Unclean Waters

October 3, 1947

Report Outline
Prospect of Action to Clean Up Waterways
Location, Sources and Effects of Pollution
Treatment of Wastes to Abate Pollution
Governmental Efforts to Control Pollution
Special Focus

Prospect of Action to Clean Up Waterways

Long Delay to Pollution-Control Legislation

Legislation to extend federal aid to states, localities and private industry in a national effort to clean up polluted interstate waterways is scheduled for early consideration at the 1948 session of Congress. A pollution-control bill, jointly offered by Sen. Barkley (D., Ky.) and Sen. Taft (R., O.), was passed by the Senate on July 16, but was not taken up in the House during the remaining 10 days of the 1947 session. However, public hearings were held by the House Public Works Committee on bills identical with the Senate measure, and a favorable report on pollution-control legislation is expected from that committee early in January. Sen. Revercomb (R., W. Va.), chairman of the Senate Public Works Committee, said, Sept. 28, that given House approval of the Senate bill “there is no reason why within a few years the pollution of the waters of this country should not be so minimized as to remove a menace to health that threatens to grow yearly.”

Stream pollution has been a matter of concern to public health authorities for more than 50 years. Anti-pollution bills have been introduced in almost every Congress since the turn of the century. Differing measures got through the House and Senate in 1936, and again in 1940, only to die in conference. And a bill on which the two houses agreed in 1938 was vetoed by President Roosevelt on the ground that certain of its provisions looked to “legislative assumption of responsibilities of the Executive Branch.”

Rise in Pollution with Growth of Nation

The contamination of streams, with attendant hazards to public health, has gone on at a rapidly accelerating rate as population growth and industrial development have led to the deposit in the nation's waterways of ever increasing amounts of wastes.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Water Pollution
Jul. 15, 2016  Drinking Water Safety
Oct. 17, 2014  Protecting the Oceans
Jun. 18, 2010  Water Shortages
Aug. 01, 2003  Water Shortages
Nov. 24, 2000  Water Quality
Dec. 15, 1995  Global Water Shortages
Feb. 11, 1994  Water Quality
Apr. 19, 1991  California: Enough Water for the Future?
Jan. 30, 1987  Western Water
Jul. 12, 1985  Preventing Groundwater Contamination
Jan. 14, 1977  Western Water: Coming Crisis
Feb. 15, 1974  Drinking Water Safety
Aug. 11, 1965  Water Resources and National Water Needs
Dec. 08, 1960  Pollution of Water Supplies
Oct. 02, 1959  Water Needs and Resources
Jul. 01, 1955  Water for the Future
Jul. 24, 1953  Water Pollution
Feb. 15, 1950  Water Supply
Oct. 03, 1947  Unclean Waters
Sep. 17, 1935  Stream Pollution and the Disposal of Waste
Water Pollution