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July 15, 1982 - Image 6

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1982-07-15

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Op inion
Page 6 Thursday, July 15, 1982 The Michigan Daily


The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCII, No. 40-S
Ninety-two Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan



t.. .i . ...., ...,..i ii. ins. i .. i...,.

A mixed bag
A FTER SIX YEARS of footdragging, the
Environmental Protection Agency finally
has issued regulations governing the disposal of
toxic wastes. But as one environmentalist put
it, the proposals offer a "mixed bag."
Indiscriminate dumping of toxic wastes
became a widespread problem in the early 70's
as many local communities reported con-
taminated water supplies from toxic waste
dumps. But it wasn't until 1976 that the EPA
was authorized to control these wastes. The
dumping continued as did the health risks,
however, while the agency slowly formulated
its rules.
The result of those six years are adequate
safeguards for new disposal sites that require
liners at dump sites to ensure against leakage
into ground water. The problem is that the rules
fail to order sites already in existence to install
Reckless dumping of toxic wastes has posed
serious health problems for communities
around the nation. Now, fortunately, the EPA
has done its job and stopped it. What is needed
now are tougher rules along with strict enfor-
cement of the EPA's rules and close monitoring
of waste dumps, old and new. Also, more effort
must be given to cleaning up the sites still
leaking into groundwater.
The new EPA rules are not perfect, but
finally someone is addressing the issue. Com-
bined with greater funding for waste cleanup, a
strengthened set of regulations will help ensure
that American communities can continue to
drink water straight from the faucet, that they
know is safe.
\ - ,A O
P r oa o cre

U. S. may disobey


By Chuck F
Reagan administrati
ted decision to rejec
ticipation in the Unit
Law of the Sea Tr
result in a host of
economic difficultie
maritime endeavors.
The treaty was ad
30, after nine
negotiations, by a vot
4, with 17 abst ent
vocates hail it as the
vance in internationa
the end of World WarI
Reagan administr
denounced it as cont
free-enterprise systen
ticipation in the treaty
the administration s
tinue efforts to mar
treaty's major provi
liking, rather than
For one thing, it se
certain that the t
produce a new bod
national ocean law
without the United Sta
is formally signed n'
ber in Caracas, Venez
come into force 12 m
60 nations ratify it.
voted for it and man
abstainers also aref
sign, it should not t
reach the ratification1
Once in force, tI
provisions could be u
non-signers in ways
create chaos for U.S.+
military shipping. F
one of its central pro
down rules under
nation's ships would
of "innocent passag
the coastal waters
nations, and especia
certain strategic nar
like the Straits of Ho
Persian Gulf throe
much of the world's oi
TREATY nations w

Lawof the
such straits could restrict the howi
7ager passage of a non-treaty nation's medi
ships, charge special fees, make bass
them wait while other shipping is Sing.
C. - The put ahead, and so forth. While of th
on's repor- the United States would the t
t U.S. par- challenge such rules, the the t
ted Nations resulting diplomatic and legal such
'eaty could tangles could take years to were
legal and resolve and the costs, meanwhile, trea
s for U.S. could be enormous. chall
Further, the American seabed mini
opted April mining operations which the ad- legal
years of ministration wants to protect nece
e of 130 to could be seriously damaged. finan
ions. Ad- Foreign firms working under the Wi
greatest ad- treaty could force ahead in the
1 law since developing what is expected to be secu
II, while the a highly profitable technology. gove
ation has Also, U.S. companies, rather guar
rary to the than jeopardize already substan- adm
n. tial investments, might simply itsc
U.S. par- reincorporate in treaty countries agai
y argue that like Mexico or Canada and venti
should con- operate from there. othe
nipulate the The United States also would nor
sions to its face a massive propaganda set- pioni
reject it back by becoming the No. 1 in- "mi
ternational oceanic "outlaw." TH
ems almost The Soviet Union, which ab- mor
reaty will stained in the treaty vote, is ex- mini
y of inter- pected to sign it and no doubt prov
v, with or would make considerable hay out Th
rtes. Once it of an American refusal to go when
ext Decem- along with such a widely suppor- vene
uela, it will ted example of global the
onths after cooperation. nego
Since 130 IN THE FACE of these ame;
y of the 17 prospects, the United States has then
expected to been trying to , work out a Fu
ake long to separate arrangement with take
target. several European nations which Prep
he treaty's also are pioneering in seabed will
sed against mining. This plan, called a need
that could Reciprocating States Agreement, broa
civilian and is aimed ostensibly only at form
Dr example, resolving claim disputes, but know
visions lays some treaty supporters have writt
which a charged that the United States is even
be assured trying to preempt the best seabed law t
e" through mining sites and freeze out the
s of other rest of the world. F
lly through A "mini-treaty" effort, theI

ever, would face an im-
iate legal challenge. Am-
ador Tommy Koh of
apore, president of the Law
e Sea Conference, said after
reaty vote that he would ask
U.N. General Assembly for
a challenge if any mining
undertaken under a "mini-
ty" umbrella.." Such a
Menge at the least would delay
ng for several years while
lities were worked through, a
ssary condition for private
ncing of seabed development.
thout a treaty, the only way
mining companies could
re large loans would be by
rnment subsidies and
antees. Here the Reagan
inistration would collide with
own philosophy, which is
nst such government inter-
ion on behalf of industry in
r areas. In additioin, it is by
means clear that other
eering nations would join a
IERE STILL may be two
t opportunities for the ad-
stration to try to make its
isions more acceptable.
e first will come Sept. 22
n the conference will recon-
for three days to approve
final draft. If properly
otiated beforehand, some
ndments could be considered
rther, the U.S. could then
part in the work of the
aratory Commission, which
write the many regulations
ed to translate the treaty's
ad provisions into working
n. As any good lobbyist
ws, the way regulations are
ten can significantly alter or
frustrate the intent of the
they are supposed to execute.
ager wrote this article for
Pacific News Service.



row waters
rmuz in the
ugh which
i is shipped.
hich control

Letters and columns represent the opinions of the
individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the
attitudes or beliefs of the Daily.


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