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In particular, before you can use one part of the cost factor, that would demonstrate it is more economical to keep it clean than to have to clean it up.
Mr. Rowan. Yes.
Senator Nelson. The other factor is you will destroy the whole recreation industry of America that is based on the fresh water.
According to that factor, I would assume the waste-management study would be one of the factors that would be developed to demonstrate the cost of polluting water. I think the waste-management program would be a much simpler one to get funding for from the public than almost any other one, because I think it is more of an understandable program involving factors that are easier to compute results say rather than a crime study or a welfare study or something like that.
Mr. Rowan. I think that is true. Let us hope it is closer to the highway analogy than the other.
Senator NELSON. Yes. Mr. Rowan. Let me say at this point perhaps that this problem of education has another side.
That is the problem involving the glamour that often surrounds the application of technology to new areas. I want to stress that the determination of system program objectives cannot be left to the technologists alone. This inust be a joint effort between the elected officials who are responsible to the public and the specialists who are attempting to develop the program. The purposes, uses, and goals of any program must derive from the values and mores of the public. Thus, some of the trade offs implicit in the judgment to follow or not to follow a particular course of action, are not necessarily subject to rational analysis. Therefore, it is imperative to remember that system analysis, is a technology that applies the scientific method to the allocation of limited resources among a variety of competing demands, given a set of objectives. In and of itself, it cannot nor is it intended to determine those objectives.
Another problem I want to mention deals with the generalizability and transferability of the product resulting from the application of systems technology to particular problem areas. It is my opinion that, at least at the present stage of our capability, solutions developed to a problem in one geographic area are not likely to be wholly transferable. Rather, what will be generalizable is the experience gained by the analysts and the techniques and tools that they adapt from the defense effort or that they develop in pursuit of their tasks.
In summary, I want to emphasize that system analysis is not a panacea. It is not a black box into which one drops problems at one end and automatically receives solutions at the other. While I do not want to detract from the value of all the knowledge and experience that can be transferred from the defense community, I believe we should recognize that problems of the civil sector are no less difficult, and perhaps are more so, and require the utmost creativity. It is clear that one of the reasons that the four aerospace contracts look so promising is that these companies have applied some of their most creative people to the effort.
As indicated earlier, I believe that the contribution of managerial know-how from the defense community is at least as important as the contribution to be derived from the technology itself.
It would be misleading to leave the impression that this is an inexpensive process. We have all become inured to the tremendous costs of solving a defense problem. I wonder if we are prepared for the total system cost implicit in the solution of problems such as air pollution, or waste disposal.
It is my conviction that these and other problem areas indicated in the scientific manpower utilization bill are badly in need of attention. I am further convinced that the scientific and technological community has much to offer toward the solution of these problems. I further feel that this bill marks a signal step in the direction of the marshaling existing scientific and technological resources to the solution of the critical problems we face in our society.
Thank you, Senator.
Mr. MILLENSON. You referred, sir, to the New York Port Authority and the work they are doing there.
Mr. RowAN. Yes.
Are you suggesting, then, that the bill should include a provision to make appropriate grants to interstate agencies also in addition to making grants to States?
Mr. Rowan. No. No, sir. My only point I wanted to make there was that the difference between the state of affairs we faced at the close of World War II and today is that there is a vast amount of scientific and technical talent that ought to be marshaled for attacking some of these problems, and that it is found in lots of places inside government. And I think that the port authority is an outstanding example of applying the very best of technology to reasonably complicated problems.
Senator NELSON. Thank you very much.
We will adjourn out of consideration for others, because I don't each lunch, ordinarily. I would be just as happy to continue. I understand other people do. So we will adjourn until 2 o'clock.
(Whereupon, the hearing was recessed at 1:10 p.m., to reconvene at 2 p.m.)
Senator NELSON. We will resume the hearing. Our witness is Dr. Dwight Culver, Manager, Life Support Systems Division, AerojetGeneral Corp. Go ahead,
STATEMENT OF B. DWIGHT CULVER, M.D., MANAGER, LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS DIVISION, AEROJET-GENERAL CORP., AZUSA, CALIF.
Dr. CULVER. I have prepared a text which is rather lengthy, and I am going to discuss only major points of the report, which was prepared for the State of California on the waste management problem.
I am sure that all of you here are aware of one or more aspects of the waste and pollution problem confronting California today. Nevertheless, I would like to show you a few pictures which will help to paint the problem a little more vividly in your minds. The mere
fact that such pictures can be taken in our State today indicates that a problem exists for which there is no ready solution.
This study had as one of the major objectives the determination of whether aerospace technology and the techniques of systems engineering could fruitfully be applied to the problem of waste management in California. A further goal of this study was to set forth a plan which could be used in California for attacking the problems produced by the increasing amounts of waste generated in the State.
Waste management is a complex problem. First, I would like to discuss some of the reasons why we believe that California is confronted with a serious problem which is going to take a great deal of effort to solve. We are dealing with a complex problem and the ingredients of complexity are these. California is growing at a rate considerably faster than the national average. Between today and 1990, we will have doubled our population.
We live in a time of changing technology. This changing technology results in a per capita generation of waste which is increasing with the passage of time potentiating those increases due to population growth. Consider these ingredients of our waste disposal dilemma.
The changeover from straight-run gasoline to the unsaturated catalytically cracked gasoline has materially contributed to our own special variety of air pollution, the so-called photochemical smog.
With the advent of disposable glass bottles, the glass content of our trash has increased significantly and has added to the difficulty of recovering useful materials from domestic refuse.
Nuclear energy is in its infancy but even now presents us with a major problem in the disposal of fission products.
The conversion to oxygen furnaces in the steelmaking industry is rapidly reducing our means for reuse of scrap iron and as a consequence automobile junkyards are growing throughout the Nation.
Perhaps one of the most difficult problems presented us by our changing technology is the increasing use of plastics in almost every phase of modern life.
Plastics are one of our most durable substances, almost completely immune to biological decomposition. If we bury them, they remain almost indefinitely in their original state. If we burn them, they contribute hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen to our atmosphere.
There are some inherent characteristics of waste which make our job difficult. Waste by itself causes us no problem until we release it into our environment. Once waste enters the environment in which we live, it becomes a pollutant.
Pollutants have the inherent tendency to become disseminated. The gases from our factories and automobiles becomes diluted and spread in our air far beyond their place of origin. The liquid wastes from industry and domestic sewage eventually find their way into our ground water basins and into our streams and harbors. Even our solid wastes, by contaminating ground water, can become disseminated far beyond their place of burial. Thus, we are dealing with materials that have no respect for political jurisdiction.
This lack of respect for political jurisdiction is augmented by poorly defined and fragmented government responsibility. Responsibility for liquid waste at the State level lies with the State water quality
control board which has an advisory relationship only to the regional water pollution control boards which pass their regulatory authority down to sanitation districts and municipal departments. Solid wastes fall under the department of public health and the county and municipal health departments. Gaseous wastes are shared by the State motor vehicle pollution control board and the local air pollution control districts.
Perhaps this fragmentation of responsibility would not make our task in California more difficult were it not for the fact that almost every effort that we make to dispose of solid wastes converts them either to gaseous wastes or to liquid wastes. While, in turn, treatment of liquid wastes frequently present us with solids which have to be disposed of and gases which invade our atmosphere. The more carefully we treat our gaseous wastes, the larger the accumulation of solids we have to deal with. Thus the very nature of waste treatment demands a unified approach. This, then, provides the basis upon which we begin to see the complexity of our messy problem.
The knowledge that pollution is increasing and spreading from its source to distant places can only be the first step toward understanding the problem. Perhaps our major difficulty is in assessing the effects of pollution. It is not the existence of pollution which troubles us but rather the things that pollution does to the things of value in our lives. In order to plan for effective waste management and to allocate the large sums of money necessary to manage wastes, we must have a means for measuring the cost of pollution to the people of California. No meaningful estimate of the cost of pollution to the people of our State has ever been made. The fact that it is a complex job of heroic proportions does not mean it does not have to be done. Our study has shown that it can be done; and once we have measured these costs, we can go to the public and ask how much money are you willing to invest in a waste management system in order to avoid these losses.
Such cost information alone is not yet enough. In California and in the whole Nation, we are beginning to demand more from our environment than it simply be economically productive. There is a growing demand that the environment in which we live be made esthetically pleasing. The beer-can-littered beaches of southern California are almost a thing of the past. We hear demands that our harbors and rivers be returned to their former state of beauty, that the smog be cleaned up so that once again we can enjoy viewing the mountains and that unsightly dump grounds and junkyards be hidden from view. President Johnson has taken a leading role in championing the cause of a more beautiful America. In his message to the Senate and House of Representatives in May 1965, he wrote:
Today's new conservation must shift from the classic role of protecting threatened nature. It must restore beauty where it has already been destroyed. It must deal with the dangers which urbanization and growth and technology offer to the world we live in. It must make an effort to put beauty within reach of those who live in our cities, and make it part of the daily life of every American. For its concern is with restoring and enhancing he entire relationship between man and the natural world which is the source of so many treasured human values.
The fact that esthetic demands are changing means that the design of any system for managing pollution must be aimed at a constantly moving target. The system designer must ask his customer how clean,
how beautiful do you want your environment and he must be prepared to put a dollar sign on proposed systems to meet a variety of levels of environmental cleanliness and then together, customer and contractor must establish environmental standards or goals for a waste management system to meet.
What have we said so far? We have said that waste management is a complex problem because of the tendency of pollutants to disseminate and to change from one form to another. We have said that the fragmented responsibility in the State for waste control adds to the problem, that the problem is growing not only at a rate based upon population growth but accelerated by a change in technology. We have said that it is extremely difficult to measure the effects of pollution in meaningful terms. We have said that the problem is made more complex by the changing esthetic demands of the public and that these demands place the goals or target of a waste management system on a judgmental basis where to a great extent the money made available for handling waste will depend upon value judgments of the public.
Waste management system boundaries: In order to get on with the task assigned us in the waste management study for California, it was necessary for us to define what we meant by a waste management system. This definition encompassed the functions performed by the waste management system and the interfaces between this system and the other systems of the social community. The system collects waste, transports, processes, and disposes of it, reclaims useful materials and takes into account the dilution and reaction of pollutants with the environment. The system is responsible for monitoring wastes as they are discharged into the environment and responsible for monitoring pollution levels of the environment.
In order to provide manageable limits for the waste system, we have arbitrarily excluded the regulation of waste generation; saying instead, that any waste which can be collected is the responsibility of the waste management system. One important effect of this arbitrary decision is that the waste management system is not responsible for the prevention of waste generation. Were this arbitrary limitation not invoked, we would find the waste management system regulating industrial use of containers, making decisions about the raw materials which industry could use and in fact, invading all aspects of industrial economy.
We do say, however, that since the waste management system possesses the greatest amount of information about the costs of various pollutants, it is responsible for keeping society appraised about these costs. The system's responsibility for providing information should include recommendations to substitute one type of material for another in order to develop wastes which are more tractable.
At the output end, the waste management function cannot be responsible for the effects of pollution upon others. It cannot be made responsible for crop damage due to pollution, the health of man exposed to smog or any of the other systems which may be affected by pollution. But we believe the waste management system should be responsible for assisting the establishment of the relationship between levels of pollution and their effects upon the various affected systems. Society must establish quality standards for our environ