Home Back Next Print Exit
Introduction How Rivers Run Stories Value Of A River What We Can Do
Quality of a River - Water Quality
Status (pg 2 of 2)

Reduction in pollutant loads were achieved through use of the following key tools that originated from the Clean Water Act:

  • Section 319 to address nonpoint sources, such as farmland and forestry runoff, through planning, assessment and grants.
  • Section 404 to regulate dredging or filling of wetlands and other waterways.
  • Section 401 to require federal agencies to obtain certification from the state, territory, or Indian tribes before issuing permits that would result in increased pollutant loads to a water body.
  • State revolving funds for loans to control municipal point and nonpoint pollution sources.
  • The development of a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for impaired waters. TMDLs determine what level of pollutant load would be consistent with meeting water quality standards.
  • Section 402, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program to control point sources. Discharge of stormwater from municipalities and construction sites is included in this program.

Although the Clean Water Act has been a major success in addressing point source pollution in aquatic systems, nonpoint sources remain our biggest challenge. Because of their diffuse nature, financial disincentives, and lack of regulatory authority, solving nonpoint source pollution will require the combined efforts of each of our individual choices and actions.

For more detailed information, go online to www.epa.gov/waterscience/.

Sandra Steingraber
Hear Sandra Steingraber
Toxic trespass

Read the text

Next Page

Introduction
Flow
Shape
Connections
Quality
Description
Temperature
Oxygen
Alkalinity
Nutrients
Sediment
Contaminants
Status
Life
Summary
Home | References and Credits | Exit