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Water: Module 1

Basic Course: Key Concepts (Module 1.b)

Protecting the Nation’s Waters: The Clean Water Act

Module 1. WQS Program Overview

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The CWA has both an overall objective and an interim goal:

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Overall Objective

The overall objective of the CWA is to "restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters." Section 101(a).

 

 

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Interim Goal
The CWA establishes as an interim goal "water quality which provides for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish and wildlife and provides for recreation in and on the water," wherever attainable. Section 101(a)(2).

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Key Point. When enacted, the CWA focused on States and Territories. Amendments enacted in 1987, however, authorized EPA to collaborate with Indian Tribes essentially as States for the purpose of establishing water quality standards on Indian lands. As a prerequisite to developing standards, interested Tribes are required to coordinate with EPA to establish their eligibility as the local governing body responsible for water quality.

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Key Point. When enacted, the CWA focused on States and Territories. Amendments enacted in 1987, however, authorized EPA to collaborate with Indian Tribes essentially as States for the purpose of establishing water quality standards on Indian lands. As a prerequisite to developing standards, interested Tribes are required to coordinate with EPA to establish their eligibility as the local governing body responsible for water quality.

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Learn More. Relevant provisions of the CWA. Proceed to the Learn More Topic. Note: This link launches a pop-up window.


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

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