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We are somewhat concerned whether, in the Department of the Interior, there may be an administrative tendency to overburden the water pollution control function with other more or less related water activities and thus dilute the long-sought needed emphasis on the primary mission to clean up the national water resource. Unfortunately, then, we would undoubtedly lose this singleness of purpose in water pollution control for which many conservationists have fought so hard for so long to achieve. We believe that water pollution control must be a single-minded goal within this new administration unit in Interior—as it would have been in HEW. In addition, intradepartment conflicts of interest should not be allowed to stall the program. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, my organization believes that the new Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water Pollution Control, when appointed, must not be shackled with other diverse duties that would detract from or divert the mission of this vital Water Pollution Control Administration.
The Water Supply and Water Pollution Control Division, currently within HEW, is commencing to organize expanded water quality criteria research programs designed to protect the most sensitive species of aquatic life from continuous exposure to various forms of pollution. A fine cadre of professionals in hydrobiology, ecology, and other such specialized fields now comprises the skeleton of the WPCA professional staff needed to delineate water quality criteria essential for the protection and maintenance of aquatic life. They must be induced to continue with Interior under the President's Reorganization Plan No. 2.
The Sport Fishing Institute is, therefore, much concerned whether there will be ample financial incentive to retain these people and to attract new outstanding scientists upon whom America must rely to solve the problems of advanced waste treatment and to determine water quality criteria for various uses in order to achieve full water pollution abatement and control. Research budgets must be adequate, professional ratings liberal, and budgetary unity preserved. In this connection, we have not been favorably impressed by past performance on the part of the Department of the Interior in requesting adequate funds for vitally needed research programs, especially true where aquatic biological problems have been involved. Therefore, we are much concerned about the possible implications of what we view as a poor history of administrative and policy support, at top departmental levels, for research programs in aquatic biology, vis-a-vis such needs in the water pollution control program. We hope that the Congress will watch this aspect closely, as it could "make" or "break” the program, as we see it. Reorganization Plan No. 2 provides a starting point-but it must be properly implemented.
The main question, as we see it, is not so much whether the WPCA should be in HEW or in Interior. The important questions are whether, how soon, and how aggressively water pollution control will get underway. Water pollution control has been in a hiatus for several months, due to the uncertainty of its administrative affiliation. The President has made his move on that problem. The main task, now, is to get on with the job. Time and the pollution tide wait for nobody.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to present these views to your committee.
Senator RIBICOFF. You may proceed, Mr. Penfold.
STATEMENT OF J. W. PENFOLD, CONSERVATION DIRECTOR, IZAAK
WALTON LEAGUE OF AMERICA
Mr. PENFOLD. I am J. W. Penfold, conservation director of the Izaak Walton League of America. The league is a nationwide organization of citizens dedicated to the conservation and wise use of America's natural resource wealth-its soils, woods, waters, and wildlife. Since its founding nearly 45 years ago there has been no natural resource problem to which the league has given greater attention than to cleaning up and preventing the pollution of our lakes and streams.
It can be truthfully stated that the league was organized because a small group of dedicated outdoorsmen became disgusted at the rate at which waters were being lost to human uses because of municipal and industrial dumping of wastes. They decided it was time to call a halt. It was just about 40 years ago that the league made the first nationwide survey of water pollution at the request of the Outdoor Recreation Commission established by President Coolidge. The findings were appalling. And local leadership in the Izaak Walton League helped develop public support for construction of some of the first modern municipal sewage treatment works in the Nation.
Through the 1930's and 1940's the league, through its magazine and other educational materials, by speeches of its officers at hundreds of meetings and conferences, by appearances at public hearings called by committees of Congress, committees of State legislatures and municipal bodies, urged adopting of public policies and programs to abate pollution and achieve once again clean water. There were solid results, but it was a slow process.
The league supported the weak Taft-Hartley Act of 1948—but it was a beginning. The league vigorously supported Public Law 660 in 1956, and appropriations to implement it fully in subsequent years; it supported the acts to strengthen and make it more effective in 1961 and in 1965.
I cite these few items, among many others, not in any sense of selfapprobation—the condition of America's waters today permits none of us to feel smug—but to point out the keen interest and concern of the Izaak Walton League over the years in America's No. 1 natural resource problem-water pollution.
There seems little need to elaborate on the problem itself—it is ubiquitous, no section of the Nation has escaped it, no section of the Nation can, so to speak, sweep it under the rug and face the future with confidence. The leadership of the Nation has responded to the growing demand of the people, and has declared it to be national policy to enhance our lakes and streams, our estuaries and coastal waters. The Nation can no longer afford, if it ever could, to lose the usability of waters for all purposes because of filth. Today, we proclaim our refusal to be strangled by the wastes of civilization. Said the President.
The President has now proposed that the Federal Water Pollution Control Agency as a unit be transferred from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to the Department of the Interior. As a matter of principle, the league is less concerned about where the program is housed than about how vigorously and effectively it is administered. The objective must be to get our waters clean and keep them clean so that they may serve the wide range of legitimate uses to which an expanding population must put them. There can be no compromise with this objective. We can accept no philosophy which in effect calls for a limitation on the Nation's future by temporizing with the known problem because of convenience, selfishness, individual advantage or apathy.
We will cooperate wholeheartedly with any administrative arrangement which serves this objective.
I believe the league's attitude can be summed up in one sentence: “Let's get the show on the road.'
The league along with other conservation societies worked for several years to get the Federal water pollution control program out of the subbasement of HEW. The 1961 act provided an opportunity to accomplish this. Administratively, actions were taken to remove a few levels of overburden in the Public Health Service organization chart, but organizationally it was a grotesque arrangement.
The 1965 act, however, in establishing the separate Administration, provided the opportunity for effective administration. Its establishment underscored the fact that water pollution is not just a matter of public health, important as that is. It stated, in effect, that the full public responsibility has not been discharged when a sign is posted advising that a water supply is unsafe, or a public beach is closed to swimming because of pollution. Both actions may serve to protect the public health, but neither contributes affirmatively to the wellbeing of present generations, let alone to those that will follow. Our waters should be made suitable for use by prevention of pollution, not abandoned to pollution.
The 1965 act fixed in the Water Pollution Control Administration the primary Federal responsibility for water pollution abatement. The program is now visible; its accomplishments can be measured, its failures seen and corrected. It should now be able to recruit and hold the quality of administrative, legal, technical, and scientific personnel which a program of this importance must have without fail.
We believe that the new Administration can function effectively in HEW. We believe it can function as well—and potentially more effectively—in Interior, for reasons set forth by the President in his reorganization message.
We believe it is appropriate, as the transfer takes place, to suggest that the record be made clear as to the policies and basic administrative arrangements that are to guide the Secretary in his administration of the program.
Everyone is, in general, for clean water. But pollution comes from specific outfalls; and each may pose a difficult legal or political or economic stumbling block. Getting clean water demands a Federal administrative structure which will move vigorously and effectively on its own motion against specific sources of pollution and which can be a consistent and unswerving ally of vigorous and effective State and community action programs against specific sources of pollution.
If the Congress decides that the water pollution control program
may move over to the Interior Department, we urge that there be some clear understandings:
First, that there be a clear restatement of the positive policy of progressively enhancing the quality of the Nation's water resources for all the essential and legitimate uses which a burgeoning public will require.
Second, that the program be held together as an integral unitadministration, grants, research, enforcement—and in no way dismembered or splintered.
Third, that the program have a clear, unobstructed channel to the Secretary of Interior through its own Assistant Secretary.
Fourth, that it not at this time have joined to it other operating water programs now located in Interior having primary objectives other than the abatement and prevention of pollution. Fifth, that there be enunciated a clear commitment to full and vig
a orous use of Federal enforcement authorities, including both the provisions of the 1965 act for the establishment of water quality standards, and the continuation of the present enforcement program while the standards are being developed.
Sixth, that research be accelerated to achieve new knowledge and to encourage breakthroughs in waste treatment, the reclaiming of waters, and the recovery of wastes for useful purposes.
Such firm attitudes and policies are essential if we truly mean to "get the show on the road." If that is not our purpose, it probably matters little whether or not the transfer is made.
I would like to compliment the committee for the splendid record that it has made at these hearings which in many respects have answered the kinds of questions and apprehensions which we have had about this proposed transfer. This concludes my statement.
I certainly appreciate the privilege of being here.
Senator RIBICOFF. Thank you for your outstanding statement. I am always impressed with the constructive work done by all of the wildlife and conservation organizations. It has always been a source of satisfaction to me, whatever role I have had as a Congressman, as a Governor, as a Secretary, and now as a Senator, to have people such as Mr. Kimball and yourself, Mr. Poole and Mr. Douglas and all of these organizations come here.
You are all on the side of the angels, and I know how discouraging it must have been over the years to see this uphill battle. Yet, I am sure that all of you are getting great satisfaction these days from seeing that we are, as a nation and as a people, working toward the same goals effectively and with some results. I think that great credit is due to you leaders and your organizations for the work that it sometimes seemed you were doing alone. But now you have help from the Senate, the House, the President, and members of the Cabinet, and I want to thank you very much for coming here.
Mr. PENFOLD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We certainly are appreciative of the kind of leadership that the Congress has given in this and other natural resources fields in the last few years.
Senator Muskie particularly, I would say, is on the side of the angels as far as we are concerned.
Senator RIBICOFF. He always has been.
Senator MUSKIE. May I express my appreciation to you, Mr. Penfold?
Mr. PENFOLD. Thank you, sir.
Senator MUSKIE. For the support you have given us all. These programs may be transferred in the executive branch and transfers may be threatened in the committee structure but your organization will go on forever.
Mr. PENFOLD. We hope so.
STATEMENT OF DANIEL A. POOLE, SECRETARY, WILDLIFE
MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE Mr. POOLE. Mr. Chairman, I am Daniel A. Poole, secretary of the Wildlife Institute with headquarters in Washington, D.C. The institute is one of the older conservation organizations and its program has been devoted to the restoration and improved management of natural resources in the public interest for more than 50 years.
I will not elaborate on the history and the development of the Federal Government's role in abating and preventing pollution of our Nation's waters. What has been done has the approval and the continuing support of millions of Americans. The Nation's conservationminded citizens believe that the Congress has acted wisely in defining national policy for water pollution control and in strengthening and expanding pollution abatement research, construction grants, law enforcement, State program and demonstration grants, and other phases of this essential work.
The abatement of water pollution, with the objective of assuring adequate supplies of clean water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, recreational, and all other beneficial uses normally made of water, is one of the most critical resource challenges facing this Nation. The challenge is more acute in some regions than in others, but nowhere are our waters, even the best of them, safe from pollution of some kind. Some waters are so badly befouled with wastes that they cannot be used for constructive purposes even in an emergency
Witness the Hudson River, daily transporting millions of gallons of filthy water past New York City in the depths of a drought. In
a one way or another, every segment of the city's metropolitan complex is suffering from the shortage of clean water, while a potential supply of millions of gallons too filthy for use flows past the city. Population centers throughout the country face similar difficulty, if pollution abatement is not pressed vigorously.
Conservationists are not interested in the semantics about which executive agency should have responsibility for administering the Federal water pollution control program. Our predominant interest is in the vigor and the enthusiasm with which the Federal Government gives leadership to and cooperates with State and local governments in the abatement and prevention of water pollution. Conservationists want full use made of the sound Water Pollution Act and the capable staff that has been assembled.
It was this insistence, in fact, that led to the creation of the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration as a separate agency in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The program could not function broadly under the orientation given by the U.S. Public Health Service. Water pollution abatement is a water resources prob