Clean Water Act

September 27: Public Comment deadline for new EPA regulations

I. What is the overarching issue?

The 1972 Clean Water Act gave the federal government authority to limit pollution to both major bodies of water (i.e. Chesapeake Bay) and to streams and wetlands that drain into those bodies of water. However, in 2001 and 2006, two Supreme Court decisions resulted in legal confusion on whether or not the federal government has the authority to regulate smaller streams, headwaters, and wetlands.