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

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

We feel that the new plant should have equipment installed to abate pollution that meets and exceeds the established standards. If I recognize what you are driving at, company XYZ could come out with a piece of equipment that could be extremely expensive that would eliminate all pollution whatsoever and if I were to agree with your question, that would mean that all of your industry would then have to buy that piece of equipment from company XYZ with the basis against all other companies that are producing pollution equipment. I don’t think that is the objective of free enterprise.

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Donald R. Talbot, The National Association of Manufacturers, Testimony, Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution of the Senate Committee on Public Works
04/20/1970 | Full Details | Law(s): Clean Water Act

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

Proposed new subsection 10(k) in section 4 of the bill (page 43, line 8), would prohibit the Federal Government from entering into contracts with, or providing financial assistance to, any person whose facilities are not in compliance with water quality standards…..This provision, as written, seems unwieldy. It could not be faithfully carried out without generating a tremendous amount of unnecessary paperwork and inconvenience for all concerned—Federal and State agencies, as well as industry.

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Peter N. Gammelgard, Senior Vice President for Public and Environmental Affairs, American Petroleum Institute, Testimony, Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution of the Senate Committee on Public Works.
04/28/1970 | Full Details | Law(s): Clean Water Act

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.