Monthly Archives: May 1977

May 1977: President Carter’s Environmental Message to Congress

On May 23, 1977, President Jimmy Carter issued an Environmental Message to Congress. Relevant to the Molalla Sewage Treatment Plant, it specified the need for $45 Billion to be spent on more than 10,000 municipal sewage system projects. Here is an excerpt:


The nation has made considerable progress in cleaning up its waters under the program set forth in the 1972 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but much remains to be done in order to achieve the Act’s goal of fishable and swimmable waters. Three areas deserve particular attention:

(1) To help control pollution from municipal sewage systems–an effort that currently involves 10,000 projects in planning or under construction–we need substantial additional funding. I have already asked the Congress to authorize the expenditure of $4.5 billion in each of the next ten years for municipal waste water treatment facilities and to allow a one year extension in the September 1977 deadline for the obligation of construction grant funds. But at the same time we need to be sure that sewage projects supported by federal money do not create additional environmental problems, and that they are designed to encourage water conservation as well as water treatment. We also must ensure that the systems are operated properly once they have been built; that there is an effective pretreatment program to remove harmful industrial wastes from these systems; and that we are carefully considering alternative solutions, particularly in smaller communities, so that we can be sure of building the projects which are economically and environmentally most effective.