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Dont Go In The Water-Clean Water Act 1972
Afraid to drink the water? The public at one point was not
only afraid to drink water from their faucets, people refused
to swim or go into the water to enjoy other water recreational
activities. The Public outcry was angry and progressive.
The pollution of the rivers and streams was an untenable result of
chemical pollution, oil spills and the inability of water waste treatment
plants to insure the integrity of the water system.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that more than 80 percent of the
population of the U.S. lives in a metropolitan area. These citizens
live within a 10 mile radius of a polluted river, lake or ocean.
Forty-percent of these waters are not safe for drinking, fishing,
swimming or boating.
The Federal Government responded with regulations to monitor the discharge
of pollution into the water of the United States. The EPA is the agency
charged to implement the pollution control programs.
Some of the programs guidelines including setting wastewater standards for the Industry.
The Clean Water Act of was passed in 1972. The primary purpose of the CWA
is to restore and protect the quality of the nation's surface waters.
The ultimate goal of the Clean Water Act was to eliminate the discharge of
pollutants into navigable waters. The interim goal was to insure that
the nation's waters were "fishable and swimable".
The ultimate goal has become less emphasized over time. There is still a clear statement that it
is unlawful to discharge pollutants into waterways, except as provided by the
terms of the Act. The surface waters covered by the Act are defined quite broadly,
and include rivers, lakes, intermittent streams, and even wetlands.
The Clean Water Act made it unlawful for any person to discharge any pollutant
from a point source into navigable waters. The Clean Water Act funded the
states in excess of 50 billion dollars for the construction of sewage treatment
plants under the construction grants program.
The Clean Water Act gave the states the primary responsibility for the
implementation and enforcement of the statutes for their local waterways.
The act required that all state beneficial uses and their criteria must comply
with the "fishable" and "swimable" goals of the act. The states waterways had
to be able to support aquatic life and recreational use.
The original terms of The Clean Water Act does not address ground water pollution
directly. The CWA statutes do however employ regulatory and non regulatory tools
that are mandate the criteria for states that sharply reduce direct pollutant
discharges into waterways.
Following the passage of CWA the EPA in 1972 more attention has been given to the
physical and biological integrity of our rivers and stream. A global action plan
has attempted to address other pollution sources including:
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