Clean Water

Clean Water

Water pollution is a real danger to the public health, whether it stems from industrial production, farming, or municipal waste. Under the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with setting and enforcing regulations to ensure the safety of the nation’s water supplies. The agency has implemented a series of regulations over the years, including wastewater standards for industry and a permit system for contaminated water disposal.

Cry Wolf Quotes

Experience has also shown that there is another aspect of the problem which, by exciting hasty and improvident legislation, delays progress. I refer to the unpleasant connotation which surrounds the word ‘pollution.’ The public is likely to think of that word in terms of sewage and epidemics. I am told, however, that industrial waste is not a menace to public health….it is sewage which does the harm....

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E. W. Tinker, Executive Secretary of the American Paper and Pulp Association, Testimony, Subcommittee of the Committee on Public Works

We are a small-town industry. We are the sixth largest industry in the United States, but we are essentially a small-town industry. If a paper mill is shut down, it isn’t the mill and its employees that are affected, but the whole community, and we have hundreds of towns and small communities in the United States that might be liquidated if this weren’t handled in a reasonable manner. That is just a fact, and it is a very real situation to us.

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E. W. Tinker, Executive Secretary of the American Paper and Pulp Association, Testimony, Subcommittee of the Committee on Public Works

Effluent taxes are a license to pollute. If the tax is low or moderate there is little incentive to provide treatment prior to discharge. If the tax is too high some firms, because of size, marginal nature or age, may be forced to close. This can, and does, happen under existing water quality programs. But such shutdowns are directly related to water quality. Shutdowns due to effluent taxes which ignore water quality and produce no tangible benefits are economically and socially unacceptable.

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Edwin A. Locke, Jr., President, American Paper Institute, Testimony, Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution of the Senate Committee on Public Works.
06/09/1970 | Full Details | Law(s): Clean Water Act

If you were to force the industry to spend $300,000,000 or 50 cents on every ton they mined, you would destroy the industry.… I am sure that the committee realizes that the very life of many industries is involved in this question of industrial pollution. In the first place, industrial America, with its hundreds of billions of dollars at stake, is in fact the backbone of our American way of life.

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Harry Gandy, Jr., National Coal Association, Testimony, House Committee on Public Works

Evidence

Resources

Blue Green Alliance is an alliance of labor and environmental organizations.

Food and Water Watch is national advocacy organization focused on the safety of our food and water.

American Rivers fights to defend and restore America’s river system, with particular focuses on keeping water clean and safe.

The Sierra Club is America’s oldest (founded in 1892), and largest, environmental non-profit.