CWA Anti-Degredation Policy

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As a growing concern of our water quality here in the United States began to arise in the 1940s the government set in place the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, known today as The Clean Water Act CWA. The CWA is one of the any acts and amendments that govern our water pollution, “Its objective is to maintain and restore the chemical, physical, and biological elements of the nation's waters by identifying and preventing direct and indirect pollution sources”. The CWA sets regulations, dealing with the concerns about untreated sewage and its toxic discharges, water contamination and the unscrupulous effects they have on wetlands. The CWA sets standards and the individual state governments ensure that their cities and towns are following standards.…show more content…
Whether pollution is coming from industries, runoff or from other indirect sources, the federal and state government offers tools and financial assistance for local governments to be able to abide by the standards set in place by the CWA. The anti-degradation policy identifies the steps and questions that must be addressed when regulated activities are proposed that may affect water quality. Anti-degredation policy has three Tiers: Tier one, “maintains and protects existing uses and water quality conditions necessary to support such uses”. Tier two, “maintains and protects "high quality" waters”, such as bodies of water that are used for fishing and swimming. Tier Three, “maintains and protects water quality in outstanding national resource waters”, waters that are “ecologically sensitive”. Each state establishes their own three tiered anti-degredation policy. Funding is provided to states to ensure this policy. Water bodies that do not meet applicable water quality standards are placed on the section 303d list of water bodies that are not meeting standards. Water bodies on the 303d list require a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that the water body can receive and still meet quality

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