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quells those fears and provides me with more current and useful information than was available at the time of the article's inception almost three yea...
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quells those fears and provides me with more current and useful information than was available at the time of the article's inception almost three years ago. In fact, that span of time probably accounts for the discrepancy in our cost figures for "soundproofing" the older engines and the data on STOL operations. I fully agree with him that the newer generation of aircraft are quieter (with the possible exception of the Concorde). Military fields and joint civilian-military airports may or may not be noisier, depending on aircraft mix, when compared to the purely civilian operation. Nevertheless, those are only two factors of the immensely complex "Crisis." While a careful choice of what aircraft to operate from a given field could help reduce noise impact, of equal if not greater importance is the need for total community involvement in ensuring that encroachment does not negate our technological gains in producing quieter equipment, regardless of whether the aircraft are military or civilian, or if they operate from a civilian, military, or joint facility. Even a "quiet" DC-3 can be unacceptable at close range. Major John G. Terino Department of the Air Force Washington, D.C.

Thermal wastes Dear Sir: The feature article, "How to put waste heat to work" by Charles Coutant (€S&T, September 1976, p 868) is a well prepared account of the thermal waste problem and the alternates for utilizing otherwise lost heat. The implication, however, that cooling towers, while serving as the principal alternative to thermal loading in streams or reservoirs, only impact the environment through chemicals released from drift and blowdown is misleading. Further, it is implied that the volumes of water required, being "usually less than 10% of those required for open-cycle systems," is not a matter to be concerned with. I do not question the quote; but the reader should be aware, for example, that a proposed nuclear plant (4035 MW) in this State will evaporate about 60 mgd (93 cfs) from a river with a 7-day Q l o of 470 cfs, and a recorded instantaneous low-flow of 140 cfs. This loss to the atmosphere is equivalent to the domestic needs of a city of 600 000 people. I point this out merely to illustrate that the cooling towers option can have as serious an impact on the environment as the once-through method, and that earlier concepts of handling thermal wastes need to be continually reevaluated. Frank P. Nelson State of South Carolina Water Resources Commission Columbia, S.C 29240 NEPA Dear Sir: The article, "National Environmental Policy: Coordination or Confusion" (fS&T, August 1976, pp 757-760)

by Sexton Adams, Fredrik P. Williams, Peter M. Ginter, and Andrew C. Rucks was, unfortunately, itself more confusing than enlightening. Their explanations of the role and authority of the Council on Environmental Quality under the National Environmental Policy Act, while amusing, were so bizarre as to defy easy pointby-point criticism. Without attempting, therefore, a detailed review of the inaccuracies of this article I believe it is important to correct a number of its major observations. To begin with the CEQ is not a "governing board" established by NEPA, nor does it "supervise enforcement" of the Act. Moreover, it certainly does not manage or govern the nonexistent Departments of Natural Resources or Community Development,or any other federal departments or agencies as depicted in Figure 1 of the article entitled "CEQ's Organization for Environmental Management." It is not even accurate to state that environmental impact statements are prepared under the "auspices" of CEQ. In each of these, and a host of other respects, the authors have seriously misread NEPA, the Executive Order that directs its implementation, and agency and CEQ practices. CEQ was created with several statutory responsibilities, among the most important of which are: to serve as an advisor to the President on environmental policy matters; to prepare for the President an annual report on the environment to be submitted to Congress; to review and analyze federal government implementation of the policies of the National Environmental Policy Act; to receive environmental impact statements; and to work with federal agencies in improving environmental quality and in coordinating environmental quality and in coordinating environmental problems. CEQ exercises these functions as a part of the Executive Office of the President and with a total of some 45 permanent personnel. It is important to note that NEPA applies the impact statement requirement directly to each federal agency. However, pursuant to its various responsibilities under NEPA and Executive Order 11514, CEQ has prepared guidelines for the preparation of environmental impact statements. Each agency must also prepare its own more detailed environmental impact statement regulations, but an important role of CEQ is to see that these regulations and agency EIS practices are consistent with CEQ's guidelines. One of the major interests of CEQ is to ensure that impact statements become a part of and help improve the agency decision-making process. A recent CEQ review of NEPA's implementationand use in decision-making resulted in a report entitled, Environmental Impact Statements: An Analysis of Six Years' Experience of Seventy Federal Agencies. It is available to the public on request. Malcolm F. Baldwin Council on Environmental Quality Washington, D.C. 20006

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CIRCLE 10 ON READER SERVICE CARD Volume 11, Number 1, January 1977 9