US pelted over acid rain

The United States was under fire for its supposed neglect of the acid rain problem at a three-day summit meeting of the world's environmental ministers here, Monitor contributor Chris Mosey reports.

The 1982 conference was designed to focus world attention on the problem of acid rain - industrial sulfurous pollution carried by the wind which kills fish and plant life and destroys trees.

US delegate Kathleen Bennett of the Environmental Protection Agency faced demands from a 14-member Canadian delegation to cut US sulfur emissions by 50 percent.

Michael Oppenheimer of the US National Clean Air Coalition, an observer, accused Mrs. Bennett of ''specious and dangerous distortion'' and the use of ''outdated research'' to justify US environmental policy.

The leader of the Canadian delegation, Sen. H. A. (Bud) Olson, confessed to concern over Reagan administration cuts in environmental programs, but said Canada was working with the US to beat the acid rain problem.

''We are very worried about acid rain,'' he said. ''We don't want to accuse anyone, but we would like to hurry the US along a little in reaching a solution to the problem. We want a 50 percent cut in sulfur emissions now.''

The conference was held to mark the 10th anniversary of the UN Stockholm conference on the environment.

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