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

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.

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Henry H. Otto, Assistant General Manager, The Hudson Coal Co., Scranton, PA on behalf of the Anthracite Institute of Wilkes-Barre, PA., Testimony, House 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

Because of our guilt—and because of the media’s espousement (sic) of the movement—laws were passed which asked industry and the American consumer for the impossible. The members [of Congress] admitted they did not know what could actually be done to clean up our environment, how long it would take or how much it would cost. But they went ahead anyway in the spirit of political expediency to ramrod through measures that would affect millions of people and billions of dollars…

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Gary D. Knight, Associate Director for Environment, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce Public Presentations

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

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.