ND Senator Criticizes

US-Canada AgreementA North Dakota senator told the National Coal Association that he will try to amend the U.S.-Canada free trade accord to soften its impact on U.S. electric utilities.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D, criticized a part of the agreement, which still must be ratified by Congress, that would make it easier to import Canadian electricity. While U.S. coal plants must use expensive smoke stack scrubbers to meet federal pollution control laws, emission standards are much looser in Canada. Sen. Conrad claimed that this gives Canadian utilities a cost advantage.

He proposed an environmental quality provision that would allow free trade only when similar pollution standards are in place on both sides of the border.

Gulfcoast Transit Buys

Self-Unloading Barge

Teco Energy Co. of Tampa, Fla., said its Gulfcoast Transit Co. has acquired the largest self-unloading barge in the Gulf Coast fleet.

The acquisition of the 610-foot vessel with a capacity to load 38,000 tons brings Gulfcoast's fleet of ocean-going, dry bulk barges to 11, the largest in the United States, Teco said.

Gulfcoast renamed the ocean barge the Mary Turner, Teco noted.

Gulfcoast hauls coal and other bulk commodities across the Gulf of Mexico and to ports along the Eastern seaboard, on the West Coast, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Acid Rain Controls

Costly, Study Says

An economic forecasting group says that pending acid rain control regulations would cost the United States a $223 milliona-year drop in Gross National Product, measured in 1982 dollars.

Data Resources Inc., Lexington Mass., prepared the study for the National Association of Manufacturers.

The environmental laws would also increase the U.S. trade deficit $84 million a year by 2000, DRI said.

Resource Engineering

Monitors Acid Rain

HOUSTON, Texas - Resource Engineering Inc. has been monitoring acid rain for the Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto Calif., under a $13.5 million contract.

The five-year acid deposition measurement program contract will provide meteorological, aerometric, and precipitation measurements at up to forty locations nationwide.

This program, know as the Operational Evaluation Network (OEN), is being coordinated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Canadian federal and provincial agencies. It is designed to determine the total acid rain deposited over the eastern portion of North America.