In a special message to Congress following up his State of the Union pledge to make cleaning the environment the primary effort of the 1970's, Nixon outlined a lengthy plan for "the rescue of our natural habitat."
The program includes a $10 billion project for cleaning up waters and calls for rigid regulations to deal with air and water polluters.
"The task of cleaning up our environment calls for a total mobilization by all of us," Nixon said. "It involves government at every level; it requires the help of every citizen."
The main feature of the so-called environmental quality program proposes a Clean Waters Act through which $4 billion would be authorized to help state and local communities build sewage treatment facilities.
The $4 billion would have to be matched by $6 billion in contributions from state and local governments. A special federal group called the Environmental Financing Authority would be set up to help hard-pressed municipalities raise the money to meet their share of the cost.
The President said that would be sufficient to build about 1,500 treatment facilities and to expand and upgrade 2,500 other plants.