Clean Water Laws are Neglected...At What Cost?
Clean Water Act: State Regulators and the EPA
The basis of the Clean Water Act is to regulate discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulated quality standards for surface waters. The CWA was enacted in 1948 and was originally called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972 with updated amendments and a new name.
The EPA and Congress regulate over 100 pollutants and 91 chemicals through the Safe Drinking Water Act. Even so, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson admits that American water fails to meet public health goals, and water pollution law enforcement is unacceptably low.
There are times when companies have intentionally released pollutants into the water supply, however, the vast majority of those polluters have escaped punishment. State officials have repeatedly ignored obvious illegal dumping. The Environmental Protection Agency, which can prosecute polluters when states fail to act, has often declined to intervene.
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