State Officials Sound Off on Most Pressing Water Quality Issues

by Gene Dallaire, Assoc. Ed.; Civil Engineering Magazine, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1982, Vol. 52, Issue 9, Pg. 49-52

Document Type: Feature article


In the months ahead, Congress will undertake the awesome task of amending the nation's most important law regulating water pollution control: the Clean Water Act of 1977. The federal EPA has already forwarded proposed amendments to Congress. Yet, what changes do state water pollution control officials feel should be made in the law? What are the major issues? These questions are discussed in this article. Among the key points made: there is a need for long-term predictable funding from the federal government to the states; there is a need for a strong federal push to ensure that states develop effective pretreatment programs; the federal government should concern itself with the overall strategy of the nation's water pollution control program and not get bogged down in tactics and subtactics, which are best left to the states; constructing wastewater treatment plants should be a local responsibility—not a federal one; to become self-sufficient, municipal wastewater treatment facilities will have to increase their sewer charges; it is unwise to try and make all the streams in the U.S. fishable and swimmable.

Subject Headings: Water pollution | Water quality | Water treatment plants | Wastewater treatment plants | Municipal wastewater | Municipal water | Local government | Government buildings

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