Marine Pollution Bulletin
other CONCAWE investigators who are examining landward spills and their effects on groundwater quality, Three technical working parties are set to prepare manuals on clean-up technology close to and on the shore, on spilt-oil disposal techniques, and an updated version of the existing CONCAWE manual on inland clean-ups, There is also a European working party aiming to study case histories of oil spills and report on contingency plans and company facilities for cleaning up. The first technical reports from the OSCUT advisory group are expected in 1980. CONCAWE's water pollution report will be out earlier, and will evaluate the ecological impact of refinery effluents on fresh, estuarine and sea waters. The group has been concentrating its attention on water effluent discharges containing specific compounds which are considered dangerous - such as polynuclear aromatics and benzene, and there is a suggestion that this may lead to further restrictions on refinery discharges. CONCAWE is also expending its activities to include studies on the variability of discharges and the better understanding of the composition of refinery water effluents, CONCAWE's annual report also reveals a continued study of oil pipeline spillages, which, the report says, have "resulted in minimal polluting effects on the environment". The major cause of such spillages is damage by other works in the region of the buried pipelines, the report adds.
Plutonium Fallout in Antarctica Scientific examination of the ice layers of the Antarctic has showed that most of the plutonium released into the atmosphere during nuclear weapons tests has come down to Earth. The Antarctic ice provides a valuable record of the atmosphere's pollutants which are carried down with each year's snowfall and frozen, Two years ago scientists dug a 5 m pit, taking samples of the ice at different layers, melting them and analysing them for plutonium concentration, The deposition profile constructed from the research, unlike a similar one carried out in Greenland, showed that most of the fallout had occurred before 1960. Pu-239 and Pu-240 showed up in samples of snow thought by the researchers to have fallen in 1955. And in a later paper produced on their findings, they concluded that "almost all of the plutonium isotopes injected into the atmosphere have now been removed". The 1976 snowfall showed a plutonium reading of only 1.4070of that recorded during peak periods of fallout.
US Clean-Up Fund Proposed legislation in the United States will provide a $1.6 billion 'clean-up' fund for oil spills and hazardous industrial waste tips using money from new taxes on oil and chemical industries. The legislation, sent by President Carter to Congress, is a direct result of the pollution disaster at Love Canal, near Niagara Falls which led to revelations of other health, environmental and property damage at similar sites, 218
The legislation, which also contains several key safety proposals, will be bitterly opposed by manufacturing interests who accept the need for the fund but want it financed from general government revenue. They claim that they as manufacturers are unfairly singled out and that since it is society as a whole which has created the problem, it is society who should pay for the solution. However if President Carter's proposals are passed by Congress, 80°70 of the new fund will come from the industries, some of whom in the inorganic and heavy metal business could find themselves contributing up to $2 a tonne. These extra costs, it is conceded by the Environmental Protection Agency which is pressing for the bills speedy enactment, will undoubtedly be passed on to the consumer. But its administrator Douglas Costle argues that since both consumer and industry have benefited in the past from cheap and unsafe disposal methods neither should mind paying nowfortheremedy. It will take four years to reach the $1.5 billion target when both size and levels of fees could be changed according to the fund's use. But estimates have already shown that $6 billion is needed just to stop existing hazardous sites getting worse. An estimated $44 billion is needed for a complete clean-up. However the new law is not just about money. It will also provide the government for the first time with the right to take action against oil or chemical polluters. It requires that the government be notified of spills and uncontrolled hazardous disposal sites and gives it the authority to move in when adequate clean-up action has not been taken. It also requires stricter handling of hazardous wastes and allows for the recovery of costs from companies where there is a governmental clean-up. But despite what appears to be the law's far-reaching proposal, environmentalists are already sayingit does not go far enough, that the fund should have been larger and the fees higher. Their other criticism is that it will not be used to provide third party compensation for pollution victims with the exception of people, like fishermen, whose livelihood is ruined byapollution disorder.
Round-the-World News HongKong An, as yet unidentified, source of marine pollution, has destroyed 90°70 of the oyster farm crop in Deep Bay, Hong Kong, and an investigation is now being undertaken by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department. The cause of the disaster in this major oyster rearing area is thought to be at least partly due to a type of protozoan single cell organism which has attacked the muscles and tissues of the shellfish. While industrial pollution was the immediate suspect another possibility being investigated is of a sharp increase in salinity in Deep Bay waters.
Japan The Japanese company Sumitomo has discovered a novel way of reducing the pollution/litter problem caused by dumping old vehicle tyres on land and water.