Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois on August 24, 1972 · Page 5
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Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois · Page 5

Alton, Illinois
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 24, 1972
Page 5
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Page 5 article text (OCR)

The cost of cleaning up Alton Evening Telegraph Thursday, August 24, 1972 A-5 Clean environment to cut living standard EDITOR'S NO T E : Somebody will pay for the efforts being made to dean the nation's environment. But there will be some financial benefits as well, and al least one group believes the effort, will mean a net savings because cf decreased damage from pollution. AP environ- Jiiental writer Stan Banjamin tells about it. in the filial installment of a four-part scries on The Cost of Cleaning Up. By STAN BENJAMIN WASHINGTON (At 1 ) _ "The American people are not going to let people tell them they got to start driving one ear instead of two without there being a revoluion." G. John Lambillolle. manager of a Barberton. Ohio, chemical plant doomed by anti-pollution enforcempiii, was arguing that "people who don't know what makes the economy tick are playing with it" for the sake of clean air and water. "The clean-up will cost •somebody," he added, "but. means our standard of living will decrease." Lambillotle will get an argument from government and citizen-environmentalists on all but one point. They all agree that cleaning up "will cost somebody." Government economists have estimated it may cost some $72 billion or more over the next five years to combat air and water pollution. They say the costs, as unemployment or price increases, will hit industries, workers and communities throughout the nation. The impact already has hit places like -Saltvillc. Va.; Barberton; Graflon, Mass.; Marietta, Ohio; Alloy. W. Va., and dozens more. But economics includes benefits as well as costs. The President's Council on '•jivitxmmuital Quality estimate's that air pollution itself costs the nation more than ?I(i billion each year in damage to human health, plan t, s . materials and properly values. Building upon thai estimate, the National Wildlife Federation estimated air and water pollution together were costing the nation almost $29 billion a year. If so, five years of pollution damage would total $145 billion, outweighing even the impressive cost of reducing it. The Wildlife Federation figured the anti-pollution investment would show little return for the first five years. But by 1979, as pollution- damage is reduced, the nation would save enough to get back its early investments, and by 1980 it would be reaping net savings—"plus having a cleaner environment." Beyond material damages, lie values that have no price tag: natural beauty, waters fit to swim in. days that really are clear enough to see for miles. Not long ago British citizens collected $4 million to buy back one beautiful painting from U.S. oilman J. Paul Getty and keep it in their country. Such treasures, in museums, are exposed oily to a carefully controlled and filtered atmosphere. Meanwhile, in the unprc- tected churches of Italy, fie frescoed and sculptured faces of Madonnas and saints. treasured for centuries, are being eaten away by the chemical leprosy of air pollution. American conservationists worry that the same fate may await the natural rock form- tions of the West. Americans pay millions yearly to enjoy scenic beauty and natural recreation sites. As Congress passes one environmental 1 a w after another, the public seems willing to pay for a clean environment. It even seems willing, at this point, to stand still far some restrictions on its darling, the automobile. The Environmental Protection Agency has already required big cities, as part of slate pollution control plans, to find ways of reducing downtown auto traffic. On balance, then, tl-e benefits of environment! well in outweigh terms of clean-up may the costs even hard cash. But the costs and '.he benefits do not fall evenly. During interviews in impacted communities, people hardest hit seemed unanimous on two points: —Pollution must stop hut the cleanup was hurling thorn badly. —They needed government help in readjusting to an an.'i- pollution economy but were not getting it. There's little help to be had. A Commerce Department spokesman said its potential instrument, of aid to business was the Ecomimif Development Agency, whose $2fil million fund for gran's and loans is geared to economic stimulation, not ihe rescue of pollution casualties. (ADVERTISEMENT) (ADVERTISEMENT) Now....Plastic Cream Invention For Artificial Teeth SALE! 1WENS A BOV8 CANVAS LOW HEELED TIES Reg. 4.95 «• AK NOW «•»*» Res. 4.00 9 OO NOW «.SJ» Reg. n.RH « An NOW *«i>SF LADIES Reg. 3.05 NOW ... SANOALS 1.99 Red, Whltn and Blue Brown ami Beige, White Other Ladies Sandals 3.95 Ren. 5.95 NOW ... 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