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The CHAIRMAN. That is a question of sewage dilution or purification and not a question of sewage disposal, is it not?
Mr. RANDOLPH. The State law requires a dilution.
The CHAIRMAN. But is it not a fact, does your answer go simply to sewage purification and not sewage disposal?
Mr. RANDOLPH. Yes. Here is the point you make, if I get you; that it is possible to treat all of the sewage. We do not need any water for sewage disposal, sewage purification.
The CHAIRMAN. No, no; that is not the point I am making at all. I understood your answer to the question propounded to be that you did not dispose of the sewage of the city of Chicago, including the packers, the tanners, and the corn products, satisfactorily, because the sewage was dumped in an offensive form on the lower stretches of the Illinois River, on the farms that adjoin that river. That is your answer, is it not?
Mr. RANDOLPH. Complaints come from down stream; yes. The CHAIRMAN. Well, I think that goes simply to the question of the form of the purification and not to the disposal of the sewage.
Mr. SWEET. Upon the basis of the gentleman across the table, in order to handle this sewage from the equivalent of 5,000,000 people, then you would require something like 17,000,000 cubic feet, would you not?
Mr. BARRETT. We would require 3.33 additional for every million of population according to our State law. It is a mathematical proposition and you may be pretty close to correct.
Mr. CONNOLLY. In view of the difficulties that apparently exist in the way of treating this waste and getting rid of it other than through this water process, do you think that the injunction that has been sought will ever issue?
Mr. RANDOLPH. I know the packers have always been adroit on other occasions in slipping out of difficulties.
Mr. CONNOLLY. Regardless of their adroitness, do you think there are physical and other difficulties which are in the way that might imperil the health of the city of Chicago and would prompt any judge to refuse to issue the injunction?
Mr. BARRETT. May I answer that question?
Mr. BARRETT. Let us assume that an injunction issued. No court would put it in force until he could determine the proper way of treating a million trade-waste population, which would require years.
Mr. CONNOLLY. That is exactly what was in my mind.
Mr. BARRETT. And which would require millions of dollars in investment.
Mr. FRANKLIN L. VELDE. On page 31 of this McCormick report, introduced yesterday, it says that during 1923, there was an estimated population of 4,460,000 including these trade wastes, that they ought to have 15,500 cubic feet of water. That is the question you asked.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. That is the testimony of some witness, and its value would depend upon two or three things. First, as to the possibility of disposing of sewage, that is one; and, second, as to the reliability of the witness who gave the testimony, and that is something we don't know about.
Mr. BARRETT. As to the question of whether there is an additional million above the million estimated for the stockyards, I do not want to be held too closely on that. Mine is just recollection. There may not be a total of two million.
The CHAIRMAN. We have a matter in the House to-day which requires the attendance of all members of the committee, so that it is necessary for us to adjourn now. Except to-day we will endeavor to have hearings both morning and afternoon, and we will try to have them as long as desired.
Mr. BARRETT. I think you are doing very well. Mr. RANDOLPH. Do you desire to hear the rest of my statement and see the rest of my pictures to-morrow?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, we will take them up the first thing to-morrow morning. We will meet to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock promptly.
(Thereupon at 12 o'clock the committee adjourned.)
COMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Wednesday, March 19, 1924. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. S. Wallace Dempsey (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, please come to order. We will resume the testimony of Mr. Randolph.
Mr. Rainey. Before that is done may I inquire as to procedure in this matter. A number of bills have been introduced, and the bills introduced so far do not reflect my viewpoint in the matter. I represent that section of Illinois, the valley section, which is deeply interested in this diversion. I have introduced a bill as the result of considerable study, and I want to ask the committee if they will hear me on that bill at some time that will suit the convenience of the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. In a general way, what is your bill, Mr. Rainey?
Mr. RAINEY. My bill does not attempt to interfere with diversion at all from Chicago, because I know that is going to come. I know you are going to legalize it eventually. But my bill contains provisions which protect the valley land owners and provide for level maintenance, very different indeed from the Hull bill, and provides different methods of reaching it. It would not take me long. I do not want to address the committee now, but at some other time, such as the committee might suggest.
The CHAIRMAN. This committee will have to adjourn on this question until Monday, after the hearing to-day, because we have hearings on other matters; but we could hear you Monday or next week.
Mr. RAINEY. Any time that suits the committee will be satisfactory
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, on the question of legalizing the diversion there are five States joined with the United States in a suit.
Mr. RAINEY. I know that.
The CHAIRMAX. In November. Of course the United States and those five States contend that this committee and the House have no power
Mr. Rainey. I know they do.
Mr. MANSFIELD. What is the nature of the suit; is it an injunction proceeding?
The CHAIRMAN. I suppose that is the nature of it. I have not seen the complaint; we will have the complaint here before the hearings are over.
Mr. KINDRED. Is it a case involving adjudication by the Supreme Court?
The CHAIRMAX. Yes; it being a case between the States, the Supreme Court is the court of original jurisdiction. You do not have to begin at the bottom; you begin with the Supreme Court. That is an action brought by the United States, as I understand it.
Mr. FERRIS. To which case are you referring? The CHAIRMAN. A case recently brought by the United States in which all five States joined.
Mr. ADCOCK. It was the United States case instituted several years ago in the district courts and now before the United States Supreme Court on appeal. The injunction was issued in the district court of the United States on June 8 this last year.
The CHAIRMAN. By Judge Carpenter.
Mr. ADCOCK. Yes. There is a suit brought by the State of Wisconsin pending, I think in the Supreme Court. That was instituted in June, 1922, returnable at the October term of that year. The answer was filed by the sanitary district and nothing has been done on that suit since that time. As far as I know no State but the State of Wisconsin is a party to that suit.
Mr. KINDRED. Is it the same issue at stake in both suits?
Mr. Adcock. It is. The question, of course, involved in the United States suit is the one involving the power of the United States, or the Secretary of War, under the rivers and harbors act of March 3, 1889. It is purely a technical question as to whether there is delegated to the Secretary of War the power and authority to regulate the flow of Lake Michigan and the Des Plaines and Illinois Rivers.
Mr. FERRIS. I do not question the authority of the Secretary of War to divert 4,167 cubic feet per second, but the Federal Government does question the right of the district to divert more than the Secretary of War permits them to divert. I do not understand that they question the right of the Secretary of War to issue a permit to divert 4,167 cubic feet per second. Is that correct?
Mr. ADCOCK. No. Under the bill of complaint they seek to enjoin the sanitary district from abstracting more than the 4,167 secondfeet, which was the limitation placed upon it by the Secretary of War. Now, on the other hand, the sanitary district claims that it has been authorized, or the State of Illinois was authorized under the act of Congress of 1827, to withdraw this water, and therefore the act of March 3, 1899, does not apply, because it provides merely that abstractions not authorized by Congress are prohibited. And our position is that this abstraction and this withdrawal, which would amount to an abstraction, has been authorized and is authorized by the original act, and then there is a question also as to whether the permit of 4,167 second-feet was merely a limitation to give the sanitary district an opportunity to improve the Chicago River for the greater flow, that is 10,000 second-feet. At the time the channel was opened, the Chicago River was narrow and shallow, and they could not get through it enough water without creating a current.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, the contention would be in that l'espect if you applied to the Secretary of War not for a permit but for him to restrain you to 4,167 cubic feet per second ? Mr. ADOOCK. No.
The CHAIRMAN. Would not that be the effect of any such contention as that?
Mr. ADCOCK. No; you are quite wrong on that.
Mr. Adcock. The permit of 1899, under which the channel was opened, was unlimited as to amount and limited only by the capacity of the channel, which was 10,000 second-feet, and that was the capacity fixed by the State law. The CHAIRMAN. That was the capacity in 1827.
Mr. ADCOCK. No; in 1899 the channel was opened, and it had been built to a capacity of 10,000 second-feet. Secretary of War Alger granted the authority to open the channel and caused the waters of Lake Michigan to flow through it. No limitations as to amounts except with only two limitations which were that if Congress acted then the permit should have no force or effect; and the other one was that if the current in the Chicago River proved obstructive to navigation in the river they might limit it. Now, the limitation of 4,167 second-feet was placed after and expressly because of the then condition of the Chicago River. The CHAIRMAN. On whose application?
Mr. Adcock. That was on the application of certain shipping interests on the Chicago River, and at that time the sanitary district made application to the Secretary of War for the permit to deepen and widen the river; to deepen it to 26 feet, from 17 to 26 feet and to widen it at all points to 200 feet, for the purpose, as expressed in this application, of getting through the larger amount of water without injury to navigation in the Chicago River. The Secretary of War granted that permit and we went ahead and improved the river at a cost in the neighborhood of $13,000,000 for that purpose.
The Chairman. Can not we get down to this point? The fact is, despite of all these various persuasive circumstances, the district court out there has granted a decree.
Mr. ADCOCK. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And all of these circumstances, I take it, were placed with eloquence and force before the judge who made the decision?
Mr. ADCOCK. Yes.
Mr. ADCOCK. Yes. I am just endeavoring to explain to the chair. man the issues.
The CHAIRMAN. Just a moment. Here was the thing that was in my mind, and this is the reason I asked the question. Attorney General Dougherty of Michigan is here in attendance, and I understood from him that the five attorneys general of the five States had had a conference and that they had united—New York, Michigan, Wisconsin
Mr. DOUGHERTY. Not New York, Mr. Dempsey.
Mr. DOUGHERTY. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania.
The CHAIRMAN. Here is the attorney general of New York, who says that makes six.
Mr. DOUGHERTY. Yes; I understood more recently, but at the time this was first talked, New York had not indicated that.
Mr. MANSFIELD. That is six or seven States that you have named.
The CHAIRMAN. Here is the question I want to propound. What is the suit that will be argued next November?
Mr. ADCOCK. That is the suit brought by the War Department to hold the sanitary district to the order of 4,167 cubic feet per second.
The CHAIRMAN. You are right.
Mr. ADCOCK. It raises all the question that the Federal Government is interested in. It does not raise the questions as the issue affects States. But if I may be permitted a minute?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. ADCOCK. Our idea was that this is a rather novel situation. There is very little precedent for the condition, for the law to treat with a condition of this kind, and we thought, we who represented the State, that if this was carried out to a conclusion that the Supreme Court would lay down the law, perhaps, and give us to understand what could be done and what might not be done, and we might then determine whether it was necessary for the State to bring action or abandon it.
Mr. FERRIS. May I make one suggestion?
Mr. FERRIS. If the sanitary district is right in its contention that the act of 1827 authorizes the diversion of 10,000 second-feet or more, then it is absolutely unnecessary to ask this question, and that question is now before the United States Supreme Court. The United States Supreme Court has ample power and ample facilities to deal with this whole question so far as the sanitary district diversion is concerned.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, what you says is if you have an act which permits and authorizes that which is asked here you have no need of a second act, and you can not increase the validity of the first act by reenacting it?
Mr. FERRIS. Certainly: Of course we do not agree that the act of 1827 held any such thing, because if it did, then we would not need this one.