The main law regulating water in the United States is the Clean Water Act. The basis for the Clean Water Act in America began in 1948 as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. It’s primary concern was to regulate surface water standards and control discharged pollutants in United States waters. This was expanded in 1972 and began to be referred to as The Clean Water Act in 1977. Through this act, the Environmental Protection Agency determines industry wastewater standards and makes it illegal for unpermitted discharge of pollutants.
The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the cornerstone of surface water quality protection in the United States. (The Act does not deal directly with ground water nor with water quantity issues.) It’s mission statement reads something like this: “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters by preventing point and nonpoint pollution sources, providing assistance to publicly owned treatment works for the improvement of wastewater treatment, and maintaining the integrity of wetlands.”
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