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
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.
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.
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....
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.