Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development

Committee on Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development

Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
WASHINGTON, D.C.
1991



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Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development Committee on Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS WASHINGTON, D.C. 1991

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Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, Grant No., 68D80079 Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 92-80241 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04698-X Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418 S563 Printed in the United States of America First Printing, October 1991 Second Printing, May 1992

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Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development Committee on Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development Richard N. L. Andrews, Chairman, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill David Bates, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Richard A. Conway, Union Carbide Corporation, South Charleston Donald Hog, Harvard University, Cambridge Duncan T. Patten, Arizona State University, Tempe F. Sherwood Rowland, University of California, Irvine Arthur C. Upton, New York University Medical Center, New York Staff Deborah D. Sane, Project Director Robert B. Smythe, Program Director Kathleen J. Daniel, Staff Officer Ruth Crossgrove, Editor Norman Grossblatt, Editor Karen L. Hulebak, Senior Staff Officer Bernidean Williams, Information Specialist Boyce N. Agnew, Project Assistant Ruth P. Danoff, Project Assistant Sponsors Environmental Protection Agency Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, U.S. Public Health Service National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

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Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology Gilbert S. Omenn, Chairman, University of Washington, Seattle Frederick R. Anderson, Washington School of Law, American University, Washington, D.C. John Bailar, III, McGill University School of Medicine, Montreal Lawrence W. Barnthouse, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge Garry D. Brewer, Yale University, New Haven Joanna Burger, Nelson Laboratory, Rutgers University, Piscataway Yoram Cohen, University of California, Los Angeles John L. Emmerson, Lilly Research Laboratories, Greenfield Robert L. Harness, Monsanto Agricultural Company, St. Louis Alfred G. Knudson, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia Gene E. Likens, The New York Botanical Garden, Millbrook Paul J. Lioy, UMDNJ—Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University, Corvallis Donald Mattison, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Nathaniel Reed, Hobe Sound F. Sherwood Rowland, University of California, Irvine Milton Russell, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Margaret M. Seminario, AFL/CIO, Washington, D.C. L. Glenn Sipes, University of Arizona, Tucson Walter J. Weber, Jr., University of Michigan Ann Arbor Staff James J. Reisa, Director Robert B. Smythe, Program Director for Exposure Assessment and Risk Reduction David J. Policansky, Program Director for Natural Resources and Applied Ecology Richard D. Thomas, Program Director for Human Toxicology and Risk Assessment Lee R. Paulson, Manager, Toxicology Information Center

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Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources* M. Gordon Wolman, Chairman, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Robert C. Beardsley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole B. Clark Burchfiel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Ralph J. Cicerone, University of California, Irvine Peter S. Eagleson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Helen Ingram, Udall Center for Public Policy Studies, Tucson Gene E. Likens, New York Botanical Gardens, Millbrook Syukuro Manabe, Geophysics Fluid Dynamics Lab, NOAA, Princeton Jack E. Oliver, Cornell University, Ithaca Philip A. Palmer, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co, Newark Frank L. Parker, Vanderbilt University, Nashville Duncan T. Patten, Arizona State University, Tempe Maxine L. Savitz, Allied Signal Aerospace, Torrance Larry L. Smarr, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign Steven M. Stanley, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Sir Crispin Tickell, Green College at the Radcliffe Observatory, Oxford, UK Karl K. Turekian, Yale University, New Haven Irvin L. White, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Albany James H. Zumberge, University of Southern California, Los Angeles Staff Stephen Rattien, Executive Director Stephen D. Parker, Associate Executive Director Janice E. Mehler, Assistant Executive Director Jeanette A. Spoon, Financial Officer Carlira Perry, Administrative Assistant Robin Lewis, Sr. Project Assistant *   This study was begun under the Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematica, and Resources, whose members are listed in Appendix E, and completed under the successor Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources.

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Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development This report is dedicated to the late Norton Nelson, former chairman of the Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board, who proposed this study.

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Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development Preface There are many opportunities in applied environmental research and development. In investigating such opportunities, the committee attempted to look into the future; therefore, this report is not an exhaustive scientific report, but rather an attempt to summarize the opinions of experts in several fields. Four areas were investigated by this committee with the assistance of participants in a series of workshops: waste reduction, ecosystem and landscape change, anticipatory research, and long-term chemical toxicity. One fundamental question is whether the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies should fund only research linked specifically to its legislated regulatory objectives or whether it should also anticipate new or emerging, unregulated environmental problems. This committee believes that applied research should focus on the most serious environmental hazards rather than be driven by current regulatory priorities or news media coverage. Further, the committee believes that research is an essential foundation of environmental protection and that scientifically based advisory panels should play a larger and more visible role in fostering improvements in environmental science, such as developing high-quality research institutions and advising environmental agencies on ways to link research effectively with policy and management decision making. The committee's efforts were facilitated by the many scientists and engineers who participated in its workshops. The committee wishes to thank them for their endeavors. In addition, the committee would like to thank Karen Hulebak and Kathleen Daniel, who began the project, and Deborah Stine, who guided the report through the review process, provided valuable comments, and diligently ensured that the document was complete. Others of the BEST staff who contributed to the efforts include James Reisa, director; Robert Smythe, program director; Lee Paulson, Ruth Crossgrove, and Norman Grossblatt, editors; Tania Williams, who produced the camera copy; and Boyce Agnew and Ruth Danoff, project secretaries. Richard N. L. Andrews Chairman

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Opportunities in Applied Environmental Research and Development Contents     INTRODUCTION   1     GENERAL CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS         APPENDIXES     A.   Waste Reduction: Research Needs in Applied Social Sciences   11 B.   Measuring Change in Ecosystems: Research and Monitoring Strategies   97 C.   Research to Improve Predictions of Long-term Chemical Toxicity   127 D.   Research Needs in Anticipation of Future Environmental Problems   153 E.   Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Resources   173

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