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bile or in an incinerator. You covered the incinerator. I gathered you will get into the problem of automobiles.
Mr. Cousins. I will be coming to that shortly. On the matter of improved combustion, this I understand represents a somewhat mixed blessing, because improved combustion can sometimes result in an increase in the output of pollutants under some circumstances. Therefore, it becomes necessary not only to have improved combustion but also to have control mechanisms on the stacks.
Later I will discuss the possibility of chemical additives to fuels, not only for the purpose of improving combustion but for the purpose of reducing the noxious gases coming out of the stacks. Did you have another question, Senator? Senator MUSKIE. No. Mr. Cousins. I pointed out that the 14 elements of this program are part of a three-stage approach. There are some things that can be done immediately without waiting for additional legislation or additional action by the State and Federal Government. Some things may take from 3 to 5 years and require a degree of help and coordination from State and Federal agencies. Then there is the long-term approach, which involves fairly exotic, but all are essential so far as a comprehensive program.
Now we are rather optimistic in New York about being able to reduce very substantially the air pollution that originates inside the city limits. We are also optimistic about the possibility that the country as a whole can increase the quality of its air and bring air pollution under control.
The problem, while complex, is not beyond comprehension. It is difficult but not impossible. We feel that with the kind of initiative that your committee has taken, the prospects for genuine improvement are very strong. We believe we can have a specific result, and we won't have to wait too long for it. In New York City some things have already been done and are now underway. I will identify a few of them.
No. 1, the city council has passed new air pollution control legislation directed mainly at reduction of the sulfur content in soft coal and fuel oil and a ban on new incinerators in apartment houses and ungoverned operation of existing incinerators.
No. 2, the task force has just completed an agreement with Consolidated Edison, under which Con Ed is going to start shutting down its antiquated power stations inside the city and start developing power generating operations outside of New York.
Mr. Randolph is interested, of course, in the problems of Appalachia. We have not asked Con Ed to give up soft coal burning. What we hare tried to do is to get Con Ed to create plants outside New York City in locations where air pollution will not be a problem, so the miners will still be able to work.
We have cooperated with the Pennsylvania Railroad in trying to locate sites where it can still operate its coal carriers.
So, in attacking this problem of air pollution with respect to Con Ed, we have tried not to trade one problem for another. We have tried not to clean the air at the expense of increasing unemployment.
Three, New York City will embark on a far-reaching program to upgrade its incinerators and install air pollution control equipment.
Next, the task force has met with representatives of the coal industry and oil industry and we have been instrumental in instituting research programs for new techniques in the recovery of sulfur from stacks and for methods of reducing sulfur content in fuel. It is a rather attractive prospect that the now noxious and obnoxious smokestacks may actually be a source of revenue.
Next, while New York City does not possess authority over automobiles it does have control over a large fleet of buses, thousands of city vehicles of its own, and it does have licensing power over 14,000 taxicabs. We are taking advantage of this access now, Mr. Chairman, to test out new electrostatic precipitator equipment on the tailpipes of vehicles.
We are somewhat apprehensive about the blowby devices that have been prescribed in the new legislation because of evidence, partial to be sure, but significant nonetheless, evidence that these new devices in the new cars under the new law will get at the hydrocarbons but in so doing may have the effect of producing an increase in the oxides of nitrogen. This requires a great deal of additional study, it seems to us. We do not know whether the electrostatic precipitator devices that we are putting at the ends of the tailpipes in the cars in New York City will reduce this additional hazard. We will be glad, of course, to communicate with you as our information develops.
We are also drawing up plans for bringing together officials from east coast cities for the purpose of pooling our potential buying power in order to draw up specifications for taxicabs-much lighter weight, much less horsepower and much less pollution.
In New York City there are 14,000 cabs, but when we add that buying power to a number of other cities we may be able to say things of interest to the automobile manufacturers.
Point 7—we will make the fight against air pollution part of the larger fight against all environmental hazards. The most important recommendation in our task force report to the mayor called for creation of an Environmental Control Board with authority over air pollution, water pollution, noise, and congestion. We are also interested in the quality of life, I might add. The threats to the environment are interconnected and must be fought on an interconnected basis.
I would like if I may, Mr. Chairman, to develop this point which frequently has been made before your committee and was made by Secretary Gardner: We see a direct connection between the way the Nation disposes of its garbage waste and the filth and poisons in our streams, rivers, and air.
Whether we get rid of garbage through sewage or through burning, all we are going is changing the form of it and producing a problem of disposal in another medium, whether water or air. We see a connection, too, bet ween the conditions of our crops and the amount of lead, oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, polynuclear hydrocarbons,
including benzopyrene in the air.
The American people today, Mr. Chairman, are involved in a war far more deadly than the war in Vietnam. But very few of them seem aware of it and even fewer of them are doing anything about it. This is a war that is being waged against American environment, against our lands, air, and water.
What we need today is not only a world in which men can be free but in which men can breathe freely. Consider the attack on the land.
Americans are possessed of an incredible delusion. They believe that they have a limitless supply of land. They have seen so many pictures of storage bins overflowing with grain that it has not occurred to them that their abundance may not be shrinking and that they may be headed for a food shortage. Each year for the
past 20 years more than a million acres have been taken out of cultivation in order to find space for spreading cities. A million acres each year has been covered by broad cement ribbons of new super highways. Meanwhile, millions more Americans have to be fed each year. Our foreign commitments are growing. Unless there is a stark reversal, the downward curve of land available for growing food and the upward curve of American and world needs will close sometime within the next 6 or 7
years. The dollar deficit that now concerns the country will be as nothing compared to the prospective food deficit, given a continuation of the present trends.
Now even without regard to food supplies the gouging-out of forests and farmland has already inflicted grave damage on the American environment. Whether on broad new highways, carved out of the countryside or on speedways, cutting through the hearts of our cities, automotive vehicles are spewing into the atmosphere hundreds of thousands of tons of gases, chemical wastes that are hostile to the delicate lung tissue of human beings and other animals, poisons that devitalize or destroy the crops on which life depends.
Under the Federal Clean Air Act all new automobiles will have to be equipped with special pollution control devices. This is to the good. Unfortunately, the bulk of the car population will not be affected unless the States pass legislation to bring all cars, buses, and trucks under control.
Another serious difficulty is that the new Federal legislation calls for a device that is directed against hydrocarbons but that may actually have the effect of increasing the highly dangerous oxides of nitrogen in automobile emissions.
It makes little difference how much progress may be made in other areas in an attack on pollution; unless there is effective control over gasoline and diesel engines, the fight against pollution will fail. No American city has been more vigorous and effective than Los Angeles in reducing poisons and filth caused by incineration, open burning and heating furnaces. For a time in Los Angeles the manmade gray fog that lies like an incubus over Los Angeles began to break up and the people could again see a clear blue canopy overhead. But the growth of the freeways and automotive traffic in Los Angeles has been canceling out the pains produced by L.A. in taming its chimneys.
Today, Los Angeles is once again cursed by almost continual smog. The special devices designed to cut down on fog poisons have fallen short of expectation. Whether this is because of difficulty in enforcing the laws, or because the devices themselves are inadequate, or because there is such a huge car and truck population, Los Angeles is losing the war against pollution caused by combustion engines.
I congratulate your committee for the Clean Air Act of December 17, and the Clean Air Act amendments and Solid Waste Disposal Act of October 20, and on the new proposal, but as your committee considers additional measures for combating pollution, I trust that the following suggestion may have some merit:
1. Studies should be instituted immediately to see whether the blowby and afterburner devices required under the Clean Air Act may not actually have the effect of releasing additional quantities of oxides of nitrogen. It is important to get rid of the hydrocarbons, but if the process by which this is achieved also brings about the unintended release of nitric oxides, then a substantial new problem will be created.
2. The committee should extend the requirement for effective air pollution control devices to all vehicles, regardless of age. We beg you to consider ways by which this can be done, even with State sovereignty:
3. Provisions for new research should also be addressed to the development of chemical additives to be used in all fuels that now produce pollutants. This would include fuels used for jet aircraft engines. Increasingly, airports are becoming the hottest pollution spots in the country. We believe additives should be considered for automobile use, bus, truck engines, for heating furnaces, and for steamand power-generating stations.
The experience with antipollution additives for fuel so far is far from conclusive, but it does seem to warrant substantial additional research.
4. The Congress should consider prescribing permissible emission standards for automobiles low enough to serve as incentive for the design of vehicles with substantially less weight and horsepower, and with maximum efficiency and safety measures.
We believe that it is not enough to prescribe devices in cars as they now exist. We believe that the standards should be set low enough to lead to a new design for automobiles of substantially lighter weight and horsepower.
5. We believe that the retention of the 121/2-percent limitation per State of section 10104(c) does not appear to give proper emphasis to the magnitude of the problem facing our major metropolitan areas, particularly in New York City.
6. We believe that individual emergency health kits for acute air pollution episodes should be designed by the U.S. Public Health Service in order to facilitate production and use in hospitals, schools, and on a general basis if necessary. We are thinking of spray packs containing solutions of sodium hydrate, which can be devised for neutralizing indoor areas against the effects of a high concentration of sulfur dioxide and sulfur trioxide in the air during such episodes.
7. Because smoke drift is interstate, we believe that the Federal Government should prescribe maximum tolerable limits for noxious gases emanating from smokestacks of large and intermediate sites.
It should require effective air pollution control equipment on all such stacks, since these stacks have an interstate effect.
8. We believe that the U.S. Government should seek to make control of air pollution and environmental hazards in general also a prime concern of the United Nations.
All the world's large cities now suffer from filth and poisons in the air. The fight to control environmental dangers cannot be confined to a single nation, as your bill points out, any more than it can be confined to a single city within a nation.
The human race may not be tied together politically or culturally or philosophically, but the one thing that all the world's people have in
common is a finite amount of land, an air envelop that is rapidly filling ир with dirt and poison gases, and an uneven water supply that is largely unprotected against infection by sewage and noxious wastes.
To paraphrase H. D. Wells, the human race today is engaged in a race between responsibility and catastrophe. Our industrial civiliza
tion has been developed by human intelligence. The same human inati telligence now has the obligation to make this world safe and fit for
PREPARED STATEMENT OF NORMAN COUSINS, CHAIRMAN OF THE MAYOR'S TASK
FORCE ON AIR POLLUTION, NEW YORK CITY My name is Norman Cousins, I serve as Chairman of the New York City Task Force on Air Pollution appointed by Mayor John V. Lindsay.
First of all, I want to thank the Chairman for the invitation to appear before this body. I am eager, too, to congratulate the Committee for its leadership in initiating ritally important legislation and in 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 most important resource of this nation.
The situation in New York City, as many of you know, is probably the most serious of any large metropolitan center in the nation.
More poisons per square mile are pumped into the air in New York than any. where else in the United States. The poisons and dirt in New York's air come from a variety of sources: 1. New York City's eleven municipal refuse-disposal stations.—Forty-seven furnaces and smokestacks are involved, almost all of them operating with inferior smoke-and-gas control equipment. These stations operate in almost constant violation of New York's own laws against air pollution.
2. New York City's Housing Authority projects. These projects operate 2,666 incinerators and 2,500 heating furnaces, most of them in need of effective pollution-control equipment.
3. Privately owned apartment houses and office buildings.—They operate ap proximately 10,000 incinerators and 135,000 heating furnaces, all but a few of which are totally lacking in pollution-control equipment.
4. Approximately 600,000 private residences (single and double family dwellinge).--Most of them use fuel oil in their heating furnaces, operating at varying degrees of efficiency. 5. Consolidated Edison's eleven power-generating stations inside the city.-Con Ed's 116 boilers and 49 smokestacks operate for the most part under inefficient conditions of pollution-control. 6. Approximately 8,500 industrial manufacturing establishments. Many of them produce noxious emissions.
7. Demolition and construction dust.-Whether with respect to old buildings being torn down, or new buildings being put up, large quantities of dirt and dust are thrown into the air.
& Ordinary street dirt.-An incalculable quantity of dirt, trapped under parked cars, where sanitation trucks cannot get at it, is easily blown into the air. 9. Approximately 13,000 lunchrooms and restaurants.-A large number of them emit smoke and odors at street level. 10. Approximately 1,500,000 automobiles, buses, and trucks.—Practically all of these vehicles now operate without devices to control their noxious gases and particulate matter. Many of these vehicles require normal engine and exhaust repair.
11. The emanations from approximately 400,000 takeoff or landing operations of jet aircraft at New York airports each year.
12. Approximately 25,000 steamship operations in the New York Harbor each Fear, apart from an indeterminate but substantial number of engine-run harbor craft. 13. Pollution by air invasion.—Dirty air drifts into New York from hundreds of miles away and especially from nearby New Jersey, with its relatively uncontrolled industrial complexes and incinerators.