Lapas attēli

the role of these watershed authorities which now manage most of the pollution problems of the watershed by collecting a revenue and treating the wastes of the communities and some industries.17

The French act is very broad in scope and leaves its implementation to the Conseil d'Etat (Council of State) through state agencies with water pollution control responsibilities, such as the Higher Council of Public Health, the Directorate of Water and Forestry, the Highways Administration, the Rural Engineering Administration, the Department of Housing, the Higher Council of Fisheries, the Ministery of Commerce and other national and local agencies. The act, for purposes of planning and implementation, sets up specific river basin authorities representing water users, local government, and other units of government. It also provides for financing, the right to levy revenues and even the power to collect effluent taxes from the polluters to compensate for the harm they caused to the general economy. The act authorizes financially autonomous river basin authorities which can implement water management on a comprehensive basis.18

It is probably in the United Kingdom where one finds the most sophisticated decentralized system of water quality management. While the Minister of Housing and Local Government has responsibilities in the formulation of national policy and hearing of appeals, broad comprehensive pollution control authority rests with 27 river authorities covering the entire Nation. They are responsible for not only the management of water pollution control matters, but matters relating to the entire water resource program. Each authority is, by law, an independent corporation and is not subject to detailed supervision by any central government agency although in many of its administrative duties, it may have to obtain central government consent and its decisions regarding applications for permits to discharge effluents into a stream are subject to appeal to the Minister. The river authority is governed by between 21 and 31 members which do not receive any remuneration except for expenses. The authority has a staff and is financed by contributions from the counties and boroughs which it serves.1

The organization of the water pollution control program in Poland provides a contrast to the United Kingdom insofar as its program is a highly centralized one. The agency responsible for water pollution control under the new 1961 law is the Central Water Economy Office, an office established outside of the purview of any of the existing ministries or departments. It is directly under the supervision of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and has responsibility for coordinating all problems of water resources development in the Polish Government. The Water Economy Office is represented at lower levels of government but these are merely units of the central office. The office is responsible for the coordination of all state offices which have any responsibilities in the water field.20 The 1961 act provides for the development of regional plans for the protection of water.

In Yugoslavia, the responsibility for water pollution rests with the central government for the more important streams and with the local units of government for the less important ones. This, as in Holland,


17 Lyon and Maneval, op. cit., p. 9.
18 Dondoux, P., in Litwin, op. cit., pp. 96-97.
10 Garner, J. F., op. cit., 150–151.
20 Litwin, op. cit., p. 117.

is similiar to the situation which has now developed through recent legislation in the United States where the Federal Government takes an immediate interest in and concern with interstate streams.

In Belgium, the Ministry of Health is responsible for the control of pollution. Informal and voluntary watershed councils have been established and it is proposed that their powers and functions be considerably strengthened in a law now being considered by the Belgian Parliament.

In Germany, very general pollution control authority rests with the water and navigation offices, the water economy offices and the public health and fisheries ministries of the various German states. By all means the most comprehensive drainage basin organizations in the field of water pollution control exist in Germany. These are the German Genossenschaften. These public cooperatives or corporations are responsible under state supervision not only for water pollution control but also for the collection and treatment of wastes, flood control, drainage, the distribution and sale of water, and many related processes such as the recovery of certain industrial products from industrial wastes. Members of these river basin authorities are, broadly speaking, those who discharge pollutants into the drainage basin benefit from the facilities owned by such authorities. These usually include industrial enterprises, municipalities, and water users. The state government and the Federal Government usually are members of these authorities as well.

Each of the authorities has an assembly composed of all of its members which elects a managing board. Members are those who meet a minimum fixed contribution. The weight of a vote in the assembly meeting depends on the amount of the contribution or annual payment which is made. The laws establishing the Genossenschaften contain safeguards to prevent certain industries, particularly the mining industry from controlling the vote. Members pay contributions to the operation and maintenance of the waste collection and treatment systems which are based on an appropriate share of the annual budget. These charges are based on waste flow, waste composition, or a combination thereof. They are quite similar to the sewer service charges used in this country.

The Ruhrverband is perhaps the largest and the most complex of these organizations. It serves a watershed of 1,700 square miles. The Ruhrverband operates 100 treatment plants, 40 pumping stations, and together with the Ruhrtalsperrenverein, its water supply counterpart, operates 20 hydroelectric powerplants and 2 gas works. Two-thirds of the industries in the basin discharge their wastes to treatment plants operated by the Ruhrverband. Recreational water use is very high in the rural area. The legislation establishing the Ruhrverband makes its primary purpose the “cleaning up of the Ruhr.” The actual relationship which exists between the German states and the Genossenschaften ought to be a subject of further study. It is clear that the Genossenschaften, or water authorities, must operate within the framework of German Federal and State law. 21 22

21 Lron and Maneval, op. cit., pp. 12-20.

22 Gieseke, Paul. “River Basin Authorities on the Ruhr and on Other Rivers in Ger. many." Conference on Water Pollution Problems in Europe, United Nations Publication G1, II E/Mim 24 ; pp. 276-282.

In Sweden, the primary Federal agency concerned with water pollution control is the National Water Protection Service. Its activities are nationwide and conducted in cooperation with other agencies concerned with water pollution control such as the local health committees which concern themselves with the public health aspects of water pollution control. Applications for permits to discharge wastes to streams in Sweden and conflicts concerning water use and water pollution problems are heard and decided by water rights courts. The decisions of the water rights courts can be appealed to a superior water rights court and, if necessary and permission is granted, to the Supreme Court of Sweden. As can be seen, Sweden places a great deal of emphasis on the judicial aspects of water pollution control practice.28


As is the case in most of the United States, some procedure for obtaining permits prior to discharge of wastes to streams exists in all European countries. These procedures are usually safeguarded by provisions for hearings in case of adverse proceedings. In some cases, hearings are always held prior to the issuance of a permit. In nearly all cases, interested parties are advised by public notice prior to the hearing:

It is interesting to note that the laws of many countries provide for time limits for granting permits. In England, for example, if a permit is not granted within 6 months, the permit (consent) is considered as granted free of restrictive clauses. In Poland, permits must be issued within 2 months from the date of the application. If the permit has not been issued, the officials involved must notify higher authorities requesting additional time and stating the reasons for the delay. Officials who cause the delay are subject to disciplinary action. In the United States, some State laws specify time limits for dealing with applications for permits. If no time is set and there is undue delay, applicants have, of course, the right to apply to the appropriate courts. In Yugoslavia, according to Federal Administrative Procedure Act, failure to issue a permit within 2 months means that the application has been rejected.24

In some countries, such as Germany, Poland, and Yugoslavia, permits for any change in industrial process are required and the question of pollution by industrial waste is considered prior to the issuance of such permits.

Most European laws, as is the case in the United States, provide for revisions or modifications or even revocation of permits. In the case of Germany and Poland, compensation can be provided for economic losses incurred by modification or revocation of permits. Similarly, many national laws provide for damages to be paid by polluters to water users. For example, in Sweden if the discharge of industrial waste water in an area has an adverse affect on fishing, the owner of the plant may be required to pay an annual amount in the form of damages to be used for “the promotion of fishing in Sweden." 25 In Poland, apart from any penalties and criminal sanctions, the water economy section can impose a special water contamina

23 Dyrssen, Gösten, in Litwin, op. cit., pp. 137–145.
24 Litwin, op. cit., p. 49.
25 Dyrssen, Gösten, op. cit., p. 138.

tion fine, which is chargeable to the enterprises funds and can be related to the degree of pollution, particularly if there has been an arbitrary change in the manufacturing process. An enterprise to which a fine has been imposed must trace the person who caused the pollution and have recourse to law to recover the amount.26

The French law provides for a wide range of means to compel industrial plants to comply with pollution requirements. The Prefect, a top local government official can order the work done at the manufacturer's expense or else issue an order suspending the operation of the enterprise and, in that case, "compel the offender to pay his staff during the period of suspension.” Naturally, the manufacturer has a right to appeal to the French administrative court system.27

SUMMARY Any, study of the dynamics of pollution control legislation and administration throughout industrialized Europe points to certain general conclusions.

First, there appears to be in Europe, a general movement toward decentralized river basin management of water pollution control and waste treatment. Second, increased pollution of streams in the industrial sectors of most countries has had an adverse effect on many of the uses of rivers, particularly recreational uses. As a result, conservationists, fishermen, and professionals have put considerable pressure on parliaments and governments with the help of an interested press This has caused stronger laws to be considered or passed in most European countries, just as has been true for the United States. Permit and classification systems are used in Europe as well as in the United States.

In general, water pollution problems in Europe have increased as has been the case in the United States. The public response in terms of stronger laws is comparable to that in the United States. Significant differences exist in the form of organization of national pollution control efforts. In many countries the trend is toward decentralized water quality management on a drainage basin basis.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Information for this paper was drawn from two major sources. The primary source has been a study conducted by Joseph Litwin, professor of administrative law, University of Lodz, Poland, for a joint committee of the International Association of Legal Science and the International Institute of Administrative Sciences, Brussels. Belgium. The study included a detailed review of reports from the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Yugoslavia. I have borrowed freely from the study and only cited specific quotations from the study. Much additional valuable information, partieularly concerning water pollution problems in Germany, Belgium. Holland, and the United Kingdom was gathered during a travel fellowship sponsored by the World Health Organization during the fall of 1965.

* Litwin, op. cit., p. 42.
2 Gentot, Michel,' in Litwin, op. cit., pp. 87–88.





The subject of the inquiry; namely, the adequacy of our technology for pollution abatement, raises not only a highly important question for our society, but is, I think, particularly timely in view of the current deepening concern with the cumulative effect of industrial and biological wastes on our environment. While many of the situations that trouble this generation had their origins in the industrial revolution, it has remained for those oriented toward space, to apply fully the protective technologies to the indispensable bases of human life on our planet-air, soil, and water. In part, this stems from our new sense of affluence and in part from an uncritical view that fails to distinguish between the technically possible and economically obtainable.

In the hearings of last January, I pointed out that, particularly for SO, and other gases in stack effluents resulting from the burning of hydrocarbon fuels, the only satisfactory disposal known is the discharge at an elevated point with resultant diffusion in the upper air. I stated that the ability of a stack or stack system of practical height to lower SO, concentration at ground level to a value of 0.5 parts per million, even for powerplant complexes up to 5,000 megawatts, has been clearly established. I also called attention to the fact that much lower levels of SO2 concentration have been postulated in codes and regulations, without any technical or physiological basis for such lower levels, and certainly without any demonstration that such lower levels were at all needed.

The tall stack, which is available as a perfectly solid piece of technology to take care of a pressing problem, has been neglected by some planners of facilities which could become sources of disturbing pollution. Far more distressing has been the reaction of many people concerned with creating and enforcing standards for clean air who for some strange reason have almost totally disregarded or discounted this proven technology. Instead of critically examining the incontrovertible facts with regard to the performance of high stacks, we find that various paper studies are produced and inserted in the literature in a fashion that exempts them from the criticism of other workers in the field to which scientific papers are normally subject. Later, these exempt statements are quoted overseas and elsewhere as proof that high stacks are ineffective. Along with this ostrichlike stance of officials, we have repetition ad nauseam of the bad experience of many years ago at Donora or the bad effects with washed, moistened, and "chilled effluents at Bankside and Battersea coupled with massive

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »