Environment: A Great Cleanup?

"The most significant environmental legislation in the history of Congress," said Ohio Representative William Harsha. "The means to eliminate the cancer of water pollution," said Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine. With such encomiums, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 swept through Congress last week by 74-0 in the Senate and 366-11 in the House. Despite this massive approval, the big question was: Would President Nixon sign the bill into law?

There can be no doubt of the act's importance. It aims at nothing less than the end of pollution of U.S. waterways by 1985. The problem is money. Congress...

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