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

The general public wants both blue water in the streams and adequate employment for the community. The older plant may not be able to afford the investment in waste treatment facilities necessary to provide blue water; the only alternative may be to shut the operation down. But the employees of the plant and the community cannot afford to have the plant shut down. They cannot afford to lose the employment furnished by the operation.

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William R. Adams, President, St. Regis Paper Co., on Behalf of the Pulp, Paper & Paperboard Institute (U.S.A.), Inc.; Accompanied by George Boyd, Counsel, Pulp, Paper & Paperboard Institute; and Dr. Malcolm Taylor, Union Bag & Paper Corp., Testimony, Senate Special Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution of the Committee on Public Works.
01/18/1965 | Full Details | Law(s): Clean Water Act

Because of our guilt—and because of the media’s espousement (sic) of the movement—laws were passed which asked industry and the American consumer for the impossible. The members [of Congress] admitted they did not know what could actually be done to clean up our environment, how long it would take or how much it would cost. But they went ahead anyway in the spirit of political expediency to ramrod through measures that would affect millions of people and billions of dollars…

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Gary D. Knight, Associate Director for Environment, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce Public Presentations

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

Unequivocally state that to blanket the Nation with a law such as is here proposed, delegating almost despotic power to political officers of the Nation, will work irretrievable loss to the industry which I represent, and will create a threat which cannot but seriously affect the continued production of metals and minerals so essential to the security and prosperity of our people.

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Donald A. Callahan, Wallace, Idaho, Director and Vice President, The American Mining Congress, Idaho Mining Association and the Northwest Mining Association, Testimony, Senate 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.