Page images
PDF
EPUB

their purchase of scrap when faced with an excess of pig iron capacity. Moreover, the excess is expected to last for at least 10 years.

A State by State survey by the Department of Commerce has shown there are about 15,000 automobile junkyards along interstate and primary highways. This does not cover those on secondary highways which form more than twice as many miles as the primary and interstate highways.

The State of Texas led the list with more than 1,000. Of course, there are also many thousands of additional junkyards along secondary highways and streets and this figure is likely to grow.

There are no reliable figures on the number of cars which are now rusting away in the Nation's junkyards—estimates range from 10 million to 40 million. I think the truth lies somewhere between 20 million and 40 million. But whatever the number, it is clear that each year the junk piles get larger. As one writer rhapsodized—this is his rhetoric, not mine these junks are “like lobsters once full of succulent meat but now mostly hard shell that is hard to sell.”

These growing heaps of discarded automobiles are not only eyesores, they are also a flagrant waste of natural resources. Each ton of scrap used by a mill to make new steel saves 3 tons of valuable raw materials such as iron ore, limestone, and coke. We do not have an unlimited supply of iron ore, and if we want to conserve this scarce natural resource, we must put these junked cars to work.

SOLVING THE JUNK AUTO PROBLEM

Clearly, an all out assault upon junk autos is in order. We can't expect to cure the problem without spending money, for under our present economy, it is cheaper to let these cars rust away in a massive heap than to get rid of them.

Last year I urged the permanent retention of a minimum 1 percent Federal excise tax on the sale of new automobiles. The costs of the program I am now proposing would probably be borne by the purchasers of automobiles in that the moneys authorized to be appropriated annually to finance the program would not exceed the permanent 1 percent Federal excise tax collected by the Treasury. I hasten to point out that I am not establishing a special trust fund or earmarking these funds, but I have put a limit on the amount to be spent, which is the 1 percent.

There are many possible ways of dealing with the junk auto problem and some of these are currently being closely looked into. Because many alternate approaches are possible, I believe it is necessary to provide the President with broad authority. My bill does not spell out the specific details, techniques, or methods by which the President is to solve the junk auto problem, but I am confident that we can marshal the know-how and solve the problem, once the President has the authority.

Among some of the possible methods which could be employed are burial, cremation, or immersion in the sea or in the lakes for use as artificial reefs. I am told that this creates good fishing holes. The State and localities can be aided in their programs to dispose of junked autos. We can set up a comprehensive program of research to find better ways of processing old cars into scrap and to find additional uses for such scrap.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

By including measures to combat the junked auto problem in amendments to the Solid Waste Disposal Act, we are likely to prod industry to come up with a specific program in a short period of time. It should be borne in mind, Mr. Chairman, that once we can find a profitable use for all retired automobiles we can dispense with subsidies or similar assistance.

My original proposal was endorsed by the White House Conference on Natural Beauty, and President Johnson, when he signed the excise tax bill, said some of the funds from the 1-percent automobile excise tax could be used to clean up auto junkyards.

The industry most familiar with the problem, the Institute of Scrap Iron and Steel, basically supports the bill, as does the National Auto and Truck Wreckers Association. Other public spirited groups such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the United Auto Workers, the National Consumers League, the National Farmers Union, and the American Institute of Architects support the proposal.

In addition, many mayors and Governors have written to me expressing their support. In other words, this proposal has support from many labor, business, and civic groups, as well as State and local governments.

In conclusion, I cannot think of a single action which would beautify America more than getting rid of our unsightly scrap heaps of junked automobiles. As President Johnson observed, in his message on Natural Beauty, and I quote:

The skeletons of discarded care litter the countryside. The same society which receives the rewards of technology, must as a cooperating w take responsibility for control.

No other blemish upon our land is quite as symbolic of the failure of our society to deal with its problems. We cannot continue indefinitely to pile car upon car in a towering heap of rust and scrap. Nor can we afford to fill the air with smoke and soot from the burning of these junked auto carcasses. Eventually, the sight and smell will become unbearable for even the most insensitive witness.

By then we will have a full-scale crisis upon our hands. Why not solve the junk auto problem now while we still have a chance?

My bill is at least one answer to this problem. If enacted into law it will go a long way toward assuring a decent and proper burial for old autos that have outlived their usefulness.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Thank you.

Senator Muskie. Thank you, Senator Douglas. May I comment and compliment you on the typical persistence and insistence that has prompted you to keep this subject in public view?

I think your proposal will eventually bring us a solution. As I understand your bill, it is designed to stimulate the Federal Government, the States, and private sector to search for solutions to the problem.

Is that right?
Senator DOUGLAS. That is right.

Senator Muskie. Among other things, the bill would confer upon the President the authority to make payments to individuals, corporations, or business entities to develop and facilitate the processing of old and wrecked automobiles into useful scrap.

Secondly, it would authorize the President to undertake a direct program of the purchase, storage, and resale of junked autos and to

[ocr errors]

increase the market for iron and steel scrap and even at a loss to the Federal Government.

Senator DOUGLAS. That is right.

Senator MUSKIE. Thirdly, you would initiate and conduct a research and development program,

Fourthly, you would make grants or authorize the President to make grants to States and communities for programs to dispose of old or wrecked automobiles.

The suggestions contained in your bill for action by the States would include feasible and economic methods for automobile disposal, or screening, or relocation of automobile junkyards, among others.

On that last, would that in any way duplicate any provision of the highway beautification program that we enacted last year?

Senator DOUGLAS. No, Mr. Chairman. As I understand that act that provided for the screening of junked autos along national highways and primary highways.

Senator MUSKIE. This is along non-Federal-aid highways?
Senator DOUGLAS. That is correct.
Senator Muskie. Thank you very much, Senator Douglas.
Senator Bogos?

Senator Bogas. Mr. Chairman, I want to compliment our colleague, Senator Douglas, in his presentation. It is always appreciated by this committee. We are proud to have you here as a witness this morning, Senator. This is one problem that is growing as you have pointed ont. We do have to look to it to see what we can come up with to help meet the problem in the national interest.

I compliment you again as author of the bill and your presentation this morning.

Senator DocgLAS. Thank you very much.
Senator MUSKIE. Senator Harris.

Senator Harris. Mr. Chairman, just to echo what Senator Boggs has said, I compliment Senator Douglas for his continued contribution to the solution of this problem.

Senator MUSKIE. Senator Cooper?

Senator Cooper. Senator Douglas, the Highway Beautification Act provided for the screening or removal of junked automobiles on the İnterstate System and the Federal-aid highway system?

Senator DorGLAS. Did it cover the primaries too?

Senator COOPER. Yes. The ABC system. First, the Interstate System, then the regular 50-50 system.

Senator DouGLAS. The 90-10 and 50-50.

Senator COOPER. The thrust of your bill is to reach junked motor relicles wherever they may be found?

Senator DoTGLAS. That is correct.

Senator COOPER. I notice that your bill authorizes the annual appropriation of a sum equal to the taxes that would be produced by a 1 percent tax

Senator DouGLAS. Pardon me, Senator, not to exceed the amount. The 1 percent tax would yield somewhere between $190 and $200 million. I think the job can be done for much less than that. It would be up to Congress to make the appropriation. This simply sets a ceiling.

1

Senator COOPER. Would this be made—would it be paid from the highway trust fund!

Senator Douglas. No, this is to be paid from the General Treasury but the sum is not to exceed the revenues from the 1 percent tax which is at present a permanent tax.

I don't think the $190 million would be needed. We hope that the cost of reducing the junked cars to steel could be reduced through the development of new techniques and the steel industry could be given encouragement to purchase those cars at a price which would keep the scrap moving. It may be that the addition of $10 per ton would make it profitable to get rid of the cars under present processes.

Senator COOPER. I think it would be valuable if you could furnish to the committee such statistical information as you may have about the cost to private industry for buying and transporting this steel and iron scrap to industrial plants so that we would have some idea of the amount of the subsidy that would be necessary.

Senator Douglas. We will try to assemble that. I think if the price of the steel would be increased by $10 that it would be worthwhile for the processors to process most of them. If that is so I think that is the best estimate I can get-then $50 million would provide for the disposal of about 5 million cars that cannot be handled now.

Senator Cooper. I assume that you consider this not one problem not as one that will be dealt with once and solved. The turnover in cars--this will be a continuing problem.

Senator Douglas. That is quite right but new techniques in processing could promote full utilization of scrap steel.

Senator Muskie. Have you assembled any data, Senator Douglas, from the steel companies?

Senator Douglas. We have material for the steel processing industry and for the steel companies. As I have said, there is a diminishing demand for scrap steel, not only because of the spread of the oxygen process but also because of the overcapacity of pig iron. They have apparently a greater pig iron capacity than can presently be absorbed so that they want to utilize the pig iron capacity rather than buy additional quantities of steel scrap.

Senator Mtskie. Thank you very much, Senator Douglas. The committee will give serious attention to this legislation as a sensible first step toward the solution of the problem. Senator Douglas. Thank you very much.

Senator Muskie. It is a pleasure to welcome again the distinguished Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Secretary Gardner. Mr. Secretary, before you get into your statement on the subject of this hearing I wonder if I might ask you a question about the water pollution activities of the Department under the new reorganization which has taken effect.

I have with me a proposed organization chart of the Public Health Service. There is nothing in the chart to indicate where the continued Water pollution activities of the Public Health Service will be located. As you recall the new organization contemplates a new water pollution program of the Public Health Service in relation to public health.

I wonder if you could identify that activity in the Public Health Service and under the new organization?

64-886--66----2

STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN W. GARDNER, SECRETARY OF HEALTH,

EDUCATION, AND WELFARE; ACCOMPANIED BY DEAN COSTON, DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY; DONALD SIMPSON, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION; AND PHILIP R. LEE, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS

Secretary GARDNER. Yes, Mr. Chairman. There are two locations in the new organization at which the water pollution control activities will be carried out:

First, the research activities will be in the National Institutes of Health, in the new Environmental Health Sciences Center.

Second, the enforcement activities will be in the Bureau of Disease and Injury Prevention Control.

This is one of the five new Bureaus to be created. Those are the two places at which water pollution control will be dealt with. As I have indicated in earlier testimony, the Department will continue to take a very keen interest in the health aspects of water.

Senator MUSKIE. Now in the Bureau of Disease and Injury Prevention Control, the following programs are listed, Division of Accident Prevention, Division of Chronic Disease, Communicable Disease Center, Arctic Health Research Center, Division of Environmental Engineering and Food Protection, Office of Solid Wastes, Office of Pesticides, Division of Air Pollution, Division of Occupational Health, Division of Radiological Health, and Divison of Foregn Quarantine.

Those do not on their face indicate where this program is located. Secretary GARDNER. Yes.

I have a

new memorandum which I can submit which will clarify this considerably. Would you like me to put that memorandum in the record ?

Senator MUSKIE. Yes, if you would.
Secretary GARDNER. I will do that.

But I will say now that water quality is dealt with at several points in the division which you listed. It is dealt with in the Division of Environmental Engineering and Food Protection. It is dealt with in the Communicable Disease Center because there are some aspects of this which relate directly to the work of that organization.

Those are the two main ones.
Senator MuskIE. We will study your memorandum.
Secretary GARDNER. I will supply it.
(Subsequently the following memorandum was submitted :)

MEMORANDUM

JUNE 6, 1966. From : Surgeon General. To: Chief, Bureau of State Services. Subject: Reorganization of the Bureau of Disease and Injury Prevention and

Control. In the light of your memorandum of April 18, 1966, on the subject of the reorganization of the Public Health Service, I have had discussions with a number of persons with respect to the Bureau of Disease and Injury Prevention and Control. Whether or not that particular title is retained, I believe it is now appropriate to present to you some thoughts for your consideration on how this Bureau might be organized.

The functional reorganization which you envision for the Service provides a unique opportunity for focusing this Bureau on the primary mission of the Public Health Service: protecting human health. This Bureau's contribution must be the preventing of disease, disability, defect, and premature death to

« PreviousContinue »