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3. I believe that other pending bills covering the subject of water pollution are inadequate.
4. I believe that Senator Lonergan deserves support on his commendable activities to end waterway pollution in the United States,
5. I believe that other pending bills are inadequate for the following reasons: They either turn over antipollution control to States and/or they have not enough "teeth" in them to make them effective. For example, in the case of the State of Connecticut, our high-powered lobbyists at Hartford have so thoroughly drawn the teeth from antiwaterway pollution control that our streams and harbors continue to be ruined by municipal and industrial waste, despite our smoke screen laws governing the situation.
All over the State of Connecticut and elsewhere, streams are ruined and harbors dangerously polluted because of the selfishness or carelessness of industrial plants or municipalities in continuing to pollute our waterways and harbors with industrial and municipal waste. Every year, health officers along Long Island Sound bar the taking of shellfish from more harbors, and bathers from using these waters because of the increasing pollution of them. Selfish people have committed and continue to commit this crime against the American people. It is time that it was stopped.
Washington, April 1, 1937.
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.
The legislation proposed in this bill would establish in the Public Health Service a Division of Water Pollution Control to be under the direction of a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, such officer, while serving as director of the division, to have the rank of Assistant Surgeon General. The bill would direct the contemplated Division, in cooperation with the proper agencies of the several States and the municipalities and industries involved, to prepare comprehensive plans for reducing the pollution of the waters of the United States; to make joint surveys and studies; to promote cooperative activities and encourage enactment of uniform legislation by the several States; and otherwise to assist the State agencies in the prevention and abatement of water pollution. Sections 5 and 6 of this bill would authorize loans and grants to States and municipalities and loans to industrial concerns for the purpose of constructing sewage or waste disposal works for abatement of pollution resulting from the discharge of inadequately treated sewage or wastes. Section 7 (a) would provide for the establishment of a board of five engineer officers in the Division which board would review all applications for grants in aid and loans and make recommendations thereon to the Surgeon General. The duties of this board would be comparable to the Rivers and Harbors Board established under the Rivers and Harbors Act. Section 7 (c) would require the preparation of a schedule of approved projects for grants in aid and loans for the use of the Congress and 7 (d) would provide for the appropriations necessary to carry out such projects as were authorized by the Congress. Section 8 would authorize the appropriation of $300,000 annually to the Public Health Service for maintenance of the Division of Water Pollution Control and the investigations to be carried on by such Division. Section 9 would authorize the appropriation of $700,000 annually for allotment under the supervision of the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service among the several States, under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury, for the purpose of assisting in the promotion, investigations, and studies necessary in the prevention and control of water pollution.
The Treasury Department is fully cognizant of the magnitude and the urgency of the water pollution problem in the United States, of the importance of the problem in its relation to the various uses of water and in relation to public health, and
of the inability of State and local authorities to control the pollution of interstate waters without cooperation and assistance from a central coordinating agency. This office is in sympathy with any legally sound and practical program for abating present and preventing future pollution of the waters of the United States, when such pollution is injurious to the public and impairs legitimate use of water, and when the application of preventive and remedial measures is economically justifiable. Furthermore, it is the view of this Department that any special legislation on this subject should provide for more active cooperation with State authorities by the Federal Government, leaving enforcement of actual control measures to the States.
At the conference of State and Territorial health officers with the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service in April 1936 a report outlining desirable legislation on water pollution control was presented to the Surgeon General. H. R. 2711 meets the recommendations set forth in this report. It meets the views of the Department as to a desirable type of legislation in that the Public Health Service appears to be the_logical agency for carrying out the provisions of any legislation insofar as the Federal Government is concerned; and that provisions are made for interstate compacts, financial assistance to States and local communities and assistance from the Federal Government in studies of water pollution problems. It does not impair the present relationship between the Treasury Department, as represented by the Public Health Service, and the State and local health authorities which has been brought about through the policy of encouraging and assisting in the development of their own laws, regulations and facilities for protection of public health rather than federalization of public health administration.
It is suggested that the following changes be made on page 13: In line 1, substitute the words “to enforce” for the words "with the duties of enforcing”; in line 3, insert between the words “of” and “sewage” the words "water carriage”; and in line 4, strike out the words “of a liquid nature”.
I am advised, however, by the Bureau of the Budget that in view of the many demands upon the Treasury at this time, the proposed legislation would not be in accord with the financial program of the President. Very truly yours,
WAYNE C. TAYLOR, Acting Secretary of the Treasury.
Washington, March 30, 1937. Hon. JOSEPH J. MANSFIELD, Chairman, Committee on Rivers and Harbors,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The Treasury Department has given careful consideration to (H. R. 3419) a bill to prevent pollution of the navigable waters of the United States, and for other purposes.
This bill would make it unlawful for any person to deposit any refuse material or waste into any navigable water of the United States or in any place from which it would flow, float, seep, or be washed into navigable water. This would, in effect, give the Federal Government control over pollution of all of the surface waters of the United States.
The bill would establish a new agency and in addition designate an existing agency to administer and enforce the provisions set forth; one, a board comprised of the Secretary of War and three members appointed by the President and the other the
Secretary of War. The Treasury Department is fully cognizant of the magnitude and urgency of the water-pollution problem of the United States and of the inability of States and local authorities to control pollution of interstate water without cooperation and assistance from a central coordinating agency. The Department is in sympathy with any legally sound or practical program for correcting present, or preventing future, pollution of the water of the United States where such pollution is injurious to the public health and impairs the legitimate use of water, and when the application of preventive and remedial measures is economically justifiable. The Department is not in favor of Federal regulatory legislation. It is in sympathy, however, with any special legislation on this subject which would provide for more active cooperation with the State authorities by the Federal Government and which would leave the enforcement of actual control measures to the States.
In view of the features of H. R. 3419 which would establish Federal jurisdiction within the States over all matters pertaining to control and prevention of pollution of the surface water, this Department recommends against the enactment of this bill. Very truly yours,
JOSEPHINE ROCHE, Acting Secretary of the Treasury.
Washington, April 13, 1937.
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: At the request of the conference of State and Territorial health officers I transmit herewith, for the information of the Committee on Rivers and Harbors, a copy of a resolution adopted by the conference at its annual meeting with the Public Health Service, on April 8, 1937. Very sincerely yours,
RESOLUTION OF THE CONFERENCE OF STATE AND TERRITORIAL HEALTH OFFICERS
APRIL 7–8, 1937 Whereas studies made of watersheds in almost every section of the United States indicate that the almost unrestrained increase in stream pollution by both industrial and municipal waste, is endangering public and private water supplies, destroying important recreational and bathing facilities and injuring wild life; and
Whereas it is apparent that most such stream pollution presents problems which can be solved only by joint State and Federal action; therefore, Be it
Resolved, That the Conference of State and Territorial Health Officers respectfully petition the Congress of the United States to enact the Vinson (H. R. 2711)Barkley (S. 702) bill, which provides for joint study and control of stream pollution by the United States Public Health Service and the State and Territorial Health Officers under recognized procedures which involve a joint study of each project by competent sanitary engineers and a report to the Congress for its authorization of appropriate action.
Dr. A. T. McCORMACK,
Kentucky. Dr. W. H. HARTUNG,
Ohio. Dr. CARL V. REYNOLDS,
North Carolina. Dr. S. H. OSBORN,
Washington, March 31, 1937. Hon. J. J. MANSFIELD, Chairman, Committee on Rivers and Harbors,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. MANSFIELD: The Department has given careful consideration to H. R. 3419, to prevent pollution of the navigable waters of the United States and for other purposes, which you forwarded for its views in your letter of March 5, 1937.
The bill proposes to declare unlawful the disposition of any refuse matter or waste, including raw untreated sewage and industrial wastes, in any navigable water of the United States or in any place from which such refuse matter or waste would flow, float, seep, or be washed into any such navigable waters. It proposes to establish an Anti-pollution Board to consist of the Secretary of War and three members appointed by the President to coordinate the activities of the several States relating to the prevention and abatement of water pollution, encourage compacts between the States, make studies, surveys, and experiments to determine the need for, and to devise methods for carrying out preventive and corrective measures relating to water pollution. It proposes that the Board divide the United States into sanitary water districts, fix standards of purity for the waters of each district and establish district boards to carry out the provisions of the bill. It authorizes the appropriation of such sums as may be necessary to carry out these provisions and purposes.
The Department appreciates the desirability of a more adequate control of water pollution and believes that the coordination of State activities relating to the prevention and abatement of water pollution, the encouraging of compacts between the several States, and the making of studies and surveys to devise methods for the abatement of pollution would be advantageous. It believes that such work can well be performed by the organization proposed in the bill. It points out, however, the drastic nature of the provisions of sections 2 and 11 of the bill which would subject thousands of municipalities, now discharging their sewage into rivers, harbors, and bays of the United States, to injunction proceedings. The Department is of the view that prior to the establishment of such a board and the determination of the standards of purity and the methods to be adopted to abate pollution in the navigable waters of the United States, it would be desirable to make a comprehensive survey of one of our major streams subject to pollution so that more detailed information may be available for the preparation of a considered plan for the abatement and control of pollution.
Although the Department is in sympathy with the general purposes of the bill and the organization proposed therein, it is unable to recommend the enactment of such broad legislation at this time.
This proposed report was submitted to the Bureau of the Budget which reports that there would be no objection on the part of that office to its submission to the committee. Sincerely yours,
HARRY H. WOODRING,
Secretary of War.
(H. R. 3419, 75th Cong., 1st sess) A BILL To prevent pollution of the navigable waters of the United States, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. As used in this Act(a) The term “navigable waters of the United States” means all waters over which Congress has jurisdiction under its authority to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States.
(b) The term “person” means an individual, a partnership, an association, a joint-stock company, a corporation, or a business trust, and includes any officer, employee, or agent of a State or political subdivision of a State, or of any agency or instrumentality of one or more States or political subdivisions of a State or States.
(c) The term “refuse matter or waste” means refuse matter and waste of every kind or character, including oil or oil sludge, raw untreated sewage, coal-mining washery waste, acid mine drainage, coal-distillation waste, pickling, cleaning, or planting waste, pulp or paper manufacture waste, tanning waste, and washing, bleaching, or dyeing waste.
(d) The term “Antipollution Board” in this Act is referred to as the Board.
POLLUTION OF WATERS
SEC. 2. It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit, or cause to be deposited, any refuse matter or waste in any navigable water of the United States, or in any place from which, in the ordinary course of events, any such refuse matter or waste would flow, float, seep, or be washed into any such navigable water.
SEC. 3. This Board shall consist of the Secretary of War (hereafter in this Act referred to as the Secretary), who shall serve as a member without additional compensation, and three other members, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Each member, with the exception of the Secretary, shall receive a salary at the rate of $6,500 per year and shall hold office for a term of six years; except that (1) any such member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term; and (2) the terms of office of the members first taking office after the date of the enactment of this Act shall expire, as designated by the President at the time of appointment, one at the end of two years, one at the end of four years, and one at the end of six years after the date of the enactment of this Act. The President shall designate the Secretary as chairman of the Board.
SEC. 4. (a) The Board shall perform the duties imposed upon it by this Act and shall make such rules and regulations as may be necessary for carrying out its provisions.
(b) The Board is further authorized to appoint and fix the compensation of such officers and employees, and to make such expenditures as may be necessary for carrying out its functions under this Act. Appointments of attorneys and experts may be made without regard to the civil-service laws.
(c) The Board shall make a full report to Congress at the beginning of each regular session of the administration of the functions with which it is charged.
COOPERATION WITH STATE AGENCIES
Sec. 5. (a) The Board shall cooperate with agencies of the several States authorized or designated by State law to deal with water pollution, with a view to
(1) Coordinating the activities of the several States relating to the prevention and abatement of water pollution;
(2) Encouraging the enactment of uniform State laws relating to water pollution;
(3) Encouraging compacts between the several States for the prevention and abatement of water pollution; and
(4) Making such studies, surveys, and experiments as may be necessary to determine the need for, and to devise methods for carrying out, preventive and corrective measures relating to water pollution in the several States.
(b) For the purposes of this section the Board is authorized — (1) To collect and disseminate information;
(2) To make available to State agencies the results of surveys, studies, and experiments conducted by it and by other agencies, public and private;
(3) To assign experts in its employ or, with the approval of the head of the department or agency concerned, in the employ of any cther department or agency of the Government, to assist and advise State agencies without charge to such State agencies;
(4) To inake or arrange loans for the construction of sewage-disposal plants or works for the treatment of trade wastes, as hereinafter provided;
(5) To furnish such other assistance to State agencies as may be authorized by law.
Sec. 6. The consent of Congress is hereby given to any two or more States to enter into agreements or compacts, not in conflict with any law of the United States, for cooperative effort and mutual assistance for the prevention and abatement of water pollution and the enforcement of their respective laws relating thereto, and to establish such agencies, joint or otherwise, as they may deen desirable for making effective such agreements and compacts.
STUDIES AND SURVEYS
Sec. 7. The Board shall make or cause to be made such studies, surveys, and experiments relating to water pollution and its prevention an abatement as it deems necessary.
Insofar as practicable in making such studies, surveys, and experin the Board shall make use of information gained from any similar studies, surveys, or experiments which are available to the Board, and, with the consent of the head of the department or agency concerned, shall designate employees of any other department or agency of the United States to perform functions in connection therewith.
ESTABLISHMENT OF SANITARY WATER DISTRICTS
SEC. 8. (a) As soon as practicable, the Board shall divide the area of the continental United States into districts to be known as sanitary water districts. The Board shall fix and define the boundaries of each such district and may from time to time alter such boundaries. The areas of such districts shall, insofar as