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Now, I undertook to set out these and other considerations which I thought pertinent to the White House, to the President and to you, Mr. Secretary, while the decision on this reorganization plan was pending, so that all factors, all evidence entering into that decision might be considered. The President made a decision favorable to the reorganization plan. I have not undertaken since then to do anything more than to consider and to listen to what others may have to say about the reorganization plan. I still have reservations and I think this hearing is the place to resolve them. I think we have lost some time and some valuable time in implementing the Water Quality Act of 1965. It may be that that time has been well spent, if in the long run this plan proves to be the wise step to take at this time.
I think now is the time to consider whether or not it is the wise step. I think the question raised by Senator Ribicoff as to whether or not we are indeed bringing together in one department all of the functions relating to water pollution in a way that is useful ought to be explored.
Senator RIBICOFF. Senator Gruening, would you like to make a comment before we begin?
Senator GRUENING. No. I share Senator Muskie's reservations, and I think that this is the place where these questions can be thoroughly debated. I notice here, for instance, on the list of witnesses, that there are no medical people. Pollution control is very largely a health problem, and, while it affects other aspects of our national life, it seems to me that we ought to have some medical people here to testify on this, and I am hoping that we can bring that out in the discussion.
Why have none of them been called, or will they be called? I think this is primarily a health matter, and while it is clear that it affects fisheries and other things of that kind, medical aspects seem to me to be superlatively important and I hope Secretary Gardner will give us some light on this.
Senator RIBICOFF. Before we continue, may I say to you, Mr. Seidman, that personally I am very disappointed with the type of reorganization plans that are being sent up here. I don't think that the Budget Bureau is achieving the objectives that I thought you were out to achieve when I discussed these with various people in the executive branch. It would appear to me that what has been going on is a series of bureaucratic accommodations, all throughout the Government, without taking into account the fact that there has to be a lot of reorganization in the executive branch of our Government. That there shouldn't be anything sacred, and no particular branch or department should feel that because they have a program that they should keep it. That we should look at all these programs in the whole Federal Establishment as to, as times change, should there be a new emphasis, should there be a shifting of functions from one department to another.
But as I gather it from the reorganization plans that are coming up, the various bureaus are getting together and trying to make a deal and an accommodation of what they give up and what they keep. Frankly, I couldn't care less about the bureaucratic infighting. I think the bureaucratic fighting and the fact that everyone wants to be a king of the bureaucrats leaves me absolutely cold. I think the time has come, if you mean to reorganize the Federal Government, to do a good job or forget it. Let's not kid the public or kid the Congress along by sending up all these reorganization plans when we are not achieving the objectives we have set out to achieve.
I was under the impression that there were going to be real reorganizations coming up from the executive branch of the Government. I don't see much evidence of it in the type of reorganization plans coming up. So I think the executive department ought to do a job or forget it entirely.
Now I think, Secretary Udall and Secretary Gardner, all of us in this room are interested in water pollution. We want to do the best job possible. Senator Muskie and myself and I think Senator Gruening have felt that all water pollution problems and all the problems of water resources should be in one place.
When the matter was first broached I was very enthusiastic about it and I am still enthusiastic. The whole problem of water which is so important to our Nation's future should be under one roof. The decision was made by the President to place it in Interior. As far as I was concerned, that was all right, provided it was done.
Now what bothers me, is it being done? I think the comments of Senator Muskie and of Senator Gruening and myself have been made. Why don't you gentlemen discuss that with us? At this point in the record, we will insert a copy of the President's message transmitting Reorganization Plan No. 2 and a staff memorandum on the subject prepared by Mr. Eli E. Nobleman of the full committee staff.
REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 2 OF 1966, PREPARED IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE
WATER POLLUTION CONTROL FUNCTIONS
FEBRUARY 28, 1966.-Referred to the Committee on Government
Operations, and ordered to be printed
with accompanying papers.
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
To the Congress of the United States:
I transmit herewith Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1966, prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended, and providing for reorganization of certain water pollution control functions.
Thirty-five years ago Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.”
Only recently has the truth of this observation entered the public conscience. For we now recognize that the Nation's rivers, far from being treasured, have been carelessly neglected for too long.
Today we face a harsh reality. Our waters are burdened with blight. We know that every river system in America suffers from some degree of pollution. This menace is growing more serious with every passing day.
We have just begun to take the steps to clean and restore our waters. The task is immense. The journey will be long.
If our new programs are to succeed we must combine our effortsFederal, State, local, and private--in new and creative partnerships.
The attack against water pollution should be unified and coordinated.
It should be carried forward as an integral part of comprehensive planning for the development of river basins.
But, most importantly, the Government's management structure must be strengthened and reshaped to meet the challenges that lie ahead.
In my February 23 message on the quality of our environment I stated:
* * * we must reorganize the Federal effort. In the past, the Federal antipollution effort has been organizationally separate from water conservation and use programs.
One agency should assume leadership in our clean water effort.
The Department of the Interior, for many years, has been concerned with the comprehensive management and development of the Nation's water resources.
It plans, constructs, and operates multiple-purpose water and related land resources projects.
It carries on research and development on the removal of minerals from water.
It administers the Water Resources Research Act.
The Secretary of the Interior also serves as Chairman of the Water Resources Council responsible for coordinating river basin planning. Under the Clean Rivers Restoration Act of 1966 and other legislation which I have recently proposed, the Secretary will become the focal point for Federal efforts in this area.
It is wise management to place under his control the related resources and authority now in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
The reorganization plan maintains a proper and effective role for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare with respect to the health aspects of pollution. At the same time it places in the Department of the Interior all of the necessary tools to move forward the drive to clean America's waters.
The reorganization plan herewith transmitted will transfer to the Secretary of the Interior the functions of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act except for responsibilities relating to public health for which the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has special competence. That Department will retain responsibility under section 3(b) of the act for advising on public health questions involved in determinations by Federal agencies of the need for and value of the inclusion of storage for water quality control in Federal reservoirs. The Federal Water Pollution Control Administration would be transferred to the Department of the Interior.
The Secretary of the Interior in administering the act will also be required to consult with the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare on public health aspects relating to water pollution. This consultative responsibility is now vested in the Surgeon General by section 2(k) of the Water Quality Act of 1965. The plan transfers that responsibility to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
The Water Pollution Control Advisory Board and the hearing boards provided for in the act would be transferred to the Department of the Interior, together with their respective functions. The reorganization plan also makes the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare a member of the Advisory Board and gives him the opportunity to select a member of each hearing board.
The reorganization plan would in no way impair the rights and benefits of commissioned officers of the Public Health Service who may transfer to the Water Pollution Control Administration.
The reorganization to be accomplished by the plan transmitted herewith will enable the Federal Government to organize for action against pollution on a river basin basis under the unified leadership of the Secretary of the Interior.
After investigation, I have found and hereby declare that each reorganization included in the accompanying reorganization plan is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes set forth in section 2(a) of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended. I have also found and hereby declare that it is necessary to include in the accompanying reorganization plan, by reason of the reorganizations made thereby, provision for the membership of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare on the Water Pollution Control Advisory Board and for the appointment and compensation of an additional Assistant Secretary of the Interior. The rate of compensation fixed for that officer is that which I have found to prevail in respect of comparable officers in the executive branch of the Government.