Page images



Washington, D.C., June 14, 1971.

Chairman, Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution, Committee on Public Works, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Information on the Department of Transportation's research programs in environmental science and technology has been assembled in response to your May 14th request.

The social and environmental aspects of our national transportation research and development program are under the overall management of the Office of the Secretary. Environmental research, development, and demonstration programs oriented toward their respect modal responsibilities are conducted by the Coast Guard, the Federal Highway Administration, the Urban Mass Transportation Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration. Environmental research of intermodal significance is carried out as a Departmental program through the Offices of the Assistant Secretary for Systems Development and Technology and the Assistant Secretary for Environment and Urban Systems. Detailed accounts for the foregoing are enclosed. I am pleased to report that we are increasing our emphasis on recognition of environmental factors in the comprehensive transportation planning process. For this reason our professional staff coordinate closely with the Environmental Protection Agency, to identify significant findings in environmental science and technology which may be applicable to transportation planning and technology. They also review areas of environmental research specifically relevant to transportation systems development, and look for gaps which need to be filled. Our current environmental research and development programs and long range plans are designed to fill these needs.

I trust the information presented in the enclosed statements will be useful for inclusion in the Subcommittee's Hearing Record.




The following detailed accounts of the Environmental Research Program for the Office of the Secretary and each modal administration are numbered in accordance to the eight questions addressed in your letter of May 14.

The eight questions to which this response is addressed are:

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 research is conducted at your own facilities? How much is done by contract to other institutions? 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 largescale 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?

Environmental Research Program.


Office of the Assistant Secretary for
Systems Development and Technology
Department of Transportation

1. Organizational structure of environmental research program.
Separate laboratories or installations in agency engaged in this
research. Size and composition of staff of each.

[blocks in formation]

The Assistant Secretary for Systems Development and Technology (TST) is responsible to the Secretary for long-range planning of the national transportation research and development program, th eoverall management of the Department's technological research, development, and demonstration program, and for providing leadership to that program. TST ensures that the research and development resources of the Department are adequately planned, properly programed, budgeted, and balanced to reflect Departmental objectives and priorities, technically sound, coordinated and effectively implemented. In the area of environmental research, TST is specifically responsible for promoting and providing leadership to Federal activities in the field of transportation noise abatement and represents the Department in the technical aspects of transportation/environment relationships, particularly vehicle emission control.

Each operating administration performs and sponsors environmental research appropriate to the pursuit of its given mission. TST, in close liaison with TEU, coordinates the environmental research and development programs of the operat ing administrations within the Department and ensures that the Department's environmental research and development program is coordinated with related scientific and engineering activities in other parts of the Federal establishment, State and local governments, the academic community and private industry. Additionally, TST encourages or assumes direct responsibility for environmental

research and development directed at long-range multimodal and cross-modal problems and other problems of special importance.

In pursuit of its environmental research and development objectives, the DOT employs the in-house technical capabilities of the Transportation Systems Center (TSC), Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as the services of outside contractors. The Transportation Systems Center:

Serves as a technical facility of the operating administrations and the Office of the Secretary.

Addresses significant intermodal transportation problems as defined by the Administrations and the Office of the Secretary.

Provides management capability for large R&D programs as requested by the Administrators and the Office of the Secretary.

TST provides overall executive direction to the Transportation Systems Center. The total employment of the Center is now 575 people, of whom 350 are professionals.

2. Fields of specialization of scientific investigators in laboratories. Advanced degrees they hold.

Data follow for investigators at the Transportation Systems Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, performing environmental research and development in direct support of TST:

[blocks in formation]

Fiscal year 1971 obligations for environmental research by TST are $1.302 million. In additions, the Department has requested Congressional approval for plans to reprogram $2.5 million of fiscal year 1971 funds previously earmarked for Air Traffic Capacity Improvement to the Climatic Impact Assessment Program, as authorized by Congress.

Fiscal year 1972 TST requests for environmental research and development total $15,075,000. The total may be subdivided as follows: Transportation Noise Abatement & Control_. Advanced Automotive Power Systems__. Climatic Impact Assessment...

Pollution Control__.


$9,745,000 425, 000 4,755, 000 150, 000

15,075, 000

4. Kinds of environmental problems being addressed. Proportion of work to be considered as basic research, technology development and technology assessment.

[blocks in formation]

1 Assumed to include assessment of the state of the art in a given technology area.

5. Current projects on ecosystem structure and function. None

6. Breakdown of where environmental research is performed.

DOT Facilities.

Percent of TST fiscal year 1971 total

Other Govt. Facilities (Including Interagency Transfers) _-.

Contract Research:


Nonprofit Industry.

Profit Industry--.


[blocks in formation]

7. Mechanisms for identifying and addressing large-scale environmental questions. Mechanisms for coordinating activities with the EPA.

Noise Abatement

Research and Development efforts relating to the abatement of transportation noise are coordinated within the Department of Transportation through the Department of Transportation Noise Abatement Committee. Attachment 1 is a copy of the order establishing the Committee and outlining its objectives, composition, sponsor, and procedures.

Mechanisms for interdepartmental coordination of the Federal Aircraft Noise Abatement Program are well established. President Johnson's Transportation Message of March 2, 1967, directed the initiation of the program (see Attachment 2). His memorandum of March 22, 1967, further clarified that direction (see Attachment 3). Attachment 4 delegates the responsibility for the Aircraft Noise Abatement Program, including the coordination of the efforts of the various agencies, to the Department of Transportation. Attachment 5 shows the organizational structure of the Interagency Aircraft Noise Abatement Program.

Coordination of activities in the noise abatement areas with the EPA is achieved by personal contact at the working level. Specific relationships are currently in the process of being formalized.

Advanced Unconventional Automobile Power Systems

In February of 1970, President Nixon announced a new Federal Program under the general leadership of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to develop a nonconventionally powered, virtually pollution free automobile by 1975. Chairman Russell Train in May 1970 assigned the lead agency role to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, which at that time had the responsibility for air pollution control. At the same time he asked the Department of Transportation to consider the mass production aspects of nonconventionally powered cars, or as it has come to be known, Advanced Automotive Power Systems. On June 17, 1970, Secretary Volpe accepted the responsibility for considering the mass production aspects and offered to support the research and development program with the resources of the Department to the extent possible.

Subsequently, the Secretary designated the Assistant Secretary for Systems Development and Technology to conduct liaison with the National Air Pollution Control Administration [now part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)] on the AAPS program. He also requested the Assistant Secretary to coordinate the Department's activities that relate to advanced unconventional power systems. The Assistant Secretary, in turn, established a working group to effect the intra-departmental coordination, composed of representatives from UMTA, NHTSA, and appropriate Secretarial offices. (See Attachment 6.) He also appointed a Department of Transportation representative to the CEQ's Advisory Committee on Advanced Power Systems to further aid in interdepartmental coordination of the AAPS program (see Attachment 7). Liaison on the working level between DOT and the Air Pollution Control Office of the EPA is conducted by DOT's Transportation Systems Center.

Climate Impact Assessment

DOT, under the management responsibility of TST, currently has underway a Climatic Impact Assessment Program (CIAP). The objective of the program is to assess by mid-1974 the effects upon climate of the projected subsonic and supersonic aircraft fleet in the 1985 time frame. To accomplish the CIAP objectives, the established expertise of other government agencies is being utilized. For a relatively small expenditure, it is possible to incorporate in specific programs or other agencies a set of aeronautical considerations which will result in an examination of the effects of increasing supersonic and subsonic flight in the stratosphere. Where necessary, new projects are established.

The Environmental Advisory Committee, composed of scientific experts from other agencies of the government, provides advice on the content and direction of CIAP. The EPA is represented on the committee. Additionally, the Commerce Technical Advisory Board (CTAB) Panel on Environmental Research, composed of nongovernmental experts, gives an independent appraisal of research programs related to assessment of the environmental effects of aircraft. A joint CIAP project with the AEC is already underway. Extensive coordination discussions have been held with NASA, DOD, NOAA, NBS, and the AEC.

8. Important questions unable to research adequately within existing research structure. Main hinderances to proceeding with such research.

The Department of Transportation is proceeding in an orderly fashion to develop the research capability essential to answer the important environmental questions associated with present and future transportation systems.



OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, Washington, D.C., September 2, 1969.


1. PURPOSE. This order establishes the Department of Transportation (DOT) Noise Abatement Committee to consider and make recommendations to the Secretary through the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology concerning the development and implementation of transportation noise abatement programs.


(a) The principal objectives of the Committee are:

(1) to define the general requirements for all programs concerned with transportation noise abatement; and,

(2) to provide a mechanism whereby the Office of the Secretary (OST) and the operating administrations can coordinate their efforts to obtain the maximum use of noise abatement technology in the design of transportation systems.

(b) Specifically, the Committee Members shall:

(1) by copy of significant documentation, coordinate with the Chairman and other personnel in the Office of Noise Abatement, OST, during the planning stages of all research and development efforts involving transportation noise;

(2) consult with the committee concerning proposed standards and criteria relating to transportation noise abatement so that uniformity can be achieved to the extent deemed practicable, involving acceptable rating scales;

(3) represent the appropriate operating administrations in deriving suggestions that are deemed to be appropriate, involving noise abatement; and

(4) when appropriate, develop Department-wide posture for noise abatement activities.


(a) The Chairman of the Committee is the Director of Noise Abatement, OST.

(b) Committee Members will be individually appointed by the heads of operating administrations and should be representatives of the operating administrations who are primarily involved in noise abatement programs on a day-to-day basis.

(c) Committee Members from secretarial offices (TPI), TEU and TGC) who are concerned with policy and legal aspects of noise abatement covered by paragraph 2 will be individually appointed by the heads of the secretarial offices.

4. SPONSOR. The Director of Noise Abatement, OST, is designated as the official sponsor of this Committee. As sponsor, he will:

(a) appoint an Executive Secretary to serve on the Committee;

(b) provide staff and secretarial support to the Committee; and,

(c) perform any other duties required of the sponsor by DOT 1100.22, Committee Management.

« PreviousContinue »