Statement by the President Upon Signing the Water Pollution Act Amendments of 1956.
I HAVE TODAY approved S. 890, the Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1956.
The bill authorizes urgently needed measures for the control and abatement of pollution, a serious and growing problem in the field of water resources and conservation.
The first Federal Water Pollution Control Act was enacted by the 80th Congress in 1948. That law has proved its great value during the past eight years, and last year I recommended that it be made permanent. I also recommended that it be broadened and strengthened in several respects--particularly with respect to research, State program grants, and Federal enforcement on interstate streams. I am pleased that the bill embodies each of these features. These provisions of the law will help to further our national attack on water pollution in a manner that properly preserves the areas of Federal, State, and local responsibility.
In one respect the bill goes beyond the recommendations of the Administration by providing for Federal grants to localities to pay part of the cost of constructing municipal sewage treatment works. In doing so, however, it directs the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, in every case, among other factors to give consideration to the propriety of Federal aid. I have requested the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and the Surgeon General to prepare criteria by which the propriety of Federal aid will be determined.
Meanwhile, I urge that no community with sufficient resources to construct a needed sewage treatment project without Federal aid, postpone that construction simply because of the prospect of a possible Federal grant. It should be clearly understood that Federal aid will not be available to all communities and, with respect to any one project, the Federal funds are limited in amount Under the provisions of the bill.
Note: As enacted, S. 890 is Public Law 660, 84th Congress (70 Stat. 498).
This statement was released at Gettysburg, Pa.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Water Pollution Act Amendments of 1956. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232948