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Clean Water Act

  • By: Sya Buryn Kedzior
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

The U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA) is a federal law that attempts to improve surface water quality by regulating the discharge of pollutants into bodies of water. The CWA endows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the authority to protect surface water by establishing and enforcing water quality standards and by supporting state and local governments in developing pollution control plans. The CWA does not provide for the protection or regulation of groundwater pollution. The term Clean Water Act is commonly used as a blanket term referring to the body of laws included under the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Public Law 92–500) and its amendments, including the 1977 Clean Water Act and the 1987 Water Quality Act. These amendments expanded legislation over ...

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