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bill—there was no difficulty at all in defeating the bill, of course.
We have all of the problems, the sulphate liquor problem, the chemical waste and the tanneries; and with regard to the chemical waste, the South is developing very rapidly in the chemical industry. During the last 2 or 3 years there have been industries seeking new locations and establishing plants; and industry, at the present time, is as vitally interested as the municipalities in this question of pollution, because the existing industries depend in a large measure on adequate quantities of water suitable for their processing purposes; and the tendency now is for new industries, seeking locations, if possible, to find them on the smaller streams, where the labor is available; and that at once brings up the serious pollution problem.
Then we have industries already established on the large streams with, for example, possibly, companies making white paper, and the location of the plant is important.
The CHAIRMAN. How about the rayon mill at Hopewell and the pollution from it?
Dr. MESSER. That rayon waste, so far as our experience goes, does not cause damage or the extent of the pollution as some other wastes. There is waste there, but it is on tidal water. There is the Dupont Co.'s plant, just below Richmond, between Richmond and Hopewell, and that is a factor, but, so far, it has not caused any acute situation.
The CHAIRMAN. Not serious?
Dr. MESSER. Not serious; no. We do have one serious situation, and that is the sulphite waste from the plant located 246 miles above the intake, the water-supply intake of our largest city. Last year the river flow was low, and that waste came down 246 miles, and one day we had to turn the water out of the settling basins, because the filtration plant could not handle that water, and the situation was very acute for about 3 weeks.
The CHAIRMAN. What type of industry was that?
Dr. MESSER. That was sulphite-waste paper industry. The plant is located at Covington, and the water supply was at Richmond. But here the situation was complicated, because there are a number of other plants on that same stream and on the tributaries, and there are a number of muncipalities, and one was blaming the other. There was a division of responsibility and that always is a question which confuses the issue; possibly one group stating that the fault was due to the other, and there is a division of responsibility and, consequently, we have not been able to get all of the parties together.
But as Major Robertson stated yesterday when they did study, cooperatively, the stream pollution, the study was financed largely by industry, indicating the interest of industry in reaching what would be a practical solution. But the minute you speak about mandatory powers, industry then exerts its effort, in a marked way, to defend any measure; and I believe that they do not wish to oppose legislation. Therefore, assuming the legislation be passed or enacted, then the best weapon we could give that group would be a drastic law, because such arguments as to reasonableness of the law would appeal to the public.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you not think it would be almost impossible to carry it out?
Dr. MESSER. It would be absolutely impossible in Virginia, I know. To my mind, that is the wrong method of approach.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, do you anticipate-taking the industries of the municipalities of Virginia—do you not believe they will cooperate on a program like this?
Dr, MESSER. If this Vinson bill is passed and with the endorsement or help of the Public Health Service in supervising the studies made by the State and they, in the end, pass the endorsement of a Federal agency like the Public Health Service, I believe the industries and the municipalities will all work together. I think you would have no difficulty at all.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you live in Richmond?
The CHAIRMAN. Would Richmond offer any opposition to what might be a pretty comprehensive problem and an expensive one?
Dr. MESSER. I think Richmond has had under consideration, for some years, some measure to collect the sewage at such points that it can be disposed of properly; and even within the last 2 years, they have been considering seriously partial treatment of their sewage.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you get your water supply from the James River?
Dr. MESSER. From the James River, yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you put it through any refining process before it is used?
Dr. MESSER. The Richmond water-filtration plant is one of the most elaborate in the country. I think we have one of the best operating and the most complete water-purification plants in the country.
I thank you sir.
Mr. Vinson. Mr. Tisdale, of the Division of Sanitary Engineering, West Virginia.
STATEMENT OF E. S. TISDALE, DIRECTOR OF DIVISION OF SANI
TARY ENGINEERING, STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, CHARLESTON, W. VA.
Mr. TISDALE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I appear before you today in several capacities: One as chief engineer of the State Health Department of West Virginia; another in the capacity as chairman of the Ohio River group of States in the Ohio River basin, and possibly as secretary of our State water commission, which has supervision over pollution matters.
I am going to be very frank and very brief in my remarks. I would like to bring out, however, at this point, that we are making progress under a pattern similar to what is proposed in this bill.
To illustrate my point, I want to refer, briefly, to the trouble with the phenols and the byproduct coke waste that started back in 1924; and from that pattern, just this year, the Public Health Service took the leadership in a comprehensive plan of control and study of it. Then the State health departments in the Basin cooperated in carrying out a plan in a uniform way. Then you have the cooperation of the Federal service leading and the States working it out on a uniform plan.
So I think that shows that we have had the cooperation of industry, and one of the largest industries, in doing away with the troublesome
matter of pollution, which bid fair to destroy the public water supplies of the entire Ohio River Basin.
We are making progress in another field. I call your attention to the matter of sewage pollution in this basin, this Ohio River Basin. We are making progress, I say, because in the last 3 years, they have improved—they have expended to improve the sewage disposal $12,000,000 along the main stem of the river. The engineers figured that it would take about $50,000,000 to do that job with primary treatment, which we think would be essential. We have agreed upon a unit plan of sedimentation, which we think is enough for the main stem.
That sewage pollution constitutes a meance to public health, and we have engineers in that group of States, under the supervision of the State health authorities—and our health officers have worked at that proposition because we passed the critical period in 1930, when we had a concentration of those sewage and industrial wastes which came down as the drought was over, and the polluted water came in and brought a concentration of pollution which the public water plants could not handle, and we had intensive outbreaks.
So I say we are making progress in that field through the help of the Federal Government, the Public Health Service, and the money that has been put in, with the States working out a unified plan.
Thirdly, I would like to outline to you that we are making progress in another phase, against the pollution in that area which is from these acid-mine wastes, and this is under the leadership of the Public Health Service, because they have plotted out and planned a comprehensive way in which the work shall be done, recognizing certain scientific principles, and each one of the States, through their State health departments, are carrying out that plan in the field.
You may ask me whether any accomplishments have been made? That was referred to in the testimony previously, yesterday. I believe they are making headway. I can say they are making headway. In West Virginia, in the last 3 years, we have reduced that pollution about one-third of a million pounds a day of concentrated sulphuric acid and other injurious wastes in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky. There is a tremendous pollution. In West Virginia, it amounts to 2,500,000 pounds a day. And the pattern is the same, the pattern of the Public Health Service guiding and leading and looking over the plans in the area affected, and the States carrying it out. I want to refer a moment
The CHAIRMAN. Is that acid pollution the principal source of pollution in the Kanawha River region?
Mr. TISDALE. Yes, we have heavy pollution in the Kanawha River. Fortunately, the Green Briar River comes out of a limestone area and carries quite a high alkalinity. There are several hundred of the acid mines, and they will tend to lower-the corrosiveness of those acids, those mine wastes, will act on those new dams in the Kanawha River.
The CHAIRMAN. The Gauley was polluted some years ago?
Mr. TISDALE. The pollution has lessened through the cooperation of tannery group, of which I happen to be secretary.
I want to briefly mention the scope of the stream-pollution practice which the Public Health Service held in Cincinnati a few years ago, cooperating with the States. The State health departments sent to Cincinnati, 3 successive years, representatives, commercial sanitary engineers, to study this practice of stream-purification control; and
these men, who are considered the leaders in this country in streampollution control, worked upon the policies that might be adopted.
So that I think that those points indicate that we are making progress through this pattern which Mr. Vinson's bill sets up, which I believe is a most workable pattern.
Now, this cooperation of the State health departments has not grown up overnight; it is a thing which has developed year after year, over a period of about 25 years. Gradually as these problems which arose in a State needed to be solved, the Public Health Service helped with them and built up sanitary engineering divisions, so they could cope with the problem. We did that in the control of drinking water on the railroads, and the State health departments are cooperating with the Government on that, and we are doing that in all of these fields, and we would like to do that in this stream-pollution field, if we can do so. We are doing it to a limited extent now, but we believe we can do it better under this plan which is outlined.
If it seems desirable, Mr. Chairman, I will be glad to leave you these pamphlets, which illustrate the accomplishments in this field, in the control of acid mine damage, for inclusion in your record, if you care to have it.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; we will be glad to have you do so. (The matter referred to is as follows:)
IN WEST VIRGINIA
SEALING ABANDONED COAL MINES IN WEST VIRGINIA
Introductory statement For 3 years—1934, 1935, and 1936, the Federal Government, the State government, and the several relief administrations—Civil Works Administration, Federal Emergency Relief Administration, and Works Progress Administration-have carried forward continuously in West Virginia a program to reduce stream pollution from acid mine_drainage. Twenty-two counties constitute the area covered. The State department of health has acted as the agent for the United States Public Health Service in the supervisory pro
ram. Field headquarters have been in charge of E. W. Lyon and C. L. Chapman, 318 Professional Building, Fairmont, with branch offices at Clarksburg, Fred Jennewine, division engineer, in charge, and at Charleston, J. N. Chisholm, division engineer, in charge. Chemical tests have been carried on at the sanitary engineering laboratory, West Virginia University, Morgantown, by Earl H. Martin. The labor and material have been provided by the several different relief administrations and the United States Public Health Service.
Thus the following agencies have been represented in this first joint effort to reduce West Virginia's greatest pollution loadapproximately 24 million pounds of mine acid daily:
The United States Public Health Service;
The State conservation commission;
Many thousands of sportsmen, farmers, and landowners who cooperated in obtaining waivers and contributing material to allow the remedial work to be done.
The following brief statement shows a few of the accomplishments of this 3-year program of sealing abandoned coal mines in West Virginia
E. S. TISDALE, Director, Division of Sanitary Engineering,
West Virginia State Department of Health. DECEMBER 30, 1936.
RECREATION STREAMS ARE VALUABLE ASSETS
ON CHEAT RIVER MINE SEALING HAS ELIMINATED 22 TONS OF ACID DAILY
The scenic beauty of West Virginia is one of its most valuable assets. Gov. H. G. Kump, who has given West Virginia a most statesmanlike administration in the past 4 years, has emphasized the necessity for conservation of the natural resources of the State.
In his inaugural address, March 4, 1933, he called attention to these assets: “We must make our mountains, streams and forests the beautiful and inviting resorts to which they are so wonderfully adapted. This will be a most valuable asset and source of revenue for us and for future generations, if we are wise just now.” Mine sealing is restoring tho general usefulness and the aquatic life of West Virginia's beautiful streams.
MAKING AN ACCOUNTING AFTER 3 YEARS
Sealing abandoned coal mines is proving highly successful in eliminating acid-mine pollution in West Virginia. Now, at the end of the third year of work it seems worth while to set forth, briefly, some of the benefits accruing to West Virginia from the airsealing of over 500 abandoned mines, closing 3,644 openings by masonry or by concrete walls or by earth.
In December 1936 chemical test and water-flow records showed that sealing 507 abandoned mines had eliminated about one-third of a million pounds of mine acid daily from West Virginia streams. The original acid load was 391,600 pounds daily. At present the acid load from these mines is 162,745 pounds daily. Thus we have 60 percent reduction in acid load, or a lessening daily of 115 tons of acid.
ACID REDUCTION CONFERS MANY BENEFITS
Mileage of streams improved. In the southern district, in eight counties, 491 miles of stream tributary to and including the Kanawha River, the Guyan River, and the Tug River, are being helped by the work.