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you are bringing over from HEW on water pollution control and abatement. You have other water interests, granted. The staff of the committee has given us a very comprehensive view of what you do and what HEW does in the field of water. This is all I am trying to focus on. Your argument isn't that you are consolidating the water pollution control activities of the Government, but that you are bringing into your water interests and your water programs this additional program which you have never had, and you are saying that this is a good thing and that is the case you are going to make.
But I don't think you have got the argument and I don't think you ought to try to pretend to have the argument that this effectuates a consolidation of the water pollution control programs, because I don't see that it does one iota.
Secretary UDALL. Senator, I think that water is now so complex a subject that Agriculture must always have certain responsibilities in this field, I think HUD should have some responsibilities, I think Public Health Service should have some responsibilities.
Senator MUSKIE. Now you are making my argument. Secretary UDALL. The subject is just too complex. But in terms of cleaning up the rivers of this country, I don't think we can ever really tackle the problem head on until we give one Cabinet officer the main big responsibility, and this is precisely about that simple. This is what the President has in mind. If the Congress doesn't want to do it, I might—we will just hobble along pulling and hauling as we go down the road.
Senator MUSKIE. My argument is that this is the wrong time, that we now, last year, achieved the consolidation of the water pollution control programs in one place. We have written into law certain new concepts, new policies that have not yet been implemented, that have not been spelled out in regulations, in guidelines for the assistance of the States and so on.
This part of the water problem is an urban metropolitan one. Interior has never been involved to any great degree in urban metropolitan problems. So my belief was, and it still is, that we should let that aspect of the program generate the momentum necessary to achieve results,
Then you can see what further changes might be necessary. It might have been this very one in the organization of our overall water programs. I don't have any fixed opinion that this should not be in your jurisdiction. As a matter of fact, your leadership of the Department is a very strong one for supporting the reorganization plan. And I mean no disrespect to Secretary Gardner who is involved with so many other programs. But I just felt now was the time to concentrate on what we started last year, in order to put together a really effective water pollution and abatement program based on the policies, the new policies and concepts within last year's law.
Now I think we have had considerable delay because of the reorganization plan and its consideration by the President. We have got a deadline. The States have until July 1, 1967, to develop water quality standards of their own on interstate streams.
They have had no guidance as yet from the new Water Pollution Control Administration, because of this reorganization. Because they have had no guidance as yet, we are beginning to hear the argument from them that that deadline should be extended.
Now such as extension, if they are able to bring up enough pressure here on the Hill to get it, will mean a delay in getting effective water quality standards on our interstate streams. We should have been using every minute of the time between the signing of the bill by the President and July 1, 1967, to give the States every chance, and no excuse for not acting within the time that they had available. Now they have got a little more than a year. I don't know how long it is going to take for the Department to develop the guidelines necessary for the States to act, and I would be willing to bet a dollar to a penny that they will be in here asking for an extension of that deadline next year, because they will say, "You didn't give us the tools with which to do this job.” And if they get an extension, then we are going to have a further delay. That is why I was bothered.
Now my arguments to the White House failed, but my principal purpose was to try to persuade the President not to send up the plan. Now he has sent it, and having been a former Governor myself, it is my inclination to give the Chief Executive the right to reorganize his work in the ways that seem to make sense to him. If my reservations aren't shared by others, I will accept the verdict. But I wanted to make it a matter of record here that my concern was a real one. It was related to getting this new program off the ground and started. I am awfully fearful of further delays.
You know, Mr. Secretary, I know you know that once you have deposited this stuff in the streams, to get it out is a difficult chore.
We were in Germany together. I will never forget the use of the Emscher River in the Ruhr Valley. It once rose out of pure springs in the ground. I asked the Germans what was now the source of the stream. They said the sewers. It is a complete sewer today because somebody delayed too long in the past, and I don't like delay, and I think we are getting some. Some delays are already behind us and we can't do anything about it.
Secretary UDALL. That is right. Senator, I want to give you some assurances on this because I know your strong feelings on it. As a matter of fact, I think what the executive needs in this field is the same crusading approach to this problem that you and a few others in the Congress have taken in the past.
I want to assure you that if this reorganization is carried out, Commissioner Quigley and I have already had many discussions about this. We are already working on it, Secretary Gardner is working on it, but if the reorganization occurs every step will be taken to see that no case can be made for delay.
I think we have delayed too long, and I want to make my own position clear on that. I think you are certainly right in terms of feeling that a quicker pace, a quicker tempo is needed in this whole program, one that will not enable those who are hanging back and who are dragging their heels to say "Well, we need to take further time and we are not ready to go ahead.”
I think that the administration should do everything possible to see to it that these excuses are not present.
Senator MUSKIE. This is the one reassuring thing about this reorganization plan, your own dedication to it and the fact that you have more time than Secretary Gardner would have to devote to this program. I noted in your House testimony that you promised 25 percent of your time.
Secretary UDALL. My own personal time. I stuck my neck out on it, I would reassure the Senator or reassert that statement. My judgment, Senator, is that in order to get the type of momentum that is needed, in order to establish these new patterns of cooperation that are implicit in the new legislation that has been sent up, you are not really going to get the type of momentum needed unless some Secretary, whether it is Secretary Gardner or myself, spends that quantity of time himself personally. You have no way of keeping a stopwatch on me, but I can assure you during the last month or 6 weeks I have spent 25 percent of my time, including our trip in Germany, on pollution problems.
Mr. SEIDMAX. Senator Muskie, could I make a comment on your question on timing ?
Senator MUSKIE. Yes.
Mr. SEIDMAN. It is always a good question as to the best time to send a reorganization forward. I think it has been our experience that when you have a new program which is in the stage of organization and development, it is a much better time to move forward than when it becomes well entrenched and established and then you have to pull it out by the roots as it were.
At that time it is much more difficult to accomplish this kind of reorganization. Since this new program is in the process of development, and in the transitional stage in any event, I think it is much more desirable to move forward with a reorganization at this time, rather than a later time when it would be much more difficult.
Senator MUSKIE. I disagree for a couple of reasons. First of all you have got this transfer of personnel problem. If the program stayed in HEW you were going to lose some people who preferred to stay in the Public Health Service. It seems to me, and this is only an observation rather than any statistical judgment, that the move to Interior may create doubts in even more PHS personnel. You might lose more than you would have if you stayed in HEW.
The second point that I would make, and I am using Secretary Udall's argument now, is that all we are doing is transferring the new Federal Water Pollution Control Administration bodily from HEW to Interior. If you were to wait to do it 5 years from now, by that time you would have a more vigorous child.
You would have one that had had a few years to develop and grow and establish policies and get settled. So I don't think that the uprooting then would be as likely to kill the tree as it might now.
Mr. SEIDMAN. I think the roots would be deeper in HEW as far as the Public Health Service personnel who would be transferred are concerned. I think their judgment would be one as to whether they are going to leave the Public Health Service.
If they make that decision and their dedication is to the water pollution control program, it makes relatively little difference to them whether the program is administered by Interior or HEW. The basic decision they face is whether they should leave the Public Health Service.
The other point, Senator Muskie, you raised related to other programs, and of course these were not brought together under the Water Quality Act. But the reorganization plan does transfer to the Secretary of the Interior the present authorities of the Secretary of HEW,
with respect to the HUD program and with respect to the program in the Department of Commerce under the Economic Development Act as well as the Appalachia program.
So you again have the same relationship which exists today between HEW and the HUD program and the commerce program and the agricultural program, the Appalachian program, so this is unchanged except the authority goes to the Secretary of the Interior.
Senator MUSKIE. That new sewer systems program of the Housing Act of last year stays in HUD.
Mr. SEIDMAN. That is correct, but the responsibilities of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare with respect to evaluating projects with respect to the extent that there are satisfactory arrangements
Senator MUSKIE. The purpose as stated in the President's message is that one agency should assume leadership in our clean water effort. You have overlooked the opportunity to give that one agency additional functions that are certainly important. For example, that sewer program, and I had something to do with writing that one into the Housing Act, is available to towns, provided that they have a sewage treatment plant. Now the sewage treatment program is going to be in Interior, and yet the sewer systems programs, which are tied to it, are going to be left in HUD and Agriculture.
In addition you have in HUD the program to eliminate the septic tank communities in this country, and that is very important to underground waters which are of concern to Interior. All of these are part of the tools, the carrots, if you will, the assistance that the Federal Government can make available to towns and communities all over the country to make it possible for them to clean up their waters. Yet you are leaving two of them out.
Why? Mr. SEIDMAN. An appropriate role is kept for Interior in these programs. I think again here the judgment
Senator MUSKIE. I know but moving away from the appropriate role concept, we are going to consolidate.
Mr. SEIDMAN. Because water and sewer facilities go beyond just pollution abatement. This is our problem. Water and sewer facilities are critical to urban development.
Senator MUSKIE. That is true of sewage treatment plants.
Mr. SEIDMAN. Yes, and you do have the grants for sewage treatment plants.
Senator MUSKIE. Why didn't you transfer those to HUD?
Mr. SEIDMAN. As I say, these are problems of government which are so complex that a decision depends on where you want to put a particular emphasis.
I don't think we can ever organize so we have all things related to any given function in one agency, without by doing that creating chaos and complete overlapping and duplication throughout the executive branch structure.
Senator MUSKIE. Again that is why I would like to get down into some of the details of the plan if I may. The plan involves the establishment of a new Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Interior. Will the water pollution control program come under that Secretary rather than under the Assistant Secretary now in the Department who has jurisdiction over water?
Secretary UDALL. Senator, at the present time in my Department, I have four program Assistant Secretaries, and each one of them has water responsibilities. I do have one secretary, called the Assistant Secretary for Water and Power, that supervises the Bureau of Reclamation and the power marketing agencies of the Department, Bonneville Power.
Senator MUSKIE. That is Secretary Hollum?
Secretary UDALL. That is Secretary Hollum. Under this reorganization plan, Congress having said that it wants the water pollution control administration program to have an Assistant Secretary who does nothing but supervise the water pollution control program, this new Assistant Secretary would, under the way we operate in my Department, where assistant secretaries are line officers who supervise a particular area, this program would have a single Assistant Secretary, and water and power under its present organization, would be kept as it is.
I think it would be a big mistake to even consider an overlap of responsibilities with regard to that.
Nr. SEIDMAN. Again, Senator Muskie, this is specifically provided for in the reorganization plan which says:
There shall be in the Department of the Interior one additional Assistant Secretary of the Interior, who shall assist the Secretary in the discharge of the functions transferred to him hereunder.
Senator MUSKIE. That does not indicate, and this is what I wanted to clarify, whether or not there would be brought under this Assistant Secretary in addition to water pollution, the functions of the present Assistant Secretary for Water and Power. I think that should be clarified.
Secretary UDALL. I think the two should be divorced and I certainly want to go on the record on that very firmly today, Senator.
Senator MUSKIE. So the new Assistant Secretary will have only this function, supervising the water pollution control program?
Secretary UDALL. Yes. We might want to consider, and I think I should be candid with the committee on that point, because from time to time the Department considers internal reorganizations, allocating functions back and forth between secretaries. There are two programs that go right to the heart of the water quality program and the quality research program. One is the saline water program.
The objective in the saline water program is to take minerals and salts out of water, primarily brackish water or saline water. The research with regard to water pollution is to take mineral salts and solids out of water. I think terms of eliminating overlapping research, of coordinating it, it might be that these two might very well go under this one assistant secretary.
Senator MUSKIE. I would think that might be wise.
Secretary UDALL. Secretary Hollum right now supervises saline water as another responsibility. I think it would belong more over here than there, but I have made no decision on this. I think that the problem is what is the best action focus. How can you get everyone under one assistant secretary so that he is supervising on a dayto-day basis and moving forward as rapidly as possible.
Senator MUSKIE. But reclamation would be kept under Secretary Hollum?