"Much progress has been made in achieving the ambitious goals that Congress established 40 years ago in the Clean Water Act (CWA) to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters. However, long-standing problems persist, and new problems have emerged. [...] There is little agreement among stakeholders about what solutions are needed and whether new legislation is required to address the nation's remaining water pollution problems. For some time, efforts to comprehensively amend the CWA have stalled as interests have debated whether and exactly how to change the law. Congress has instead focused legislative attention on enacting narrow bills to extend or modify selected CWA programs, but not any comprehensive proposals. [...] Among the topics of interest are environmental and economic impacts of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, federal promulgation of water quality standards in Florida, regulation of surface coal mining activities in Appalachia, and other CWA regulatory actions. Congressional interest in several of these issues has been reflected in specific legislative proposals and debate over policy provisions of legislation to provide appropriations for EPA. In the 112th Congress, Members from both parties raised questions about the cost-effectiveness of some of EPA's actions and/or whether the agency has exceeded its authority. Attention to these issues continues in the 113th Congress."
CRS Report for Congress, R42883
National Agricultural Law Center: http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/