Water Quality

November 24, 2000 • Volume 10, Issue 41
Are the government's new pollution rules fair?
By Mary H. Cooper

Introduction

The dumping of 90,000 gallons of raw sewage last July into the Harpeth River near Franklin, Tenn., caused a massive fish kill. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Shelley Mays)
The dumping of 90,000 gallons of raw sewage last July into the Harpeth River near Franklin, Tenn., caused a massive fish kill. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Shelley Mays)

Pollution of the nation's streams, rivers and lakes has been dramatically reduced sincepassage of the 1972 Clean Water Act and other landmark environmental legislation. But while the most blatant, visible discharges of industrial wastes and sewage have been eliminated, pollution remains a problem. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, up to 40 percent of U.S. waters are still too dirty for swimming or fishing. Today the main culprit is runoff, which occurs when rainwater and snowmelt carry excess nutrients, animal waste and toxic chemicals from farms, city streets and construction sites into nearby streams. The EPA has proposed new rules to curtail water pollution, but critics charge that they are scientifically unsound and unfair to farmers and ranchers.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Water Pollution
Jul. 15, 2016  Drinking Water Safety
Oct. 17, 2014  Protecting the Oceans
Jun. 18, 2010  Water Shortages
Aug. 01, 2003  Water Shortages
Nov. 24, 2000  Water Quality
Dec. 15, 1995  Global Water Shortages
Feb. 11, 1994  Water Quality
Apr. 19, 1991  California: Enough Water for the Future?
Jan. 30, 1987  Western Water
Jul. 12, 1985  Preventing Groundwater Contamination
Jan. 14, 1977  Western Water: Coming Crisis
Feb. 15, 1974  Drinking Water Safety
Aug. 11, 1965  Water Resources and National Water Needs
Dec. 08, 1960  Pollution of Water Supplies
Oct. 02, 1959  Water Needs and Resources
Jul. 01, 1955  Water for the Future
Jul. 24, 1953  Water Pollution
Feb. 15, 1950  Water Supply
Oct. 03, 1947  Unclean Waters
Sep. 17, 1935  Stream Pollution and the Disposal of Waste
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Soil and Watershed Conservation
Water Resources