Water Quality Issues in the 113th Congress: An Overview [October 2, 2014]   [open pdf - 363KB]

"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. Water quality problems are diverse, ranging from pollution runoff from farms and ranches, city streets, and other diffuse or 'nonpoint' sources, to toxic substances discharged from factories and sewage treatment plants. 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. For several years, the most prominent legislative water quality issue has concerned financial aid for municipal wastewater treatment projects. House and Senate committees have approved bills to reauthorize CWA assistance on several occasions since the 107 th Congress, but, for various reasons, no legislation other than appropriations has been enacted. At issue has been the role of the federal government in assisting states and cities in meeting needs to rebuild, repair, and upgrade wastewater treatment plants, especially in light of capital costs that are projected to be nearly $300 billion over the next 20 years."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42883
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Media Type:
Help with citations