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 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.

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.

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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

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.