September 21, 1970
NATIONAL AIR QUALITY STANDARDS ACT OF 1970
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the consideration of Order No. 1214, S. 4358.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill will be stated by title.
The legislative clerk read the bill by title, as follows: S. 4358, to amend the Clean Air Act, and for other purposes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to the request of the Senator from Maine?
There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill.
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, one of the most troubling aspects of our national mood is the crisis in confidence which afflicts too many Americans in all walks of life. It is a crisis marked by self-doubt, by a fear that our problems may be greater than our capacity to solve them, that our public and private institutions may be inadequate at a time when we need them most.
Our environmental problems have contributed heavily to that self-doubt and fear. A nation which has been able to conquer the far reaches of space, which has unlocked the mysteries of the atom, and which has an enormous reserve of economic power, technological genius, and managerial skills, seems incapable of halting the steady deterioration of our air, water, and land.
The legislation we take up today provides the Senate with a moment of truth: a time to decide whether or not we are willing to let our lives continue to be endangered by the wasteful practices of an affluent society, or whether we are willing to take the difficult but necessary steps to breathe new life into our fight for a better quality of life.
This legislation will be a test of our commitment and a test of our faith: in our institutions, in our capacity to find answers to difficult economic and technological problems, and in the ability of American citizens to rise to the challenge of ending the threat of air pollution.
I am prepared to affirm that faith on the basis of the knowledge we have gained from existing air pollution control legislation, on the basis of our committee's studies, and on the basis of what Americans have been telling me and other Members of the Senate about their determination to overcome the obstacles to clean air.
I. THE NEED FOR THE LEGISLATION
Mr. President, we are considering this legislation in a year of environmental concern. The President devoted much of his state of the Union message to the environment, young and old together marked Earth Day in April, and Congress has considered an unprecedented number of bills dealing with the degradation of our air, water, and land.
In January of this year the President signed the National Environmental Policy Act. That law commits all agencies of the Federal Government to continuing environmental concern. In April of this year the Water Quality Improvement Act, built upon the record established by the Congress since 1965 in the area of water pollution control, was enacted.
The bill we consider today, however, faces the environmental crisis with greater urgency and frankness than any previous legislation. The effect of these amendments to the Clean Air Act will be felt by all Americans. This bill states that all Americans in all parts of the Nation should have clean air to breathe, air that will have no adverse effects on their health. And this bill is aimed at putting in motion the steps necessary to achieve that level of air quality within the next 5 years.
It is a tough bill, because only a tough law will guarantee America clean air. It is a necessary bill, because the health of our people is at stake.
Over 200 million tons of contaminants are spilled into the air each year in America. Each year we soil more clothes and buildings, destroy more plant and animal life, and threaten irreversible atmospheric and climatic changes. And each year these 200 million tons of pollutants endanger the health of our people.
The costs of air pollution can be counted in death, disease and disability; it can be measured in the billions of dollars of property losses; it can be seen and felt in the discomfort of our lives.
A reduction of 50 percent in air pollution in urban areas would result in savings of over $2 billion in the annual costs of health care in America.
So there is a need for this legislation. During the past year all of us have recognized this need.
Last month, in transmitting the first annual report of the Council on Environmental Quality, President Nixon recognized this need. Man, he said, has been too cavalier in his relations with nature. Unless we arrest the depredations that have been inflicted so carelessly on our natural systems . . . we face the prospect of ecological disaster.
In hearings on the bill before us, Mr. Joseph Germano, a steelworker from Chicago, also recognized this need. He told the committee:
This old philosophy, that when you see the smoke rolling out of the tops of the blast furnaces there is prosperity, doesn't go anymore. The people don't look at that anymore.
Prosperity doesn't mean anything if they are not going to live to enjoy the prosperity. All Americans have agreed on the need for action. It is now time to determine whether that agreement has reflected only a lack of disagreement, or a genuine commitment to action.
II. A REVIEW OF THE LAW
The bill now before the Senate would amend the Clean Air Act. It is consistent with the purpose of that law and with the basic approach of the present program. In the Air Quality Act of 1967, Congress adopted this basic approach in amendments to the Clean Air Act of 1963.
The Senate report on the 1967 bill stated the purposes of the legislation: (It) is the intent of the Committee to enhance air quality and to reduce harmful pollution emissions anywhere in the country, and to give the secretary authority to implement that objective in the absence of effective state and local control.
The committee feels that S. 4358 is consistent with those purposes and reflects knowledge gained since the law has been in force.
The 1967 act established procedures for the achievement and maintenance of federally approved regional standards of ambient air quality. These standards, based on Federal criteria documents describing the effects of pollutants on health and welfare, are adopted and enforced on the State and local level. In the event that adequate standards are not developed or enforced, the Federal Government assumes the responsibility.
The underlying wisdom of the original legislation has been confirmed. We have learned from the criteria documents which have been issued for five pollutants that more decisive action must be taken now. We have learned from the standards-setting process that public participation is important, and we have learned from experience with implementation of the law that States and localities need greater incentives and assistance to protect the health and welfare of all people.
III. WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THE LAW
From the operations of the existing law, we have learned a great deal about the concern of Americans over air pollution, about the response of polluters to this concern, and about the sacrifices we must make to protect our health.
The effectiveness of existing law depends in great part on the willingness of people to make tough decisions concerning the quality of air they want to breathe. And it depends on their willingness to make their wishes known in public hearings on the local level. This experiment in public participation has worked. It has opened doors once closed. People have become involved in the standards-setting process. They have learned of the threats to their health and they have sought to make the program responsive to their needs.
At the same time, some industries have not exerted their best efforts to control air pollution. Two steel companies in the Chicago area, for example, dumped more pollutants into the air in 1968 than in 1963 – 3,500 tons more. Oftentimes, funds which should have gone for air pollution control have been spent on advertising and public relations designed to reduce the pressure on the companies to do what is necessary.
In the face of citizen concern and corporate resistance, we have learned that the air pollution problem is more severe, more pervasive, and growing faster than we had thought. Unless we recognize the crisis and generate a sense of urgency from that recognition, lead times may melt away without any chance at all for a rational solution to the air pollution problem.
IV. WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED ABOUT THE LAW
While we have learned much from the operations of the laws passed in 1963, 1965, and 1967, we have also learned much about the law itself.
It is clear that Congress was right in 1967 when national emissions standards without ambient air quality standards for stationary sources were rejected in favor of regional ambient air quality standards with emissions standards as tools to meet them. Emissions standards alone will not – and probably cannot – guarantee ambient air quality which will protect the public health. The implementation of air quality standards must take more forms than emissions controls.
It is also clear that ambient air quality standards which will protect the health of persons must be set as minimum standards for all parts of the Nation, and that they must be met in all areas within national deadlines.
Congress did adopt emissions standards as the basic control technique for moving sources in 1965, because they are not controllable at the local level. Here we have learned that tests of economic and technological feasibility applied to those standards compromise the health of our people and lead to inadequate standards. It is clear that the long-range proposal for emission standards will only be adequate if the timetable is accelerated.
In 1963, Congress recognized that the Federal Government could not handle the enforcement task alone, and that the primary burden would rest on States and local governments. However, State and local governments have not responded adequately to this challenge. It is clear that enforcement must be toughened if we are to meet the national deadlines. More tools are needed, and the Federal presence and backup authority must be increased.
Finally, no level of government has implemented the existing law to its full potential. On all levels, the air pollution control program has been underfunded and undermanned. To implement the greater responsibilities of this bill, great financial commitments will have to be made and met at all levels. Air pollution control will be cheap only in relation to the costs of lack of control.
V. CHANGES RECOMMENDED
What we have learned – from and about the existing law – forms the basis of the changes recommended by the committee. Because we have fallen behind in the fight for clean air, it is not enough to implement existing law. We must go further. The Senate committee report on the Air Quality Act of 1967 warned polluters:
Considerations of technology and economic feasibility, while important in helping to develop alternative plans and schedules for achieving goals of air quality, should not be used to mitigate against protection of the public health and welfare.
That warning, Mr. President, has been on the books of this committee for 3 years, for all to read.
Contrary to this intent, these considerations have been used as arguments to compromise the public health. Therefore, the committee has made explicit in this bill what is implicit to standards designed to protect our health. That concept and that philosophy are behind every page of the proposed legislation.
The first responsibility of Congress is not the making of technological or economic judgments – or even to be limited by what is or appears to be technologically or economically feasible. Our responsibility is to establish what the public interest requires to protect the health of persons.
This may mean that people and industries will be asked to do what seems to be impossible at the present time. But if health is to be protected, these challenges must be met. I am convinced they can be met.
First, the bill provides for national ambient air quality standards for at least ten major contaminants that must be met by national deadlines. This means that in every region of the country, air quality must be better than that level of quality which protects health. Anybody in this Nation ought to be able at some specific point in the future to breathe healthy air.
Second, national air quality goals – protective against any known or anticipated adverse environmental effects – will be set for the major pollutants and must also be achieved within specific time-frames on a regional basis. Air quality goals are especially important because some pollutants may have serious effects on the environment at levels below those where health effects may occur. For example, the Secretary would be expected to disapprove regional air quality goals which would delay the application of controls required to protect plants and animals from the well-known hazards of exposure to fluorides.
Third, the bill provides that newly constructed sources of pollution must meet rigorous national standards of performance. While we clean up existing pollution, we must also guard against new problems. Those areas which have levels of air quality which are better than the national standards should not find their air quality degraded by the construction of new sources. There should be no "shopping around" for open sites. These standards of performance would not specify what technology must be used by particular types of sources, only the emissions performance that must be met.
Fourth, the bill provides the Secretary with the authority to prohibit emissions of hazardous substances. The committee was presented with strong evidence that any level of emissions of certain pollutants may produce adverse health effects that cannot be tolerated.
Fifth, the bill provides the Secretary with the authority to set emission standards for selected pollutants which cannot be controlled through the ambient air quality standards and which are not hazardous substances. These pollutants could later be covered by either ambient air quality standards or by prohibitions as hazardous substances.
These five sets of requirements will be difficult to meet. But the committee is convinced that industry can make compliance with them possible or impossible. It is completely within their control. Industry has been presented with challenges in the past that seemed impossible to meet, but has made them possible.
As far back as 1869, the Alkali Act prohibited the emissions of hydrogen sulfides in England. Although industry had said that requirement could not be met, there was compliance within 2 years.
At the beginning of World War II industry told President Roosevelt that his goal of 100,000 planes each year could not be met. The goal was met, and the war was won.
And in 1960, President Kennedy said that America would land a man on the moon by 1970. And American industry did what had to be done.
Our responsibility in Congress is to say that the requirements of this bill are what the health of the Nation requires, and to challenge polluters to meet them. The committee has also recommended significant changes in title II of the Act dealing with moving sources, and especially with automobiles.
In 1968, moving sources were responsible for more than 42 percent of the total emissions of the five major pollutants including 64 percent of the carbon monoxide and 50 percent of the hydrocarbons. In health effects, these pollutants mean cancer, headaches, dizziness, nausea, metabolic and respiratory diseases, and the impairment of mental processes. Clearly, solving the air pollution problem depends on the achievement of significant reductions in the emissions from automobiles. Clearly, protection of the public health requires quick and drastic reductions.
Since legislation to deal with the problem of automotive emissions was first introduced in 1964, the industry has known that they would have to develop the solutions to the problem. In 1965 they announced that national standards could be met in the fall of 1967.
As the report of the committee indicates, it is now clear that continued reliance on gradual reductions in automotive emissions would make achievement of the ambient air quality standards impossible within the national deadlines established in title I of this act. More important, it would continue hazards to our health long after they should have been eliminated.
In order to maintain those standards set under title I – standards which are necessary to protect the public health and which must be met in the next 5 years – the emissions standards for carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides which have been projected for 1980 must be met earlier. This bill would require that this be done by 1975.
To insure that production line vehicles perform adequately, this bill would require that each vehicle manufactured comply with the standards for a 50,000-mile lifetime. The manufacturer would be required to warranty the performance of each individual vehicle as to compliance with emission standards. The increased price of new cars that would be a result of this bill can be defended only if the emission control systems work satisfactorily for the life of the car.
The committee, in setting the 1975 deadline, made every effort to make that requirement consistent with what the industry has told the committee on many occasions over the years: It provides 2 years for research and development of the necessary technology, and 2 years to apply that technology in the mass production of vehicles.
In response to claims that these requirements cannot be met, the committee has included in the legislation an opportunity for a secretarial review of the 1975 deadline. A 1-year extension of the deadline could be granted upon a secretarial finding that such an extension would be necessary and justified. The bill also provides for a review of that decision by an appellate court.
It was only on the issue of secretarial review that the committee was divided. Several members, including myself, felt that an extension of the deadline was a major policy decision that should be made only by the Congress. We felt that if Congress decided the requirements of public health were not to be compromised in any way, any change in that policy would be properly reserved to the Congress.
It should be clear that the committee was unanimous on the important question of when review could be sought either before Congress or the Secretary. In the committee's view, such review should not be available until the last possible moment. For an extension to be granted, the manufacturer would have to demonstrate not only impossibility, but also that all good-faith efforts had been made.
The committee is aware of the problems these requirements might create for individual companies. Therefore, the bill provides a procedure for mandatory licensing which would make available patents, trade secrets, or know-how necessary to achieve compliance with the Standards Act to any manufacturer who can show a need and to whom the information is not otherwise available. This provision would also apply to stationary sources.
Mr. President, I should like to make the philosophy of the bill clear, with this emphasis:
Predictions of technological impossibility or infeasibility are not sufficient as reasons to avoid tough standards and deadlines, and thus to compromise the public health. The urgency of the problems requires that the industry consider, not only the improvement of existing technology, but also alternatives to the internal combustion engine and new forms of transportation. Only a clear cut and tough public policy can generate this kind of effort.
This philosophy has been stated by the committee before. In reporting the Air Quality Act of 1967 to the Senate, the committee said:
The Committee recognizes the potential economic impact and therefore economic risk, associated with major social legislative measures of this type. But this risk was assumed when the Congress enacted social security, fair labor standards, and a host of other legislation designed to protect the public welfare. Such a risk must again be assumed if the nation's air resources are to be conserved and enhanced to the point that generations yet to come will be able to breathe without fear of impairment of health.
Detroit has told the Nation that Americans cannot live without the automobile.
This legislation would tell Detroit that if that is the case, they must make an automobile with which Americans can live.
The third major area in which the committee has recommended significant changes is the area of enforcement. Standards alone will not insure breathable air. All levels of government must be given adequate tools to enforce those standards.
The committee remains convinced that the most effective enforcement of standards will take place on the State and local levels. It is here that the public can participate most actively and bring the most effective pressure to bear for clean air.
Public participation is therefore important in the development of each State's implementation plan. These plans do not involve technical decisions; they do involve public policy choices that citizens should make on the State and local level. They should be consistent with a rational nationwide policy and would be subject to the approval of the Secretary.
The powers to enforce these standards must be increased for the State and local governments as well as the Federal Government. The bill thus requires adequate State enforcement authority as a part of implementation plans and provides that abatement orders may be issued by the Secretary or his representative. Violations of these orders will be punishable by statutory penalties of as much as $25,000 for each day of a first violation.
The bill also provides the Federal Government with the authority to use the influence of the Federal contract as an incentive to compliance with standards established under this act. Federal contracts could be awarded only to facilities which were in compliance with the standards and requirements of this act.
Finally, the bill extends the concept of public participation to the enforcement process. The citizen suits authorized in this legislation would apply important pressure. Although the committee does not advocate these suits as the best way to achieve enforcement, it is clear that they should be an effective tool.
VI. WHAT THE LAW CAN MEAN
These, then, are the commitments that the Congress should make – commitments to meaningful environmental protection; effective protection of the health of all Americans; and the early achievement of these goals.
Committing the Congress with this legislation, however, will not be enough. Here we can make only promises to provide the funds and manpower necessary to set and enforce the standards. We must carry this commitment through to the appropriations of those funds. If these promises that we make here are not kept, these will be empty promises.
May I re-emphasize the point, Mr. President, that the number of personnel in the agency available today to deal with these problems is less than 1,000. We asked the administration to give us its best estimate of the numbers needed and the costs to administer and fully implement the bill before us if it is enacted into law.
The details on the administration's figures are in the report. Personnel would have to be increased to 1,741 in the present fiscal year; 2,535 in fiscal 1972; and 2,930 in fiscal 1973. In 1973, in order to provide the necessary personnel, the annual appropriations would have to be $320 million.
We talked about commitment, Mr. President. The 1967 act has not worked as well as it should have because we did not provide the manpower and the money to enforce it. For that reason, we
are now forced to consider a more stringent law. So, for those who look to the law enacted in 1967, to those who are tempted to weaken this one, let me make this point.
If the Senate passes the bill, if the House passes it in this form, and if the President signs it into law, we cannot make it work unless we have as a minimum the personnel and the dollars recommended by the administration.
Mr. President, I emphasize this because it is such an important point. The committee got these detailed estimates from the administration so that we could tell the Senate and the House of Representatives in advance what it is going to cost to make this law work.
I know the traditional attitude of the Appropriations Committee is that we in the legislative committees are good at putting together the big promises, but that since we do not have to concern ourselves with the details of what it will cost or how many people it will take, we are really not a very good bunch to write the figures into the law.
This is one time a legislative committee got the details. They are here for all to see. If the members of the Appropriations Committee are interested in those details, they are here.
If there is any doubt on the part of any Senator about whether he would support the appropriations necessary to make this law work, let him vote against the bill. Let us not vote for empty promises.
Mr. President, I emphasize that this bill seeks a commitment not only from Congress but also from the people. As I said earlier in this statement, clean air will not come cheap and it will not come easy.
The legislation would require new kinds of decisions with respect to transportation and land-use policies. It would require new discipline of our desire for luxury and convenience. And it would require a new perspective on our world, a recognition that nothing is more valuable or essential to us than the quality of our air.
Mr. President, 100 years ago the first board of health in the United States, in Massachusetts, said this:
We believe that all citizens have an inherent right to the enjoyment of pure and uncontaminated air and water and soil, that this right should be regarded as belonging to the whole community and that no one should be allowed to trespass upon it by his carelessness and his avarice, or even by his ignorance.
Mr. President, 100 years later it is time to write that kind of policy into law. The pending bill is such a law. I urge the Senate to approve it overwhelmingly.
Mr. President, at this point I would like to pay tribute to all members of the Committee on Public Works and the Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution for their involvement in, their commitment to, and their dedication to what, for me, has been one of the most unusual experiences of committee work since I have been a Member of the Senate.
Hearings on this legislation began early this year. They were concluded early in the spring, in ample time for us to have simply passed out any one of the bills that were introduced and consider our work done. But we were conscious of the fact that the legislation already enacted had proven inadequate.
We were also conscious of the fact that in the climate of environmental concern which we faced in the country, it was important that Congress give to the country the best bill it was possible for Congress to devise.
Since the completion of the hearings, therefore, the subcommittee and the full committee have spent long hours in deliberation and consultation and finally in decision. Never was a partisan line drawn in any of those deliberations. Never was there any effort to obstruct on delay the action of the committee.
The discussions were long because it was necessary to educate ourselves, the Senate and ultimately the country as to the options available to us and the implications of these options.
We have been conscious, I think, since early June that what we were considering writing into law could result in drastic changes in the pattern of the life we live in the urban areas of America. We felt that just such changes were essential if we were really to come to grips with the problem of air pollution. We cannot solve the problem of air pollution in the city of Washington by prohibiting the backyard burning of leaves. That has already been done in some of the suburban counties. It does not begin to touch the job.
All of us in the Senate travel about this country by air. I know of no city of more than 50,000 –
and that includes my own State – which is not threatened already by the pall of smog. Beyond any question the automobile is the principal contributor to that pall, and the results have grown visibly since 1967. The problem that troubled the committee most was not the problem of the new car, but the problem of the used car. There are more than 100 million on the road. And before this law takes effect, if it is enacted into law, four or five new generations of automobiles will become used cars at the rate of 8 million to 9 million a year.
After new cars roll out of the showrooms onto the streets and into the control of their owners, it is technologically almost impossible to make them clean cars.
In title I of this act we have written a national deadline for the purpose of implementing applicable ambient air quality standards. That is going to require every State Governor and the mayor of every city in this country to impose strict controls on the use of automobiles before the new car is a clean one.
The only way we can deal effectively with the used car is to begin making clean cars in Detroit.
Under the program as it is presently planned, the used car population will not be cleaned up until 1990. Under the pending bill, the used car population would not be cleaned up until 1985.
Mr. President, that is not too soon to be concerned about the health effects of automobiles on the lives of the people living in these cities.
Drastic medicine? Yes. Necessary? Yes.
The industry will have 5 years to make its peace with this proposal. As we bear in mind the space program and other great technological achievements of American industry, I find it difficult to believe that, whatever their present doubts, they cannot meet the challenge of this bill.
They have been able to meet such challenges in the case of war when President Roosevelt asked them to build 100,000 planes a year.
They have been able to meet such challenges in the case of national curiosity when President Kennedy asked them to make it possible to send a man to the moon in the 1960's.
Here, in the case of a national objective more serious than either of those – the national health – I think that we have an obligation to lay down the standards and requirements of this bill.
I think that the industry has an obligation to try to meet them. If, in due course, it cannot, then it should come to Congress and share with the Congress – the representatives of the people – the need to modify the policy.
That is the philosophy of this bill. The committee felt it owed no less duty to the Senate and the Congress than to state it in these terms. That is why we have this kind of bill. It was not unreasonable or arbitrary in the sense that it was ill-considered. The committee spent hundreds of hours over weeks and months before it came to this hard decision.
Mr. President, I wish to list in the RECORD at this point the names of the members of the committee: Senator RANDOLPH, Senator YOUNG of Ohio, Senator MUSKIE, Senator JORDAN of North Carolina, Senator BAYH, Senator MONTOYA, Senator SPONG, Senator EAGLETON, Senator GRAVEL, Senator COOPER, Senator BOGGS, Senator BAKER, Senator DOLE, Senator GURNEY, and Senator PACKWOOD.
After all these hundreds of hours covering weeks and months of deliberations, all those Senators – obviously of widely varying political philosophies – voted unanimously to recommend to the Senate and Congress the passage of this bill, the goals it establishes, the sense of urgency it incorporates, and the program for meeting the problem. I cannot think of a major piece of domestic legislation that has had such complete committee support from that spectrum of opinion. There was no doubt in the minds of any of them about supporting it.
It is with that recommendation that I am proud to submit the legislation to the floor of the Senate.
At this point I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the chairman of the committee, the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. RANDOLPH), the ranking Republican member, the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. COOPER), the ranking Republican member of the subcommittee, the Senator from Delaware (Mr. BOGGS), and every one of the members of the committee for the most conscientious attention to duty, committee meetings, and the responsibilities this legislation imposes that I have ever witnessed in a committee in my experience.
This is not the usual pat on the back one gets on the floor of the Senate. This is heartfelt. Not only did they contribute their energy and time, but the ideas in this bill could not be separated along party lines of Democratic and Republican. These are Democratic, Republican, liberal, and conservative ideas. This is an integrated piece of legislation incorporating the full thought of all members of the committee.
I would like to express my appreciation to the members of the committee staff. I include their names here because they have given such a fine example of the kind of staff work that is possible in Senate committees. They are: Mr. Richard B. Royce, chief clerk and staff director; Mr. M. Barry Meyer, chief counsel; Mr. Bailey Guard, assistant chief clerk for the minority; Mr. Tom Jorling, minority counsel; Mr. Leon G. Billings, Mr. Richard W. Wilson, Mr. Philip Cummings, Mr. Richard Grundy and Mr. Harold Brayman, professional staff members; and Mrs. Frances Williams, Miss Rebecca Beauregard, Miss Sally White, and Miss Cecily Corcoran of the committee staff.
I would like to express my appreciation to Mr. Eliot Cutler of my staff and to the members of the staffs of members of the committee.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Mr. President, will the Senator yield to me for a few minutes? I realize that the ranking Republican Member has a statement to make and I do not wish to impose too much on his time.
Mr. MUSKIE. I yield.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Needless to say, there are portions of this bill which have a significant impact on the State of Michigan. The Senator from Maine has addressed himself to those provisions. I realize, of course, that there are other important portions of the bill. I would be less than honest with the Senate if I did not indicate some serious misgivings about certain provisions of the bill which write into legislative concrete, in effect, that certain standards standards which are exceedingly high must be met by 1975 or 15 million workers will lose their jobs.
Is it the position of the Senator from Maine that the state of the art is such now that the standards for automobile exhaust set in this bill could be met now?
Mr. MUSKIE. If that were the case, I would say somebody has failed in discharging his responsibilities under the 1967 law in not requiring that such standards be met by models coming off the lines now. No, if we thought the technology existed today we would insist that it be incorporated in these cars today.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is it a fact that no hearings were held by the committee with regard to the question as to whether the standards set in the bill could be met by 1975?
Mr. MUSKIE. Let me read something to the Senator from the testimony in 1967 of Mr. Thomas Mann, president of the Auto Manufacturers Association. He made several points, but on this one he said:
My fourth point is related to the third: As research identifies objectionable or harmful pollutants and determines dangerous levels to be avoided, it defines ambient air quality needs in terms of specific goals to be met. With these goals clearly established it becomes appropriate to project timetables for all industries or other sources of emissions so they can begin research and development work to devise methods of achieving the goals.
At that time we did not have criteria identifying the health effects of pollutants. So Mr. Mann urged research to find these defects before timetables were set. He did not say that before we set timetables the committee should be satisfied that technology is available. No. He said, "With these goals" – talking about health effect goals – "clearly established it becomes appropriate to project timetables for all industries or other sources of emissions so that they can begin research and development work to devise methods of achieving the goals."
Since then, under pressure of hearings first held by the subcommittee in 1964 and held almost every year since, the industry has come before us and clearly has been pushing technology, research, and development to the point that they now indicate to us not any commitment to what they can do, but the contention, as one president of one auto company said:
You can't put this in the record, but we are that close.
If we are "that close," it seems to me we have to set the timetable and challenge them to meet it. They can always come back to Congress.
There is something here in Mr. Mann's testimony, in another portion of his statement, on the timetable question where he defines the process through which a company has to go in order to devise the changes necessary to meet the goals; that is a separate process, after they have been told what the goals are. He said:
Normally, what I have referred to in the preceding paragraph takes approximately two years in addition to the time needed for design, research, and development stages.
A lot of the hardware is already being tested. We saw at the time of the hearings prototype models which already meet the 1975 standards. Various companies have differing degrees of competency to meet 1980 standards under the present program, but they recognize they have to push ahead.
There is another point I would like to make about the attitude of the automobile companies. It is surely understandable, under the pressures of customer demands and expectations, and under the kinds of pressure generated in connection with safety devices, that the industry wants to walk the extra mile in testing and refining any new technical hardware before putting it in the hands of the customers. That is where, it seems to me, we have a problem of such urgency that normal procedures have to be shortened if we are to achieve the goals.
Mr. GRIFFIN. With all deference to the distinguished Senator from Maine, I must say he has not given a very satisfying answer so far as the junior Senator from Michigan is concerned. Let me elaborate a bit, if I may. It is fine and very desirable to set national goals as the committee seeks to do in this bill.
The Senator from Maine referred to President Kennedy's goal to reach the moon. With respect to that goal, I would remind the Senator from Maine that the Congress did not set itself up as a group of scientists and say, in legislative concrete, that:
We shall reach the moon on such and such a date, and if we do not, those working in industries having to do with space achievements shall be put out of their jobs.
It is completely understandable–
Mr. MUSKIE. May I say that this bill does not say that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. It is understandable that the President of the United States or, perhaps, the Senate through a sense of the Senate resolution, might want to set a goal in this field, toward which we should strive. But what bothers me about this legislation is that it does not repose any real authority in those who have scientific competence and knowledge those who could judge the state of the art and its applicability on a realistic basis to this industry at any given point in time.
With all due respect, I believe the Senator from Maine and the committee have gone too far.
There ought to be some flexibility in the hands of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare or a committee of scientists and engineers – people with some competent ability to judge the state of the art as it continues to develop.
As I understand the situation, without any hearings at all, the committee has, itself, made what is, in effect, a scientific judgment; it has assumed the role of scientists, and said:
This cannot be done now, but we think it can be done by 1975.
Without any particular basis for such a declaration.
Mr. MUSKIE. We made no such judgment.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Not only that it can be done, but "It will be done or you are out of business."
Mr. MUSKIE. We made no such statement.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is the effect, as I understand it.
Mr. MUSKIE. Well, to clarify the Senator's understanding of the effect, I shall be happy to repeat what I said. We made no technological judgments in this bill. We do not presume to be in a position to do that. Neither have we made any judgment of our own with respect to the health effects of pollutants that are emitted by the automobile.
In that respect we did what Mr. Mann and the automobile industry suggested we do back in 1967.
We directed the Secretary of HEW to issue criteria documents identifying those pollutants. This is what the criteria said:
Air quality criteria documents for automobile related pollutant agents have provided information on the effect of those pollutants on health and welfare. As an example, health effects can be expected from carbon monoxide exposure of 8 to 10 parts per million for an 8-hour period. Many communities exceed these concentrations with unacceptable frequency. For example, carbon monoxide concentrations in Chicago exceed the standard more than 20 percent of the time.
This is the judgment the committee made – no more, no less.
Knowing what the health effects are, we could not see ourselves in the position of saying to the country:
Emissions from automobiles are unhealthy. The agency we charged with giving us that information in 1967 has told us so. But we are going to leave it to the automobile industry to tell us when those health effects are to be eliminated.
We felt it was our responsibility, and no one else's, to establish the public policy. We are saying in this bill that this is what the public health requires. We are saying to the country, this is what the automobile ought to be measured against. We are saying to the industry, this is what you must try to do.
Congress, I assume, will be in session in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1975 – and possibly without any interruption if we continue at the present rate. The committee would be available to sit. The companies would be in a position to make their case. If the Congress, which would have made the policy in the first instance, is persuaded that the industry cannot do the job, Congress could change the policy.
It is conceivable, may I say to the Senator from Michigan, that by 1973 we may know a great deal more about the health effects of the automobile and decide that they are so bad that the companies ought to make the required changes by January 1, 1975 – or stop producing cars until they do. I am not predicting that. I do not think that is necessary. I do not think that will happen.
But this would be – as it is now – a policy decision of such moment to the country that it ought to be made by nobody other than the Congress, so that the decision gets the visibility, the prestige and the responsibility that are necessary to deal with this problem.
It is not necessary to say that any company is going to be closed on January 1, 1975, but it is necessary for the Congress to say that they must meet the standards until the Congress itself decides otherwise. That is what we are asking. Five years is a long time for the companies to make their effort, then to make their case and then for Congress to consider a change of policy.
If the Senator from Michigan is going to assume that, in the face of a convincing demonstration, the Congress will irresponsibly shut down the automobile companies, then, of course, the Senator should vote against the bill.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
Mr. MUSKIE. Let me first read this letter of September 11, 1970, written to me by President E. N. Cole of General Motors. He says this:
Remarkably low emissions can be achieved with experimental laboratory cars without any regard to mass production, manufacturing tolerances, durability, maintenance, cost, and conditions of customer use.
If I understand that sentence, he is saying that the way of dealing with these emissions is now available in the laboratory – that it can be done, and that what stands between us and January 1, 1975 is the development of the mass production techniques to convert what can now be done in the laboratory into a production line automobile. This man, who is a product of an American industry whose great genius is mass production, is now telling us that what is possible in the laboratory cannot be converted to the mass production line in 5 years.
I can remember, when the astronauts were burned in their space vehicle in Cape Kennedy, how long it took to completely change the system so a safe one could be sent to the moon.
Let me give the Senator another piece of information. Then he may respond. This information concerns the clean car race of a short time ago.
I read from this report:
When the Wayne State University entry reached California, it was tested for pollution control. The results, after this 3600-mile race, showed that the student-modified internal combustion engine, using nonleaded gasoline, surpassed not only the proposed 1975 Federal standards–
And by that is meant the ones agreed to by the administration–
but were far below the proposed 1980 Federal standards–
which the subcommittee has recommended be advanced for 1975.
So these students were able to achieve what the automobile industry tells us they cannot achieve.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Mr. President, I wish to respond briefly; I shall have more to say tomorrow. I am aware of the act that the automobile industry has made, and is making, great progress in the effort to reduce auto exhaust pollution.
Is it not the case that a 70-percent reduction in the auto exhaust pollution has been achieved, or is being achieved, as measured by standards already set? And is it not true that the provision of this bill would require what amounts to a further reduction by 90 percent of the 30 percent that has not yet been achieved? Roughly, is that not a fair statement?
Mr. MUSKIE. I think that is roughly so; yes. I will check the exact figures, but I am prepared to accept that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Although the Senator from Maine has read some portions of a letter, I shall make the statement – on the basis of information that I have been able to gather – that the technology is not available today to meet the standards set in this bill, and it appears to me that the Senator from Maine and his committee have only a pious hope that the technology can be available for cars to be produced in 1975.
To suggest that 1975 is a long time away, with all due respect, is to indicate not very much acquaintance with the automobile industry and what is involved in producing automobiles.
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, will the Senator yield? Is it all right for the Senator from Maine to rely on the testimony of the industry spokesman in 1967?
Mr. GRIFFIN. It take a long time from the drawing board stage to make a major or significant change in an automobile – a long time until it rolls off the assembly line. That fact must not be overlooked because it can mean a great deal to those who work in the automobile industry. In fact, I understand that it can take as much as 43 months to incorporate a major change into an automobile.
So, while the committee may say that it is giving the automobile industry until 1975, it is not – because the industry must have the know-how and begin making such a change long before 1975. Indeed, it may be necessary to have the technology perfected and ready to incorporate into an automobile 43 months before the final product begins to roll off the 1975 assembly line.
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
Mr. GRIFFIN. And then the Senator says, in effect, that if the industry cannot do that, it can come back to Congress for what essentially would be a political decision.
Mr. MUSKIE. Will the Senator yield?
Mr. GRIFFIN. I think that is very unwise.
Mr. MUSKIE. Will the Senator yield?
Mr. GRIFFIN. I want to make it very clear, I think the goal is fine. But the policy we establish should be administered by those with some degree of technical competence – by people who have some basis for judging the state of the art – who will not have to come back to Congress and make a political appeal.
Another point that I wish to make is this: under the bill, I understand that economic feasibility is not a factor. Accordingly, if it cost $15,000 or $20,000 to produce an automobile to meet the standards, that would not be taken into account, as I understand this bill.
Mr. MUSKIE. Is that a figure that the industry has authorized?
Mr. GRIFFIN. No, I am just saying if it should cost that much, it would not make any difference.
Mr. MUSKIE. The Senator from Maine does not use figures that lightly.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Will it?
Mr. MUSKIE. I do not know. I do not think anyone knows.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Should it be talked about, then? Does the Senator from Maine know what it would cost?
Mr. MUSKIE. No. I said in my statement – I have not hidden anything – that our responsibility is to tell the industry what the public health requires. If the Senator thinks the industry ought to make that public health decision, I do not agree with him. If he says that the industry should tell us – and that not until the industry tells us it can build this automobile should we require it – then I do not agree with him.
Where would the Senator place a decision of such importance to the public health? In the boards of directors of these great motor companies? Does Congress have no responsibility?
We began talking to the industry about this problem in 1964, not just recently. The Senator speaks as though we had only a nodding acquaintance with this problem, the industry attitudes and the development of technology over the years. We have been working on this matter for 7 years. I have been in Detroit I have been in the laboratories of all the companies. They have not hesitated to bring their prototypes here.
We have tried to get all of the insight into and feel for the companies' capability in this area that we could, but will say in frankness that the industry has never, during all these years, shown any sense of urgency about anything except the preservation of the internal combustion engine – no real push to do anything else, or to explore any other technology, because, they have said, "We can clean up the internal combustion engine."
They told us that in 1964; they told us that in 1965; they have told us that on innumerable occasions. So we are not talking about 5 years between now and 1975; we are talking about the years between 1964 and 1975, when they should have generated the feeling of urgency.
Sure, we set a target for them, an informal one: "You have got to clean up the automobile." Did that create a feeling of urgency? The Senator says they can do it in 43 months; why did they not do it in 43 months?
Mr. GRIFFIN. The Senator misunderstood me. I said it could take 43 months from the time the technology is available.
Mr. MUSKIE. I doubt that. That is inconsistent with Mr. Mann's testimony of 1967 that I read.
What I have referred to in the preceding paragraph takes approximately two years.
They are up to 43 months now that they are under the gun. At the time of Mr. Mann's testimony, he was opposing proposals giving the States authority to set different standards in every State. I did not put these words in his mouth; he stated them.
It is not this committee's responsibility to perfect the technology required by this deadline. That we ought to have some feel for it, that we ought to have some understanding of the industry's problems, that we ought not to do it hastily or arbitrarily, I will concede as a measure of congressional responsibility. But we have been working on this matter since 1964. The Senator might look at our hearings over the years, and judge for himself why I have tried to communicate a sense of urgency to this industry.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did the committee have any hearings in this session on this problem as to the state of the art – on the likelihood or possibility that this goal can be reached by 1975?
Mr. MUSKIE. Yes, we had testimony jointly before the Commerce Committee and before our committee from the automobile companies on the state of the art. With respect to this specific deadline, no.
Mr. GRIFFIN. On this particular bill?
Mr. MUSKIE. Yes, but not on this specific deadline.
Mr. GRIFFIN. As to whether this deadline was realistic?
Mr. MUSKIE. No.
Mr. GRIFFIN. No hearings?
Mr. MUSKIE. The deadline is based not, I repeat, on economic and technological feasibility, but on considerations of public health. We think, on the basis of the exposure we have had to this problem, that this is a necessary and reasonable standard to impose upon the industry. If the industry cannot meet it, they can come back.
I think that, in terms of public health, if we do not say that this is necessary, there is nobody to say it. But on the question of technological and economic feasibility, there are all kinds of people who complain that it cannot be done. We are the only ones who can say to the automobile industry, and make it stick, "The public health requires this."
That is what this bill says, and nothing more.
Why does not the industry say, if it wants us to make a technological judgment, "All right, we will try, and we will come back in 1973, and let us both take a look at it then." No, they want us to make that judgment now.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I want to be sure the distinguished Senator from Delaware has time to make his statement. I would not say this bill plays "Russian roulette" – let me say it plays "economic roulette," with millions of jobs in the automobile industry. Without adequate expertise, without the kind of scientific knowledge that is needed – with the hearings that are necessary and expected, this bill would write into legislative concrete requirements that can be impossible – and that will literally force an industry out of existence. That may be fine for the Senator from Maine to advocate–
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, I have not said that nor advocated that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I want to remind the Senate that a great many jobs are involved. One job out of seven in the United States depends directly or indirectly, on the manufacture, sale, or service of automobiles.
Mr. MUSKIE. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
Mr. GRIFFIN. I yield.
Mr. MUSKIE. The Senator complains when he says I distort what he says. I thought I had made it eminently clear that I was not saying what he has just put in my mouth.
What I said – I will repeat it to make it clear – is that in the judgment of this committee – this includes Senators from the Senator's side of the aisle – some of a pretty conservative political persuasion – that Congress has the duty to say, "This is what ought to be done in the interests of the health of the country." If it cannot be done, if the industry has made a good faith effort, it can come back to Congress.
We speak of Russian roulette. If it is really that choice – and I do not agree that it is – I would rather play Russian roulette with the automobile companies than with the trapped inhabitants of urban America. Their health is involved.
But it is not a question of Russian roulette, and no amount of rhetorical exaggeration can make it that. What we are talking about is very clear and simple. We are saying that Congress, in the interest of public health, should say to the country and to the industry that this is what that health requires. Then industry should go to work over the next 5 years to either make it possible or, if it proves to be impossible, ask Congress to change the policy.
That is all there is here, and it is tough. The Senator thinks it is tough, and we understand it is tough. We have no desire to be unreasonable. Does the Senator tell me that Senator JOHN COOPER is an unreasonable man, or Senator CALEB BOGGS, or the other Senators on this committee? They are thoughtful men, and they have given this matter thoughtful consideration, and they were not engaged in a game of Russian roulette.
Mr. BOGGS. Mr. President, I commend the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee, the floor manager of this bill, on his excellent opening statement. He has ably and carefully covered the intention of the committee as well as the provisions of the bill.
I wish to express my strong support for S. 4358, a bill that is intended to help bring clean air to every city and town in the United States.
This measure may be the most important to be considered by the Senate this year, charting, as it does, a path toward a better quality of life in America. As President Nixon stated on the first morning of this decade:
The 1970's absolutely must be the years when America pays its debt to the past by reclaiming the purity of its air, its waters, and our living environment. It is literally now or never.
The amendments to the Clean Air Act seek to answer the President's call by improving existing laws and developing a method to insure that the air of the United States attains a level of purity compatible with public health.
The proposed legislation incorporates many of the best proposals offered by Members of the Senate, in particular the distinguished chairman of the Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution (Mr. MUSKIE). The testimony during 11 days of hearings was also most valuable in shaping this legislation.
Yet much of the basic outline for S. 4358 was established by President Nixon in his thoughtful message on the environment last February.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the President's February 10 environmental message to Congress be printed in the RECORD at the conclusion of my remarks.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(See exhibit 1.)
Mr. BOGGS. In addition, I ask unanimous consent that the Council on Environmental Quality's discussion on air pollution in its first annual report be printed in the RECORD at the conclusion of my remarks.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(See exhibit 2.)
Mr. BOGGS. At this point, I would like to discuss some of the President's proposals and the manner in which they were incorporated into the committee's bill.
One of President Nixon's most significant proposals called for establishing national ambient air quality standards. This bill incorporates that proposal, seeking to insure that the air around us will be protective of health in every corner of the nation.
President Nixon asked Congress to accelerate the designation of air quality control regions. This measure requires, 90 days after passage, that air pollution control regions be created to cover every portion of the Nation.
President Nixon's program for air pollution control sought to establish national emission standards for pollutants of an extremely hazardous character, as well as national standards of performance for major classifications of new facilities. The proposed legislation gives the President authority in both of these areas.
President Nixon sought Federal enforcement authority covering intrastate violations in addition to authority over interstate violations. This bill extends that authority to the President, while maintaining a primary enforcement reliance at the State level.
President Nixon sought court imposed fines of up to $10,000 per day for violation emission requirements. It was the committee's judgment that a penalty of up to $25,000 per day would prove more effective.
President Nixon in February announced that more stringent motor vehicle emission standards for the 1975 model year would be adopted. This bill for the first time writes into law specific standards intended to enhance air quality and to place a virtually pollution-free car on the Nation's highways by 1975.
President Nixon's environmental program sought new procedures to inspect new cars on the assembly line to assure that they meet the low-pollution standard. This measure adopts procedures for assembly line testing, and adds a provision requiring warranty of air pollution control performance for 50,000 miles.
President Nixon sought authority to regulate fuels and fuel additives. The proposed legislation gives such authority, tempered with a necessity that the need for such regulation be examined in public hearings if the Secretary seeks to control or prohibit use of a fuel for reasons other than the protection of health.
President Nixon sought financial support for research and development of low-pollution vehicles driven by unconventional power sources. This bill expands the air pollution control program to support such research and development on an accelerated basis. These points, I believe, demonstrate the tremendous contribution the administration has made to the shaping of this legislation.
There is one other section of this bill I would like to mention. It is a section that has not received broad public attention, yet it is a vital provision of the bill. This is section 118, dealing with the control of pollution from Federal facilities. President Nixon has pledged his support for effective pollution abatement at Federal facilities. This section of the bill reinforces the President's stand and encourages publicly owned and operated facilities across our Nation to become models of environmental enhancement and pollution control.
The key word is "leadership." For that is what the proposed legislation seeks to create – a method and pattern for national leadership in the fight to preserve and enhance our environment. This legislation may be characterized as tough. But a tough bill is essential to meet the vast challenge facing us.
It is a workable and realistic bill, taken as a whole. Yet I know there are provisions in the bill that raise some concern among my colleagues, as the Senator from Michigan (Mr. GRIFFIN) just stated.
One involves the warranty provision incorporated into section 207(c) of the bill. The full Committee on Public Works amended the warranty provision that had been reported by the Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution, and I believe the full committee's change greatly improves this section, strengthening the warranty by making it more realistic.
Yet there remains a question over whether the performance of the air pollution control system should be warranted, as proposed in the bill, or whether the warranty should extend to the materials, the design, and the workmanship used to create that pollution control system.
The second concern of some magnitude involves the procedure to be employed to extend the deadline for marketing a car that will meet the standard established under section 202 (b) (1) and (2). The Committee on Public Works added to section 202 a provision suggested by Senator COOPER and Senator BAKER. This provision, section 202(b) (4) would allow a vehicle manufacturer to seek a 1-year extension in the deadline if effective control technology does not exist. The Secretary's decision on the extension could be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
I commend the distinguished ranking Republican member of the committee (Mr. COOPER) and my distinguished colleague (Mr. BAKER) for their work on this provision. Such a review procedure is needed to prevent chaos in the event that the automobile industry makes every possible effort to achieve a 90-percent reduction in emissions and still cannot achieve that goal.
The distinguished Senator from Kansas (Mr. DOLE) has indicated in his individual views that he will offer an amendment that will bring the Congress into that review procedure. It is my thought that congressional review is more appropriate in light of the responsibility assumed by the Congress in setting a specific standard. Nevertheless, I want to reiterate my view that the committee was wise to provide such a possible extension, with safeguards, whether that extension is reviewed by the Congress or the courts.
In closing, Mr. President, I wish to commend my colleagues on the Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution and the full Committee on Public Works for their vigorous and thoughtful attention to this bill over the past several months. The committee and subcommittee devoted many long hours in numerous executive sessions in consideration of this legislation, working together to create a bill that will prove to be effective and workable.