Water Pollution Control Act of 1948

Water Pollution Control Act of 1948

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 was the first major law enacted by Congress to address the problems of water pollution in the United States. It did little to control pollution, gave only limited authority to the federal government, and provided an extremely cumbersome enforcement mechanism. In 1972 Congress totally rewrote the act to provide adequate protection for the nation's waters. The legislation applied only to interstate waters, eliminating from protection heavily polluted waters that were wholly contained within one state.

Cry Wolf Quotes

As a matter of fact, acid mine drainage acts as a germicide and renders harmless great quantities of sewage pollution now flowing into the streams of the Nation. Any attempt to compel the treatment of mine drainage at the source is an economic waste, as it robs the people of the benefit of the purifying action of the streams, and the streams are necessary to carry off our liquid wastes, as they can be handled in no other way.

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Andrew B. Crichton, President, Johnstown Coal & Coke, Co., Johnstown, PA., and Director of and Representing National Coal Association, Testimony, Senate Subcommittee of the Committee on Public Works.

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.

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.

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Jesse V. Sullivan, Secretary, West Virginia Coal Association, Testimony, House Committee on Public Works.

If you were to force the industry to spend $300,000,000 or 50 cents on every ton they mined, you would destroy the industry.… I am sure that the committee realizes that the very life of many industries is involved in this question of industrial pollution. In the first place, industrial America, with its hundreds of billions of dollars at stake, is in fact the backbone of our American way of life.

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Harry Gandy, Jr., National Coal Association, Testimony, House Committee on Public Works