Water Quality: Background and Issues for Congress


Edward Saunders (Editor)
Leona P. Morgan (Editor)

Series: Congressional Policies, Practices and Procedures, Water Resource Planning, Development and Management
BISAC: POL006000

Much progress has been made in achieving the ambitious goals that Congress established in 1972 in the Clean Water Act (CWA) to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. However, long-standing problems persist, and new problems have emerged. Water quality problems are diverse, ranging from pollution runoff from farms and ranches, city streets, and other diffuse or “nonpoint” sources, to toxic substances discharged from factories and sewage treatment plants. Since the early 2000s, increased oil and gas production across the nation has resulted in a corresponding increase in wastewater that must be managed, reused, or disposed of properly. In particular, the hydraulic fracturing process has also raised concerns about potential effects to human health and the environment, including the potential contamination of underground drinking water sources by injecting wastewater associated with the production of oil and gas.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Water Quality Issues in the 114th Congress: An Overview
Claudia Copeland

Chapter 2. Clean Water Act Section 401: Background and Issues
Claudia Copeland

Chapter 3. Evolution of the Meaning of “Waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act
Stephen P. Mulligan

Chapter 4. Clean Water Rule Challenges Must Begin in Federal District Courts, Supreme Court Holds
Stephen P. Mulligan

Chapter 5. Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations
Jonathan L. Ramseur and Mary Tiemann

Chapter 6. Drinking Water: EPA Needs to Collect Information and Consistently Conduct Activities to Protect Underground Sources of Drinking Water

Chapter 7. Lead in Flint, Michigan’s Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role
Mary Tiemann

Chapter 8. Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms: Causes, Challenges, and Policy Considerations
Laura Gatz


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