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This bill would be of great assistance to the State of Arizona. The stream pollution probelms of Arizona are not as far-reaching as in those States with heavy precipitation and correspondingly high run-off. However, the problems that are presented are of acute proportions, affecting, or likely to affect a large percentage of our population. The assistance rendered in this act, the program outlined and the mechanics of ths type of legislation are of the highest nature, with a viewpoint of the common good to the citizens of this State and apparently that of any of our other 47 St es.
The correction of our existing stream-pollution conditions is in keeping with the progress of our times. With this type of legislation administered as outlined in the provisions of this act affording as it does the cooperation of State authorities, with provisions fof the solution of the problems as they are discovered, it would appear that our streams may once again flow unpolluted and uncontaminated, and will once again be our playgrounds for swimming, fishing and recreation.
Therefore, this office approves and highly recommends this bill, H. R. 2711, known as the “Water Pollution Act." Respectfully,
ARIZONA STATE BOARD OF HEALTH,
ARKANSAS STATE BOARD OF HEALTH,
Little Rock, March 13, 1937. Hon. FRED M. VINSON,
Member of Congress, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN VINSON: Our office has followed closely the bills now pending in Congress for the control and correction of water pollution. Arkansas has a number of problems the solution of which will be very greatly aided by the passage of some of the measures which have been proposed. It is our feeling that the bill, designated as H. R. 2711, provides the most practical and rational approach. It is my hope that the Rivers and Harbors Committee of the Congress will recommend favorable action. I regret very much that it will be impossible for me to attend the hearing of the Rivers and Harbors Committee on this important measure. Very truly yours,
W. B. GRAYSON, M. D.,
State Health Officer.
Denver, March 10, 1937.
Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: A copy of H. R. 2711, which you mailed to this department, has been studied in detail, and I wish to thank you for calling this bill to my attention, The engineer of this department and myself are very much interested in this bill for the following reasons:
All of the streams in Colorado have their source in the mountains of this state, and yet many of them are polluted with domestic sewage and industrial wastes, and the majority of them are grossly contaminated. The importance of pure water in Colorado streams cannot be overestimated, especially on the eastern slope of the Continental Divide because practically all of this water is used for irrigation purposes.
The use of sewage-laden water for irrigation purposes is a public-health menace, when it is used for the irrigation of fruits and vegetables that grow within 1 foot of the ground surface. The assistance of the Federal Government, as outlined in this bill, in eliminating the pollution and contamination of Colorado streams, would be very helpful to this State.
The treatment of some industrial wastes is a research problem, and due to the lack of personnel and funds we are unable to make the necessary surveys to obtain the information for recommending the best methods for treatment of some wastes. In Colorado we have a problem of treating the wastes from 16 sugarbeet factories. These factories have four kinds of industrial waste, and there is no satisfactory method for treating all four kinds of waste from each of these factories. Personnel and funds from the Federal Government, as outlined in this bill, would assist us in solving this problem and therefore eliminate the gross pollution caused by the wastes from the sugar-beet factories in Colorado.
We have another problem in Colorado in stream pollution which threatens one of our great industries—mining. The mine wastes or tailings from smelters, ore-reduction mills, and placer mines have been detrimental to agricultural interests, sand filters in public water supplies, and the trout fishing in Colorado. Some of these wastes are extremely fine in a powdered form, thus making a colloidal suspension in the water and therefore they cannot be removed by plain sedimentation. Mine officials are reluctant to spend much money for the treatment of their wastes and mine operators having low-grade ore cannot permit a high expenditure for the treatment of their wastes.
A group of men in the agricultural industry have brought suit against mine operators in Clear Creek and have won this suit in the highest courts in Colorado, thus obtaining an injunction against these operators because of the discharge of mine wastes into Clear Creek. Another lawsuit is pending against mine operators in Leadville, Colo., enjoining them from discharging mine wastes into the Arkansas River. The cause for this suit is the injury done to the slow sand filters of the Canon City public water supply.
Because of the trouble caused by mine wastes, it is necessary to do some research work and make thorough surveys for the purpose of determining the most economic method for the treatment of these wastes. We are convinced that mine wastes can be properly treated with chemicals used as coagulants, but no work has been done on this problem. It is extremely important to Colorado to further the mine interests and help the mining industry in general. This
bill, H. R. 2711, will enable us to make these surveys and to give the proper information to the mine operators and other interested officials.
This department is anxious to have this bill passed and we appreciate your interest and commend you for the introduction of this bill. Very truly yours,
R. L. CLEERE, M. D.,
Colorado State Board of Health.
B. V. Howe, B. S.,
Colorado State Board of Health.
STATE OF DELAWARE,
Dover, Del., March 15, 1937. FRED M. VINSON,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.
Health Service, in many phases of public health work, we feel that an elaboration of their duties is the logical way to handle the stream-pollution program insofar as the Federal Government is concerned. The fact that stream pollution is primarily a public-health program makes it all the more reasonable that such an agency as the United States Public Health Service should have some stake in the stream-pollution program of this country. I might add that it was through the initiation of the United States Public Health Service and the cooperation of cer. tain State agencies that a satisfactory control has been made on the pollution of oyster beds which affect various State groups and are interstate in character. This same line of attack on a much larger scale and reenforced with grants and aid on the part of the Federal Government should give a distinct impetus to thestreampollution program in this country. I do not see the necessity for setting up a separate organization to retrace the steps which have been gone over by the United States Public Health Service and other agencies during the last 20 years, when a governmental unit is ready to assume such a burden through expansion of its present parallel activities.
The principles outlined in Senate bill 702 and House bill 2711 adequately express such a program. Yours very truly,
R. C. BECKETT, State Sanitary Engineer.
GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
March 20, 1937. Hon. FRED M. VINSON,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. VINSON: This is in reply to your letter of recent date in which you ask this department's opinion concerning House bill no. 2711, a bill to create a Division of Water Pollution Control in the United States Public Health Service.
Permit me to say that I think this altogether a very admirable measure which I hope may be enacted into law. No doubt you know that such governmental cooperation to prevent the pollution of streams has been strongly recommended by the State and Territorial Health Officers' Organization.
A very admirable feature of the bill in my judgment is the wise legislative approach which makes the Federal service advisory to State and municipal health services so that the everlasting fear of Federal invasion of State rights is thereby very happily met. Very sincerely,
GEORGE C. RUHLAND, M. D.,
FLORIDA STATE BOARD OF HEALTH,
Jacksonville, March 15, 1937. Hon. F. M. Vinson, Member of House of Representatives,
Congress of the United States, Washington, D. C. DEAR Sir: Dr. McPhaul has asked me to reply to your letter regarding our appearance at the meeting of the Rivers and Harbors Committee on the 17th. I regret very much that it will be impossible for either Dr. McPhaul or myself to be present at that time. However, I am sending you herewith a copy of the resolution passed by the Florida section of the American Public Health Association which reflects the general sentiment of all the health workers in the State of Florida. This resolution was passed at the December meeting.
You will not that this resolution was sent to all the Florida Members of Congress. Personal letters were also written from the State board of health to each individual member of Congress from Florida. Replies from them lead us to the conviction that our congressional delegation is thoroughly alive to the extreme importance of keeping our Florida waters free from pollution and that they will support your bill or similar legislation.
With regrets that we will not be able to be with you at the hearing, and hoping for favorable action by Congress, I am Very sincerely yours,
G. F. CATLETT, State Sanitary Engineer.
RESOLUTION IN REGARD TO PROTECTION OF OUR WATERS FROM POLLUTION BY
SEWAGE AND WASTES
Whereas public health organizations and others interested throughout the United States are making concerted effort to secure proper legislation in the Congress of the United States with the intention of protecting our streams and waters from offensive pollution that is becoming a national menace, and
Whereas the protection of our streams, beaches, and recreational resorts are of first importance to the State of Florida;
Resolved, That the Florida Public Health Association endorse and approve the provision of Senate bill 4627 and House bill 12764 in the last Congress known as the Barkley-Vinson bill, and endorsed by the State and Territorial Health Officers' Association, or some similar legislation;
Resolved further, That copies of these resolutions be sent to the Senators and Representatives in Congress of the State of Florida.
STATE OF IDAHO,
Boise, March 15, 1937.
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR Sır: Relating to H. R. 2711 in the House of Representatives, we are very glad to give supporting evidence as to the needfulness of such a bill.
We in Idaho in the past have had to petition the Surgeon General to designate trained personnel to help us solve stream pollution problems. A great many of our streams are of an interstate character, and the work which has in the past been performed with the United States Public Health Service as a cooperative agency has been of inestimable value to the State.
Section 3 of the bill we consider to be a very fine cooperative study, and (b), under section 2 is something that we have been working for for years. We are, therefore, giving endorsement to H. R. 2711. Respectfully yours,
J. D. DUNSHEE, Director, Public Health. W. V. LEONARD,
Sanitary Engineer. STATE OF ILLINOIS, SANITARY WATER BOARD,
Springfield, March 11, 1937. Hon. FRED M. VINSON, Congressman, House of Representatives,
Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN VINSON: This acknowledges your letter of March 6 with which was attached a copy of H. R. 2711 to create a Division of Water Pollution Control in the United States Public Health Service and also advising that a hearing on this bill will be held in Washington on March 17.
I regret that it will not be possible for us to be represented at that hearing, however, there are a few comments which I would like to make.
I am in sympathy with the bill and it has my support for the main reason that it is not creating a Federal agency which has authority over the powers of the various State agencies now controlling pollution but has for its purpose the power of assisting the various States in promoting more uniform legislation relating to water pollution and encouragir.g the compacts between the several States for the prevention and abatement of pollution.
Also it will act as sort of a clearing house for all technical stream pollution information and one of the features in which Illinois is most interested is that which makes provisions for Federal grants-in-aid and/or loans for the construction of the necessary treatment works.
Illinois is more fortunate than many of the other States in that we already have adequate legislation to control stream pollution and the greatest need in this State is methods and assistance in financing the necessary sewage-treatment works. So long as grants in aid are to be provided I believe that so far as this State is concerned much greater good would be accomplished if the amount instead of 3373 percent could be increased to not more than 50 percent. It has been our experience with the present Public Works program that when the present 45-grant 55-percent loan feature was started that many more municipalities took advantage of the assistance, for many municipalities felt that there was little advantage to them in a 30-percent grant which, as you know, was the percent at the outset of the Public Works program. This merely reflects the opinion of a number of municipalities in the State which felt that because of the need of complying with a number of regulations involved in the construction of a plant that there was little saving involved to them in a 30 percent, whereas increasing this grant did apparently make it desirable for more municipalities to proceed with sewage-treatment works.
I imagine, however, that this provision will in any event be governed by the Federal Government's policy in this respect as it applies to any future Public Works program.
Again I wish to thank you for your courtesy in advising me of this hearing and trust that these comments may be helpful to you in interpreting the views of Illinois and our reasons for supporting this particular legislation. Very truly yours,
FRANK J. JENKINS, Chairman. Cc: Members of Sanitary Water Board.
INDIANAPOLIS, IND.; March 16, 1937. Hon. FRED M. VINSON,
House of Representatives,
Congress of the United States, Washington, D. C: Regret cannot attend hearing before Rivers and Harbors Committee March 17. We would like to go on record as supporting House bill 2711.
INDIANA STATE BOARD OF HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRIES.
Iowa STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH,
Des Moines, March 13, 1937. Hon. FRED M. Vinson,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. VINSON: Inasmuch as it will be impossible for me or cur engineer to be present at the hearing before the Rivers and Harbors Committee on March 17 at which your stream pollution bill, H. R. 2711, will be considered, I should like to take this opportunity to heartily endorse th measure and to point out the reasons for my support of this bill.
Insofar as the technical aspects of stream pollution are concerned, the health, conservation, and other phases of pollution are so closely related that it appears entirely logical that one technical division of government can well conduct the studies and investigations necessary for the control and abatement of stream pollution. There has for many years been established in the United States Public Health Service a technical division set up for the study of stream pollution, namely, the Stream Pollution Investigation Laboratory at Cincinnati, Ohio. The work of this group has been outstanding and it seems logical that this staff of highly specialized and well-qualified men should form the nucleus of an expanded staff for the study and control of stream pollution rather than the setting up of a new agency at this time.
Contrary to statements which have been heard from time to time to the effect that little or no progress has been made by the United States Public Health Service and the various State agencies who have charge of stream pollution abatement, I feel that a great deal has been accomplished, particularly in the Middle West where I am more familiar with conditions than may exist elsewhere in the country. This progress is definitely indicated by the large number of municipal sewage and industrial waste treatment plants which have been constructed during the past several years. A better criterion of progress, however, is the change of attitude on the part of municipal officials and industrialists. Whereas 10 or 15 years ago suggestions for the abatement of stream pollution were met with opposition almost universally, today a much more cooperative spirit is encountered. In view of this progress and also in view of the fact that the various State agencies are entirely familiar with the problems as they exist within the State, and that many if not most of the States have definite programs for the abatement of stream pollution, it is my opinion that stream pollution control measures can best be carried out by the States.
There are, of course, problems involving interstate waters which individual States cannot solve by themselves. With the aid and cooperation of the United States Public Health Service as provided for in your bill, interstate agreements and compacts can be entered into for the control of pollution of interstate streams. As a matter of fact, there are already three such compacts or agreements between States in the Ohio River Valley, Great Lakes Drainage Area, and the Upper Mississippi River Valley.
Today the greatest deterrent factor to the correction of stream pollution is the inability of municipalities to finance work for the correction of stream pollution. Your bill is taking care of this by providing for grants for the construction of such work. Insofar as Iowa is concerned, and I am sure the same applies to many other States, I feel satisfied that a construction program in those municipalities now discharging untreated sewage will continue if Federal grants for such work continue, and that within a comparatively few years the major sources of pollution will have been eliminated. Many of the State agencies, including the Iowa State Department of Health, are handicapped by the lack of funds for carrying out the necessary investigations and the financial aid provided for in your bill will be of great assistance to the State in this matter.