Water Pollution

Water Pollution: Regulations

Water pollution is a serious threat to the environment. Ever since the Cuyahoga River burned due to industrial pollution, the federal government has acted to improve water quality by limiting water pollution.

Water Pollution

Water pollution is a serious threat to the environment. Ever since the Cuyahoga River burned due to industrial pollution, the federal government has acted to improve water quality by limiting water pollution. In 1972, the government enacted the Clean Water Act (CWA) a cornerstone of environmental legislation designed to protect the nation’s waters from water pollution.

Additionally, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was enacted in 1974 to protect drinking water sources.

Why is it important to comply the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act?

Limiting water pollution protects the nation’s waters, which protects human health and the environment.
Many industrial facilities discharge pollutants in some capacity, and should ensure that there are no CWA or SDWA requirements, as the financial and criminal penalties associated with water pollution are severe.

Water pollution violations also threaten your corporate reputation and brand image.

Important regulations protecting water supplies

The CWA broadly regulates many industrial activities to protect the nation’s waters by limiting the total quantities of pollutants introduced into waterbodies. The CWA sets total pollution limits for waterbodies and restricts the pollution individual facilities may release.

Pollution may be introduced to waterbodies through stormwater runoff or industrial wastewater discharges . wetlands and other waters are also protected from development, unless authorized by a permit.
The SDWA protects the supply of drinking water by regulating underground injection wells that have the potential to contaminate underground sources of drinking water.


Definitions

What is a pollutant?

The CWA broadly defines a pollutant as “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.”

What is pollution?

The CWA broadly defines pollution as “the man-made or man-induced alteration of the chemical, physical, biological, and radiological integrity of water.”

Learn more about Environmental Laws & Standards


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