David Klinger- As Silent Spring Turns 50, Who Among Us Will Make the Next Rachel Carson Possible?

Posted in Public Policy Essays on July 18th, 2012 by pdemarco – Be the first to comment

Read this provocative and timely assessment of Rachel Carson’s impact in this article by David Klinger, Senior Staff Writer of the Fish and Wildlife Service, now Emeritus.


Allegheny County Health Department Air Toxics Guideline open for written comment until September 5, 2012

Posted in Public Policy Essays on July 13th, 2012 by pdemarco – Be the first to comment


Policy for Air Toxics Review of Installation Permit Applications

Final Committee Proposal – May 25, 2012

The Board of Health will take up this air toxics proposal at its next meeting on September 5, 2012. Allegheny County residents can comment on the proposal in writing only. The Allegheny County Health Department’s address is: 3901 Penn Ave., Building 7, Pittsburg, PA 15201. Letters should be addressed to the Air Quality Division.

I. PURPOSE This document establishes the policy the Allegheny County Health Department Air Quality Program (the Department), will use for evaluating the human health impacts of new or significantly modified sources emitting toxic air emissions into the ambient air. This policy document is effective until modified by the Department or until formal rules are promulgated. This policy does not change any federal, state or County requirements including, but not limited to, all Best Available Control Technology (BACT), New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS), New Source Review (NSR), Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Allegheny County Health Department Rules and Regulations, Article XXI, Air Pollution Control (Article XXI). There is no intent on the part of the Department to give this policy the weight or deference of a regulation. This document establishes the framework for the Department to exercise its administrative discretion in the future. The Department reserves the discretion to deviate from this policy statement if circumstances warrant.

II. APPLICABILITY This policy applies to all applications for an Installation Permit (IP) required under the provisions of Article XXI, including new facilities, modifications to existing facilities, or addition of new equipment that are expected to increase the net potential air toxics emissions from the facility into the ambient air. For the purpose of this policy, “air toxics” are those pollutants defined as “air-borne pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, respiratory illness, neurological effects, or to cause adverse environmental effects that are predictive of adverse human health consequences.”

 III. AUTHORITY With few exceptions, any person installing, modifying, replacing, reconstructing, or reactivating a source of air pollution or air pollution control equipment within the County must first obtain an IP from the Department. Article XXI § 2104.04.b.7 states, “The Department shall not issue any Policy for Installation Permit unless it has . . . received a complete application meeting the requirements of this Part, which application includes or demonstrates that: . . . Emissions from the proposed source will not endanger the public health, safety, or welfare. . . “ This policy specifies the guidelines which the Department will use to determine whether the application sufficiently demonstrates that the proposed installation will not endanger the public health, safety and welfare of Allegheny County.

IV. GUIDELINES Prior to issuing an IP applicable to this policy, the Department will require the applicant to perform: a) an analysis of the carcinogenic health effects of air toxic emissions; and b) an analysis of the non-carcinogenic health effects of air toxic emissions.

     a. Analysis of Carcinogenic Health Effects The IP application should contain an analysis demonstrating to the Department’s satisfaction that the combined impact of the proposed increased potential air toxic emissions with known or possible carcinogenic health effects does not result in an aggregated Maximum Individual Carcinogenic Risk (MICR) of greater than 1 x 10-5 (one in one hundred thousand) beyond the fence-line of the facility. For the purposes of this policy, MICR is defined as the probability of developing cancer by an individual exposed to the expected concentrations of all substances in the ambient air over a 70-year period aggregated over the proposed increased potential air toxic emissions. The aggregated MICR for a mixture of substances is equal to the sum of the MICRs for each individual substance.

If the MICR from the proposed IP is less than 1 x 10-5 beyond the fence-line, taking into account both the IP and offsets from the facility and nearby existing sources, the Department will approve the carcinogenic risk analysis and no further assessment for carcinogenic effects will be required.

If the MICR from the proposed IP plus other nearby existing permitted sources is greater than 1 x 10-4 (one in ten thousand) beyond the fence-line, the Department will not approve the IP. In making this determination, the Department shall consider offsets from the facility of the proposed IP and other nearby existing sources.

If the MICR from the proposed IP is greater than 1 x 10-5 but less than 1 x 10-4, beyond the fence-line, taking into account both the IP and offsets from the facility and other nearby existing sources, the Department will require an emissions modeling analysis that includes the potential emissions from the proposed IP, emission offsets from the facility and other nearby existing sources, actual emissions from all other sources in applicant’s entire facility, and actual emissions from other nearby existing permitted sources that are expected to have a significant effect. The Department will assess the public health risk and may require additional actions to reduce risk. Such actions may include, but are not limited to: ambient air monitoring, more stringent emission controls, controls at other sources within the facility, or additional offsets.

     b. Analysis of Non-Carcinogenic Health Effects  The IP application should contain an analysis demonstrating to the Department’s satisfaction that the increased ambient concentration of any individual air toxic resulting from the proposed increase in potential air toxic emissions with known or possible non-carcinogenic health effects will not exceed the Reference Concentration (RfC) beyond the fence-line of the facility. For the purposes of this policy, RfC is the continuous inhalation exposure concentration of a substance that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of adverse health effects to the human population (including susceptible subgroups) over a lifetime.

If the proposed installation results in potential increases of multiple air toxics, the IP application should contain an analysis calculating the Cumulative Hazard Index (HI). For the purposes for this policy, the HI is defined as the sum of the Hazard Quotients (HQ) for substances that affect the same target organ or organ system. The HQ is defined as the ratio of the expected air toxic concentration to its corresponding RfC.

If the HI from the proposed IP is less than 2.0 beyond the fence-line, taking into account both the IP and offsets from the facility and other nearby existing sources, the Department will approve the non-carcinogenic risk analysis and no further assessment of non-carcinogenic effects will be required.

If the HI from the proposed IP plus other nearby existing point sources is greater than 2.0 beyond the fence-line, the Department will require an emissions modeling analysis that includes the potential emissions from the proposed IP, emission offsets from the facility and other nearby existing sources, actual emissions from all other sources in applicant’s entire facility, and actual emissions from other nearby existing permitted sources that are expected to have a significant effect. The Department will then assess the public health risk and may require additional actions to reduce risk. Such actions may include, but are not limited to: ambient air monitoring, more stringent emission controls, controls at other sources within the facility, or additional offsets.

V. SOURCES OF TOXICITY INFORMATION  The best available federally-recognized and peer reviewed science should be used to conduct health assessments required by this policy. In general, if health assessment information is available in EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) for the air toxics under evaluation, there is no need to search further for additional sources of information.

If such information is not available in IRIS, Unit Risks (for carcinogens) or Chronic Reference Exposure Limits (for non-carcinogens) from the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) should be used, as specified in current EPA guidance documents. In the absence of RfC information from IRIS or CalEPA for a particular pollutant for non-carcinogenic effects, the analyses are to use American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values Time Weighted Average concentrations (TLV-TWAs). If TLV-TWA’s are used for a pollutant, they must be converted to a 24-hr, seven day-per-week averaging time and include an appropriate factor for sensitive populations.

VI. EMISSION OFFSETS  If the applicant for an IP is unable to demonstrate to the Department’s satisfaction that emissions from the proposed installation meet the guidelines defined in this policy, the IP may still be approved if the applicant secures a sufficient amount of Emission Offsets (Offsets) as defined in this policy. However, the Department will not approve an IP through the use of Offsets generated by reductions outside of the applicants facility or nearby facility if the combined impact of air toxics emitted from the installation and nearby point sources as determined by the Department with known or possible carcinogenic health effects results in a MICR greater than 1 x 10-4 (one in ten thousand) beyond the fence line of the facility.

For the purposes of this policy, Offsets are defined as reductions in air toxics emissions at existing sources (including mobile sources) within Allegheny County that may be used to compensate for the emissions resulting from the installation proposed in the IP. Unless specified differently in this policy, Offsets will be subject to similar offset requirements contained in Article XXI §2102.06.b.4. Generally, Offsets must be made legally binding by a Department order or permit condition and actually occur no later than the date on which the IP’s proposed installation commences operation (exclusive of any Department approved shakedown period for replacement units). The reductions shall be maintained throughout the operating life of the sources for which the IP was issued. Offsets cannot be created from emissions reductions required by Federal, State, or Article XXI requirements or reductions made more than five years prior to the date of the IP application.In addition, credit for Offsets cannot be taken for potential emissions which were never achieved or emitted, or for reductions that have been used for previous IP’s.

a. Required Offsets for Emissions with Carcinogenic Health Effects  The ratio of actual air toxics emission reductions to new emissions shall be greater than or equal to the applicable ratio specified in Table I. It is not necessary that the emission reductions be the same air toxics pollutant as the new emissions. However, when different pollutants are involved, each Offset Ratio shall be calculated for each offsetting pollutant using the following equation: OR = ORT1 x (URFe/URFr) Where: OR = Required Offset Ratio ORT1= Offset Ratio from Table I URFe=Unit Risk Factor of the pollutant in the new emissions (from data sources in Section V) URFr=Unit Risk Factor of the pollutant in the reduction (from data sources in Section V)

Table I Offset Ratios Location of Emission Reduction Ratio or Emission Reduction to New Emissions

Within the Same Facility as the IP        1 to 1

Other Locations in Allegheny County    1.15 to 1

Mobile Sources in Allegheny County     1.5 to 1

     b. Required Offsets for Emissions with Non-Carcinogenic Health Effects Applicants may offset air toxics emissions with non-carcinogenic health effects at the ratios specified in Table I. However, the emission reductions must be the same air toxics pollutant as the new emissions.

 VII. DEVIATIONS  The Director of the Allegheny County Health Department may approve deviations from this policy if it is determined that the proposed increase in potential emissions of air toxics has been controlled to the maximum practical amount and does not pose an unacceptable human health risk. Any deviations must be approved in writing and documented in the Technical Support Document of the applicable IP.


BREATHE! Project

Posted in Public Policy Essays on July 13th, 2012 by pdemarco – Be the first to comment


The Breathe Project is a coalition of residents, businesses, government and many other groups in southwestern Pennsylvania that are working together to clean up our air for the health of our families and economy. Despite improvements over the past few decades, our region’s air still ranks among the worst in the nation, exacerbating asthma and causing other serious health problems in our communities such as higher rates of heart disease and lung cancer. But there are solutions. If you care about the air you breathe, we invite you to join us. Our lives–and way of life–depend on clean air. Act Now >


Siting Criteria for Marcellus Shale Operations

Posted in Public Policy Essays on July 5th, 2012 by pdemarco – Be the first to comment

Renee Stone, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington  D.C. 20585 Or by email to: shalegas@hq.doe.gov.

Comment on Hydraulic Fracturing Responsibility Act:

The National Energy Act of 2005 which created exemptions from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act and other environmental protections for the public benefit must be reinstated for the hydraulic fracturing of natural gas.  If this process cannot proceed within the established protections for public health and safety, it should be returned to the drawing board.

I have the following suggestions for improving the balance between private profits and public costs attributed to hydraulic fracturing of deep shale formations  for natural gas production.

1. Marcellus shale formations in Pennsylvania fall beneath many agricultural assets identified by the American Farmland Trust.  In many of these communities, the gas drilling and associated industrial facilities are distributed in small installations at many locations.  To conserve the amount of total land that must be disrupted to support the extraction,  processing and distribution of natural gas, the industrial facilities should be centralized and consolidated, made to comply with air and water emission permits, and have appropriate monitoring and treatment of produced water.  Having numerous smaller facilities distributed throughout the state destroys the rural character of the area, and increases the difficulty of monitoring and enforcement at numerous locations.  Areas zoned for industrial use can be located preferentially in brownfield areas, or areas designated for reclamation wherever possible, to avoid destruction of habitat and to conserve fertile ground.

2.  Marcellus shale development should be subject to siting criteria that include prohibition in areas that would require the drilling to penetrate through groundwater tables, prohibition in areas that would destroy critical wildlife habitat, including division and subdivision of tracts set aside as public parks, refuges and wilderness preserves; and prohibition in areas where organic farming or sustainable agriculture is the principal land use.  In all of these instances, hydraulic fracturing would permanently destroy the prevailing use of the land.  Precaution in protecting watershed, wilderness and food supplies is a critical need in the public interest of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

3. Marcellus shale drilling and processing facilities should be subject to the same restrictions as apply to any industrial activity in proximity to residences, schools, public facilities, schools, or historical and cultural assets of a community.  Distance setbacks, noise,  air and water pollution abatement must be assured to the residents of communities from the imposition of industrial facilities in their midst.  This should not rest on the shoulders of individual land holders whose negotiating skills are not equivalent to corporate gas development interests. Communities should have jurisdiction over zoning allocations within their boundaries to protect such community values.

4. Marcellus shale development should be subject to a tax and license fees, some of which must be placed in escrow to provide for the future de-contamination of public water supplies.  As the salinity of rivers and streams increases from dischsrge of produced water from drilling operations, as already evident in the Monongahela River, the water drawn from these rivers for public water supplies will need to be treated in ways not currently covered by existing operations.  If stringent controls will not be placed on the industry to prevent contamination of ground water, wells and surface water supplies, then there must be a mechanism for public funds to be provided to clean up hydrocarbon and salt contamination in the future.  It is the nature of the hydraulic fracturing process that the plume of contaminants underground may take a span of time to manifest under current detection systems.  Models of concentrated salt solution behaviors in water tables gives indications of contamination in the future as pipes penetrating the layers through groundwater above the shale formations will fail over time and lead to contamination in the future.  Extraction of the gas is expected to last for 20 to 50 years, at most, but the results of the contamination will be manifest gradually over 200 years from the present. It is a question of intergenerational justice to address the prevention of contamination, and to provide for cleaning the water.

5. The industry must be required to take accountability for all materials deposited into the streams and watersheds from produced water.  Closed system use with full removal of contaminants to safe drinking water standards must be practiced to prevent contamination of water supplies for people and all other living systems that depend on fresh water.  Only 3% of the water on earth is fresh water.  It must be conserved to prevent the need for purification processes at great public cost, loss of fertility of land due to increasing salinity, and cumulative toxicity to farm animals and affected flora and fauna in the area.

I urge the adoption of the Hydraulic Fracturing Accountability Act, as presented by Senator Casey in the 2010 Congress. I also urge the adoption of national standards for siting criteria for hydraulic fracturing of natural gas shale deposits, as outlined here.

These comments represent my own opinion, and do not represent the position of Chatham University, its President or any Member of the Board of Trustees.

Patricia M. DeMarco, Ph.D. Director Rachel Carson Institute School of Sustainability and the Environment Chatham University

Sustainability Leadership Lecture Series for 2012-2013 Academic Year

Posted in Events on July 5th, 2012 by pdemarco – Be the first to comment

Dear Colleagues and Friends:
The Rachel Carson Institute in partnership with the Office of Career Development at Chatham University  hosts a series of lectures profiling business leadership in sustainability.  We began this series last year with lectures that addressed individual pathways to sustainable careers. This year, we are looking at working examples of successful businesses large and small that have applied sustainability principles in their business model.  These companies are leaders in their fields.  They will share their successes and challenges.  Each session will have a presentation plus time for questions and dialogue.

The confirmed dates and speakers for Fall 2012 are:

September 18, 2012 – Ava DeMarco, President, LittleEarth Products

October 16, 2012 – Kris Koch, COO, G-TECH Strategies

November 13, 2012- Lalit Chordia, President- Thar Industries

December 11, 2012 – Christine Mondor, Principal, evolve: environment::architecture

All sessions take place from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM on Tuesdays in the Welker Room of the McLaughlin Music Hall of the Chatham University Shadyside campus.

Lectures are open to the public for a fee of $25.00. Admission includes refreshments

R.S.V.P. to the Office of Career Development at 412 365-1209, or by e-mail at <careers@chatham.edu>

If you are interested in sponsorship for this series, contact Patricia DeMarco pdemarco@chatham.edu

Back to the Sidewalks!

Posted in Public Policy Essays on April 28th, 2012 by pdemarco – Be the first to comment

Back to the sidewalks! That’s just one of the simpler ways to improve our lives

April 24, 2012 12:00 am
By Patricia M. DeMarco

I hate traffic jams! As I sat there, waiting in frustration for the light to turn, breathing fumes from the smoking pick-up truck in front of me, I noticed a sign, rusted and obscured by weeds: “Sidewalk Closed.” Only the crumbling stairway and rusted hand rail that once connected the street above with Penn Avenue remained.

Pittsburgh is full of sidewalk stairways from back in the day when everyone walked to work, or to the streetcar. One characteristic of those distant times was the close-knit community of neighbors. We organize our living space now for the convenience of cars, not people.

Unrestricted mobility has shaped our culture, economy and perception of the world since World War II. The application of industrial capacity to automobile production and highway construction drove our economic recovery, but also drove us apart.

Our love affair with the automobile will be difficult to change. It is easy to tally the conveniences and essential attributes of our cars. But transportation based on fossil fuels emits 28 percent of the pollutants that damage human health, agriculture and sensitive ecosystems. The United Nations projects that by 2050 over 50 percent of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change will come from transportation.

Our current transportation system also degrades the urban environment, eroding our quality of life and economic productivity with its delays, stress, pollution and noise, and by isolating and bypassing communities.

Poor air quality from transportation costs the United States between $40 billion and $64 billion per year for health care. The internal combustion engine, patented more than a century and half ago, converts only 12 percent of its fuel to a vehicle’s forward motion — the rest is lost as friction and heat. As the price of gas flirts with $4 per gallon, we have even more reason to look for a better way to transport ourselves.

At least three avenues offer solutions: technology, telecommunication and changes in behavior.

Today’s car buyer encounters a spate of electric cars, natural gas-powered cars and hybrid vehicles that promise to loosen the death grip of fossil fuels. The various types of electric vehicles will need new kinds of service infrastructure, just as gas stations sprung up to offer convenient fueling stops for cars at the turn of the 20th century.

Technical solutions include solar arrays that shade parking lots and provide outlets where cars can plug in, as well as battery re-charge stations at service stations, shopping centers and work places. Whole industries await invention built around cleaner, more sustainable fuels and more efficient engines. One industry invented long ago and going strong in other countries is the long-distance high-speed train.

Telecommunication is helping us avoid transportation altogether. We telecommute to work and do our shopping, banking and other business transactions online. We substitute conference calls and teleconferences for business travel. We social network instead of gathering for conventions. We can do more of these things.

Finally, we can change our behavior in so many ways. We can build more pedestrian-friendly communities and simply walk more often to buy food or household goods, to worship, to visit the doctor, to have fun. Walking makes us healthier and our air cleaner.

We just celebrated Earth Day, but Earth Day should be every day. Each of us should think about changing our personal transportation profile — to walk within a mile and ride a bike within five miles, to use public transit whenever possible, to put our minds in gear before we put our cars in motion, to let the car sit at least one day a week. Instead of rushing past each other, pumping toxins into the air and gesticulating with road rage, we could actually say hello!




Patricia M. DeMarco is director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University (pdemarco@chatham.edu). First Published 2012-04-24 04:04:32


Perspectives on Silent Spring at 50 Symposium May 11-12, 2012

Posted in Events, Public Policy Essays on April 28th, 2012 by pdemarco – Be the first to comment

 A once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and hear from people who write, research and act directly in the path of Rachel Carson.  Understand the science, the myths and the message relevant today and based on her writing in Silent Spring.  Register NOW!


Perspectives on Silent Spring at 50

May 11-12, 2012

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication Rachel Carson’s seminal book Silent Spring, considered the most significant influence in mounting an era of environmental awareness and action around the world.  The Rachel Carson Institute, in partnership with The National Aviary, will present a symposium on the impact of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring on conservation of wildlife and the future of conservation and preservation of biodiversity.  The role of birds as harbingers of the state of environmental health is well established.  This symposium will be held at the National Aviary FliteZone Theater and at Chatham University Eddy Theater.

Register now! https://www.chatham.edu/sse/events/silentspring50/

Conference Highlights:

Day One: Friday, May 11, 2012

Time:  from 1:00 Pm to 5:00 PM 

Location: The National Aviary’s Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone Theater

Welcome and Introduction- Patrick Mangus, Executive Director, National Aviary and

Patricia DeMarco, Ph.D. Director, Rachel Carson Institute, Chatham University

 “Wings- From the Brink of Extinction ” performance featuring the American Bald Eagle

 “Rachel Carson’sSpeech to the National Women’s Press Club, December 4, 1962,

introduced by Carson Biographer, Linda Lear 

Voices from the Earth

Moderator: Linda Lear, Ph.D.

Panelists: Scott Weidensaul- Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds

Sherri Woodley- A Quick Fall of Light;

John Juriga, Ph.D. The Illustrations of Robert Hines   


Diane D. Glave- African Americans, the Environment and Religion


Keynote Address:  Linda Lear, Ph.D.  “That Book Is For The Birds”


Day Two: Saturday, May 12, 2012

Time:  from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM 

Location: Chatham University Shadyside Campus, Eddy Theater


Welcome –Esther Barazzone, Ph.D. President Chatham University

Louis J. Guillette,Jr., Ph.D., Heinz Award Recipient for 2011, Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, CoEE Endowed Chair of Marine Genomics, Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Sciences Center, Medical University of South Carolina

“The Environment and Our Health: 50 Years of Lessons from Wildlife”

Lessons From Silent Spring

Moderator: Bob Mulvihill, M.Sc., Director of Education, National Aviary


Steve Latta, Ph.D. National Aviary

Holly S. Lohuise, Ocean Futures Society

Terry Collins, Ph.D. Teresa Heinz Professor of Green Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University

David Evers, Ph. D. Ex Director Chief Scientist, Biodiversity Research Institute


Roundtable Discussion – Challenges for the 21st Century

Moderator: David Hassenzahl, Ph.D. Dean, School for Sustainability and the Environment, Chatham University


Roger Christie, Rachel Carson’s adopted Son

Mark Madison, Ph.D. Historian, National Fish and Wildlife Service

Lou Hinds, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

George Jugovic, Jr.,  President and CEO, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture)

Joylette Portlock, Ph.D.  The Climate Reality Project

Patricia M. DeMarco, Ph.D., Director Rachel Carson Institute, Chatham University


The Image and the Message         


Jonathan R. Latham, Ph.D., The Bioscience Resource Project

Mark Dixon, YERT!

                           Anne T. Rosenthal – The Art of Engagement

                           Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ann Payne, the Mountain Institute

David Marcus, Penn Environment

The Legacy of Rachel Carson: Voices for the Future:


Eva Resnik-Day- WGF Women Greening Pittsburgh Nominee

Angela Wiley- Chatham University- Student Delegate to UN Climate 17 Conference

Martha Yanders

Alexis Loperti

Kevin Zhang

Carrington Motley Sewickley Academy


For Sponsorship and Press inquiries Contact: Patricia M. DeMarco, Ph.D.  Director, Rachel Carson Institute

e-mail pdemarco@chatham.edu Phone (412) 365-2702

Honoring Anne Feeney

Posted in Events on March 15th, 2012 by pdemarco – Be the first to comment

Women of Jazz and Blues for a Woman of Justice

Honoring Anne Feeney

for her lifetime commitment and her tireless and constant work for women’s rights, labor rights, and

social justice!


When: Tuesday, March 20, 7 PM


Where: Live at the Rex! 1602 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203


The Program!

MC: Natalia Rudiak, Pgh City Council

Starring the Divas:

Etta Cox, Maureen Budway, Tanya Grubbs, Kenia, Donna Peck, Freddye Stover, Sweaty Betty, Sheila Liming and Annie Sutton!


Supporting Musicians: Janelle Burdell, Eric Johnson, George Jones, Jeff Grubbs, Robbie Klein, Dave Yoho, Miguel Sague, John Smith, Mark Perna, Ian Gordon, Tony Janflone, Nathan Wilson, Evan Lintz, Marty Rosenberg, Bill Maruca, Nelson Harrison, Hill Jordan, Don Aliquo Sr., Charlie Barath, Frank Giove, Tom Hoffman with Smokestack Lightning, Mike Houston, David Hutchinson, Mike (Mick) McCormick, David Lawrence, Tim McDermott, Miguel Sague III (Cha), Alex Peck, Skip Peck, Dr. Ken Powell, Johnny (Smoothe) Shabatura, John Smith, Randall Troy, Dan Wasson, Jeff Ingersoll, and Chico Ortiz.


Anne Feeney has served our community by helping to found Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, the Women’s Bar Association of Allegheny County, the Gender Bias Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association. She also served Pennsylvania NOW as chapter President and state executive board

member. She served as Vice President of Pittsburgh CLUW. She has been active on women’s issues, workers’ issues, and issues of justice that the

Labor movement and the movement for Social Justice in general support and work towards every day.

She has been on the picket lines when we needed her, and now, she needs us!

Book Review: Bob Hines- National Wildlife Artist

Posted in Public Policy Essays on February 29th, 2012 by pdemarco – 2 Comments

Bob Hines: National Wildlife Artist  by John D. Juriga, M.D.

Reviewed by Patricia M. DeMarco, Ph.D. Director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University

Picture a boy introduced to the wonders of the natural world through the eyes of his Mother. The reward of lessening her grief through his drawings and her unconditional approval of his efforts shaped the remarkable achievement of Bob Hines as a national wildlife artist.  He saw the world through a different eye than most people, and gave form to his vision with spare clear lines.  John Juriga’s insightful biography follows the struggles of Bob Hines on his path from want and frustration to the accolades of a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Interior in 1971.

With skilled use of dialogue and a historian’s eye for the backdrop of events, Juriga shows the evolution of attitudes towards wildlife and toward professional writers and artists over fifty years. Just as Bob Hines’ drawings make the subject leap off the page, Juriga’s sketches of Bob Hines’ adventures capture his wit, his bold confidence, and his emotional pain.  Bob Hines’ personal experience of the wilderness and intense study of creatures through dissection and taxidermy enriched his talent. We see him as a young man at the height of the Great Depression leaving a factory job to “study art” and to preserve his health.  He claimed his own niche as an educational illustrator by striding into the office of the Ohio Conservation Commissioner Don Waters with a sheaf of his drawings under his arm.  He walked out with his first job as a wildlife artist.  Such boldness serves as an inspiration in these days of entitlements and expectations of welfare.

Bob Hines collaborations with the greats of the conservation movement give the story of his life the drama of participation in events that shook the world.  Throughout the narrative, Juriga gives us little snippets of the wry wit and humor that endeared Bob Hines to his friends and associates.  We can visualize his terror at sharing camp quarters with foraging bears on an expedition to Alaska or encountering alligators on a night expedition in the Okefenokee Swamp.  We can feel the intensity of his association with Rachel Carson from the description of Bob Hines carrying her out of a freezing tide pool where she had returned the day’s specimens after he finished drawing them.  We feel his frustration and frailty in his older years at not winning the Duck Stamp competition he built up and ran for so many years as its administrator. The biography leaves us feeling we know him around the fire of a fish camp telling stories of his adventures.

Throughout the tale, runs the thread of struggle for financial security and remuneration.  Under that theme, his growing success as an artist does not enhance his feeling of worth and success as a father and husband.  Juriga leaves the biography of Bob Hines’ personal adult life to short poignant vignettes, eloquent in what they omit.  The makings of a hefty soap opera remain behind the veil of discretion.

Juriga describes how Bob Hines gave his signed paintings for gifts, or for charities in his later years.  One such gift, a signed print of his painting of the Bald Eagle, came into the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles football team, and Bob received tickets to the game for a gift in return.  “During the half-time show of that particular game between the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, Bob’s observant eye spied a peregrine falcon pursuing pigeons above the stadium. Hines recalled, “Nobody else was looking at it. [The falcon] was flying around in a circle, and nobody was looking. I looked [around] to see, and they were not watching it. There’s life and death going right above their heads, and they never saw it. To me it’s amazing!” (Quoted from Chapter 9)  Hines had a different focus on the world.  During the autumn of 1971, Interior Secretary Rogers C. B. Morton presented Hines the Distinguished Service Award.  The citation included this statement: “He paints wildlife in the act of being alive.”  This biography puts words behind the drawings and brings the artist to life.

The book is available from Beaver’s Pond Press www.BeaversPondBooks.com or call : 1-800-901-3480

2012 is the centennial year for Bob Hines.  The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio opened its Bob Hines Centennial Exhibit which will remain on display until August 14, 2012.

Reflection on Steven Stucky’s Silent Spring Symphonic work

Posted in Public Policy Essays on February 29th, 2012 by pdemarco – 1 Comment

Silent Spring- A Symphonic Homage to Rachel Carson

A new symphonic work comes to life for the first time in the vibrating space between the musicians and the audience as the composer’s ideas rise from the pages of the score to create a shared experience of mutual participation in the birth of the piece.   Under the baton of Manfred Honeck, The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performance of Steven Stucky’s commissioned symphonic work, Silent Spring, gave homage to Rachel Carson in the fiftieth year after the publication of her seminal book.  Her message urging precaution to protect the natural world comes through the music as a visceral feeling, transcending the barriers of language, culture and opinions.  Rachel Carson wrote that “…it is not half so important to know as to feel.” [i]  I listened to this tribute to her work, with my eyes closed, through my heart more than through my ears, and I felt the message of Rachel Carson resonate through this piece. The world premier performance in Pittsburgh on February 17 to 19 and the New York Premier on February 26, 2012 launched this new work into the lexicon of great modern music.

The symphony, designed in four parts The Sea Around Us, Lost Woods, Rivers of Death and Silent Spring captures the intimate complexities of the sea and the forest, the devilish flow of contaminants into rivers and waters and the consequences in the stilling of bird voices. Steven Stucky describes the piece as “a one-movement orchestral tone poem in four sections that tries to create its own dramatic and emotional journey from beginning to end, without referring specifically to any scientific details.” [ii]

It opens with a sense of creatures in motion through the depths of the ocean. We have images of scuttling across the bottom sands, chasing and hiding. Bright schools of fishes swoop through the water beneath a pulse of the waves overhead.  Eventually waves crash and intersect with the shore, evoking an image of the rocks of Maine with tall forest coming to the edge of the shore and rising to dense heights.  The lost woods come to life in thrusting chords giving the sense of the dense trees pressing to the light, with a few motes of sunlight filled with bright insects filtering through the canopy.  There is a sense of a clearing in the trees, perhaps cut, perhaps burned, surrounded by the somber closeness of the deep forest.  Then come the rivers of death. A trickle at first, experimentally flowing through the woods, then growing in intensity, parallel to real life as toxic materials proliferate, to run rampant through the Earth.  The scherzo treatment offers frightening images of devilish mischief run amok in the woods and streams until you feel that the Earth screams. Then the full chorus of morning bird songs, not quite specifically melodic, emerges from the tension.  You have the feeling of the exuberant singing voices of birds at dawn in summer. Then, one by one, the instruments fall silent, until only the base clarinet and soft tympani cadence ends the piece.

It was not a happy piece, but really conveyed the message that our actions and careless disregard of the natural world would have catastrophic consequences. You feel the emotional impact of a spring without bird songs in a most visceral way. I cried.

It is a striking selection of themes from Rachel Carson’s work, and would be incomplete without any one segment.  Without her work of long years on the oceans and the ecology of the edges of the sea as they intersect with the land, Rachel Carson would not have understood so well the complexity of our human relationship to the natural systems we are part of.  It was her vast public writings in popular press from Fish and Wildlife Service circulars to Readers’ Digest essays and more scholarly pieces in the Atlantic and New Yorker that had already endeared Rachel Carson to many by the time Silent Spring was published.[iii]  Her book The Sea Around Us propelled her to popular fame, with all three of her ocean books, Under Sea Wind and The Edge of the Sea, on best seller lists for months.[iv]  She had the voice and the authority to make a statement in defense of the natural world.  Silent Spring came as her last plea to people as creatures who share the living earth with millions of species whose survival is intertwined with ours. Her voice of caution in polluting our natural systems and her plea for preserving the wonder of nature for future generations resonates today, with even greater urgency than was true for her time.  We face the continuing challenge of making space in our world for the diversity of life that in the end supports our existence.

If there is one omission I would observe in the Silent Spring symphony, it would be that the sense of wonder in the beauty and complexity of the natural world had too soft a voice.  It is there, especially in “The Sea Around Us” opening movement, and in parts of the “Lost Woods”, and a little bit in the opening of the “Silent Spring” movement, but I would have enjoyed a natural scene of beauty and peace as a whole segment of its own.  But Steven Stucky’s music is not a romantic fantasy.  Knowing that we have contaminated creatures, even our own bodies, from Aukland to the Arctic with persistent toxic chemicals like DDT and Bis-Phenyl-A perhaps is an admission of today’s harsh reality that Silent Spring is closer than we think.

For the New York Times review see:




[i] Rachel Carson. The Sense of Wonder 1956. Published posthumously. Harper & Row Publishers. 1965. Page 56

[ii] Steven Stucky. Program Notes. Lincoln Center Play Bill. February 26, 2012

[iii] For a complete biography of Rachel Carson see: Linda Lear. Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature.1997.Henry Holt & Company. New York

[iv] Under the Sea-Wind by Rachel Carson. Copyright 1941 by Rachel L. Carson;  The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson. Copyright ©1950 by Rachel L. Carson; The Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson, copyright 1956; Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, copyright 1962; and  The Sense of Wonder 1956. Published posthumously. 1965 constitute the published body of Rachel Carson’s work.  Other writings included in  Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson edited by Linda Lear. 1998.

Rachel Carson’s writing from the Fish and Wildlife Service including field notes, Conservation In Action Papers, and other work are available for study through the Fish and Wildlife Service archives.  The Lear Carson Collection can be studied at the Connecticut College in New London, and letters, papers and manuscripts are available in the Yale Beinecke Library.