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I see no constitutional question. It impresses me as basically policy rather than a legal constitutional question.
Senator HOLLINGS. Do you consider existing Federal law adequate to deal with the environmental implications for New Jersey if a superport is built there? Do you think the law is adequate now for the EPA to come in and deal with it?
Senator WILLIAMS. Well, I think the EPA should be the 'agency, and if we proceed, this agency, if it does not have authority or power enough, can be given sufficient authority.
Of course, that is only one aspect. I say there should be Federal evaluation of environmental impact. I think it should be EPA. I believe they are equipped and have the broad authority.
I also, of course, in my bill, suggest that they should not be solely determinative of whether the environment can accept this new facility, that the States should be a partner in the decision.
Senator HOLLINGS. It is a very interesting statement, and a very valuable one. We appreciate it. I particularly appreciate the point you make about coastal zone legislation because it was just recently signed by the President. It wasn't disapproved. It was signed with gusto in October. Then, by January, it was just not provided for in the budget and when there is no law at all they just put $20 million in it.
They talk about OMB and everything else. You see how dictatorial and disregarding an executive can be of the law he is supposed to enforce by just taking those things and providing for them and even going beyond the purview of legislative authority, where we don't have a Land Use Act now, in providing millions of dollars there, and then when it comes to the coastal zone
e one that he worked with the Governors, municipalities, and everything else, and then just no appropriation whatever. He talks about balancing the budget with a $19 billion overrun that he is providing in his request. It just doesn't make!?
sense. I appreciate your pointing that out because that is exactly what the coastal zone enactment was to get the States into the management of their coastal areas, to devise these coastal zone management commissions within the several States to control these things with the EPA providing-I rather agree with you about the Environmental Protection Agency having that particular role.
Senator Williams. Well, I certainly appreciate that. I appreciate your statement about concern on the Presidential handling this year of last year's enactment; that really held out great promise to a State like New Jersey which has been at last wise in dealing with its wetlands and this would have been a natural companion measure for land management along the coastal zone. We welcomed it. We need it. And it was very shortsighted or worse, of the President, in my judgment, to overlook it this year when we need it more than ever.
Senator HOLLINGS. Cumberland County in your State had indicated a desire for a super port, I'am told. Is that correct? Or do you have any 7 comment? Or is it clear?
I know sometimes these public bodies and different groups from different areas-is it fixed they want one or don't want one?
Senator WILLIAMS. Although Cumberland County is not on the oceanfront, it is on the Delaware River and could be affected by & deepwater port.
Some have, officials in Cumberland County have expressed an interest or desire. However, I understand that their numbers are thinning.
Senator HOLLINGS. Their numbers are thinning?
Senator HOLLINGS. All right, Senator, we appreciate your appear. ance here this morning.
We next have the other distinguished Senator from New Jersey, Senator Clifford Case.
Senator Case is a leader in trying to actually provide for sanctuaries under that coastal zone bill. To some extent, we were able to provide it in the conference report.
You have been very active in this area, and we welcome you to the committee.
STATEMENT OF HON. CLIFFORD P. CASE, U.S. SENATOR FROM
Senator CASE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
It is a great pleasure to be here. Many years ago I was a member of this committee. So in a sense, it is like coming home.
Senator HOLLINGS. Welcome back.
Senator Case. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am very pleased that these hearings have been called, because they reflect a growing concern as to the potential consequences of the developments of offshore facilities, such as deepwater ports, nuclear plants, oil drilling rigs, and the like.
The focus, of course, of the hearings is your bill, Mr. Chairman, to establish standards and authorize administrative licen : Chairman, facilities. I think it is a most commendable act on your part to introduce the legislation and it will heighten public awareness of the problems associated with these facilities.
My purpose, today, Mr. Chairman, is to bring to the committee's attention, S. 836, a bill I have introduced that has been referred to another committee.
The objective of my bill is to make sure that adequate consideration is given to environmental and other consequences of offshore construction before such construction is started. I introduced my bill after considering other approaches. In fact, last year I joined in sponsoring Senator Boggs' bill on this matter, which in substance is the same bill Senator Williams has put forward this year. After a great deal of thought, I came to the conclusion that, everything considered, the best way to give the people most directly affected, and all of the people in the country, a chance to have their views taken into account about these matters is to require a decision by Congress as to each facility.
I think the potential consequences of construction of offshore facilities are too great to be delegated to any single individual or any
administrative or executive agency. It is clear, I think, that any such agency would have its prime focus on one aspect or another of offshore facilities, regardless of whether that focus is economic development, or environmental protection, or any other consideration.
Construction of these facilities is not an economic matter, alone. It is not an environmental question, alone. It is not any other question, alone.
I suggest, therefore, that it is a matter for political judgment in the highest and best sense of that word. To some, it may be heresy in a sense to suggest that the Administration is not competent to deal with matters of this kind.
Congress, for many decades has been handing more and more things to administrative agencies. I suppose the first great act of this sort was the ICC, and we have done this again, and again, and again. I think we have probably done it too much. I am convinced we have done it too much.
And, while the administrative agencies have great value, we cannot rely upon them to answer questions that really are political in nature. When I say political, I do not mean partisan, I mean political in the sense of taking into account all of the factors, the interests of all of the people and the collective interests of the people as individuals, as well.
And, this is something that has come to be—I do not think it is fair to call it an obsession—it has become a deep conviction and it is related very much to the encroachment of the executive on the legislative
power, which I think more accurately can be described as an abdication by the Congress of its responsibilities.
So, my bill would require that specific congressional approval be obtained before construction by begun on any offshore facility.
Others have already testified about the interests of Governors, and the people of the States affected, and I agree as to this, this is right.
So, in my bill, I have continued the suggestions made by Senator Williams, and earlier last year, by Senator Boggs, that the Governors be given a veto for facilities affecting their particular coastline and boundaries.
But, the impact of any of these offshore facilities is almost inevitably going to be felt beyond the boundaries of any single State,
In a report on deepwater oil ports, issued January 8, 1973, the Corps said accidents involving super-tankers carrying as much as 2,250,000 barrels of oil could devastate the beaches of several States in the vicinity of the accident.
And the report indicated the secondary effects of deepwater port construction could be far more damaging than any oil spill caused by ship accident.
Almost inevitably, development of an oil superport would lead to heavy dependence of oil as a source of energy at the expense of development of other sources of energy.
The Corps report gives an indication of the effects of such a heavy reliance on a single source of energy. The report said:
If the North Atlantic were to supply all of its project growth for petroleum products for :the year 2000 nearly ten times as much acreage would be required strictly for refineries, petrochemical plants, and storage facilities; the
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5,14 1,4;11, 13,45 1,1 be great for everybody escept the * "* **", 1'15*4,30 tad izgaras in an economie sense. But 11,4.7 **pond Va 1,695,5: frost oker standpoints, and not just for 11,164, 128 13 from Jura Is I poiited out, people from your **** froits life and down the country, particularly in the Midwest, nilirlo 066* 11t kur the joys and pleasures of ocean contact, come 14sorth $**and this should not be taken away from them.
'I love tomort of the Corps of Engineers also points out that adverse "Itent of salimosiose would impact beyond the boundries of a single
46. At one point, the corps' report said the adverse effects of refines y and poetrochemical development could be expected to spread to 11 cutive mid Atlantic region. In addition, the report said water withdrawals by now refineries and petrochemical plants would de
om around water preserves of the New Jersey coastal plain, and will post a kvorr (water supply) problem for the region as a
Thors but a few examples taken from the corps' report of how the midst offerta of offshore facilities would spread beyond the condiment of a single State. I believe they are enough to demonstrate All contraction of these facilities demands the attention of Con
Obviously', il congress is to exercise judgment in these matters, it mun haurem dicient information on which to base its judgment.
por thut nouson, ny bill requires the administrator of the EPA to forward to Congress, a complete report, including an environmental impact statement, the view's, irith respect to the proposed facility. fundition, there is one other aspect of my bill to which I would
Hiention, Senator Hollings' bili S. 80, specifically exempts projects carried out under leases issued pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
In other words, leases issued for offshore oil drilling would not be covered by that bill.
My bill, S. 836, applies to offshore oil drilling along with all types of offshore facilities. While this provision would not apply retroactively to areas where leases have already been issued, I believe it is important that Congress give specific consideration to issuance of leases in areas like the eastern seaboard that have not been opened to leases up to this point,
I appreciate the opportunity to bring to the committee's attention, the provisions of my bill and it is my hope that all aspects of offshore construction can be considered in the future under the provisions of my bill, or similar legislation.
Senator HOLLINGS. I am disturbed by the idea that Congress would individually approve each superport project. We would then have a bill up here, let us say or take several superports, and it would take a good two months on each one of them. We will turn the Congress into an administrative agency with formal hearings and testimony if it should come to that.
On the contrary, my feeling is that we in the Congress ought to get rid of a lot of these things that somehow we've become involved in and do more things administratively through the various arms of Government, setting overall policy to guide the agencies.
You have a fine mind and I usually follow your lead, but I cannot see Congress passing a law for every superport.
Senator CASE. Mr. Chairman, I am glad you raise this, because it could not have been raised by a more sympathetic and intelligent and considerate person.
I respond in the same way. Of course, it would be impossible for Congress to deal with every item, every transaction, of all sorts. These are not little transactions. These are great transactions. These are enormous in their scope, they have to be in order to be economically viable; and they are enormous in their consequences.
And, to say, you do it by law, well, you do everything by law that you do. That is just another way of saying a congressional act is a law, and so it is. You go to war by law. You should make peace by law, it seems to me, or at least a treaty ratified by this body; and the Senator and I are completely in agreement on these matters. I think it is not so much the category into which a thing falls, but its consequences, and the reason I am concerned about having this is the enormity of the consequences of any particular act of this sort.
Now, theoretically, you could say the Congress could get bogged down. Well, it could, but it would not. Actually what would happen here, and I think it would be a very good thing, would be the Members of Congress from a particular State would make the decision for that State, in most cases their judgment would be deferred to.
What would happen would be, I think, a very proper raising of the status of Members of Congress from the particular State in relation to the State, as well as in relation to the executive, the Federal Government, and the State government. And, it seems to me this
should be so.