The Clean Water Act is a U.S. federal law that regulates the discharge of pollutants into the nation’s surface waters, including lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and coastal areas.
What waters are protected under the Clean Water Act?
The Clean Water Act (CWA), which became law in 1972, is the primary federal mechanism by which streams, lakes, and wetlands are protected from degradation in the United States.
Does the Clean Water Act protect groundwater?
Supreme Court Rules that Clean Water Act Covers Groundwater Discharges. The Supreme Court ruled on April 23, 2020 that federal law can require a permit for pollutant discharges that travel through groundwater to surface water.
What does the clean water Rule protect?
The Clean Water Act protects navigable waterways and their tributaries. The rule says that a tributary must show physical features of flowing water – a bed, bank, and ordinary high water mark – to warrant protection.
Who benefits from the Clean Water Act?
Thanks to the Clean Water Act, billions of pounds of pollution have been kept out of our rivers and the number of waters that meet clean water goals nationwide has doubled – with direct benefits for drinking water, public health, recreation, and wildlife.
What is not protected by Clean Water Act?
The following aquatic areas are generally not protected by the Clean Water Act: Wet areas that are not tributaries or open waters and do not meet the agencies’ regulatory definition of “wetlands” … Erosional features (gullies and rills), and swales and ditches that are not tributaries or wetlands.
What are the three main goals of the Clean Water Act?
The CWA aims to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution in the nation’s water in order to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters“, as described in CWA section 101(a).
How is the Clean Water Act not effective?
The impacts of population growth, development, and increased runoff from poorly regulated sources of pollutants were not anticipated when the Clean Water Act was passed. … Insufficient resources also limit the effectiveness of the Clean Water Act.
What led to the passing of the Clean Water Act?
One of the main catalysts for the Clean Water Act was a fire on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio. Literally, a fire ON the river. … Cleveland’s reputation took a hit, environmentalists took up a cause and Congress eventually took action, passing the Federal Water Pollution Control Act just three years later.
How much does the Clean Water Act cost?
The Clean Water Act’s grantmaking system creates higher costs than market-based regulations, argue Keiser and Shapiro. For instance, the Clean Water Act’s grantmaking program has cost the U.S. government about $650 billion total, or about $1.5 million per year to make one mile of river fishable.