18 October 2011

The U.S. Clean Water Act at 39...

The Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972, also known as the Clean Water Act, became law in the United States 39 years ago today.  Early in the day I opened my Twitter account to find some strangely aberrant claims about what the CWA does (e.g., "drinkable waterways"), and what we should "do for its birthday."  Well, anything that was later suggested would come too late and far-too-long-in-process to help the CWA see a happy 39th, but we can still work to build a better 40th year and a stronger set of rules on water quality for the future...

So, as much as I could in 140 characters at a time, I had a little Twitter rant to voice my concerns.  It's kind of difficult to keep up the steam of a long rant with that kind of limitation reducing concepts to sound-bites.  Nevertheless, I'm reproducing those tweets here for those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, or Facebook (where most of my tweets get mirrored) for that matter. 
  • The U.S. Clean Water Act was enacted 39 years ago today by Congressional override of President Nixon's veto. We are now in it's 40th year.
  • Nothing good will come of the bills before our present Congress, so let's wish for (and work on) good things for it's 40th b-day, shall we?
  • The U.S. Clean Water Act aims for fishable and swimmable waterways and drinkable tap water, but we need to be willing to pay for all that.
  • The U.S. Clean Water Act provides for waterway protection by EPA regs and Army Corps of Engineers permit rules, but enforcement costs $$.
  • The U.S. Clean Water Act regulates how much wetlands can get destroyed + how much As gets into your tap water. The rules could be better...
  • The U.S. Clean Water Act needs real rules for protection of headwater streams and riparian wetlands, not mere "guidance" for permitting.
  • The U.S. Clean Water Act needs regulators willing to enforce, w/o negotiation or prejudice, the letter of the law on chem/bio contaminants.
  • And finally, the U.S. Clean Water Act needs an executive agency (EPA) tied to Dept. of Justice and fully funded to police its jurisdiction.
That was all.  I think I said what I wanted and needed to say about the CWA, at least for that moment in time.  By all means, submit your comments, thoughts, support and/or (dis)agreement!

P.S. and by the way, my post for World Food Day on Sunday was a ResearchBlogging.org Editor's Selection for the week!  Woo hoo!  Many thanks to the editors there and you all, my dear readers!

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