Clean Air and Water Act by Susan Dudley Gold

By Susan Dudley Gold

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Instead, the bill gave HEW the power to determine the standards. Muskie privately arranged with HEW, however, to adopt standards similar to those used in California. On May 14 the Public Works Committee accepted the subcommittee’s report and sent the bill to the full Senate, where it passed on May 18. The bill 51 Clean Air and Clean Water Acts received House approval at the end of September, and the Senate accepted the House version a week later. President Johnson signed it into law on October 20, 1965.

Cities had enacted laws to regulate factory smoke, though their concerns were unpleasantness and unsightliness rather than health. While there was early recognition that dirty water was associated with disease, few people thought smoky air a matter of health. Besides, airborne particulates and gases remained invisible until weather conditions made smog appear. When World War II began, an ever-increasing number of factories, workers, and automobiles came to the West Coast. With them came smog, the soupy mix of smoke, fog, and chemicals that obscures vision and irritates lungs.

For a study of air pollution. ” Congress declined to pass Eisenhower’s overall health program, but it did enact the National Air Pollution Control Act, the irst federal legislation to address the issue. The law provided the Public Health Service an annual research grant of $5 million for ive years of study. Amendments to the law in 1960 extended the research grants for another four years. In 1962 amendments directed toward researching the effect of automobile emissions on health were enacted. 41 Clean Air and Clean Water Acts KILLING THE EARTH ALONG WITH THE BUGS Concerns about DDT—one of several effective but toxic chemical pesticides used by farmers and gardeners—began to be voiced in the mid–1940s.

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