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Conference on health consequences of environmental controls: impact of mobile emissions controls. The public interest: overview.

Environmental Health Perspectives
Environmental Health Perspectives
Publication Date
  • Research Article


Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 10, pp. 17a-179, 1975 The Public Interest: Overview by Samuel S. Epstein* Introduction I should like, first of all, to commend both EPA and NIEHS for having organized this conference which I regard as being truly in the public interest. This occasion has afforded many of us an unusual opportunity to ex- change information and to interact on scien- tific and technological issues critical to the formulation of rational policies prior to the decision-making process, rather than follow- ing it as is customarily the case. I do, however, regret that a conflict be- tween this conference and the rescheduled meeting of the President's Air Quality Ad- visory Board, prevented some key EPA decision-makers from being in attendance. I also regret that the EPA Office of Public Affairs decided not to issue a press release for this meeting. I suspect that the Office of Public Affairs considers that an open expres- sion of differences in viewpoints and attitudes within the agency, such as those which per- haps it anticipated would emerge at this meeting, is a sign of weakness. I feel, on the contrary, that such differences, which fortunately exist within the various echelons of EPA, are an expression of strength and are clearly preferable to the more traditional monolithic image projected by most federal agencies. Further, I particularly regret the refusal of GM and Ford to make presentations or even participate in discussions at this meet- * Case Western Reserve University Medical School, Cleveland, Ohio 44106. ing. I would like to offer my sympathy to GM and Ford representatives for the em- barassment they appear to have been sub- jected to by their management, in that they have been sent here under conditions of considerable personal constraint. Clearly, this "short-leash" treatment makes it difficult for such indentured professionals to dis- charge societal obligations broader than narrowly circumscribed corporate interests. One problem in my giving this overvi

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