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hillsides, polluted the streams, and threatened the well-being of thousands of people. Today, the mistakes of past coal mining practices serve as a major deterrent to industrial and recreational development in Appalachia. While we would expect that the States will take steps to prevent future damage from mining activities, local and State governments have not had the necessary resources to repair the widespread damages caused by past coal mining. Strip mining in the region causes substantial erosion and stream pollution both locally and many miles downstream. Many Appalachian communities are constantly threatened by subsidence of lands into the coal mines that lie beneath. Unsealed underground mines have leaked enormous quantities of acid into Appalachian streams and rivers, creating serious water pollution problems. The reclamation of lands damaged by past mining operations is crucial to stimulating economic development in the region.
Under this section, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to repair damage caused by mine subsidence throughout Appalachia on a scope greater than provided under existing legislation.
The existing mine fire control program has had its appropriations limitation increased and the Fish and Wildlife Service has been authorized additional funds to restore areas damaged by mining practices.
The Federal contributions to all programs referred to in section 205(a) are established at not to exceed 75 percent by this bill. Furthermore, these new appropriations will not be counted in any computation of apportionments to the States under the existing national programs.
Because of complicated problems involving private versus public interests, benefits versus costs, etc., the Secretary of the Interior will undertake a strip mine study in full cooperation with appropriate Federal, State, and local departments and agencies and the Commission. The Secretary is to submit to the President, and the President to Congress, by July 1, 1967, detailed recommendations for a long-range comprehensive program for reclamation and rehabilitation of strip and surface mined areas in the United States and for the policies under which the program should be conducted.
The study will consider the nature and extent of strip mining and its results ; the effectiveness of State and local control over strip mining activity including the enforcement of State legislation; the public interest and public benefits resulting from reclamation activities; and the appropriate cost sharing roles of Federal and State Governments and private interests and other relevant topics.
The Senate version of this act has been amended to provide an additional $15 million for the programs under this section and for an expanded strip mine program.
Sections 202, 211, and 212 of this bill bear directly upon the human resource needs and community development requirements of the Appalachian region. There is a direct relationship between the services that a community can offer its residents and the likelihood of economic growth occurring in that community. The construction of health centers, vocational education schools, and sewage treatment facilities all influence a community's ability to hold and attract the industries and the jobs that make for economic stability and growth.
Under section 202, the Federal Government is authorized to make contributions to the costs of constructing and operating multicounty regional health centers. The bill authorizes Federal grants in the first 2 years of a hospital's operation to cover costs in excess of those provided from patients and other revenue sources. Even communities which can raise their share of the construction costs under the Hill-Burton program have difficulties obtaining operating funds in their initial years of operation. Hospitals require working capital in the same manner that businesses do; initial funds must be on hand to provide for supplies and salaries.
Federal investments in vocational education facilities provided by section 211 of the Appalachian Regional Development Act are necessary if the people of Appalachia are to participate in the national economic growth. The communities of Appalachia are now making a great effort to help themselves; the State governments of the region have made and are now making additional extensive investments in vocational training facilities. Even these efforts have been and will be inadequate to provide the facilities needed in face of present shortages.
Constructive legislation passed by the 88th Congress, the Vocational Education Act of 1963, would provide some additional money to Appalachia. As much as $13.6 million may be available in the Appalachian portion of the 11 States
comprising the region from that act. Five million of these dollars, however, will go to Pennsylvania, leaving an average of $800,000 for each of the remaining 10 States. These funds will have to be used for operations and teacher training as well as construction.
Heavy costs are involved in providing vocational instruction. The construction and equipping of vocational schools can cost up to $1 million per school depending on the mix of shop facilities included. The $16 million authorized by this bill to supplement the Vocational Edu ion Act of 1963 could, when combined with State matching money, provide between 30 and 50 area vocational schools in Appalachia. These facilities will serve not only high school students but also adult trainees in manpower training and other vocational programs. The investment in vocational facilities should be repaid from the increased taxes that will be paid by the skilled persons who will graduate from these facilities.
Inadequate waste treatment through the lack of sewage treatment facilities is a serious Appalachian problem which threatens the health of its people and thwarts economic development.
In order to met the sewage treatment need, section 212 of this bill authorizes $6 million for fiscal years 1966 and 1967 for construction of sewage treatment control facilities. This program is to be carried out under the terms of the Water Pollution Control Act, administered by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The special Appalachian authorizations will not be affected by the authorization ceilings or allotments among the several States which are provided in the Water Pollution Control Act.
The economic difficulties that beset large portions of Appalachia have prevented many of its communities from utilizing fully the wide variety of Federal grant-in-aid programs that are available to communities across the country. Consequently, these communities most in need of grant-in-aid funds have been unable to produce the matching funds required to take advantage of the Hill-Burton Act, the Department of Agriculture's small watershed conservation and development programs, the Federal Airport Act's airport development assistance, to mention a few.
The Appalachian Act authorizes supplementary funds to be used for the construction of hospitals, vocational education schools, and sewage treatment plants in the belief that such facilities provide communities with an essential base from which they can launch plans for economic development. Similarly, it has been felt that the communities of Appalachia should be assisted in obtaining additional facilities, available under existing programs, that can also stimulate development and growth.
Therefore, section 214 of the bill authorizes the provision of a special fund to help Appalachian communities meet part of the local share of existing grant-inaid programs. Under this authority the Secretary of Commerce, following appropriate consultation with the Appalachian Commission, is empowered to allocate funds for eligible localities for the sole purpose of increasing the Federal contribution above the fixed maximum portion of the cost as authorized by applicable law. Such funds cannot be used to increase the Federal share of any program to more than 80 percent of the cost; they can be used only for grant programs, not for any loan or other federally financially assisted program; and only for the construction and equipment of facilities.
The Appalachian Regional Development Act does not contain all of the programs for which funds will be made available during fiscal years 1965 and 1966. It contains only those programs requiring new legislative authorizations or modification of existing legislative authorizations.
The funds to carry out the entire Appalachian program, including the provisions of the Appalachian Regional Development Act and programs already authorized but requiring additional funds, will be provided for in a supplemental appropriations bill to be presented to Congress once the Appalachian Regional Development Act is passed.
The Appalachian programs, not included in this act but which will be funded by the supplemental appropriations bill, are as follows by program area :
1. Water resources : Acceleration of construction projects under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service.
2. Timber development and land stabilization : Supplementation of such programs as timber marketing research, the acquisition of lands within national forests, construction of additional roads in national forests, technical assistance for wood marketers, an increase in the Farmers Home Administration loan program, and construction of a plant materials center.
3. Mining area restoration: Supplementations to strip mine reclamation programs and programs for extinguishing burning culm piles and controlling acid mine drainage as well as additional research into the geological resources of the Appalachian region.
Altogether, the amount of additional money contained in the supplemental appropriations bill and not reflected in the Appalachian Regional Development Act would come to approximately $50 million for fiscal year 1966. The supple mental appropriation for Appalachia will apply only to fiscal year 1966 ; in successive years the Appalachian programs will be treated as one budget item.
The Appalachian Regional Commission will work closely with other Federal agencies, the Appalachian States, and the private and public institutions of the region in coordinating all programs which are especially applicable in the region. The Commission, when it officially comes into existence will, for instance, want to establish close coordination with the Office of Economic Opportunity. To that end, the staff of the Federal Development Planning Committee for Appalachia has been meeting with OEO staff members to discuss the best methods for the interchange of information about standards, procedures, and program developments so that the two agencies can complement each other to the fullest degree possible.
There can be no doubt that the Appalachian Commission, working in cooperation with OEO, can make an even greater contribution to Appalachia. Some specific illustrations of the benefits to be gained from this cooperation are as follows:
1. As the Appalachian Commission develops judgments about the economic potential of parts of Appalachia, these can be highly useful to OEO in planning the types of vocational training to be offered in its Job Corps, work training, and other similar operations.
2. These same ARC judgments can be helpful to OEO in administering the small business loan and rural area grants and loans sections of the Economic Opportunity Act.
3. As vocational education facilities are created, they could be used in connection with the various training programs of OEO.
4. Both the vocational education facilities and the demonstration health centers could provide sites for the profitable use of VISTA volunteers.
5. The community planning grants made under the Economic Opportunity Act could be coordinated with the technical assistance grants to local development districts under the Appalachian program to aid local leaders in attacking the widest possible range of local problems.
6. Job Corps programs in natural resource development can be coordinated with the various aspects of resources development under the Appalachian program.
These are just a few examples of how the Appalachian Commission, under the responsibilities assigned to it, can and must work with other agencies toward the comprehensive development of the resources of the Appalachian region.
The Appalachian Regional Development Act contains within its various provisions the tools for the economic development of the Nation's largest region of decline and deprivation. Adequate transportation facilities, the upgrading of natural resources, and the improvement of community facilities are all necessary ingredients for a stronger Appalachian economy. The mountain isolation and the neglect of physical resources have determined, in large measure, the present condition of the Appalachian region. Once these disadvantages are overcome, Appalachia can offer its people the types of opportunities that are abundant elsewhere in the United States.
The Appalachian program, as it is spelled out in this act, offers the Appalachian States and the Federal Government an excellent opportunity to work together in the vital area of regional economic development. Given the impressive support from the States, the local governments, communities, and private industry for the rejuvenation of Appalachia, the Appalachian region will certainly benefit from the assistance under H.R. 4. In the final analysis, while the Appalachian region stands to gain directly from this program, so will the entire Nation gain from the additional economic strength of this important 11-State region.
Mr. SWEENEY. Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of this special committee, it is a privilege for me to testify on the provisions of H.R. 4, the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965.
The action that we hope will be taken by the members of this committee, the full Public Works Committee, and by the House of Representatives will represent the culmination of almost 2 years of careful study and preparation by 11 State governments, a dozen Federal agencies, and the U.S. Congress. The economic development of the Appalachian region has received the close personal attention of both President Kennedy and President Johnson.
Within the past year, President Johnson has paid several visits to Appalachia, has met with the Governors of the Appalachian States, and has submitted the legislation which we consider today. As evidence of his acute concern about the present-day blight of Appalachia, he has given this bill the complete support of the administration and has assigned the highest priority to it.
All of the provisions in H.R. 4 focus upon one overriding objective which is the acceleration of economic development in the Appalachian region. Much of the poverty that afflicts Appalachia can be attributed directly to some very basic deficiencies of the region. These deficiencies include difficult access, uncontrolled water resources, poorly managed physical resources, and a general shortage of the type of public facilities which stimulate economic activity. In short, the problem of underdevelopment in Appalachia must be attacked in order to raise the standards of human existence in the region, and this is the very problem which the Appalachian Act identifies and attacks.
This committee has made substantial and worthwhile contributions to the Appalachian program. The House Public Works Committee Report on H.R. 11946, the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1964, and the accompanying volume of testimony contain much useful and valuable material about the Appalachian region. The bill which we are considering today closely resembles last year's bill; however, there are a few significant changes which will be dealt with in the course of our discussion today.
It is our belief that the bill's greatest merit lies in the sound relationship which is established between the Federal Government and the governments of the 11 States. In the final analysis, the region presents a special problem because of its high proportion of poverty and unemployment, but more important, it presents a special answer because of the demonstrated willingness of 11 States to work together in solving problems.
Since 1960, the Appalachian Governors and their staffs have cooperated with one another and with the Federal Government in recognition of the needs and solutions which are common to the Appalachian States. So strong has become the conviction among the Appalachian States that the region's deficiencies must be corrected that the original concepts of the conference of governors has survived innumerable changes of State administration during the past 5 years; and, in fact, these original concepts have been strengthened through the accumulation of more and more experience. Concern and support of the Appalachian Governors for this legislation was clearly demonstrated before this committee last summer and will again be indicated in statements and testimony which will be given to you this week.
Since the Appalachian Act emphasizes regional economic development, the full participation and cooperation of the State governments becomes especially essential to the success of the program. The Appalachian program is not intended and was never intended to provide independent assistance to 11 separate States, each going its own way and excluding the mutual interests of its neighboring States. The States themselves recognize the necessity of interstate cooperation and have insisted on specific provisions for such cooperation as contained in title 1 of this act, the establishment of the Appalachian Regional Commission.
This Commission is not designed as an operating agency. It will have no authority over any other agency of government at any level, and existing Federal programs will
continue to be directed by the appropriate Federal agency. The Commission's job in this area will be to coordinate existing programs with new programs and with the needs of the region as a whole.
The Commission will be truly regional in its composition. It will include representatives of each of 11 Appalachian States and a representative of the Federal Government appointed by the President. The Federal member of the Commission shall serve as the Federal Cochairman. His counterpart, the State Cochairman, shall be selected by the States.
This act before you contains some new language which clarifies even further the responsibilities of the States than did last year's legislation. These additions have been written into the statement of purpose and read as follows:
The public investments made in the region under this act shall be concentrated in the areas where there is the greatest potential for future growth and where the expected return on dollars invested will be the greatestI might break away for a moment to state that the Senate amended that language to provide that these funds should be concentrated in areas where there is—I quote: a significant potential for future growth. That is a change which we thought was important. We thought that the use of the word "greatest” might unduly restrict the investment of funds to far fewer areas than would reasonably be possible.
The States will I quote further from the statement of purpose of the bill the States will be responsible for recommending local and State projects within their borders which will receive assistance under this act.
The procedures that shall be used in the approval and implementation of programs are spelled out in fuller detail in sections 223 and 303 of the act. The essence of these procedures is simply this: That an application for assistance under the Appalachian Act may originate from any source in a State's eligible counties or communities but the application can reach the Commission through only one channel: The State representative sitting on the Commission. This means two things: First, the Commission or the Federal Cochairman cannot tell a State what projects it should recommend to the Commission, nor can the Commission bypass the State representative by approving projects and programs submitted to it from other sources. Two, the States will have greater control over the relationship of individual projects to offer all economic development in their Appalachian sections.