The clean water act was passed in 1948 but back then it was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The act was reorganized and expanded in 1972 and changed the name to Clean Water Act and made some amendments. The clean water act makes it unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into lakes, rivers and coastal waters, unless a permit is obtained, (epa.gov). Homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need a permit but industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters. The construction grants program funded the construction of sewage treatment plants. The clean water act was initiated because years ago only 1/3 of our nation’s waters were safe for fishing and swimming. 460,000 acres a year of wetland losses were estimated and large amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen are deposited into waters from agricultural runoff resulted in the erosion of 2.25 billion tons of soil. If this was to continue to happen most of our water would be contaminated. The government decided to step in to keep this from happening, (grc.nasa.gov). Their objective is to eliminate pollutants into our waters and to acquire water levels that are fishable and swimmable. Now two thirds of our waters are safe for fishing and swimming, the loss of wetlands is only 70,000 to 90,000, phosphorus and nitrate levels are down, and soil loss due to agricultural runoff is down by a billion tons annually, (Martins, T.). Ten billion dollars have been invested to protect water quality. If an industry does not abide the clean water act they are subject to monetary penalties. There is a calculation to determine the amount needed to pay and it is based on how much pollutants they allowed into the water and for how long. Some other things they need to pay for are costs of the sampling and proper laboratory analysis, Capital equipment improvements or repairs,...
References: Martins, T., Clean Water Act Abstracts, retrieved on April 22, 2012 from http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/fenlewis/cwa.htm
Please join StudyMode to read the full document