B. Stanley Pons will complete a report to the Environmental Protection Agency that is more than one year delinquent, University of Utah officials promise.
In October 1988, Pons, a U. chemistry professor, received $93,000 in government money to research detection devices for leakage in underground storage tanks.A year later, Pons wrote to the EPA cancelling his project - officially called "New electrochemical gas phase censors and detectors" - but never submitted a report detailing how he spent $93,062 in government money. The university could be liable to repay that, said Richard Risk, who works for the EPA in Washington, D.C.
"Ordinarily, there would be quarterly reports. The EPA did not receive any quarterly reports," said Risk, an EPA section chief in the grants operations branch. "The EPA wants its report."
Risk said the delinquent report shouldn't interfere with other U. proposals for EPA's cooperative agreement money.
Pons canceled the project in a three-sentence letter dated Oct. 30, 1989, "due to unforeseen demands," Risk said.
Those demands, said Gary Triggs, Pons' attorney, were created by the announcement of cold fusion, which generated its own brand of national and international heat.
"This was a three-year grant that Stan terminated after one year because fusion came along," said Triggs, who is acting as a spokesman for the chemist. Pons is working, at times with his research partner, Martin Fleischmann, in an undisclosed laboratory out-of-the-country. "Practically every minute of their time since then has been public knowledge."