US Water Cleanup Program Speeds Up—But Still Much Red Tape

by Eugene E. Dallaire, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1975, Vol. 45, Issue 8, Pg. 71-76

Document Type: Feature article


Since Congress enacted the Federal Pollution Control Amendments (P.L. 92-500) in 1972, little progress has been made in cleaning up the nation's waters. In fact, public dollars spent on pollution-control facilities are far less than before the Act was passed. A big part of the problem is unnecessary paperwork. As a way out, WPCF and others are strongly urging that much of the federal water-pollution-control program be delegated to the states — subject, of course, to federal auditing. This would also permit much closer consideration of local conditions in setting pollution-control regulations. Failure to do so has created poor morale among local agencies and consultants and is wasting millions of dollars and scarce resources. Meanwhile, private industry is making reasonable progress toward meeting the 1977 goal of best practicable technology. But there is a growing feeling among industrialists that the 1983 goal of best available technology and the 1985 goal of zero discharge are serious mistakes.

Subject Headings: Federal government | Water management | Water quality | Industries | Water pollution | Public buildings | Audits | Permits | United States

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