40 Years of Clean Water Act Accomplishments and Outline a Vision for the Future

Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 7:08am

Yes, 40 years ago, the Clean Water Act was enacted.  The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution. Passed in 1972, the act established the goals of eliminating releases of high amounts of toxic substances into water, eliminating additional water pollution by 1985, and ensuring that surface waters would meet standards necessary for human sports and recreation by 1983.

“The Clean Water Act changed our waterways and our business for the good, and for generations,” said DC Water General Manager George S. Hawkins. “The questions of what progress looks like for the next 40 years and at whose expense it should be funded are not simple to answer, but answer them we must.”

“"People don't realize what a difference the Clean Water Act has made in their lives. The fact that they can boat, swim and fish in waterways that previously were considered threats to public health is a direct result of this critical legislation,” said Jerry N. Johnson, General Manager/CEO, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. “As we move forward, planning should take into consideration the most critical impairments first rather than a siloed approach, which is only responsive to regulations rather than the needs of the water body and the population it serves.”

Let's continue to good work to meet those initial goals of the Act!