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Clean Water Act

  1. The Clean Water Act 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.) The statute employs a variety of regulatory and nonregulatory tools to sharply reduce direct pollutant discharges into waterways, finance municipal wastewater treatment facilities, and manage polluted runoff. These tools are employed to achieve the broader goal of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters so that they can support "the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water." The Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972 administered by the EPA. [Source: Introduction to the Clean Water Act, Watershed Academy Web, http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/cwa/]