NIOSH Testimony on Environmental Protection and Energy Conservation by K. Bridbord, October 4, 1979.
This testimony concerned the activity of NIOSH on the issues of environmental protection and energy conservation. During the previous 5 years, NIOSH had worked with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to identify and prevent potential health problems in energy industries. Based on its work thus far, NIOSH recommends that occupational safety and health should be a major component of the Department of Energy Readiness Documents and Department of Energy Environmental Assessments in an effort to assure that these issues will be considered as early in the technology development phase as possible. NIOSH also recommends that a separate Occupational Safety and Health Impact Statement be required for all developing energy technologies and other technologies as well. Such a statement should consider not only information on health effects but also whether adequate control technology is available. Thirdly, NIOSH recommends that research be organized more along technologies than along biomedical science disciplines and that occupational safety and health considerations not be ignored in the overall efforts to conserve energy. Finally, NIOSH recommends that worker representatives must be given an adequate opportunity to participate in the public debate relating to developing energy technologies.