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Water: Module 1

Basic Course: Key Concepts (Module 1.a)

Introduction: Stewards of a National Resource

Module 1. WQS Program Overview

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As an important national resource, the condition of lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries, and wetlands throughout the country is a matter of interest for all Americans.

In 1972, with the objective of protecting such waters, the U.S. Congress enacted the Clean Water Act (officially the Federal Water Pollution Control Act). Since enactment, Congress has further strengthened this landmark legislation with amendments.

Congress charged EPA with implementation of the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the Agency issued regulations governing the development, review, and approval of State/Tribal water quality standards. Each State/Tribe, however, plays the primary role in establishing its own water quality standards, with EPA oversight to ensure State/Tribal standards are consistent with the CWA and regulations.

Key Point. States/Tribes are partners with EPA in the effort to restore and protect the Nation's waters through the water quality standards program.

Video Clip View a 2-minute video clip from the classroom session about EPA and States/Tribes working together on water quality.

For informational purposes only–Not official statements of EPA policy.

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