The Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act - The Clean Water Act Is it enough...

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The Clean Water Act: Is it enough? Introduction Water is the life blood of the earth and all living things found on it from the trees in the Amazon to the bacteria in desert soils. Humans have done a lot to destroy our waters once we started industrializing. The problem continues but theres been many attempts to quell the problem. The Clean Water Act is the United States major attempt at protecting our waters. This paper will examine Section 404 of the CWA and a spatial analysis of how it is affecting upland habitats. Then subsection 303(d), the procedure for listing impaired waters, will be looked at along with the problems associated with inconsistent analyzing strategies. Lastly, there will be an analysis of the biologic integrity of impaired water bodies found around urban areas. The Clean Water Act The 1970’s saw a big change in public concern for the environment which led to the creation of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments. When the act was finally amended in 1977 it was referred to as the Clean Water Act as it is still called today. The reason for the act was to regulate the pollution that was entering the waters of the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was put in charge of making sure industries started cleaning up there act. They were also required to set standards for water quality for waters contained in the United States. The act allocated money for the building of sewage treatment plants as well as making it illegal to dump pollution from a point source without a permit (US EPA). The topic of pollution from non-point sources is addressed in the act but, at the point of its creation, it is only mentioned that planning needs to be done. In 1981 the act was revised as to speed up the
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grant process for the construction of new sewage plants. The revision also improved the outputs of the plants built under the acts funding. The grant program was canceled in 1987 and the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund was introduced allowing for a partnership between states and the EPA during construction programs. In 1990 the Great Lakes Critical Programs Act was enacted as part of the Clean Water Act. This new act required the EPA to make a list of 29 toxic pollutants found within the Great Lakes and the levels at which they are harmful to humans and wildlife. After the list was created the EPA was put in charge of making sure that the states put these new standards into place and adhere to them (US EPA). The Clean Water Act was the first major step to cleaning up the polluted water bodies while keeping the clean ones at their current quality, if not improve them over time. Section 404: Explanation The main strategies of the Clean Water Act for the protection of US waters are issuing permits, construction programs, standards enforcement and research. The 400 section of the act addresses permits and licenses needed for dumping into a water of the United States in the. Subsection 404 “Permits for Dredged or Fill Material” will be
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course ENV 417 taught by Professor Stainbeck during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Plattsburgh.

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The Clean Water Act - The Clean Water Act Is it enough...

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