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Clean Water Act SAFE 210. History/Amendments Recent major amendments were enacted in 1972, 1977, and 1987. 1972 – Established the National Pollutant Discharge.

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Presentation on theme: "Clean Water Act SAFE 210. History/Amendments Recent major amendments were enacted in 1972, 1977, and 1987. 1972 – Established the National Pollutant Discharge."— Presentation transcript:

1 Clean Water Act SAFE 210

2 History/Amendments Recent major amendments were enacted in 1972, 1977, and – Established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES); set effluent standards, etc – Endorsed Flannery Decree approach to promulgate effluent guidelines, new source performance standards, and pretreatment standards for priority pollutants (65 (now 126)), etc – Nonpoint management provisions; toxic pollutant control provisions, etc.

3 Objective and Goals Objective: “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.” 1 Goals: Elimination of the discharge of pollutants into surface waters; and achievement of a level of water quality which “provides for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish and wildlife” and “for recreation in an on the water.” 2 1 Section 101(a), 33 U.S.C. § 1251(a) 2 Section 101(a)(1) & (2), 33 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(1) & (2)

4 Elements of the CWA Prohibition of discharges, except as in compliance with the Act (Section 301) Permit program to authorize and regulate certain discharges (Section 402) System for determining the limitations to be imposed on regulated discharges (Sections 301, 306, 307) Process for cooperative federal/state implementation (Sections 401, 402)

5 Elements of CWA (cont.) System for preventing, reporting, and responding to spills (Section 311) Permit program governing the discharge or placement of dredged or fill material into the nations waters (Section 404) Strong enforcement mechanisms (Section 309, 505) 3 3 Sullivan, Thomas F, et al., Environmental Law Handbook. 16 th ed. Government Institutes. Rockville, MD P

6 Discharges Prohibition against “the discharge of any pollutant by any person” except as in compliance with the Act’s permit requirements, effluent limitations, and other enumerated provisions.” 4 Definitions: “discharge of a pollutant” – “any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source.” 5 4 Section 301(a), 33 U.S.C. § 1311(a) 5 Section 502(12), 33 U.S.C. §1362(12)

7 Discharges (cont.) Definitions: “pollutant” - includes “dredged spoil, solid waste, incinerator residue, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt, and industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste discharged into water. 6 discharge of a pollutant” 6 “point source” – “any discernable, confined and discrete conveyance…from which pollutants are or may be discharged.” 7 “navigable waters” – “all waters of the United States” 8 6Section 502(6), 33 U.S.C. § 1362(6). 7Section 502(14), 33 U.S.C. § 1362(14). 8Section 502(14), 33 U.S.C. § 1462(14).

8 Discharges Storm water discharges Defined as “storm water runoff, snow melt runoff, and surface runoff and drainage” 7 Must obtain permit Indirect discharges A source introducing pollutants into a POTW. Pretreatment program Nonpoint source discharges -Depends primarily on state implementation -Requires assessment of waters -State management programs 7 40 CFR §122.26(b)(13)

9 NPDES Permit Program Requires permit for discharges of pollutants from a point source to waters of US. Primary purpose of permit is to establish enforceable effluent limitations, monitoring, and reporting requirements. Best Management Practices (BMPs) Can be delegated to state or local authorities

10 NPDES Permit Program (cont.) Requires permit for discharges of pollutants from a point source to waters of US. Primary purpose of permit is to establish enforceable effluent limitations, monitoring, and reporting requirements. Best Management Practices (BMPs) Can be delegated to state or local authorities

11 NPDES Permit Program (cont.) Requires permit for discharges of pollutants from a point source to waters of US. Primary purpose of permit is to establish enforceable effluent limitations, monitoring, and reporting requirements. Best Management Practices (BMPs) Can be delegated to state or local authorities

12 Determining Limitations Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) Maximum amount of pollution that a water body can receive without violating water quality standards Based on a priority ranking for waterbodies Pollutant trading Toxicity-based limitations Biological criteria

13 Dredged/Fill Material Section 404 of CWA prohibits the discharge of dredged or fill material into navigable waters. Requires permit

14 Spills Section 311 of CWA prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances into navigable waters in quantities that may be harmful. Requires development of a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan

15 State Implementation & Enforcement States and local can assume active role in enforcement States must demonstrate civil and criminal enforcement authority EPA still has right to initiate enforcement actions


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