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Our major concern this morning is air pollution. We have begun to recognize that there are limits to our thoughtless use of the atmosphere as a sewer.
Air pollution interferes with and imperils transportation in the air and on the highway. It soils, corrodes, or otherwise damages material goods of all varieties, from skyscrapers to nylon hose, from the guttering on a house to the suspension bridge linking two cities.
The damage is not limited to cities and towns. Air pollution causes hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to crops and forests each year. It contributes to the burden of ugliness in all regions of the country.
We don't like the odors that assail us where we live and work and we don't like our land obscured by a blanket of smog.
If air pollution threatened us in no other ways than these, we would have reason enough to control it. We have, however, an even more compelling reason. Air pollution threatens our health.
There is no doubt that air pollution is a contributing factor to the rising incidence of chronic respiratory diseases—lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma. There is evidence to suggest that certain types of air pollution may even contribute to the common cold. We know that ordinary air pollutants in higher than ordinary concentrations have killed and crippled-in Europe and the United States. We believe that air pollution at concentrations which are routinely sustained in many areas of the United States is a health hazard to many if not all people.
This is the primary reason why, in the past decade, the American public, the scientific community, and the Congress have determined that this Nation must halt further deterioration of our atmosphere.
The Clean Air Act of 1963 and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1965 have given all levels of government greatly improved tools for the control of air pollution. Next week Mr. Vernon MacKenzie, Chief of the Department's Division of Air Pollution, will present a full description of the progress of the Clean Air Act has made possible.
The provisions of this act have served us well. We have initiated several interstate abatement actions which will ultimately we hope benefit millions of people; we have published standards which will bring all new automobiles under control during the 1968 model year; we have increased our research efforts and have made progress toward the control of sulfur oxides, oxidants, and other gaseous pollutants which were once clearly beyond our reach; through the matching grants provision of the Clean Air Act, State and local control programs have been able to increase their budgets by more than 50 percent nationally. The activities carried out under the Clean Air Act have in very direct ways, stimulated all levels of government, industry and the public to exert greater effort toward the control of air pollution sources.
If the Federal Government is to exercise leadership in this field it must set exemplary standards in its own practices.
Just last week the President issued an Executive order requiring all Federal agencies to take steps to prevent and control air pollution from Federal installations.
It should be stressed that the Federal Government alone cannot do the job. State and local governments and the private sector must
assume additional responsibilities in combatting air pollution. And the public must be better informed as to the actual and potential hazards of pollution. The sanction of public opinion must be invoked against the indiscriminate of our public air supply by the selfish action of private industry or private individuals.
It is time we explored new and better ways to utilize the technological skills developed by private industry to assist the government in its efforts to control air pollution.
Many industries particularly those in the aerospace field, now possess the necessary resources and trained personnel to develop effective pollution control systems and techniques. By use of the contract authority provided in the Clean Air Act, we can take significant steps toward a cooperative arrangement with industry, without which no control program can succeed.
We are encouraged by the progress that we have made, but we have only begun to scratch the surface. The problem not only really remains critical, it continues to grow at a faster rate than our efforts to cope with it.
Mr. Mackenzie will comment in some detail on S. 3112, the administration bill, which you introduced, Mr. Chairman, which would expand the Federal authority to give financial assistance to State and local air pollution control agencies.
Experience during the past 21,2 years has proved that the Clean Air Act does have the potential of producing a marked increase in the Nation's ability to deal then with air pollution. We have moved a step forward but the step could be only temporary were it not for the bill which you now have under consideration.
S. 3112 would permit the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare not only to expand and improve financial assistance prograns to States and cities but also to maintain existing programs for the prevention and control of air pollution. It would authorize an increase of some $9 million in our appropriation for the coming
And finally, the bill would extend the authorization for the Federal program and revise the present ceilings on appropriations. In short, Mr. Chairman, enactment of S. 3112 will enable us to continue and aug. ment the vital work we have begun under the Clean Air Act.
Dr. William H. Stewart, Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, and Dr. Richard Prindle, Chief of the Bureau of State Seryices, will be on hand to testify in detail on lead and other toxic substances which contaminate the environment. Mr. Wesley Gilbertson, Chief of the Public Health Service's Office of Solid Waste, will comment in detail on S. 3400 which deals with disposing of junked automobiles, a growing problem which not only contributes to ugliness but which can contribute significantly to pollution of the atmosphere.
In summary, Mr. Chairman: As we enjoy the benefits made possible by technology, we must also give attention to its undesirable byproducts. We can no longer allow random forces to determine the pattern of our environment. We can do much to determine the nature of that environment. And I am encouraged that we are beginning to do it. Thank you, sir.
Senator MUSKIE. I wonder if we might receive a copy of the President's Executive order of last week. We have not yet received it.
Secretary GARDNER. Yes, sir, we have copies here. We will be glad to submit it.
Senator MUSKIE. It may be included in the record. (The Executive order referred to follows:)
THE WHITE HOUSE-EXECUTIVE ORDER
PREVENTION, CONTROL, AND ABATEMENT OF AIR POLLUTION BY FEDERAL ACTIVITIE
By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and in furtherance of the purpose and policy of the Clean Air Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1857), it is ordered as follows:
SECTION 1. Policy. The heads of the departments, agencies, and establishments of the Executive Branch of the Government shall provide leadership in the nationwide effort to improve the quality of our air through the prevention, control, and abatement of air pollution from Federal Government activities in the United States. In order to achieve these objectives-
(1) Emissions to the atmosphere from Federal facilities and buildings shall not be permitted if such emissions endanger health or welfare, and emissions which are likely to be injurious or hazardous to people, animals, vegetation, or property, shall be minimized. The procedures established in section 3 of this Order shall be followed in minimizing pollution from existing facilities and buildings.
(2) New Federal facilities and buildings shall be constructed so as to meet the objectives prescribed by this Order and the standards established pursuant to section 5 of this Order.
(3) The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare shall, in administering the Clean Air Act, as amended, provide technical advice and assistance to the heads of other departments, agencies, and establishments in connection with their duties and responsibilities under this Order. The head of each department, agency, and establishment shall establish appropriate procedures for securing advice from, and consulting with, the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
(4) The head of each department, agency, and establishment shall ensure compliance with section 107(a) of the Clean Air Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1857(f)), which declares it to be the intent of Congress that Federal departments and agencies shall, to the extent practicable and consistent with the interests of the United States and within available appropriations, cooperate with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and with any air pollution control agency in preventing and controlling pollution of the air.
SEC. 2. Procedures for new Federal facilities and buildings. A request for funds to defray the cost of designing and constructing new facilities and buildings in the United States shall be included in the annual budget estimates of a department, agency, or establishment only if such request includes funds to defray the costs of such measures as may be necessary to assure that the new facility or building will meet the objectives prescribed by this Order and the standards established pursuant to section 5 of this Order. Air pollution control needs shall be considered in the initial stages of planning for each new installation.
Sec. 3. Procedures for existing Federal facilities and buildings. (a) In order to facilitate budgeting for corrective and preventive measures, the head of each department, agency, and establishment shall provide for an examination of all existing facilities and buildings under his jurisdiction in the United States and shall develop and present to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, by July 1, 1967, a phased and orderly plan for installing such improvements as may be needed to prevent air pollution, or abate such air pollution as may exist, with respect to such buildings and facilities. Subsequent revisions needed to keep any such plan up to date shall be submitted to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget with the annual report required by paragraph (b) of this section. Future construction work at each such facility and the expected future use of the facility shall be considered in developing such a plan. Each such plan, and any revision therein, shall be developed in consultation with the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in order to ensure that adoption of the measures proposed thereby will result in the prevention or abatement of air pollution in conformity with the objectives prescribed by this Order and the standards prescribed pursuant to section 5 of this Order.
(b) The head of each department, agency, and establishment who has existing facilities and buildings under his jurisdiction in the United States shall present to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, by July 1, 1968, and by the first of each fiscal year thereafter, an annual report describing progress of his department, agency, or establishment in accomplishing the objectives of its air pollution abatement plan.
SEC. 4. Objectives for Federal facilities and buildings. (a) Except for discharges of radioactive emissions which are regulated by the Atomic Energy Commission, Federal facilities and buildings shall conform to the air pollution standards prescribed by the State or community in which they are located. If State or local standards are not prescribed for a particular location, or if the State or local standards are less stringent than the standards established pursuant to this Order, the standards prescribed pursuant to section 5 of this Order shall be followed.
(b) The emission of flyash and other particulate matter shall be kept to a minimum.
(c) Emission of sulfur oxides shall be minimized to the extent practicable.
(d) Wherever appropriate, tall chimneys shall be installed in order to reduce the adverse effects of pollution. The determination of chimney height shall be based on air quality criteria, land use, and meteorological, topographical, aesthetic, and operating factors.
(e) Solid fuels and ash shall be stored and handled so as not to release to the atmosphere dust in significant quantities. Gasoline or any volatile petroleum distillate or organic liquid shall be stored and handled so as not to release to the atmosphere vapor emission in significant quantities.
(f) In urban areas refuse shall not be burned in open fires and in rural areas it shall be disposed of in such a manner as to reasonably minimize pollution. Refuse shall not be left in dumps without being covered with inert matter within a reasonably short time. Whenever incinerators are used they shall be of such design as will minimize emission of pollutant dusts, fumes, or gases.
(g) Pollutant dusts, fumes, or gases (other than those for which provision is made above) shall not be discharged to the atmosphere in quantities which will endanger health or welfare.
(h) The head of each department, agency, and establishment shall, with respect to each installation in the United States under his jurisdiction, take, or cause to be taken, such action as may be necessary to ensure that discharges of radioactive emissions to the atmosphere are in accord with the rules, regulations, or requirements of the Atomic Energy Commission and the policies and guidance of the Federal Radiation Council as published in the Federal Register.
(i) In extraordinary cases where it may be required in the public interest, the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare may exempt any Federal facility or building from the objectives of paragraphs (a) through (g) of this section. Sec. 5. Standards. (a) The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare shall prescribe standards to implement the objectives prescribed by paragraphs (a) through (g) of section 4 of this Order. Such standards may modify these objectives whenever the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare shall determine that such modifications are necessary in the public interest and will not significantly conflict with the intent of this Order. Prior to issuing any changes in such standards, the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare shall consult with appropriate Federal agencies and shall publish the proposed changes in the Federal Register thirty days prior to their issuance. All such standards prescribed by the Secretary shall be published in the Federal Register.
(b) The permits authorized by section 107 (b) of the Clean Air Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1857f (b)), may be used to carry out the purposes of this Order as the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare may deem appropriate. SEC. 6. Prior Executive Order superseded.
Executive Order No. 10779 of August 20, 1958, is hereby superseded.
LYNDON B. Johnson. The White House, May 26, 1966.
Senator Mrskje. Mr. Secretary, you make this statement that I would like to emphasize:
"There is no doubt that air pollution is a contributing fact to the rising incidence of chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchitis, asthma."
At previous hearings of this subcommittee such doubt has been expressed by those who contribute to the pollution problem and whose activity or the regulations of whose activities is under consideration. So, I think it is important that we get in the record such documents as we can on this question. There is no doubt in my mind-apparently there is no doubt in your mind that there is a connection between air pollution and these diseases, and because there is no doubt in your mind I can certainly understand your motivation in making the other statement on page 3 in which you say: "Air poilution is particularly deplorable because there is no longer, if there ever was, any real excuse for it."
Could you supply us with documentation, particularly from the medical people in your Department, to support the statement which you have made?
Secretary GARDNER. We will be glad to supply that for the record, Mr. Chairman.
Senator MUSKIE. I would like to have that as detailed as possible with respect to the kinds of pollutants which your people think are the most critical and significant in terms of its impact on health.
Also if you could give us an analysis of not only the gravity of the problem as it exists in major cities, where too many people think it resides exclusively, but also the gravity of the problem in the less densely populated areas because I am convinced that it exists there, too.
What is the time element involved and what sense of urgency should we have, Mr. Secretary, in dealing with this problem?
(Subsequently the following memorandum was submitted :)
THE HEALTH HAZARDS OF COMMUNITY AIR POLLUTION
In his testimony before the Senate Special Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution on June 7, the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare said: "There is no doubt that air pollution is a contributing factor to the rising incidence of chonric respiratory diseases lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma." This summary of the results of scientific studies of air pollution and human health provides documentation of the Secretary's statement.
The connection between community air pollution and respiratory disease in the general population has been the subject of an appreciable degree of research for only 10 years too short a period to permit detailed exploration of all aspects of this complex environmental health problem. In that time, however, there have been numerous epidemiological and statistical studies of illness and death from respiratory diseases and impairment of respiratory function in relation to air pollution as well as many laboratory and clinical studies of the effects of single pollutants or combinations of pollutants on man and animals.
This research has produced a substantial body of factual information concerning the ways in which exposure to community air pollution affects the human respiratory system. The main thrust of the evidence is clear and conclusive the types and levels of air pollution which are now commonplace in American communities are an important factor in the occurrence and worsening of chronic respiratory diseases and may even be a factor in producing heightened human susceptibility to upper respiratory infections, including the common cold.
In general, chronic diseases, including those associated with air pollution, develop slowly over long periods of time. In contrast to infectious diseases, they are more likely to result from a series of insults to the body rather than from a single event. In consequence, it may be difficult, perhaps impossible, to satisfy the traditional scientific preference for concrete evidence of a direct and easily demonstrable cause-and-effect relationship between such factors as air pollutants and such effects as the development of chronic respiratory disease.