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

At this time, when the Government and the citizens are vitally concerned with the reduction of public expense and when the already overburdened taxpayers are protesting against the continuation of unnecessary taxes, it would be unwise to pass such bills which would launch the Government into the establishment of one more Federal bureau whose maintenance would cost the taxpayers a staggering sum.

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Independent Petroleum Association of America, Mid-Continental Oil and Gas Association, National Petroleum Association and the Western Petroleum Refiners Association, Testimony, House Committee on Public Works.

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

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

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.

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William S. Lee, Vice President for Engineering, Duke Power Co., on Behalf of Edison Electric 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.