This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.
Charles W ('Chuck') Powers
— Ethical think-tank operator and environmental engineer - in pollution and waste area. —
The main purpose of this entry is to aid researchers who need to differentiate the activities of Charles H Powers, and Charles W Powers. The tobacco archives show that the industry was closely following, and often involved centrally or peripherally, with both men.
From our later-day perspective is difficult to make a judgement about this Charles Powers who worked closely with associates, Russell Train, Douglas Costle, William Reilly (all ex EPA) and various other well-meaning corporate executives in non-profits often funded by the poisoning and polluting companies. They often appear to be too close to the corporate polluters to be comfortable.
Put this is probably little more than a distorted perspective because it is being viewed from a different age when the mendacity of many of these corporations have been well exposed. Powers and his friends appear to have been more trusting, and to have become convinced, as a group, that mediation would solve the problems of the continuing battles between the environmentalists and the poisoning and polluting corrporations.
Their activities were conducted through non-profits, and they seem to have had the best of intentions throughout. But, as any casual perusal of the tobacco archives will show, some of the most disreputable and money-grubbing activities of corporations and umbrella groups are conducted through non-profits — often with only some of the executives being in the know.
American organizations are often designated as 'non-profits' only because the IRS is convinced that the institution itself won't make a profit — even though these have been designed to that the corporations which supply the funding, and the salaried staff members might well be reaping a fortune from their activities.
We are not suggesting that this was the case with any of the activities listed here — but obviously the tobacco industry and the automobile and oil companies viewed some of these activities with interest and appeared to have provided some of the fundings. So it is difficult to imagine that they didn't have any influence.
However we are not convinced that any of these activities constitute 'corporate corruption' (which has been suggested previously). They may, however, sometimes imply a degree of libertarian 'business-first' gullibility.
This is probably most noticeable in Charles Power's associations with John D Graham's Harvard Center for Risk Analysis — as a member of the Harvard Group on Risk Management Reform (chaired by C Boyden Gray)
Don't confuse this Charles Powers with 'Charley' H Powers who worked for the Tobacco Institute, the Reagan and Bush I Administrations, and for various PR companies.
Also don't confuse The Conference Foundation which merged with the WWF, with The Conference Fund run by Pat Noonan.
CHARLES W. POWERS, Ph.D.
Dr. Powers is a Professor of Environmental Health and Community Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry -New Jersey. He is the architect of CRESP and is widely recognized for resolving environmental and public health controversies for which he has been given the Rene Dubos Environmental Achievement Award.
Underlying his work are efforts to focus scientific findings to better address with appropriate regulatory frameworks the risk concerns of the public.
Currently, Dr. Powers is also the President of the Institute for Responsible Management, an organization whose primary focus is research to facilitate and chart Brownfields work in 357 pilot locations nationwide. He is primary author of A Great Experiment: Brownfields Pilots Catalyze Revitalization to be published in June 2000 and hundreds of articles and other publications.
He has been the architect and first CEO of the Health Effects Institute, Clean Sites, Inc. The Institute for Evaluating Health Risks and Resources for Responsible Site Management, the first custodial trustee of a Superfund site. He has been a faculty member at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Tufts and was Vice President for Public Policy and chief environmental officer at Cummins Engine Company in the late 70's.
Some key documents
His co-consultant wife, partner and co-author is Barbara Ley Toffler, ex-professor of Organizational Behavior at the Harvard Business School
- Cofounder of HEI Health Effects Institute,
- Heads the HEI -Asbestos Research (for profit ?)
- Cofounder of the non-profit Clean Sites, Inc. and
- Shareholder in Clean Sites Environmental Services (CSES)
- President of the Institute for Responsible Management (non-profit)
- Partner in Resources for Responsible Management. (for-profit)
- Temporary President of the Californian Institute for Evaluating Health Risk (IEHR)
- President of Resources for Responsible Site Management (RRSM) (for profit)
- Member of the very dubious John D Graham/C Boyden Gray Harvard Group on Risk Management Reform
- Founder and manager/Investigator of Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation. (CRESP) — a multi-university cooperative dealing with nuclear waste which he runs from Vanderbilt University.
1963: B.A. Philosophy, Haverford College, Haverford, PA.
1965: Diploma Theology,,
University of Oxford, Oxford
M.Div. Religion, Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY.
1968: M.Phil. Ethics, Yale University, New Haven, CT.
Ph.D. Ethics, ,
Yale University, New Haven, CT.
1972: The Council on Religion and International Affairs has published "The Ethics of Investment" by Charles W Powers
His various puff pieces say "served on the faculties of Yale and Princeton Universities and was professor of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School."
1975 /E: The Harvard University Institute of Politics website has an entry for Powers as a "Former Fellow"
Charles Powers is Vice-President of Public Policy for Cummins Engine Company and Affiliate Professor of Social Ethics at Christian Theological Seminary.
Previously, Mr. Powers served as Associate Professor of Social Ethics at Yale University and was a consultant to business and non-profit organizations, such as Hartford National Bank, Smithsonian Institution, and the Council on Religion and International Affairs. Mr. Powers is the author of Social Responsibility and Investments.
1977: The Congressional battle over the Clean Air Act and amendments called for the auto industry to do research into pollution reduction, but would not fund the work itself. Douglas Costle the Administrator of the EPA is said to have come up with the idea of establishing a
"non-profit, independent institute to do emissions research? Then the next time we come around to reauthorizing the Act, there will be an independent, third-party source of facts. He was supported in establishing the Health Effects Institute by Henry B. Schacht of Cummins Engine Company, and they bought other automobile manufacturers on board.
Charles Powers, who had been a vice-president in charge of ethical issues at Cummins, played a leading role in designing the new organization and served as its first president.
1980 Dec 12: Press conference announces the formation of the Health Effects Institute as a partnership between the EPA and the automobile industry — this was hailed as a new paradigm — the merging of the regulator with the regulated.
[The HEI was created in the transition period before the first year of President Reagan's reign]
1983 Aug: Members of the HEI begin planning the Clean Sites Inc. operation. [Source later statement]
1984–87: ; Served on the Industriplex Custodial Trust (Superfund beneficial site use)
1984 May 31: Clean Sites Inc was established after a ten month planning period by a steering committee comprising representatives from industry and environmental communities, former government officials and private individuals. It is supported by contributions from well over 100 companies in a variety of industries, as well as donations from a labor union and some individuals.
1984 May 31: Russell E Train to succeeed Charles W Powers as President of Clean Sites Inc. (Powers on staff) Clean Sites was registered as a non-profit 503(c)3 corportion
1984 June: The main executives of the new Clean Sites Inc are Douglas M Costle (EPA) Donald Kennedy, Joshua Lederberg, Charles W Powers, Henry B Schacht, Russell E Train who had all been instrumental in the formation of the HEI.
1984 June 19: Charles Powers [now the CEO of Clean Sites Inc] letter to the Board of Directors. The Chairman is Russell Train and they have only just opened the shop
CSI is to be funded by contributions from industry and from foundations. The strategy has been to show a strong chemical industry commitment which is then extended to other industries that generate hazardous waste and then to approach foundations to request support for a very specific piece of CSI activity, probably the Technical Review function where independence of function should probably be matched by some "independent" funding.
If EPA ever directly funds any CSI administrative costs, something that the Steering Committee had various views about, then they would probably be used in this same Technical Review area. (Incidentally, in a Steering Committee discussion with Bill Ruckelshaus in March, Ruckelshaus said that EPA would be receptive to proposals that EPA fund some aspects of CSI administrative work once it was up and was proving itself.) Of course, it is likely that as CSI develops, companies who utilize its services will contribute to the operation.
For now, the chemical industry is moving quickly to support half of CSI's costs for the first three years. The key documents here are the commitment forms on which CMA companies commit on the basis of chemical and chemical product sales. The formula used assumed full support from the chemical industry and was calculated to yield $2.5 million in year one, $3.5 million in year two and $5 million in year three. These were for CSI operational costs only.
You will find a sheet in this section which shows that as of June 11 we had commitment letters assuring CSI first year support of nearly $.8 million (and additional commitments from companies who committed before they had calculated their formula contributions which should take us to about $1.3 million).
[The letter shows that Clean Sites Inc had strong connections to The Conservation Foundation, which was helping with the establishment of an office. Exxon and DuPont may have been also providing staff (gratis ?) They would be working on Superfund sites.]
See Clean Sites Inc manifesto also:
1985 Feb: Clean Sites Inc reached an agreement with the EPA for certain negotiating and technical activities early in the Superfund process. [They couldn't get insurance cover.]
The Board consisted of
- Russell E Train, Chairman — World Wildlife Fund US
- Charles W Powers, President of Clean Sites Inc (staff)
- Douglas M Costel, Wald Harkrader & Ross (ex EPA Administrator)
- Louis Fernandez, Chairman of the Board, Monsanto Company
- Sandra S Gardebring, Chairwoman, The Metropolitan Council
- Edwin A Gee, CEO International Paper Co
- Donald Kennedy, President Stanford University
- Joshua Lederberg, President, The Rockefeller University
- William K Reilly, President, The Conservation Foundation (ex EPA Administrator)
- Henry B Schacht, CEO, Cummins Engine Co (ex boss of Powers)
1986 Nov: Proposition 65 passes in California by a margin of 63% to 37% even though the industry coalitions campaign outspent the activist/citizens "Yes on 65" by a ratio of about 6:1.
1987: Charles Power is working with (or partner in) the think-tank Resources for Responsible Management in Boston. It appears to be mainly engaged in running seminars and training programs in 'ethical management'.
1987 June 30: CMA Editors Service (Chemical Manufacturers Assoc) carries an enthusiastic article on Clean Sites Inc.
This is a relatively new, unique non-profit organization established with strong support from the chemical industry. It is doing excellent work in helping to speed the cleanup of abandoned waste sites.
When Congress passed the first Superfund law in December 1980, most people felt the problem of cleaning up the nation's waste sites would soon be solved. They were wrong. The task proved far more complex than was first realized.
The number of sites was far greater than first supposed. Discovering what substances had been dumped in them was a time-consuming and often hazardous process, requiring the greatest care. And the law's requirement that the original ''dumpers" be found and required to contribute to the cleanup costs also led to extensive delays. Legal and bureaucratic issues compounded the problem.
When leaders of the chemical industry began to search for ways of speeding the cleanup process, it appeared that what was really needed was a new kind of organization that could act as a catalyst — an independent intermediary among everyone involved in the cleanup, especially between government and industry. They talked about this concept with government officials and leading environmentalists, and Clean Sites Inc. was born.
A private, non-profit organization, it has now been operating for three years. It has a staff of 35 professionals — engineers, lawyers, scientists and computer specialists — half of whom came from industry, the other half from government agencies and environmental groups.
Clean Sites has now been involved in cleanup settlements in more than 20 states.
1987 June 30: CMA Editors Service (Chemical Manufacturers Assoc. PR sheet) carries an enthusiastic article on Clean Sites Inc.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (Title 1111, requires that all companies involved with potentially hazardous materials provide full information to their communities on these substances.
The following guidelines were offered recently by John Slavick, a senior member of the communications staff of the Chemical Manufacturers Association, at a meeting of plant managers: [See CMA platitudes]
1987 July 27: Thomas P Grumbly named as the new Clean Sites preisdent, He is selected to succeed Charles W Powers.
1988 Feb 17: Ian Munro of Cantox has been attending meetings on Califonia's Prop 65 for the tobacco industry. The Californian Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) was considering the toxicity of smokeless tobacco products, ETS and several chemicals.
Until this time the tobacco industry hadn't paid a lot of attention to Prop 65, and had left it up to the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) and the food industry to fight the battles. (Cantox also worked for the ILSI)
[The ILSI was a creature of Coca Cola and the processed food manufacturers, which had been successful in getting itself recognised as a NGO by WHO and US Governement regulators. It also had a Risk Sciences Institute which accepted tobacco funding on the quiet.]
1988 Feb 27: The first of the new warnings mandated under California's Proposition 65 Act appeared. These were on benzene, asbestos and lead.
"Get tough on toxics" was a catchy slogan, and commercials warning that "California's children are dying of cancer" struck strong emotional chords. Celebrities such as actress Jane Fonda and state assemblyman Tom Hayden championed the cause.
Powerful business opponents countered that the law would send industry out of the state, create commercial chaos, confuse consumers with too many warnings and cause a liability nightmare.
People like well-knows University of California biochemist Bruce Ames saw it not as a preventive health measure but a misdirected waste of resources. "This initiative will result in chasing after trivial amounts of manmade carcinogens at enormous cost with minimal benefit to our health," said the ballot argument that Ames signed opposing the initiative.
1988 Apr 1: The Californian Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act now meant that
Cigars and pipe tobacco carry warnings and, as of April 1, warnings about the dangers of breathing someone else's cigarette smoke began to appear in bars, restaurants and businesses.
1988 May: "Who's Afraid of the Greenhouse Effect?"
Chuck Powers, who heads a group called Resources for Responsible Management, Is trying to sound an alarm concerning the future of an all too common piece of riverside or coastal infrastructure — the hazardous waste site.
[He said] "The areas around Boston, Long Island, Galveston, the Delaware Valley are all full of sites that could potentially end up in flood plains. Some of these sites are among the least protected. You've got to be very concerned:"
If we allow open pits of toxic chemicals to be flooded we might as well have dumped them in the river in the first place. "
1988 May 17: The ILSI-NF division held a meeting on California's Prop 65 and its Act. However, since the food processors weren't too happy being caught in bed with tobacco, Tom Borelli from Philip Morris USA, gave his corporate affiliations as General Foods.
[Also in attendance at this meeting were Daniel Skrypec of Kraft (another PM company) and Robert Suber from (RJR Nabisco). Sarah Connick and Carol Henry were from the ILSI's Risk Science Institute which was also dealing behind the scenes with the tobacco industry, so nearly half this committee were affiliated with the tobacco industry.]
The opponents of Prop 65 appear to have the Californian governor [Republican George Deukmejian] on side
Clearly the tobacco industry was becoming increasingly concerned with the way that Prop 65-type initiatives in other states could be detrimental to their corporate interests. Similar initiatives were being planned for Ohio, etc. and the tobacco industry was gearing up to take a lead role in opposing them.
1988 May 24: Tobacco Institute Memo says about Proposition 65 developments in California:
I have enclosed information on a newly formed institution, the Institute for Evaluating Health Risks (IEHR) , developed by Charles Powers of Resources for Responsible Management in Boston.
The Institute is attempting to get approval and funding from the state of California and private entities to conduct the risk assessments on chemicals listed under Proposition 65. It is important to note that the IEHR is considered a concept at this point until it receives approval and a funding commitment from both the state of California and industry.
Mr. Powers has been involved in several industry-funded risk assessment and research projects in the past, most recently conducting emissions analyses for the automobile industry.
However, IEHR would be a cooperative effort between the California state government and industry (and possibly environmental organizations) through staffing and financial assistance.
1988 June: Promotional draft outline of the "Institute for Evaluating Health Risks" (IEHR) from the Tobacco Institute files.
The task of providing timely, credible Risk Assessments to meet the requirments of Proposition 65 are substantially more onerous than were the tasks of [Health Effects Institute and Clean Sites, Inc.]
A very tight timetables an enormous technical information gathering, development and synthesis task; high stakes for all parties in a highly charged atmosphere. These are formidable barriers to the quiet, competent and efficient rendering of the judgments needed to meet Propositlon 65 requirements. But an institution with this purpose - and supported by all involved parties - is the best hope that California has of meeting its diverse objectives under t:he public policy structure which Proposition 65 creates.
1988 June 7: The Philip Morris/Tobacco Institute's lawyer lobbyists from Covington and Burling are memoed on The Institute for Evaluating Health Risks (IEHR) for Proposition 65 Listed Substances.
The IEHR would be a state government- and industry-funded organization to conduct the risk assessments on all substances listed under Proposition 65.
Chuck Powers, a partner with Resources for Responsible Management in Boston, and the instigator of the IEHR, is tentatively scheduled to speak to staff at the Chemical Manufacturers Association on Wednesday, July 29.
Currently, Mr. Powers is in California lobbying state officials and industry on the IEHR. No agreement has been reached at this time; however, an agreement must be reached in the very near future in order for the IEHR to ready itself to conduct these assessments and to meet the very tight timetable established by the Governor.
Attached was a C/V for Charles W Powers.
|Charles W Powers biog.|
- Founding partner of Resources for Responsible Management, a Boston firm devoted to work on management ethics and improving public-private sector collaboration on controversial public issues, especially those concerned with environmental health and safety
- He is also the President of the Institute for Responsible Management of Boston, a non-profit institution to conduct research on management ethics and the role of non-profit NGO's in solving public-private disputes
- Former associate professor and head of the graduate program in ethics at Yale University
- he taught courses listed in the Schools of Divinity, Law, Medicine and Public Health. in the economics, political science, and religious studies departments (1969-75).
- In 1975, Powers left a tenure offer from Yale to become an executive at Cummins Engine Company.
- Vice-president for Public Policy at Cummins Engine Company when he was 37 and was a primary international negotiator for that firm's multinational business expansion in the late 70's as well as the company's chief environmental officer.
- At Cummins he also supervised development of the company's ethical practices code and the nation's first major managerial ethics training program.
- Responsible for developing an innovative portion of the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments (adopted unanimously by Congress). It regulates heavy duty engines and vehicles by placing new emphasis on health effects data and on enforcement through non- compliance penalties.
- 1980 Powers was recruited by both industry and government leaders to put together and then serve as the founding CEO of the Health Effects Institute (which has become the nation's center for research on the health effects of automotive emissions)
- Also he still heads an affiliated institution (the Health Effects Institute - Asbestos Research) to meet a request from EPA, Congress and the private sector.
- 1984 Powers was recruited by both industry and government leaders to put together and then serve as the founding CEO of Clean Sites, Inc. (widely cited for multiparty technical and financial dispute resolution and project management in hazardous waste site cleanup).
- Currently the Acting Executive Director of the Institute for Evaluating Health Risk (IEHR), an organization he conceived and is helping build in California which will conduct risk assessments and generic exposure analyses to help government, business and the public implement that State's new Safe Water Drinking Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).
The new statute's shift in the burden of proof has created a complex situation for all affected parties which can be addressed only if credible, high-quality risk assessments are developed for more than 350 substances identified as associated with causing human cancer and reproductive effects.
- Powers is also President of Resources for Responsible Site Management (RRSM), a new Massachusetts corporation which is serving as the custodial trustee (the first such entity used at a federally regulated waste site) during the period of remediation and sale of most of the land on which the Woburn, Masssachusetts Industriplex Superfund Site sits. The purpose of RRSM is to expedite the return of cleaned waste sites to normal use.
- [On the Boards/Advisory Council of] Climate Institute; the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government; the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute in New Jersey; and the federal Advisory Council on Health Care Technology Assessment.
1988 Oct: [In May 89 article] Californian Attorney-General John Van de Kamp sued eight retailers and 25 tobacco companies for failing to comply with the Californian (Prop 65) law's warning requirements.
Tobacco companies soon settled part of the suit, opting to put warnings on new product packaging starting March 1989. However the industry was organising to paint these laws as draconian and ridiculous (by chosing extreme examples of what could be possible — such as chloroform in hot showers):
David Roe, an Environmental Defense Fund lawyer and principal architect of Prop 65, strongly disagrees: "Industry has tried to paint the law as totally crazy, outrageous, draconian." Instead, he said, it has worked as intended, putting "real warnings on the few things that need it."
That view is shared, in part, by state officials in the Health and Welfare Agency charged with carrying out the law. Responding to charges that Proposition 65 amounts to a chemical "witch hunt," they wrote a letter published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association saying that to date "the dire conse- quences of this law that were predicted by industry advocates have not occurred."
1989: Opposed to the Act and seeking changes was a corporate coalition which was [overtly] led by:
The Californian governor was also opposed to the bill. He appointed a 12-person scientific advisory panel which included a number of scientists with some EPA experience... including Bruce Ames biochemist (Chair) [Uni of Cal, Berkeley] who had actively worked for the tobacco industry via both TASSC and SEPP, and who had openly opposed the initiative.
- Environmental Working Group — counselled by ex-EPA San Francisco lawyer Michele Corash.
- Grocery Manufacturers Association — VP Jeffrey Nedelman (The GMA often fronted for the tobacco industry)
- Ingredients Communications Council (an industry-backed umbrella group)
- Institute for Evaluating Health Risk, — [whose temporary CEO was Charles Powers,]
[Powers was on loan from the Institute for Responsible Management only until September when he was to be replaced by another professional lobbyist, John A Moore.].
The IEHR was backed locally by Hewlett Packard chairman David Packard and Donald Kennedy (ex FDA head) the Stanford University president (and Power's assocaite)
Fortunately, the SAB held open meetings which were intensely scruitinized by lawyers from both sides.
1989 Jan: /E California Is Getting Tough on Toxics
California took a stern approach toward those tobacco products for which no federal health warnings are currently required. Under Prop-65, warnings that pipe tobacco, loose tobacco for roll-your-own cigarettes and cigars contain chemicals that can cause cancer or reproductive harm are required for the first time.
While the Prop 65 campaign focused largely on environmental pollution, the pan- el has put a strong emphasis on chemicals of life style as well "Voters may not have envisioned it would be applied to those aspects of their life style," said panel member Warner North of the consulting firm Decision Focus Inc. 1 keep trying to find the big problems. With the exception of alcohol and tobacco, I find them extremely bard to come by."
Jeffrey Nedelman, vice president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association [which often acted as a front for tobacco], said Prop 65 remains his group's top priority. "We've been working on federal preemption for two years. And if it takes two more years, we'll work two more years," he said. He called Prop 65 "a subtle and diabolical shift in tacticsfromwhat we have begun to call the environmental- fundamentalists."
1989 Feb: /E Institute for Evaluating Healh Risks (IEHR) Foundation document.
The Institute for Evaluating Health Risk is a 501c3 non-profit corporation organized in California to "provide an independent mechanism to improve the evaluation of health risks, among which are those associated with substances addressed by the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1986 of the State of California" (from the Articles of Incorporation)
The Institute for Evaluating Health Risk is a new institution, created and organized under the laws governing non-profit corporations in the State of California solely to test for public safety in the unusual context created for such testing by the new California law. It has been recognized as a non-profit, charitable institution by the federal Internal Revenue Service and the Tax Franchise Board in California. The Institute seeks to support the implementation of Proposition 65 in an effective, coherent way by establishing a credible information base and risk assessment methodology, based on excellent science, that would be available to all parties with a concern for the quality of risk assessments used in compliance with this law.
To implement the initial start-up and review of the Institute's feasibility, the Board named Charles W. Powers as Acting Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
Powers is President of the Institute for Responsible Management, and is a nationally-known manager of initiatives of this type who conceived and then served as the founding CEO of the Health Effects Institute (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Clean Sites, Incorporated (Alexandria, Virginia).
The Board of Directors has recently reached an agreement with John A Moore to become the permanent chief executive officer. Dr Moore, who will assume his responsibilities in September, brings a distinguished record as both a scientist and a regulator who has unequaled experience in wrestling with the risk assessment issues which are at the heart of IEHR's mission. He served in
- academic posts at Western Reserve and Michigan State Universities before holding
- a variety of senior posts at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) between 1969-83. He was
- Deputy Director of the National Toxicology Program at NIEHS, before joining
- The Environmental Protection Agency as Assistant Administrator, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances in 1983. During his final year before leaving the Agency
- in July 1989, Dr Moore was Acting Duputy Administrator - and for a short time Acting Administrator of the Agency
1989 May 23: Charles Power is temporarily on loan to the Institute for Evaluating Health Risk, an industry coalition created to oppose the Act which arose from the passage of Proposition 65 in California.
This think-tank is intended as a mediator. It says that the Act
"effectively put the burden on businesses to warn the public if any activity, or product — from wine to dry-cleaning fluid, to the office water-cooler — poses a potentially significant health risk from exposure to chemicals that the state deems hazardous." The law associated with Prop 65 — the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act — had taken effect the year before this publication. It ordered the governor of California to create a list of chemicals "known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity" and for companies to provide "clear and reasonable" warnings of hazardous products in their factories.
It also prohibited discharges of dangerous chemicals into the drinking water supply in what the corporations believed was ridiculously stringent amounts, and provided for a penalty of up to $2,500 a day... with a 'bounty-hunter' incentive of 25% of the damages. Environmental groups estimate that the potential tobacco penalties would be as high as $1.3 million... but they were over-optomistic.
This industry report says that
"the dire consequences of this law that were predicted by industry advocates have not occurred. So far it has worked pretty well."
"Proposition 65 is a bold, largely misunderstood experiment to force technical decisions into policy. It's potentially dangerous or alternatively a golden opportunity, depending on how welt we bring science to bear on the decision-making process," said the institute's organizer, Charles Powers.
"It took everything we ever thought about regulation and turned it on its head. It is a complete Copernican revolution [in] ways we are just beginning to understand... We don't know where it is going to go."
1989 Jul 26: The Role of the IEHR "Making Risk Assessment Work" (conference) A collection of both genuine and corporate names interested in limiting regulation as you'd expect with a group attempting to act as mediator.
1989 Sep: Charley Powers handed over the IEHR in California to John A ['Jack'] Moore, and returns to the Institute for Responsible Management. Moore was an ex-EPA Administrator and toxicologist who was still been running the organisation in 1994 from Washington.
By this time the IEHR was funded to the tune of $200,000 by the Chemical Manufacturers Association. Moore was also working at that time with TASSC/Cato science lobbyist Michael Gough on the 're-evaluation' of dioxins.
See the July 27 1993 Testimony of John A Moore before the US House, Committee on Science, Space & Technology. By this time the IEHR had become yet-another corporate lobby group trying to impose risk assessment procedures on the regulatory agencies.
1991: He is listed as managing senior partner in Resources for Responsible Management and a member of the Advisory Council of the Carnegie Institute.
1992: [From the 1998 Human and Ecological Risk Assessment journal] "Report on the 'Harvard Group on Risk Management Reform (HGRMR.' from the Harvard School of Public Health.
[John D Graham's private fiefdom at the Harvard Center for Risk Assessment (HCRA) which provided the staffing for the HGRMR]
It spells out the history of the Risk Management Reform group (which borrowed the Harvard University name simply for prestige):
The intense corporate lobbying trying to establish this Risk Assessment process in all the regulatory agencies (which would swallow up resources and stall effective action) continued after the Clinton presidential win in November 1992.
- Founded by JD Graham in 1994 at request of C Boyden Gray while he was Counsel to President [GHW Bush] to help development of a new presidential order (actually an Executive Order in 1992)
- The Executive order was "aimed at bringing more scientific rigor and political accountability to the process of health, safety and environmental regulation"
Gray obtained a grant for the HCRA from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to carry on the lobbying in 1993, and eventually he had some success.
Members of the Harvard Group on Risk Management Reform at that time were:[Note: not the HCRA]
- C Boyden Gray (Group Chair) former counsel to the president (RJ Reynolds heir; worked for tobacco industry via Citizens for a Sound Economy)
- Frederick R Anderson, former president Environmental Law Institute
- Baruch Fischhoff, Prof of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie-Mellon Uni
- Lois Swirsky Gold, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, & Uni of California Berkely (partner of Bruce Ames who worked for tobacco)
- Donald Horning, Harvard School of Public Health, ex Science Advisor to President
- Sheila Jasanoff, Prof of Science Policy & Law, Cornell Uni
- Marc Landy, Prof of Political Science, Boston College
- R Shep Melnick, Prof of Politics, Brandeis Uni
- Richard Merrill, Prof of Law, Uni of Virginia; ex chief counsel FDA (worked for tobacco industry via Covington & Burling)
- Paul R Portney, CP, Resources for the Future, ex Senior Economist, Council on Environmental Quality
- Charles Powers, Resources for Responsible Management. Also founder/CEO of Health Effects Institute and Clean Sites
- William D Ruckelshaus, CEO Browning Ferris (ex Admin EPA, ex Att-Gen also a lobbyist)
- Richard Stewart, Prof Law New York Uni, Ass Att-Gen for Environment and Natural Resources, US Dept of Justice
- Cass Sunstein, Prof of Jurisprudence, Uni of Chicago [caught up in ARISE scam, but generally just a libertrarian]
- Rae Zemmerman, Prof of Planning and Public Admin, New York Uni
- Nancy Beaulieu, Harvard Uni
- J ohn D Graham, HSPH and HCRA
- Marc J Roberts, Prof of Political Economy, HSPH
- Ms, March Sadowitz, HCRA and JD Student, Boston Uni School of law (worked for tobacco via Washtec)
- Jonathan B Wiener, Prof of Law, Duke Uni (also a HCRA advisor and Graham associate)
Their report recommended
- moving the control over regulatory risk assessment from the statutory authorities to the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) and Office of Management and Budget's Office of information and Regulatory Affairs OMB-OIRA... later controlled by Graham], both in the White House and therefore directly under political control.
- Congressional legislation requiring all federal agencies to perform cost-benefit analysis + public hearings, citizens panels, and social science research.
- Congressional regulation should have flexibility — allowing for the substitution of alternative plans or 'deals' (for say a toxic cleanup)
- Congress should transfer selected risk-management powers to the state and local authorities (Safe Drinking Water Act and Superfund program)
1993 June: The Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government has him listed as a member of their Advisory Council, along with Douglas Costle (ex EPA Administrator and HEI associate)
1994: The Harvard Group on Risk Management Reform (HGRMR) was established by John D Graham (Harvard Center for Risk Asessment) at request of C Boyden Gray.
Boyden Gray was an heir to the RJ Reynolds fortune who had been Counsel to Presidents Bush and Reagan. He and his organizations were well-funded by the tobacco industry and other corporations via the [Koch-controlled] Citizens for Sound Economy (now Freedomworks) to help develop a new presidential order (bypassing Congress) to hinder the regulatory agencies, without appearing to limit their functions. (This move began in 1992 during the first Bush Administration)
The Executive Order was "aimed at bringing more scientific rigor and political accountability to the process of health, safety and environmental regulation" and the development process continued after Clinton win in 1993. Gray obtained a grant for the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA) from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to carry on this lobby effort.
See CSE The giant PR firm Burson-Marsteller also worked for Philip Morris to promote this Executive Order to the Clinton Administration through:
- Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) — run by C Boyden Gray and the Koch Brothers.
- Coalition for Executive Order,
- Coalition for Moratorium on Risk Assessments, and...
- Institute for Regulatory Policy (IRP) all run by ex-OSHA head Thorne Auchter and his partner Jim Tozzi (MBS)
- The Competitiveness Council — run by VP Dan Quayle and Wayne Valis (with wider funding sources)
See also Philip Morris involvement
1994 May: The Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Managment was reconstituted by the Clinton Administration to address the issues of regulating toxicity and the need for general Risk Assessment. Both major parties and the president get to nominate those on the new commission.
Clinton had dumped a couple of the more obvious lobbyists from the tobacco industry who had been on the Bush Administration commission — Thorne Auchter and Barbara Bankoff. Powers is not on this Commission, but his associates Gilbert S Omenn and Joshua Lederberg are... alongside tobacco and chemical industry consultants John Doull and Gail Charnley as well as Virginia Weldon from Monsanto (appointed by the House Minority Leader).
The later report (April 1996) says
"like the Commission on the Environment and the President's Council on Sustainable Development we seek convergences of economic and environmental goals and actions" (this is code for "cost/benefit calculations before regulation") Their April 1996 Draft Report [copied to Philip Morris] quotes from the Carnegie Commission Report Risk and the Environment: Improving Regulatory Decision Making and the Harvard Group on Risk Management Reform (Powers involved in both); and the highly dubious Annapolis Accords for Risk Analysis.... together with some more legitimate material from the NAS Report Science and Judgement in Risk Assessment and others.
[The main point here is that the corporate clamour for 'Risk Reform' had become the main thrust of the organised attacks on the regulatory agencies of the federal government.
Economists were now being promoted as the experts in 'Decision Science' and therefore elevated to play the key role in deciding which chemicals or products should be regulated and which should not... with the decisions based on their assumptions and monetary calculation of costs to the community, versus the assumed benefits derived from the regulations.]
Another report on the formation of this Commission says:
Members of the group also expressed an interest in addressing pending environmental legislation as well as the Clinton Administration's Executive Order Number 12866 on regulatory review. [The Risk Assessment order]
Five issues were listed by members of organizations like the EPA, Chemical Manufacturers Association, the American Industrial Health Council and the Environmental Defense Fund which they felt the Commission should address.
1995 Mar: Release of the Special Report: Reform of Risk Regulation: Achievement of More Protection at Less Cost (by Harvard Center for Risk Assessment). The members of the Harvard Group on Risk Management Reform were under the Chairmans ship of C Boyden Gray.
Charles W Powers is listed along with the other members of the HGRMR. Note that the membership has grown a little over the last two years.
[He was not the only member to be conned by this political/corporate scam]
- Charles W Powers — Senior Principal, Resources of Responsible Managmeent and founding CEO of the Health Effects Institute and Clean Sites
1995 March: The full report by Harvard Group on Risk Management Reform (chaired by C Boyden Gray) — actually run by.John D Graham's Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
The Harvard Group was an attempt, financed by many of the larger corporations, to convince the Clinton Administration that it should force a system of Risk Assessment and cost-benefit calcuations on all of the regulatory agencies (FDA, EPA, OSHA) as a way of curbing their activities.
It was to promote a continuation of the Risk Assessment and Management Commssion of the Bush Administration, which was designed to achieve control over the agencies via an Executive Order which did not require Congressional legislation.
1995 June: Bloomberg reports that Barbara Toffler [ the wife of Charles Powers] , "whose Boston-based Resources for Responsible Management advises major companies on ethics matters "has been critical of John Reed serving on the boards of both Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital/Cancer Center and Philip Morris.
She was highly critical of a number of tobacco company executives being closely associated with medical and health institutions
1996 Jan 20: Chem. Eng. News article Hazardous waste cleanup firm makes progress.
Clean Sites Inc. (CSI), the privately supported organization that is trying to help expedite cleanup of hazardous waste sites, has made some strong progress in the past few months, including what may be record fast action on a site in North Carolina.
An update of CSI's activities was recently presented by its president, Charles W. Powers, and other officers of the company in conjunction with the first full cleanup contract the organization arranged. That was at the SED Inc. waste site in Greensboro, N.C., where SED's owner had been collecting transformers and capacitors from utility companies, draining the polychlorinated bipheny Is from them, and selling the containers as scrap. According to Powers, SED's owner told state and federal officials last year that he would not be able to continue and that the PCBs in his warehouse would be abandoned.
1996 May: the Reason Foundation releases "Key Issues in Environmental Risk Comparisons: Removing Distortions and Insuring Fairness" written by:
- George M Gray (principle author) [John Graham's deputy at HCRA]
- Kenneth Green (project director) worked for the tobacco industry
- Lynn Scarlett (project director) tobacco industry lobbyist
The report says
Risk management, which depends on the ability to meaningfully compare and rank environmental risks, is crucial if we are to ensure that scarce public health resources are used wisely. [snip]
The ability to meaningfully compare and rank environmental risks is important to an informed citizenry, helping people identify and prioritize the actions they can take to safeguard their health. And rigorous use of science in risk management can help us guard against the potential creation of new risks while we're addressing the old.
Such risk management techniques can also help stretch the public dollar farther, getting more bang for the buck out of efforts to reduce environmental risks to public health.
[Note Risk Assessment and Risk Analysis are not interchangeable terms here. Risk Assessment, as used by the EPA in the mid 1970s was opposed by the poisoning and polluting companies because it sought to 'characterise' and categorise the hazards. Risk Analysis, as promoted by the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis, sought to place economists and 'Decision Scientists' in the box-seat of regulation by adding cost-benefit calculations (with many untestable assumptions) to the burden of work for the regulatory agencies]
1996 July: /E (summer) Washington Public Health reports that Powers and Gilbert S Omenn (and three others) are providing Risk Assessment advice on
Drums of low-level radioactive waste are stored or buried on the U.S.Department of Energy's Hanford Site in Eastern Washington. Some of the waste contains small amounts of plutonium residue and will be shipped to a repository in New Mexico. Drums of non-plutonium waste are buried in approved disposal trenches.
Another piece says "The Consortium is a uniquely trusted technical and stakeholder-responsive resource on diverse problems in legacy nuclear waste cleanup."
The nation used the ingenuity of patriotic, willing scientists to produce this environmental legacy; it is natural that society look to us for help with the critical task of cleanup. Assessment of the risks is central to developing a strategy for cleanup.
The Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP) is a university-based national organization created to develop a credible strategy for providing the information needed for risk-based cleanup of complex contaminated environments, especially those for which the Department of Energy is responsible.
1998: Annual Return for Clean Sites Inc (non-profit)...
...also listed Clean Sites Environmental Services (CSES), Inc as a 100% owned subsidiary which "facilitates cleanup efforts of commercial sites" and earned $1.8 million in 1998.  CSES, which was not a tax-empt organization, operated from the same address as Clean Sites.  Other "related organizations" were listed as "The Center for Land Renewal Inc." and "The Phoenix Land Recycling Company" , both of which were identified as tax exempt organizations. CSES operated from the same address as Clean Sites.
1998: to 2008 Powers is working with the New York Academy of Sciences' New York/New Jersey Harbor Project.
1999: to 2000 This is the last year in which Clean Sites Inc ran a significant operation. In its annual return for the year to June 30 1998, it had total revenue of $1.8 million, of which government contributions amounted to $588,288 and direct public support only $2,000.
2010 /E: CRESP DOE Landfill Partnership: (Both Powers and Gilbert Omenn are involved)
The purpose of the [Department of Energy] DOE Landfill Partnership is to conduct the applied research and to facilitate the technical dialogue needed to build confidence in technologies used for on-site disposal facilities, the methodology used to design and assess the facilities, and the systems used to monitoring long-term performance.
2012: Charles W Powers is professor of environmental enginnering at Vanderbilt University