January 7, 1965
AMENDMENTS TO THE CLEAN AIR ACT OF 1963
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, I introduce, for appropriate reference, a bill amending the Clean Air Act-Public Law 88-206. I am joined in this bill by 19 of my colleagues.
The Clean Air Act of 1963, which was signed into law by President Johnson on
December 17, 1963, and became Public Law 206 of the 88th Congress, created a mechanism for stimulating the national effort to abate and control air pollution. Its provisions were broad and they ranged into fields which the Federal air pollution effort had not previously entered -- abatement authority, financial aid for control programs, expanded research into sources and control of pollutants such as those resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels in plants and factories and emissions from automotive vehicles, and a system of permits to effect control of pollutants from Federal installations.
Nevertheless, enactment of the Clean Air Act was not in itself the end, but rather a fresh beginning. There remain several important aspects of the national air pollution problem which require additional attention on the part of Congress, the executive branch, the cities and States, industrial and other sources of community air pollution, and the American people.
President Johnson has proposed that we end "the poisoning of the air we breathe." He has called on us to "prevent the pollution of our air before it happens." This bill would help meet his objectives.
Following adoption of the Clean Air Act, the Special Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution turned to a more detailed inquiry into the complexities of the national air pollution problem, devoting its attention chiefly to vehicular pollution, industrial pollution, municipal waste disposal pollution, local and regional air pollution needs and controls, and the effect of Federal installations and defense efforts on the creation of air pollution problems.
Extensive hearings were held throughout the country, with several days of technical hearings here in Washington. As a result of these hearings, the subcommittee compiled a report which incorporates the findings and recommendations for specific actions required to supplement the provisions of the Clean Air Act. The subcommittee report, entitled "Steps Toward Clean Air," contains a concise analysis and evaluation of the basis for the proposed amendments to the Clean Air Act, which I am introducing at this time.
We cannot avoid for much longer some action which would reduce the pollutants from the millions of automotive vehicles clogging our streets. The State of California is to be commended for its action in taking aggressive leadership in not only the control of automotive emissions but also in controlling other air pollutants. However, the problem of auto exhaust pollution is not confined to California. It would be unwise to predicate the future installation of automotive devices and standards solely on the needs of that single State.
The need for effective national action on the control of automotive emissions has been endorsed by the recent report of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to the Congress.
Devices have been installed for several years on automobiles to control emissions from crankcases. Also, equipment has been perfected to control to a large extent the harmful emissions through the auto tailpipe. Recently the automobile industry has announced that it will be able soon to produce automobiles for distribution in California capable of meeting that State's requirements for exhaust pollution control. I can see no reason why the entire Nation cannot be the beneficiary of these technological advances.
There is, in my judgment, a strong justification for legislation which would insure that the entire Nation will benefit from the technological advances which have been made and which will become available to California.
This legislation would call for early control of emissions from new automobiles which are known to be harmful and for which methods of control have been devised. The language relative to automotive emissions contained in the proposed legislation is necessarily broad to permit latitude for determining the extent to which it is feasible and practicable to provide hardware and means available to correct the problem of emissions from older vehicles. The language provides for the establishment of additional standards when it is determined that such are appropriate.
The effect and means of controlling emissions from diesel-powered vehicles has not had the attention or study necessary to set a basis for exact standards, but I do feel that there is need for study and the development of criteria for allowable emissions from these sources. In this area there is a great need for or accelerated research and development. My proposal would not only accelerate the much needed study of diesel emissions, but would call for an intensive program of research and development in all areas relating to the problems of air pollution.
Our increasing populations, urbanization, consumption of energy, production of waste, and industrial development has created tremendous quantities of solid wastes -- garbage and refuse.
Current methods used for the disposal of such refuse commonly constitute a significant source of air pollution in most of our urban communities. Based on an urban population of 130 million people, 520 million pounds of refuse in our urban areas must be disposed of every day of the year. Open dumps have been extensively used for refuse disposal because they are low in cost.
Land fill methods of disposal have been used; however, large quantities of land are required for this method. In other instances refuse is disposed of through incineration which is sometimes inefficient and costly. It is my belief that the provision in the bill being introduced is essential to aid in the proper disposal of solid waste and will provide the necessary stimulation to the correction of this problem, as has the construction grant program for sewage treatment works aided that program.
The Clean Air Act recognized the problem of sulfurous air pollution, especially that produced by the burning of sulfur bearing fuels by calling for the initiation and conducting of a program of research directed toward the development of improved, low-cost techniques for extracting sulfur from fuels. However, it is believed that since sulfurous emissions are a major factor in community air pollution problems, there should be greater emphasis placed on the resolution of this problem. The progress that has been made thus far is impressive, but limited. If real progress is to be made and if the isolated achievements are to be expanded to the benefit of all regions of the country, there will have to be a coordinated and greatly augmented research and development effort.
In order to stimulate the efforts greatly in resolving the sulfurous air pollution problem, I am proposing that a congressional mandate be forthcoming to create a basis for a fully coordinated and accelerated research and development program. Also, I propose that periodic reports be submitted to the Congress so that an evaluation can be made of progress and the possible need for corrective legislation.
I ask unanimous consent that the complete text of the bill, and a section-by-section analysis of the bill, be printed in the RECORD at this point.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The bill will be received and appropriately referred; and, without objection, the bill and section-by-section analysis will be printed in the RECORD.
The bill (S. 306) to amend the Clean Air Act to require standards for controlling the emission of pollutants from gasoline powered or diesel powered vehicles, to establish a Federal Air Pollution Control Laboratory, and for other purposes, introduced by Mr. MUSKIE (for himself and other Senators), was received, read twice by its title, referred to the Committee on Public Works, and ordered to be Printed in the RECORD, as follows: