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FEDERAL PROGRAMS IN ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH

The following letter from Senator Edmund S. Muskie was sent to 18 Federal agencies or organizations conducting environmental research.

14 MAY 1971 Hon. DEPARTMENT OF Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: The Senate Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution has recently concluded a set of hearings on S. 1113, a bill to establish a series of National Environmental Laboratories. In the course of evaluating this testimony, and the bill itself, it would be helpful to have on record details of existing active research programs in environmental science and technology that might be considered to be in conflict with or a complement to the mandate of the National Environmental Laboratories.

Would you please supply the following information for use by the subcommittee and inclusion in the hearing record. Please include detailed accounts for each agency or bureau of your Department involved in environmental research.

1. What is the organizational structure of your environmental research program? How many separate laboratories or installations in your agency are engaged in this research? What is the size and composition of the staff of each?

2. What are the fields of specialization of the scientific investigators in your laboratories? What advanced degrees do they hold?

3. What is your present level of funding for environmental research? What is your present level of authorization for environmental research? For how many years?

4. What kinds of problems are you addressing under the category "environmental" research? What proportion of this work would you consider "basic" research, defined as research producing fundamental, theoretical knowledge which was not sought for immediate problem-solving purposes? What proportion is devoted to technology development? To technology assessment?

5. List your current research projects on ecosystem structure and function, if any.

6. How much of your environmental reesarch is conducted at your own facilities? How much is done by contract to other instittuions? Please indicate the proportion of contract work assigned to each of various types of institutions (university, independent research firm, industry, etc.).

7. What mechanism, if any, do you have for identifying and addressing large scale environmental questions by interdisciplinary teams? What mechanism do you have for coordinating your activities with the Environmental Protection Agency? Please include copies of any memoranda or letters of agreement which detail your coordination mechanism.

8. What important questions, if any, are you unable to research adequately within your existing research structure? What are the main hindrances to proceeding with such research?

Thank you for your cooperation in replying to these questions. Inasmuch as the Subcommittee has concluded hearings on the bill to establish National Environmental Laboratories and is presently coordinating materials for final printing, I would appreciate your expediting a response to the above inquiry no later than June 15. Sincerely,

EDMUND S. MUSKIE,

U.S. SENATOR, Chairman, Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution.

(611)

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