Sample Environmental Studies and Forestry Coursework Paper on Clean Water Act

 Clean Water Act 

Clean water act functions to create the assembly for regulating ejections of pollutants into the water bodies and controlling quality in the water surface. The act, for example in the United States Pollution Controls programs was implemented by setting waste water standards for industries and developing a national water quality criterion (Parry, 1998). The Clean water deed bans the emission of any element that may pollute the water bodies from any source point into any navigable water unless permitted by the law. Point sources could include pipes or ditches made by man to discharge pollutants into surfaces of running waters. There are different perspectives about the clean water act effectiveness. When it comes to non-point pollutant sources the clean water act is far less effective as it is not easy to trace back the point such as agricultural pollutants like fertilizers whereas for point source pollutants, its effective since the penalties are charged based on limits the amount of discharge released into the surface waters. The act also has effectiveness as it sets up funds for water treatment facilities construction. Further, the act also identifies and manages the water bodies appropriately (Lyon & Stein, 2009). In order to achieve more effectiveness in the water act, the agency should put rigid demands on those that discharge point source pollutants by installing best practicable control technology to manage their wastes before discharging into surface waters. The act should also allow for findings to construct water treatment plants (Copeland, 1999). A more flexible approach should be amended in the act to allow for partnerships between governments and companies and organizations that deal in waste management to achieve common goals that will make the clean water act more effective.


Copeland, C. (1999). Clean Water Act: a summary of the law. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.

Lyon, G. S., & Stein, E. D. (2009). How effective has the Clean Water Act been at reducing pollutant mass emissions to the Southern California Bight over the past 35 years?. Environmental monitoring and assessment154(1-4), 413.

Parry, R. (1998). Agricultural phosphorus and water quality: A US Environmental Protection Agency perspective. Journal of Environmental Quality27(2), 258-261.