The Environment Chronicle

Notable environmental events between 1970 and 1979 Deselect

  1. David McTaggart combines the many competing Greenpeace offices under an umbrella organisation registered as "Stichting Greenpeace Council" in Holland. This is the birth of Greenpeace International. The central office is in Washington DC at first, subsequently moves to Amsterdam.

  2. Deaths from pollution and accessible chemicals on the site of the chemical factory Stoltzenberg, Hamburg: The Chemical Factory Dr. Hugo Stoltzenberg (CFS, 1923-1979) was a chemical factory in Hamburg, which, according to its own account, dealt with the production and handling of "Ultragifte". It was known mainly by two events, the so-called Stoltzenberg scandals of 1928 and 1979. The first was triggered by the withdrawal of a poison gas cloud on the company premises in Hamburg, which killed ten people. In the case of the second, three children were involved in the game with chemicals discovered at the company's premises ... (6 September 1979)

  3. A cement factory in Lengerich contaminates the surroundings with the toxic heavy metal Thallium. Agricultural land becomes unusable, trees lose their foliage.

  4. On 28 April 1979, the Liberian oil tanker Gino, transporting 40,000 tonnes of carbon black, a refined oil 1.09 times denser than water, was en route from Port Arthur (Texas) to Le Havre, when she sank off Ushant island after colliding with the Norwegian oil tanker Team Castor in foggy conditions. About 1,000 tonnes of oil were spilled from a damaged tank in the Team Castor. 17 antipollution vessels poured dispersants on the oil slick. The Gino sank 120 metres deep, taking her cargo with her. Despite its viscosity, the carbon black spread into the surrounding water.

  5. Art.1(1) of the guideline concerns the conservation of all wild bird species native to the European territories of member states, and covers protection, management, control and use of the species.

  6. A failed valve in the cooling pump for Block 2 of the nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island means that almost no water reaches the core. Half of the 150 t reactor core melts, and large quantities of radioactive water are released (source: Greenpeace).

  7. Organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the First World Climate Conference (WCC-1) was held on 12-23 February, 1979 in Geneva, Switzerland. The WCC-1 recognized climate change as a serious problem and the WCC-1 declaration called for the urgent development of a common strategy for a greater understanding of the climate system and a rational use of climate information, and proposed the establishment of the World Climate Programme (WCP).

  8. The "Independenta" loses 95,000 t oil on the Bosphorus.

  9. The European Community publishes its second "Report on the State of the Environment"

  10. Bird of the Year 1979 is the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustico).

  11. BUND presents the first solar-powered boat on the Bodensee.

  12. Five activists parachute into a building site for a Canadian nuclear reactor. During the confusion, other activists succeed in occupying the site.

  13. The "Atlantic Empress" loses 287,000 t oil.

  14. The jury sits for the first time to award the Blue Angel eco-label. The process involves close cooperation between consumer organisations, environmental groups and business. The label becomes an important help for environmentally aware consumers. There are now many other eco-labels, and in 1998, the FEA publishes a guide to the 40 eco-labels now in use.

  15. "Sun Day" is celebrated every year on 3 May. The "Sun Day" was established by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 1978.

  16. The "Amoco Cadiz" spills c. 230,000 t crude oil into the Atlantic. The bay of Arcachon in France is particularly affected. Thousands of sea birds and mussel or oyster farms are destroyed and 200 km of the coastline is contaminated.

  17. Greenpeace discovers by chance that Great Britain and other European states are dumping nuclear waste in the North Atlantic. As the British freighter "Gem" reaches the dumping site, c. 960 km from the coast of Cornwall, carrying 2,000 t nuclear waste, two dinghies take up post below the loading ramp. The barrels continue to roll out, and the protest must end, although the media are on hand to record events.

  18. Bird of the Year 1978 is the Common Crane (Grus grus).

  19. At its third solar energy exhibition, BUND presents Germany's first solar-powered vehicle.

  20. In "Seveso is Everywhere", Egmont Koch and Fritz Vahrenholt warn of the dangers inherent in the chemicals industry.

  21. Greenpeace targets the Icelandic whaling fleet, to stop it killing fin whales, whose populations have shrunk dramatically. In 3m waves, they manoeuvre their dinghies between the ships and the whales, with the result that not a single whale is harpooned.

  22. Fertilisers may only be traded when their type is permitted by the Ordinance.

  23. World Vegetarian Day was established as an annual celebration to promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism. The day was originated by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 and endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978. October 1st is the official date, however if necessary, individuals may schedule their event on a nearby date instead.

  24. The 30th World Health Assembly lays the foundation for a global health strategy with the "health for all" resolution (WHA 30.43). This lays out the key target that "all citizens of the world will attain by the year 2000 a level of health that will permit them to lead a socially and economically productive life"

  25. On 22 April 1977, an oil well blowout occurred at the Ekofisk Bravo platform, due to an incorrectly installed downhole safety valve. The blowout resulted in the first major oil release in the North Sea. At an estimated rate of 1170 barrels per hour, approximately 202,380 barrels of oil escaped before the well was finally capped 7 days later on April 30th.

  26. The European Community publishes its first "Report on the State of the Environment"

  27. Technical Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) has been banned in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1977. In the German Democratic Republic, however, it was still produced and applied until 1990. The main production site was the industrial area around Bitterfeld in Saxony-Anhalt. Technical HCH was banned in the EU in 1991.

  28. The "Hawaiian Patriot" loses 95,000 t oil off the coast of Honolulu.

  29. Scientific studies by the FEA prove the dangers of fibrous asbestos dust in the environment as well. Despite early resistance, industry then halts the use of sprayed asbestos. Sprayed asbestos has been banned in Germany since 1979.

  30. Bird of the Year 1977 is the Barn Owl (Tyto alba).

  31. Robert Jungk's book attacks the use of nuclear power, strengthening its opponents.

  32. The Argo Merchant ran aground on Fishing Rip (Nantucket Shoals), 29 nautical miles southeast of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts in high winds and ten foot seas. On December 21, the ship broke apart and spilled its entire cargo of 7.7 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil.

  33. Under the act, and the subsequently decreed Heat Insulation Ordinance of 16.08.1994, energy conservation and insulation measures must be used in new buildings or installing heating or air conditioning systems.

  34. In the northern Italian town of Seveso, c. 2.5 kg dioxins (2,3,7,8 TCDD) escape from a chemicals factory producing TCP, resulting in 183 cases of chloracne, 70,000 animals needing to be destroyed, with uncertain long-term consequences (e.g. cancer).

  35. After several explosions on board, the Spanish ship "Urquiola" strikes a rock off the Spanish coast. 95,000 t oil pollute the bay of La Coruna.

  36. Expeditions begin in March to prevent seal culling on the ice off Newfoundland in Canada. Activists blockade an icebreaker, others protect seals from the hunters' clubs with their own bodies. They are fined by the Canadian authorities.

  37. With its book on air quality criteria, dealing with lead, the FEA comes into serious conflict with the car lobby for the first time. However, the FEA's warnings have an effect: lead content in petrol is fixed by law and leaded normal petrol has been banned in Germany since 1988.

  38. Bird of the Year 1976 is the Hoopoe (Upupa epops).

  39. The Council of the European Communities has adopted the DIRECTIVE of 8 December 1975 concerning the quality of bathing water. Directive 76/160/EEC concerns the quality of bathing water, with the exception of water intended for therapeutic purposes and water used in swimming pools. It lays down the minimum quality criteria to be met by bathing water: the physical, chemical and microbiological parameters; the mandatory limit values and indicative values for such parameters; the minimum sampling frequency and method of analysis or inspection of such water. Member States fix the values that they apply to bathing water in accordance with the guidelines of Directive 76/160/EEC. Member States may fix more stringent values than those laid down in the Directive. Where it does not give any values for certain parameters, Member States are not obliged to fix any.

  40. The Association for Nature and Environment Protection Germany (BUND), subsequently Association for Environment and Nature Protection Germany (BUND) is founded by Horst Stern, Bernhard Grzimek, Herbert Gruhl and 19 other founding members.