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
To remove jurisdiction of thermal discharges to the higher Federal level offers no evident benefits in the public interest, and on the contrary our experience has shown that it will lead to decisionmaking[sic] on the basis of arbitrary formulas without giving proper weight to the local conditions that do affect public interest.
We would strenuously object to any bill that would make it unlawful to allow water from the anthracite mines or breakers to enter the streams adjacent thereto because, as stated herein, they do not adversely affect the streams and there is no other place where these waters can go…..The anthracite industry would be put out of business overnight if such laws were passed and enforced and it would still leave the problem unsolved. If no new source of pollution (especially acid mine water) is permitted, as proposed in H. R. 123, except with final approval of the Surgeon General, it may eventually prevent the opening of new mines, whose mineral products might be sorely needed in our economy, especially in being ready to secure our Nation in its problems of defense.
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....
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.
Related Laws and Rules
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The Clean Water Act works and it hasn't impeded economic growth.
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Four industries that operate under intense environmental regulatory scrutiny, but haven't lost jobs as a result.
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.