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VEE creeps North time, it has reconsidered the injection well permit and has told the Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority to provide an alternative surface method to dispose of the cyanide wastes. The EPA is recommending that Armco incinerate its coke plant wastes or set up a two-stage biological-chemical treatment of the wastes. Armco says either treatment might add to air and solid-waste pollution. Either alternative would also be expensive. Final arguments in the case were set for Aug. 2. If the plant’s blast furnace and coke plant outfalls were ordered cut off, Armco says it would lose 40% of its productive capacity. THE EPA ALSO has told Houston Lighting and Power to double the size of its cooling pond at the new Cedar Bayou plant. The order has gotten gummed up in politics. Gov. Preston Smith was the major speaker at the dedication of the new plant. “I think the State of Texas can be proud that Houston Lighting and Power Company has taken every conceivable precaution to insure that the Cedar Bayou Generating Station does not do harm to the environment,” Pop Smith said. Then came the EPA order with its charge that the new plant might seriously endanger the marine life in the area. According to the Post, TWQB Chairman Gordon Fulcher complained to a congressional committee in Washington recently that the EPA filed the suit without consulting the state. He said the feds disn’t attend any of the state’s hearings on the plant, but “now they come out of the blue and tell the people to double the size of their cooling pond, regardless of what the state permit says, or, the EPA tells them, ‘We won’t let you have a permit to discharge anything.’ ” Fulcher said, the Post reported, “The EPA is using the 1899 Refuse Act ‘to beat over the head” people who are culpable in what amounts to ‘blackmail and duress.’ `To use an old law, written before our present problems were even thought of, is inconsistent and unthinking and in no way does it apply to the situation which confronts us today.’ ” FEDERAL-STATE relations may not be too good, but the state’s myriad pollution agencies are beginning to coordinate some of their activities. The water board, the air board, and the attorney general’s office are filing a three-agency suit against the City of Galveston concerning the land fill operations at the Galveston dump. Last year, federal pollution authorities charged that Galveston was “polluting itself into extinction” by pouring 1.5 million gallons of raw sewage daily into West Galveston Bay. Those excesses have been curtailed, but Galveston still is nowhere near compliance with state air and water regulations, the suit maintains. K.N. In yet another case of, tragedy compounded by ineptitude, VEE, the deadly horse epidemic, crept north through Texas while federal and state officials did too little, too late. VEE has been sweeping up from South America for the past three years, its progress Wady and fatal, sometimes to humans as well as to horses. The disease raged in Northern Mexico last year and at the beginning of this. It was clearly only a matter of time before the disease crossed the border. Yet the serum for VEE, TC83, is still classified “experimental,” and cannot be legally produced by drug manufacturers in this country. The “experimental” classification was maintained, even though over two million doses of TC83 were used in Latin America. According to Dr. Robert Kokernot, pathobiologist at the University of Texas School of Public. Health in Houston, who studied the disease in Latin America, the vaccine is safe and effective. Other state animologists also vouch for the vaccine and the federal authorities apparently agree with Kokernot’s assessment, since they are now doing their damnedest to spread TC83 all over the state. The Agriculture Department held up the vaccine for statewide use for a week after a vaccination program had been started in a 13-county area in South Texas. The federal supplies of the vaccine were then flown to Austin by commercial airline and from there distributed with the help of DPS helicopters and planes. The fact that there is any vaccine available at all now is due to the fact that the Defense Department’s Germ Warfare Lab at Fort Dietrich, Md., has been making the stuff for its own mysterious purposes. D.O.D. had stockpiled 2.7 million doses of the vaccine, but their serum was meant to be used on human beings and must be diluted in albumen before it can be used on horses: an additional problem is that the dilutant breaks down quickly, within 12 hours, if not stored properly. There have been reports of a high incidence of spoilage in the vaccine shipped to Texas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture had some vaccine available from its laboratory in Hyattsville, Md., which was used up in the first five days of the epidemic here. There is also considerable controversy over the distribution priorities worked out by the Texas Animal Health Commission and the U.S. Animal Health Service. Since the vaccine needs 14 days to take effect, some animal experts feel it would be best to Political Intelligence concentrate the vaccine in a sort of ring around the area in which the disease has already taken hold, in effect writing off South Texas, but with the intent of preventing the disease from spreading further. However, the vaccine has been concentrated in those areas already hard hit by the disease. Another red tape problem is that state law permits only qualified veterinarians to inoculate horses: animal health officials with the technical knowledge to inoculate have been unable to help. Crises seem inevitably to bring out the best and the worst of human nature. Tales of vets working themselves to exhaustion as they go their endless rounds are counterbalanced by stories of vets charging exorbitant sums to come out and give the injections and of other vets in the cat-and-parakeet trade who simply refuse to help at all. Still another unknown dimension to the tragedy is the spraying of the insecticide Malathion as though there were no tomorrow. The Air Force has put its spray planes, which can cover 15,000 acres a day, at the disposal of the health authorities. About a million and a half acres are scheduled to be sprayed in South Texas. Three monkeys and a white Gibbon ape in the Brownsville Zoo died after the zoo was sprayed, but it is unknown whether it was the insecticide or VEE, which also affects monkeys, that killed them. Malathion is one of the new pesticides that are allegedly a great improvement over DDT. Its use was okayed by all the federal and state health authorities, who declared that the stuff has no effect on humans, animals or fish. The same authorities were giving the same guarantee to DDT not long ago. Prof. Perry L. Adkisson of Texas A & M, an entomologist, said that Malathion “has got a pretty clean bill of health.” It is an organo-phosphate, like Parathion, of which the grapeworkers have complained, however its residue life is short. Malathion loses toxicity within two to three days and is not nearly as toxic as Parathion to begin with. It is commonly used on crop plants without harming the plants, however, Adkisson said it could adversely affect ornamental plants. Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. July 30, 1971 9