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National Educational radio presents the following program in cooperation with a group w o the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company. Here's a reminder. We want the names and addresses of a million a few New Yorkers who have had your fill of polluted air. Send your name and address to citizens for clean air. Box 1 European Grand Central Station New York. A. Too much of the nation. There are noise ugliness decay in this age of seemingly unlimited opportunity. Our six cities and towns victims of a century of neglect cry out for help water and air and solid waste pollution are only a part of this environmental deterioration. But because of their growing menace to our health our comfort and our
well-being disgusted Americans from Maine to Florida finally demanding remedial action group w the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company presents the pollution explosion a 10 part study of the rising tide of air and water pollution in America. Your commentator is John they are. In the previous programs of this series you've heard expert testimony about the problem with case histories of cities and counties and states which are attempting positive action. Pollution however has become so widespread that most individual citizens come in contact with it in one form or another almost every day. For instance if you go to the beach buy that beautiful sea this summer. It's bad. It's due to the fact the water actually filthy. I like to
swim in Riviera Beach and Winthrop. Beaches but lately with the past two years I haven't gone to the water because of the filth. And if there was some way of clearing it up that would require tax money. I'd be happy to go along with it. My personal opinion that controls are not instituted in the very near future. Conditions could be. So bad that. Tighter flying restrictions would be executed which would reduce the effectiveness of the helicopter as a pastor killing vehicle in other words. Just like rain snow or fog the smog could be so bad that it would ground so to speak your craft in the area or restrict them so tightly. That they would not be effective as a. Passenger carrying the.
Heat. The time of wherever is the historic The Rev.. But right now it's an iso of course this is the thing that people see when they look out into the water and see it cloudy in green in America and with the. Large amounts of detergent and things that are being dumped into the river on hot summer days when a river actually turns green from the on the algae that grows so rapidly under these very favorable conditions. The government should do something about cleaning up the water in the air and everything out there and the government which after all is only the voice of its millions of constituents is beginning at last to do something about it.
On the federal level Secretary of Interior Stewart Udall into whose hands the water pollution problem has recently been delivered summarises current legislation to Congress in 1965 and 1966 passed more significant legislation in terms of water pollution cleanup than all the other Congresses put together. These these pieces of legislation provided for setting water quality standards on all of our rivers. They provided more federal enforcement powers and the new clean clean rivers Restoration Act of 966 is legislation that will enable the federal government to become a full partner in terms of its financial contributions towards a major nationwide cleanup campaign. Although not as much progress has been made in air pollution control the attack has begun and is progress.
As surgeon general William H Stuart States the Clean Air Act of 1963 and its amendments of 1965 marked an important shift in national policy with regard to where these new federal authorities include strengthening research and technical assistance like a matching grants program which offers substantial financial stimulation for the creation or improvement of state and local regulatory control a federal program focused primarily on Interstate problems and the regulation nationally of auto exhaust emissions prodded by the federal government the states too are acting. Which launches a war almost to help the economic problem and the recommendation with the support of community groups and the legislature establishes a six point program which provides a foundation
without attending nation to and that was New York's Governor Nelson Rockefeller as he signed a state clean air a bill last July. The governor's bill included such provisions as giving the State Air Pollution Control Board wide powers to set emission standards including automobile giving the state health commissioner strong enforcement authority at allowing rapid tax amortization for the cost of air pollution control facilities New York State also past precedent setting watch of pollution legislation in 1965. Legislation which has placed New York in the forefront of the water pollution control fight. Here again is Governor Rockefeller. We had to move just two thirds of our whatever polluted and therefore we. I proposed to the legislature they voted unanimously in both houses to support the program and a bond issue went to the people
last fall calling for authorizing a billion dollars of expenditure 50 percent of which was to be used for state systems local communities and 50 percent for pre financing of federal assistance. And we in the state are going to terminate the pollution within six years and prevent any further pollution and we have the enforcement provisions in the law along with the financial assistance to local communities to make this program possible. City and county governments to have come to feel clean air and water are important. From Los Angeles which can perhaps be called the Grand Old Lady of the smog control program Mayor Samuel T. The problem developed a little faster and a little more unique way because of climatic conditions in the Los Angeles area so. We started putting the industry under control a long time ago and we did this at the county level which takes in a much bigger area than the city of Los Angeles.
And we think that we've done a good job on what we call a stationary sources of pollution namely industry even small towns in such an unlikely place as Florida for instance are fighting air pollution. Florida Representative Paul Rodgers tells the story. Palm beach shore was well on one of our communities in Palm Beach County Palm Beach sures. It hasn't acted. A very strict air pollution ordinance. Which actually is stronger than the existing state law. The ordinance as I recall establishes a dollar penalty for each pound of residue. Moreover areas like these are looking ahead trying to catch pollution before it catches them. In Florida where clean water is one of the major tourist attractions Representative Rogers states Florida is very much intent now on working on programs to prevent pollution of the
streams and the coastal areas in New York City with all its myriad problems of urban blight air and water pollution are being actively attacked by a tough new administration headed by Mayor John Lindsay. The new rug designed to control more effectively the emission of particulates from both apartment house and municipal incinerators. The five year reduction plan to control the quantity of sulfur and coal and oil burned for space heating and power generation to reduce the pollution in the atmosphere and then within a year we should see some improvement in our air quality and within three to four years you'll see a really market change. Mayor Lindsay also demonstrates the new positive municipal approach to water pollution that is cropping up more and more throughout the nation. No city has any right to pollute beaches rivers and other streams to the contrary city like New York has an obligation to prevent and control pollution
and New York does have a workable plan for the pollution that is there. We intend to pursue it. These are only a few outstanding examples but it is obvious that government at all levels is finally clamping down on air and water pollution in answer to public demand. Industry too is joining the attack as it finds it simply is good business to join in the conservation of public resources. As George Bennett director of stream improvement for the SD water and paper company puts it I think that the management of all industry is coming to a real estate. Let the. Voice of one of the costs of doing this. Where are we then. In our attempt to stem the rising tide of pollution. Dr. Allan Hirsch program planner of the federal water pollution control administration
has an answer in his field where I think we stand at a turning point really in the history of pollution control in the country. We've had a period of considerable activity in the past since 1948 when the federal government first really got into the pollution control program and. Activities have accelerated over the years and I think we've. Made substantial progress in a number of areas but I think that. What has been done in the past is really. Just leading up to the point that we stand at today. So I think that we're really at the jumping off point. And I think the public and the government as a whole has now come to the point of having a real commitment towards this effort. Now this leaves us with the situation where our program has something on the order of about two hundred eighty million dollars a year in total federal funds going in be matched about four to one by local funds and it leaves us with a
situation where we do have an administration. But one which we're going to have to watch it leaves us with a new administration which finally is beginning to move forward and to do some real cleanup. Representative John Dingell of Michigan a congressional guiding light of the water pollution fight. We have also achieved legislatively something which is quite important and that is federal standards for pollution on Interstate waters. This is something that again was opposed by the state agencies quite vigorously. And something which we got only after a very difficult fight for it has become a simple fact of business life for industry to control its share of pollution. Daniel cannon policy executive of the National Association of Manufacturers industrial environment Department explains how much industry spends in this endeavor. For a number of years. Large sums of money have been spent by manufacturers in handling these problems. The
total estimates of money involved vary to some extent but they are quite substantial. For instance by 1959 the industry had already invested over 1 billion dollars in water pollution control facilities in the rate of this expenditure has accelerated since 1959. The same survey showed that American industry was spending over 100 million dollars a year just to operate these water pollution control facilities. The Air Pollution Control Association has made varying estimates of the total expenditure by industry for controlling your pollution of between 500 to eight hundred million dollars a year. Actually those new manufacturing plants are being constructed facilities to control air and water
pollution are designed right into these plants from the drawing board on up. Some industries have done better than others. Some have recognised their problems and. Recognize that. With their problem they have a community public relations problem. And have moved ahead and done a good job. Deputy Commissioner John Barnhill of the federal water pollution control administration. Others of course who have not. But by and large industry has a great deal more to do by the terms of the federal water quality act. The states must set acceptable water quality standards by 1967 while the federal government will step in and do it for them says Dr Hirsch setting water quality standards will be a real landmark in the overall effort because they represent relatively.
Well-established to show us where we have to go what it is we have to do. It will represent a way of assuring that. Pollution does not increase and will enable us to schedule. Throughout the nation. Decreasing the existing pollution that we have. Where do we stand in the concurrent fight against air pollution. Not quite so far along as in water pollution control because the public acceptance and understanding of the need for control is not as great. Thomas F. Williams U.S. Public Health Service. Well certainly at the moment steps are being taken that far better than those which were being taken a few years ago. Surgeon General Stewart talking to the Air Pollution Control Association including federal contributions. The funds available for state and local air pollution programs have increased by about 65 percent since the adoption of the Clean Air Act. Some 20 million dollars is now being invested annually in state and local
programs. About five million dollars at the state level and about 15 million dollars at the local level. While these amounts are far from adequate they don't compare favorably with the Kumbh pine the state and local spending of about twelve point seven million dollars at the end of 1963 while states and local governments have taken good advantage on the whole of the matching program grants stimulation available under the Clean Air Act. We are still. Nationally a long way from having adequate means of dealing with sources of air pollution. Tom Williams again whose words are brought home by the medium of satire. The fact is that our state and local control efforts on the whole are still woefully inadequate. The per capita expenditure is somewhere around 18 cents for state and local control programs and in a recent report the Senate special
subcommittee on air and water pollution recommended that that viable local programs ought to be spending in the range of about 40 cents per capita. I would certainly not say that effective steps are being taken because the fact is that the problem is apparently growing at a faster rate. Than our efforts to control it. I know of it for sure. I remember when I was a little house a manis I used to be able to see discard any green grounds. Now I think my house must be getting weaker because everything is going jello in. That doesn't mean it's not my but this my love in California here most of it coming out from the odd movie here. The 30 areas of pollution inextricably tied to air and water pollution is the problem of solid wastes. These include not only particulates from incineration and sewage but also such I saw as junk yards roadside piles of litter and all other disposed matter that is
insoluble in air and water. The solid waste problem though as old as civilization itself is the baby of the federal pollution control programs and because of the enormous expense and disposal. Little progress is being made. Kenneth Riga a public affairs officer for the office solid waste U.S. Public Health Service sums up the current programs. There are very few places in the country where state and local efforts to improve solid waste management are underway. The cost of solid waste disposal too. To the typical municipal government is tremendous. This expense comes only behind budget items for schools and roads. Solid Waste Disposal is the third largest expenditure in municipal budgets. But when it comes to state and local investments at improving solid waste management this is very rare. The state of
California has had for more than 10 years and the California Health Department has had a program concerned with solid waste management research and development. New York City is investing some of its sanitation money to find for example better ways of controlling air pollution from municipal incinerators. These are two outstanding examples of state and local effort in an otherwise very barren field. The states and cities simply don't have the money to fool around with with new untried methods. This is why the federal government's role is so critical. So that's where we stand. Beginnings good beginnings have been made to reverse air and water pollution very little has been done with solid waste and much more is needed on all fronts. It will be expensive and here in lies a basic conflict. How much do we spend. Can we spend. And just how clean can we
realistically hope to get our environment. Tom Wiggins speaking for the federal government answers I clean should be as clean as you can possibly get it. We have reason to suspect that there are with regard to some pollutants. No really safe threshold. And if we could have our druthers we'd have none of it in the air. Consolidated Edison's vice president W. Dunham Crawford insists. I think it's difficult to. Envision that there will be a time when there will be really what you might term quite clean because of the industrialization of our economy because of the urbanization of the economy. The the prospect of completely clean air I'm afraid is pie in the sky.
A middle ground is laid by Dr AJ Haagen Smits professor of biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. You do best and then. You will leave a certain amount in. But people won't notice it you see. So we can clean it up. The idea being clean up until people don't complain anymore on it that there is no house affect any more. But it doesn't mean that this is pure oxygen and nitrogen and then a little bit of I will exhaust on water pollution experts differ in their opinions also says Dr. Hirsch. And it's got to be a large program we can't. We turn around at the fringes of it. We've got to recognize that expenditures will be major ones and chief federal enforcement officer Mary Stein agrees. We're going to try to clean up the waters for the maximum number of uses. In. Most cases. Practically all the cases I would hope. That.
Clue would result in the use of water for recreational purposes and to support it loosed the warm water fishery. But a working industrial engineer George Bennett of the SD water and paper company philosophize is one of a using the water. And the water. And the extent to which it can be recovered is going to be determined. By technological advances in the future and as I say I don't think I don't think we realistically can expect to see. Every inch of every river. As clean as it was when the Indians lived there. Afterall are only 1 million Indians. They didn't have. They didn't. Live very well. They lived in a land that the white man found to be the land of plenty and they lived most of the way. We don't live that way. We live a very high life high standard of living. Not a to live
this way. We've had to use our resources. So the compromise compromise must be made. To what extent are we willing to use these resources including our water quality. Facetiously should we decide that was going to be like the Indians and all of us leave except one million those million live as the illegals and this is not a very effective choice. The compromise perhaps will be the ultimate and the practical and for a traditionally pragmatic America. But even this will be expensive. Most public officials however feel the job will and must be done. Speaking for all is Indiana Senator Birch by one of the politically astute legislators who knows that the 20th century cannot be rolled back. Well I'm going to cause a lot of money to. Prop up and this is a relatively new cause.
But I think it's rather naive for us to sit in our easy chair home and watch The Late Show and expect. Us to be able to continue today to live the same kind of life in the same kind of world that was lived in this country 50 years ago. The problem of pollution was not nearly as great 50 years ago as it is today and so it is with some of the other social problems they are incidents of a growing country. And I think we just have to face up to it. If we want to maintain the standard of living that we have today. And if we want to be able to continue to grow and become an even better country tomorrow then we have to be willing to pay the tariff. We don't get something for nothing in this country and we are not so naive as to make that type of political promise anymore maybe it was good politics before. But today we have to recognize that the only way we're going to have good clean water the only way we're going to have industrial expansion is
to have good clean water. And the only way we're going to have a better living is to have the warrant after looks pension. And so I think it's imperative that we be willing to pay for this and to take the steps necessary to stop pollution throughout the country. Group w o the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company has presented the pollution explosion a 10 part study of the increasing pollution of America's air and water. The series was produced by Robert Franklin written and recorded by Stephanie Shelton executive producer William J kaila. Here again John there. In the next and the last program we'll go further into the future of pollution control. See where the money is to come from and on what levels the attack must be the strongest. You're also here what could happen to America if massive remedial action isn't taken right now. And unpleasant prospect that could doom America as the storied land.
Of Beauty. And the bucks. The ending on network has presented this program in cooperation with a group w o the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company. This is the national educational radio network.
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Pollution explosion
Episode Number
Producing Organization
Westinghouse Broadcasting Company
Group W Productions
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents a variety of speeches, music clips, and commentary to analyze the pollution problem in the United States.
Series Description
A discussion of environment-related issues.
Media type
Host: Daly, John Charles, 1914-1991
Producing Organization: Westinghouse Broadcasting Company
Producing Organization: Group W Productions
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-8-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:27:20
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Chicago: “Pollution explosion; 9,” 1968-01-26, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
MLA: “Pollution explosion; 9.” 1968-01-26. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Pollution explosion; 9. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from