History of the Clean Water Act

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The Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 were amended in 1977 due to the heightened awareness of pollution and toxicants in the public water supply. The act structured the regulation as they pertain to the discharge of pollutants into US waters.

Listed below is a summary of the areas that the history of the clean water act has addressed.

  • The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
  • Storm Water Discharge
  • The Pretreatment Program
  • The Biosolids Program
  • Nonpoint Source Pollution
  • The National Estuary Program
  • The National Coastal Water Program
  • Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) Program
  • Total Maximum Daily Loads

The EPA defines several groups that are affected by water pollution. The major categories are drinking water, storm water, surface water, and waste water. The EPA monitors for the presence of volatile chemicals and contaminants in the public water supply. Currently, they monitor approximately 90 different contaminants. Some of the contaminant groups are microbes, radionuclides, inorganic contaminants, synthetic organic contaminants, pesticides and herbicides, volatile organic contaminants, disinfectants, and disinfection byproducts.

It is the responsibility of the source companies to ensure that the chemicals and agents that they are in control of are not a cause of threat to the public. When a source producer is ineffective at controlling and containing the chemicals and agents that could pose a danger to the community, there may be irreparable damages to the land, air, soil and most importantly, the people.

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