Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

The bill is intended to extend and increase the appropriation authorization for title I of the Clean Air Act, as amended. It extends the program to June 30, 1973, and authorizes an annual appropriation of $46 million for the fiscal years beginning June 30, 1967, through June 30, 1973. It also removes the percentage limitation on the amount of appropriations available for grants for air pollution control programs.

This program is administered by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and we defer to its views.

The Bureau of the Budget has advised that there is no objection to the presentation of this report from the standpoint of the Administration's program. Sincerely yours,

CHARLES F. LUCE, Acting Secretary of the Interior.

BUREAU OF THE BUDGET,

Washington, D.C., September 27, 1966. Hon. HARLEY O. STAGGERS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Repre

sentatives, Rayburn House Office Building, Wastington, D.C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Your letter of March 7, 1966, requested the views of the Bureau of the Budget on H.R. 13199, “To amend the Clean Air Act so as to authorize grants to air pollution control agencies for maintenance of air pollution control programs in addition to present authority for grants to develop, establish, or improve such programs; make the use of appropriations under the Act more flexible by consolidating the appropriation authorizations under the Act and deleting the provision limiting the total of grants for support of air pollution control programs to 20 per centum of the total appropriation for any year; extend the duration of the programs authorized by the Act; and for other purposes.'

This bill carries out proposals contained in the President's Message of February 23, 1966, “Preserving Our Natural Heritage." We are therefore in full accord with the intent of the legislation. However, for the technical reasons outlined in the report of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare on H.R. 13199 and S. 3112, we prefer enactment of the Senate version of the bill (S. 3112) with the amendment noted in the report of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

The HEW amendment concerns the need to provide for the construction of facilities within the authorization ceilings proposed in the Senate version of the bill. HEW has sugested language to deal with this matter. We would sugest that the Committee consider as a possible alternative to the HEW language the language contained in section 2 of H.R. 13199 authorizing "such sums as may be necessary.”

Subject to the above comment, we favor the enactment of the Senate version of H.R. 13199 (S. 3112) as being part of the President's legislative program. Sincerely yours,

WILFRED H. ROMMEL, Assitant Director for Legislative Reference.

FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION,

Washington, D.C., August 26, 1966. Hon. HARLEY 0. STAGGERS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Repre

sentatives, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : In response to your request of March 7, 1966, we enclose three copies of the report of the Federal Power Commission on the subject bill, H.R. 13199.

We contemplate release of this report by the Commission to the public within three working days from the date of this letter unless there is a request that its release be withheld.

The Bureau of the Budget advises us that there would be no objection to the presentation of this report from the standpoint of the program of the President. Sincerely,

LEE C. WHITE, Chairman.

FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION REPORT ON H.R. 13199

The proposed amendments in this bill, which relate principally to the authorization and financing of Federal grants, would extend the duration of the air pollution control programs under the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 1857-18571) until July 1, 1973; authorize grants for maintenance as well as development, establishment or improvement of such programs; and make the use of appropriations for direct research and abatement activities under the Act more flexible by consolidating the appropriation authorizations, increased to $46,000,000 for fiscal 1966–1967, and by deleting the provision which limited the total of grants for the support of air pollution control programs to 20% of the total appropriation for any year.

The Congressional concern for control of air pollution is manifested in ways which affect the electric utility industry by the Clean Air Act of 1963; the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1965; and the further amendments now pending to expand the existing program. The Act now provides federal grants to technical and financial assistance to state and local agencies to help them develop air pollution control and prevention programs. Thus Congress is encouraging local regulation of stack emissions and other pollution sources. It is now proposed also to provide grants toward maintenance of these regulatory programs once initiated. The Clean Air Act also provides for federal regulation of automotive pollutants and for federal contribution for research and development.

The Federal Power Commission does not administer research programs or pollution control and abatement programs under the Clean Air Act, nor is it responsible for any grants or financial assistance programs thereunder. This Commission's interest in air pollution problems stems from the use of fossil fuels in the generation of electric energy. The Commission's National Power Survey Report, issued in 1964, gives prominent recognition to the problems of air and water pollution and their significance in relation to the design, location, and operation of large thermal-electric plants and the report points up the possibilities for combatting air pollution through mine-mouth generation and greater interconnection of utility systems. The air pollution issue has been presented to us in a number of gas certificate matters under the Natural Gas Act involving boiler fuel uses of gas in metropolitan areas. Increasing use of large nuclear plants for baseloading also will alleviate air pollution in many areas. Unlike plants operated with fossil fuels, nuclear plants do not emit organic wastes or carbon dioxide.

Because it is more difficult to control emissions from multiple sources like automobiles than to control single sources like power plants, the possibility of electric-powered cars is of particular interest to air pollution officials, as well as the electric power industry. The automobile is the chief source of the air pollution problems plaguing a number of large metropolitan areas. Some engineering research has been going on with respect to such matters as the amount, character and control of automotive exhaust and crankcase emissions, but with less than complete success, so far as we are able to determine. We believe that a balanced research program will continue to devote funds to such conventional research.

In order to maintain a balanced research program with respect to auto exhaust emissions, substantial funds should be provided for research and development of cleaner burning fuels, and reduction or elimination of pollutants emitted from conventional internal cumbustion engines. We believe such research will have an immediate as well as significant long-term effect on the air pollution problem without producing the corresponding adverse financial impact on state and federal tax revenues.

Electric-powered automobiles, however, are a new way of attacking the air pollution problem and if successful, could contribute greatly to its solution. Although there has been a revival of interest and some progress in vehicles of this type in recent years, some important technological breakthroughs are still required before they can compete successfully with the gasoline-powered automobile. Presently available battery-operated vehicles have a maximum range of approximately 75 miles between charges. If such cars can be produced and operated at sufficiently low cost and the range limitation overcome, they might achieve considerable popularity as the second or third car in a household, to be used for relatively short errands. Much progress remains to be made in this field, as well as in the development of the fuel cell as a practical and economical source of power for this purpose. (See Report of the Surgeon General, “Motor Vehicles, Air Pollution, and Health,” H. Doc. No. 489, 87th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 29.)

The Federal air pollution program offers great opportunity for the electric utility industry, particularly in the research sphere. In commenting last year to the Senate Public Works Committee on the Clean Air Amendment bill (S. 306, 89th Cong.), the Federal Power Commission urged that Federal air pollution control research be directed in part to revolutionary advancements, such as rechargeable batteries for motor vehicles and electrified mass transportation, to handle at least part of the traffic now driven by internal combustion engines. The Commission noted that energy conversions in modern electric power plants are far more efficient than those in internal combustion auto engines, so that the total pollutant potential would decrease, and the combustion refuse would be concentrated where it could be better controlled. The batteries would normally be charged during the night, when power system loads are at a minimum, thus further improving the efficiencies of the electric power system operations. The Commission recognized the electric battery research support by Edison Electric Institute, but concluded that the present scale of the effort is not likely to result in rapid progress. Since enactment of the 1965 Clean Air Amendment (P.L. 89–272, 79 Stat. 992), the Administration has proposed a modest initial apropriation for 1967 to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare of one hundred thousand dollars for planning research to explore alternatives to the internal combustion gasoline engine, particularly in the area of fuel cells and battery-operated vehicles. See the President's 1967 Budget Message (H. Doc. No. 335), Vol. 112 Cong. Rec. (January 24, 1966), p. 857, 862; House Appropriations Subcommittee Hearings, 89th Cong., 2d Sess., Part 3, pp. 559–560. We strongly urge that any further plans for undertaking and financing air pollution research programs provide for intensified research and development of rechargeable storage batteries and fuel cells suitable for widespread use in motor vehicles as an appropriate measure for aiding in the solution of the acute automotive air pollution problems now confronting our large metropolitan areas. More active Federal support and leadership in this important field, in our opinion, would tend to stimulate non-governmental research efforts and give added incentive to the industries concerned to carry forward developmental work along these lines.

While the Commission recognizes the importance of appropriate measures to further air pollution control, we offer no comments on the merits of the amendments proposed in H.R. 13199 and their fiscal aspects, except to suggest that serious consideration be given to the adequacy of authorizations for research and development of electrified mass transportation media and of rechargeable storage batteries and fuel cells for motor vehicular use, in addition to the funding of traditional air pollution research areas.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES,

Washington, D.C., April 5, 1966. Hon. HARLEY O. STAGGERS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in reference to your letter of March 7, 1966, requesting our comments on H.R. 13199, a bill to amend the Clean Air Act.

We have no special information concerning the subject matter of the bill and therefore have no recommendations as to the merits of the proposal.

It is noted that section 3(a)(1) of the bill has an erroneous citation. The reference to “33 U.S.C. 18570(a)" should be "42 U.S.C. 1857c(a)." Sincerely yours,

FRANK H. WEITZEL, Assistant Comptroller General of the United States.

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION,

Washington, D.C., April 16, 1966. Hon. HARLEY O. STAGGERS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Your letter of March 7, 1966, requested such comments as the General Services Administration may desire to make on H.R. 13199, 89th Congress, a bill "To amend the Clean Air Act so as to authorize grants to air pollution control agencies for maintenance of air pollution control programs in addition to present authority for grants to develop, establish, or improve such programs; make the use of appropriations under the Act more flexible by consolidating the appropriation authorizations under the Act and deleting the provision limiting the total of grants for support of air pollution control programs to 20 per centum of the total appropriation for any year; extend the duration of the programs authorized by the Act; and for other purposes.”

The purpose of the bill is stated in the title.

Inasmuch as the proposed legislation would not affect the functions and responsibilities of GSA, we have no comment to make as to the desirability of the enactment of H.R. 13199.

The Bureau of the Budget has advised that, from the standpoint of the Administration's program, there is no objection to the submission of this report to your Committee. Sincerely yours,

LAWSON B. KNOTT, Jr.,

Administrator. Mr. JARMAN. The first witness this morning is our colleague from Michigan, Hon. Weston E. Vivian. Mr. Vivian, we will be glad to hear you at this time.

STATEMENT OF HON. WESTON E. VIVIAN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN

CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MICHIGAN

Mr. VIVIAN. Mr. Chairman, I am very interested in H.R. 17101, a bill which will strengthen and continue the effort for a cleaner atmosphere. As I believe you are aware, I have submitted bill H.R. 16368, a companion bill. I appreciate the opportunity to testify this morning and I urge the approval of this legislation. Before I begin, let me commend the pioneering work of your committee on abatement of air pollution, especially the constructive way in which you have fostered the program already under way under Public Law 84–159.

Several months ago, the Subcommittee on Science, Research, and Development, of which I am a member, of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, initiated a series of hearings to determine the adequacy of current technology for pollution abatement. A report is being prepared which will detail our findings, but I want to bring to your consideration at this time several personal observations from these hearings which should be of interest in connection with H.R. 17101.

At least three critical problems deserving increased attention were evident in our brief review of air pollution.

First, we heard that even if we adopt and put into full use the most advanced methods of eliminating pollutants from the exhaust gases of internal combustion engines, nevertheless, by 1980, we will still suffer from a smog level equal to today's level in our most troubled cities. The automobile “population explosion” will be great enough to simply wipe out the gains made in each individual car.

We must begin now to develop an alternative means of propulsion for personal transportation devices. Fuel cells, novel gas turbines, and batteries all offer promise.

Second, the enormous quantities of sulfur oxides emitted from the stacks of fossil fuel powerplants constitute a ontinuing threat in many urban areas. When mixed in stagnant air with dispersed dust particles, sulfur dioxide can hasten the death of the ill, the weak and the old, and bring breathing discomfort to many others. The Donora, Pa. and London, England disasters remind us of the grave, potential hazard posed. Because our supplies of low sulfer content coals are small and costly to mine, and because our demand for fossil fuels rises year by year, it is essential that we find ways either to remove sulfur from the available fuels, or to remove the sulfur oxides from the stack gases. Every gas cleaning process tried so far has been quite costly. More research should be stimulated. Furthermore, our local, State, and National agencies need more definite information on what maximum concentration of sulfur dioxide is allowable in air in populous areas, so that meaningful air quality standards can be set to guide enforcement actions.

Finally, year by year, the carbon dioxide content of the earth's atmosphere appears to have increased, even though slightly, as we have increased combustion of carbon fuels worldwide. Is this continuing increase of consequence? A number of competent scientists believe that the “greenhouse” atmosphere warming effect supposedly produced by the increasing carbon dioxide content is very alarming. Are they right? What are the remedies? Immediate worldwide conversion to nuclear power? What hazards does that pose? Decisions in this field of enormous consequence may face the coming generation. Let us help them by accumulating the facts now that will be needed for any competent decisions.

Mr. Chairman, a number of other areas of needed research in air pollution were uncovered in our review, and I am sure your careful questioning of expert witnesses may have revealed many more. It appears to be sad, but true, that our great urban areas may never again have really clean air. But with your efforts they can at least look forward to no further worsening of the situation, and hopefully, at least somewhat, cleaner air. Without further and timely research on this question, however, the days of the future may be literally, as well as figuratively, dark indeed.

Mr. JARMAN. Are there any questions? If not, we thank you for your appearance, Mr. Vivian.

Mr. VIVIAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. JARMAN. Our next witness will be Mr. Gerald H. Kops, supervisor, Milwaukee County Courthouse.

STATEMENT OF GERALD H. KOPS, SECOND VICE CHAIRMAN, MIL

WAUKEE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS; AND FRED R. REHM, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF AIR POLLUTION CONTROL, COUNTY OF MILWAUKEE, WIS.

Mr. Kops. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Gerald H. Kops, and I am second vice chairman of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, and chairman of the legislative committee of that board.

I wish to thank you for the opportunity to appear at your hearing today and I would like to introduce you to Mr. Fred R. Rehm, the deputy director of Milwaukee County's Department of Air Pollution Control and our technical expert in the matters of air pollution.

Mr. Rehm is a graduate, registered professional chemical engineer who has published many technical articles in this field. Mr. Rehm

« ForrigeFortsett »