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
I appear before your honorable committee not in opposition to any specific bill pending before you but to express our approval of the position taken by the National Coal Association in this and preceding sessions of Congress in opposing the expansion of Federal bureaucracy over the daily lives of our people, some of whom are not cognizant of the dangers involved and the threats implied to the curtailment of their right to pursue their vocations unmolested and free from the cold hand of Federal interference.
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.
There are economic variables also. For one or two mills, the sale of a byproduct may help finance a method of treatment, the cost which is otherwise prohibitive. Because the quantities are huge, however, the market for the byproduct is soon saturated; other mills must find some other method. Again, the cost of treatment for one mill may be so great compared to the cost for others as to destroy its ability to compete, resulting in ruin for the investors and migration for the employees.
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....
Related Laws and Rules
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The Clean Water Act works and it hasn't impeded economic growth.
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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.