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History of Wastewater Management

Serious point-source pollution problems in the past forced the EPA to take action. Before the EPA established industrial regulations, many companies disposed of toxic chemicals directly into stream and rivers. These disposal practices had devastating effects on the environment and water quality, effects that are still impacting us now. (See the feature on Superfund sites.) The federal government started managing water pollution in 1956 with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but many view the Clean Water Act of 1972 a real milestone because it set rigorous standards for wastewater discharge. Industries that don’t comply with the regulations face huge fines.

Web Link

Environmental Protection Agency. "Clean Water Act: A Brief History." Online. March 2002. http://www.epa.gov/region5/water/cwa.htm



Explore More: Water Quality
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