is probably the most serious of any large metropolitan area in the country. More poisons per square mile are pumped into the air in New York than anywhere else in the United States. We have undertaken a study of the sources of these poisons and they come from a variety of places.

I will identify very briefly a few of them.

No. 1, they come from New York City's 11 municipal refuse-disposal stations. They come from New York City's own housing authority projects, with 2,600 incinerators and 2,500 heating furnaces. They come from privately owned apartment houses and office buildings.

They come from approximately 600,000 private residences, many of which use fuel oil in heating furnaces. They come from Consolidated Edison's 11 power generating stations inside the city. Consolidated Edison burns I think it is io billion pounds of coal each year and 800,000 gallons of fuel oil.

They come from 8,500 industrial manufacturing establishments. They come from demolition and construction dust. Ordinary street

dirt

. Approximately 13,000 lunchrooms and restaurants. And this is a point your committee has been making, they come from 1.5 million automobiles, buses, and trucks, practically all of which now operate without devices to control their noxious gas and particulate matter.

They come from the emanations from approximately 400,000 takeoff or landing operations of jet aircraft at New York airports each year. They come from approximately 25,000 steamship operations in New York and then of course we have pollution by air invasion.

Dirty air drafts into New York from hundreds of miles away and especially from nearby New Jersey with its relatively uncontrolled industrial complexes and incinerators.

All these sources, as Senator Douglas said, average out about 730 pounds of dirt and poison per person in New York City.

We have broken this down into 230,000 tons a year of particulate matter, soot, fly ash, et cetera; 597,000 tons a year of sulfur dioxide; 298,000 tons a year of nitrogen oxides; 567,000 tons a year of hydrocarbons; 1,536,000 tons a year of carbon monoxide.

These are the major pollutants, they are not the only ones. Now in considering a major program to combat this pollution in New York City we feel that such program breaks down to about 14 key elements. First, we believe as you do, Senator, that the main pressure and energy for control of air pollution have to come from an alert and enlightened public. We do not see how it will be possible to mount the kind of program that is necessary unless the public gets concerned and excited.

Second, we believe that the fight against air pollution must be incorporated into a comprehensive plan and program for control of all environmental hazards. This program should be related to overall city planning, including urban renewal.

Third, we believe that New York City has to begin by cleaning its own house. We see certain elements of hyprocrisy in the attempt of New York City to enforce the law against others while being the worst violator of its own laws with respect to incinerators, buses, trucks, city cars, public buildings, and so forth.

Four, we believe that the constant concern of the city must be for the health and welfare of its people. You asked Secretary Gardner before about a detailed statement to document the relationship between air pollution and health. We have a detailed study that has been made for us by Dr. Harry Kruse, of the New York Academy of Medicine. That study goes into this question very thoroughly. It positively identifies air pollution as a major health hazard. Senator MUSKIE. May we have a copy of that for the use of the staff ? Mr. Cousins. I will be happy to send it. Senator MUSKIE. Thank you. . Mr. Cousins. We believe that clean air objectives must be carefully defined and must serve as a basis for any effective program. We have to know what we are shooting at and then develop our legislation to accomplish those objectives.

I would like to say one of the points made in the special study we hal on health is that so far there seems to be rather substantial evidence with respect to the effect of lead on health and crops; and evidence on the effects of sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxides. But we do not know enough about the combined effects of various poisons in combination

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

not just poisons in the air but the poisons in water and the poisons in food. The synergistic effects may well be the principal ones.

I believe it is useful but not necessarily critical to find out what the effect of any single pollutant might be whether in the air or water. We have to find out how a human being stands up under the combined attack of poisons in air, in water, and in food.

No. 6, we believe that the fight against air pollution must address itself both to the control of fuels or input and the control of smoke, dirt, and poisons coming out of the stacks, or output.

We believe the effective enforcement requires scientific measurement of emissions and administrative penalties for violators. I emphasize administrative penalties for violators, because so long as we have to go through the courts, issue summonses, and clog the court calendars, we will have long delays. We believe in the need for administrative penalties with, of course, recourse to the courts.

Next, we believe that there should be a combination of tax incentives and vigorous enforcement. The real breakthrough may come when these two factors interact.

On the one hand, we need tax incentives for installing air pollution equipment; on the other hand, we need effective enforcement that can make the tax incentives meaningful.

No. 9, Consolidated Edison should use cleaner fuels, institute major modernization of existing equipment and at the same time plan for major power generating facilities outside the city, itself.

No. 10, we believe the use of fuel oil or coal for heating purposes, whether in private residences or apartment houses or power generating stations or public buildings, must be carefully governed with respect to sulfur content.

Eleven, we believe that the city must have a total plan for waste and garbage disposal. This includes a ban on open burning of refuse materials and rigid control of all incinerator operations, public and private. The city has to consider possible alternatives to incineration. That is why we are so interested in your bill and the kind of help it will provide for this purpose.

Twelve, we believe that the city can act to reduce pollution caused by gasoline and diesel engines even though the city does not have licensing powers over automobiles in general. I will return to this point in a moment.

Thirteen, New York City exists in a geographical complex of cities some of which are outside New York State and therefore our city has to coordinate its effort with State, regional, and Federal agencies.

New York City should seek its full share of Federal and State aid for combating air pollution. In a moment, Mr. Chairman, I should like to point out why I think the present aid available to large cities is inadequate.

No. 14, we believe cities must seek new advanced approaches and techniques in the fight against air pollution.

Senator MUSKIE. Mr. Cousins, may I ask a question as to one other approach that you may have touched on implicitly in points 11 and 12, but which I would like to emphasize a little bit.

I think there is no question but what a tremendous advance toward controlling this problem in a city like New York could be achieved if you could somehow bring about more efficient combustion wherever it takes place, whether it is in a home heating plant or in an automo

« PreviousContinue »