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involving most of the world's acknowledged workers in this field, which is being sponsored by this Agency in May of this year.
Dr. Karl Krider, who is familiar to the committee and to many in California and around the world, is a principal participant in this: effort.
Again, the results of all of this are going to be entered into the. public domain and will be entered into our data retrieval system.
I think I should point out, as in my statement, that the time requirements in this act for the report and criteria documents have: made it difficult to thoroughly assess the problem of the impact of aircraft and airport noise.
We have to complete the criteria study and release it at the same time that we have too submit the "Report" on aircraft and aviation noise. It is possible, however, on the basis of present knowledge for us to examine the FAA's regulatory authorities over air commerce and transportation, or over aircraft and airport operations, which might be applied to the control of the problem without reference to what the level of control is; and, as indicated in our comments. regarding organization of the task groups, we have already undertaken that..
I would like to explain that the reason that we are not submitting with the report to the FAA the proposed regulations at the same time. We cannot do it any sooner under the act. We feel that we must actually evaluate the health and welfare requirements as brought to light in the criteria document and in the health effects document.
We promise the committee that we are definitely not going to study this problem ad infinitum. We are planning, based on our first evaluations, to submit our recommendations to the FAA as called for by section 7 (c) of the act, not later than the end of fiscal year 1973-1974-that should be calendar year 1973. It is the typist's mis
Senator CANNON. Now, wait a minute. Let's get it straight.
Dr. MEYER. Calendar year 1973.
Senator CANNON. Calendar year 1973?
Dr. MEYER. Not later than the end of the year, calendar year 1973. I am sorry about the mistake. I thought that I had caught all of
Now, I would like to point out that we have had absolutely outstanding cooperation, sir, from other governmental agencies, industry, trade associations, and individuals. We believe that we are experiencing a most encouraging evidence that the regulatory process in government can be enhanced through this type of participatory effort.
There is a lot of planning and a lot of work, but we do indeed feel that it works.
Senator CANNON. Well, Doctor, why haven't you brought the FAA and DOT into the picture prior to this time?
Dr. MEYER. Sir, we issued invitations to the Secretary of Transportation as of January. An observer from the Office of the Secretary was at the task group organizational meeting, and we have received assurances that we would be given a clear indication of DOT and FAA participation this month.
I have had discussions at the appropriate levels with the DOT, which assured me that there will be participation. I am not at liberty to commit them because I do not know the details of what the time lag is, sir.
Senator CANNON. Couldn't they have been of considerable help if they had been in the participating arena prior to this point in time? Dr. MEYER. Unquestionably, Senator.
Senator CANNON. It seems to me that someone ought to take action to see that they do get into this process at the earliest possible time, and contribute as much as they can rather than standing on the outside as interested observers.
Dr. MEYER. Senator, we have had some informal discussions at the appropriate levels. At the working level there has been a flow of information on this subject. The problems of coordination and cooperation between the Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency have been they recognized by the Secretary and Administrator, and the mechanisms to insure improved cooperation have been established at that level.
I think part of the problem has been changes in certain key personnel, of which you are quite clearly aware, and the need for getting a grip on the problem for both sides and I do not feel at this juncture that this was a deliberate effort not to participate, it is a matter of communications and policy.
Senator TUNNEY. Would you yield?
Senator CANNON. Yes, Senator Tunney.
Senator TUNNEY. Well, how long are these meetings-do these meetings last a couple of hours?
Dr. MEYER. Well, some of them last all day. Some of them last a couple of hours, and people take work home. Now, we have made office space available; we have procurred additional space over and beyond our normal office space which has been set aside for the task group on aviation and aircraft noise and the task group on interstate carrier regulations.
What we have done is setup these meeting, people get together and have their discussions, take back some assignments, do their work, communicate by mail.
So, these meetings are not really that all consuming. The one next week is almost-you know-preparing a report.
Senator TUNNEY. How much notice do you give to the DOT and the FAA that meetings are going to take place?
Dr. MEYER. Well, we submitted, sir, in January, a letter to the Secretary in which we asked for a designated point of contact within the Agency.
Senator TUNNEY. Yes?
Dr. MEYER. But we did not receive a reply.
Senator TUNNEY. Not yet?
Dr. MEYER. We have received one reply the first week in March which said in effect that "we have got ahold of this thing and we are going through it within the Department." I think that some of these questions probably ought to be addressed to the Department of Transportation rather than us. But, we said please give us the name of an informal contact.
At that time we sent them a schedule of the meetings.
Dr. MEYER. We had a liaison observer at the first meeting.
Senator TUNNEY. But, at the first meeting-did he contribute anything?
Dr. MEYER. He was only a liaison representative.
Senator TUNNEY. I just cannot fathom that. I think that if the Secretary, even if he is a new Secretary, just comes into office, he ought to be able, within a very short period of time, to identify some man that can attend a meeting occasionally and make an input on a subject which has recently been legislated upon by Congress and which is a matter of considerable import to the people of the country. Legislation, which by the way, was strongly supported by the President and the administration.
I think it demonstrates a lack of interest on the part of the FAA and the Department of Transportation. It also represents to me a situation of lack of cooperation and one that ought to be corrected very quickly.
I personally think, and I am speaking personally now, that it is a disturbing thing that would not occur if the FAA and the DOT tried to cooperate with the EPA in the establishment of standards criteria, and procedures in order to implement the basic act. I am personally going to direct a letter and perhaps even phone the Secretary of Transportation to find out why he has not shown greater cooperation with the EPA in this regard.
Dr. MEYER. Senator, I would not like for you to think that EPA just fired off a letter and then let the matter rest.
This matter was called to my attention. I personally attended several of these task group meetings. The question was addressed to me by several people who were participating. I took it upon myself to make, at the informal levels, some phone calls and received some information from those sources-it was a policy matter. They couldn't act on it until a decision was made. Whereupon recognizing how the govenment works, I took this matter up with the appropriate officials of EPA and the matter was communicated to DOT at the Office of the Administrator's level both in verbal discussions and in communication.
I cannot speak for the problems on the other side, but we have made a sincere effort to get cooperation, understanding from the working level that it was a policy question so we raised it to the policy level.
Senator TUNNEY. Well, it is unreasonable for the FAA and Department of Transportation not to participate in those meetings. It undermines the work being done pursuant to this act.
I cannot understand it.
Dr. MEYER. May I proceed, sir.
Senator CANNON. Yes.
Dr. MEYER. Well, as I indicated, I have been informally advised that we can expect their participation and support. I think that once the policy questions, which from my viewpoint anyway, are understandable, are resolved this matter will be put in proper focus.
Mr. Chairman, we are on schedule as of this moment, and we feel that we will meet the requirements of the Act as far as this and other provisions in a timely, responsive and highly effective manner.
It will be my pleasure, sir, to answer your questions, or those of Senator Tunney.
Senator TUNNEY. Now, Doctor, from a practical standpoint, there are many people in this room who are interested in the meaning of that which you just said. Just what is going to be done as a result of these study groups and what actions are to be taken which will be meaningful for these people who are located in the noise pattern?
Dr. MEYER. Well, Mr. Chairman, Congress asked us to make a study of a problem directed toward certain very specific things and rather than reinventing the wheel-starting from zero base-what we are doing is analyzing a number of reports which have already been produced on the subject. These include the Aviation Advisory Committee's report, the report on retrofit being conducted by DOT, the NASA Lewis Lab quiet engine study. We have looked at those and come up with some voids in them, and we are taking a look at such things as noise control options and methods of exploiting technology, the economic aspects of source abatement technology, the evaluation of approach and takeoff noise problem solutions in the New York area, the methods of rating aircraft noise and a variety of explorations such as the one that I have just mentioned, as to the legal institutional arrangement structure.
The "Report" will document what now can be done with existing authorities, what ought to be done but needs additional authorities, and hopefully we will present within the report a picture which will answer the questions that Cliff Moore has raised, that is, what are the criteria and how can you best go about doing it? It will indeed fulfill the requirements of Congress to provide a basis for further action. Because we have been doing this as sort of as a backup work which would have to be done anyway to analyze the FAA rules and regulations; in effect, it is an environmental impact analysis of the FAA's rules and regulations upon which we will base our subsequent recommendations. Those recommendations will fill the legislative intent of the Congress which was to look carefully at the regulations, see if they protect health and welfare, and if they don't, make recommendations as to needed changes.
So that, sir, is the answer to the question. That is what we are doing.
Senator CANNON. So that we will have before us, at that time, a recommended solution, the best solution possible, as well as other trade offs which might be considered as the other alternatives? Dr. MEYER. That's right.
Senator CANNON. Thank you, sir.
Senator TUNNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to direct attention to a letter to Mr. Skulley, the Director of the Office of Environmental Quality, FAA, from Mr. Meyer, the witness before us today, dated February 2, 1973. Mr. Meyer, you say, in reference to advance notice of rule making by the FAA;
The advance notice does not reflect the agreements reached during our January 23, 1973 meeting. In addition it raises several questions regarding your comments against changes to the Notice suggested by the EPA.
Well it seems to me that what we see emerging here is a pattern of noncooperation between the FAA and EPA. I think that it is quite clear that you had certain understandings with the FAA that they would consult with you prior to their proposed rulemaking notices and they didn't.
Now, apparently, they are not attending your meetings. I would like to ask you a simple question.
Let's assume that they come into the meeting now and they start suggesting significant changes in the procedures that you are following.
Would it be possible for you to meet the deadline?
Dr. MEYER. Sir, I think it will be possible because I really must comment on your observation. I think the problem here is one of communications and establishing a different posture vis-a-vis that which has existed before.
It is a new activity for the two agencies, and there are bound to be problems of communications, problems of establishment of lines of authority, problems even of interpretation.
I am not at this point willing to state that I think we are getting into a conflict situation between the two agencies; rather, I think we are in a situation of clarification of roles in which there are some very honest disagreements which have to be strightened out.
Now, insofar as the report itself is concerned, we have a mandate, the Administrator has a mandate to deliver this report on July 27, 1973. Within the limits of my ability as program manager for that activity, it is going to be delivered on that date.
If the FAA disagrees with any of the things that we are recommending, or any of the postures that are being proposed, that minority view will appear just like the minority view of the environmental defense fund or the Air Transport Association.
It will appear in the record for your consideration. That is what we are trying to do with this report. We are not trying to make it a unilateral closed book.
Now for the future studies, as the chairman knows, and the Senator knows, the Environmental Protection Agency's Administrator has a responsibility for coordinating all Federal noise control and noise research programs, and we are required to report periodically on our assessment of their contributions to the national program established by the Noise Control Act of 1972.
If, indeed, cooperation with any agency is not satisfactory, and if, indeed, it is our judgement that their activities are not contributing to the intent of the act, in our periodic report, sir, we will so state and the Congress can act accordingly.
Senator TUNNEY. I am pleased to hear that you feel you are going to be able to complete your study on time.
One of the things that I am curious to know is why there was a 4-month delay between the time the act was signed into law on October 27 and February 15 when you formally launched your task force activities.
Dr. MEYER. Sir, this may not be the forum for me to make the statement I am going to make, but it is a classic problem and it is not unique to the Noise Control Act.