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Beginning in 1948, the Clean Water Act and its predecessors have been the U.S. regulatory structure for pollutant discharges, granting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate pollution and toxic substances discharge, implement pollution control programs, and enforce wastewater and water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) of 1948 (Pub. L. 80–845) was the first major attempt by the U.S. government to regulate water pollution. There have been several important revisions to the FWPCA in the years since. The first and most significant was the Clean Water Act of 1972 (Pub. L. 92–500), with two significant amendments (e.g., §§ 402 and 403). The second was in 1977, when the FWPCA was revised ...

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