Water is a critical source that is utilized by most living things on Earth to support it ways of live. The usage of water ranges from basic household needs to agricultural purposes. Water is one of the resources on the Earth that is becoming more and more scarce and the water available for usage is being further contaminated by pollution causing sickness and death.(World Health Organization).Countries are experiencing droughts affecting the water supply needed to maintain irrigation, thermoelectric power, and public supply. The definition of water pollution is the result of when too many toxic materials are present, in which negatively impact the water to be unsafe for its intended purpose, which may be drinking to industrial processes or recreation purposes such as swimming. This resulted in more than 1.
2 billions people on earth not having access to clean water (Science Daily). Water pollution is a threat to human civilization and is global issue that is attempt to prevented by countries around the world. United States in particular passes The Clean Water Acts to fight against the threat of water pollution and prevent further damages.The Clean Water Act attribute to a fundamental law in the United States used to supervise and prevent the pollution of water resources. Ratified in 1972, the Clean Water Act was formulated with the goals of eradicating the discharge of high quantities of contaminated materials into water resources, eradicating further pollution of water by 1985, and making sure that surface waters met the standards needed to support human recreation and supports by 1983. Essentially, the Clean Water Act stipulates the fundamental structure used in the regulation of discharges of toxic pollutants into water resources of the US and ensuring conformance of quality standards for groundwater (Environmental Protection Agency).
The Clean Water Act draws upon the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948, which was later expanded and restructured in 1972 to the Clean Water Act. Under the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the mandate of implementing programs for controlling pollution such as establishing standards for wastewater discharge for various industries. In addition, the CWA establishes the water quality standards applicable to all groundwater contaminants. Furthermore, the Clean Water Act illegalized the discharge of any contaminant material from a point source into navigable water bodies with the exception of a permit acquired from EPA. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program, under the EPA, helps in controlling discharges (Environmental Protection Agency ).According to the CWA, point sources refer to discrete conveyances, which include industrial, agricultural and municipal government facilities. Examples of point sources include man-made ditches and pipes, feedlots, and mining, manufacturing and oil extraction industries.
Point sources require the permission from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System to discharge polluting substances to surface waters. For instance, individual homes using either septic systems, linked to a municipal system, or lack surface charge do not require the permission of NPDES; nevertheless, municipal, industrial and other facilities have to acquire permits in cases where their discharges are connected directly to surface waters (Environmental Protection Agency).Besides the definition of point sources, the Clean Water Act uses other pollution control strategies including technology-based standards, water quality standards, definition of nonpoint sources, and funding for pollution controls. In relation to technology based standards, the CWA provides EPA with the mandate of setting effluent limits applicable on an industry-wide basis without taking into account the conditions of a specific receiving water body.
This is achieved by developing standards for various classifications of discharger depending on the performance of the technologies used in pollution control. The goal was to establish a level playing field through setting up a national discharge standard applicable for all facilities classified in one category utilizing the “best available technology.” As a result, this is the minimum regulatory prerequisite when seeking a permit.
In cases where the national standards do not protect water bodies in a given location, water quality standards are deployed, which requires the discharging entity to put in place extra controls. Water quality refers to the biological, physical and chemical attributes if water in relation to the needs of human and other biotic species. The CWA gives EPA the power to approve the NPDES permit programs at the state level, which allows states to undertake various aspects of the program including administrative functions, permitting and enforcement functions (Environmental Protection Agency no. pag.).The Clean Water Act was passed by the 92nd US Congress under the presidency of Richard Nixon.
At the passing of the law, both the US Senate and US House of Representatives had a Democratic majority. The composition of the Senate of 100 members was Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Independent, with each having 54, 44, 1, and 1 members respectively. The composition of the House of Representatives was Democratic (58.6%) and Republican (41.4%), with each having 255 and 180 members respectively (Snider) & (Wikipedia).