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Clean Water in the Environmental Policy Context - Essay Example

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Clean Water in the Environmental Policy Context Official Name of Course POL 310 Larry Buenafe Arthur Piervincenti 16 Jan 2012 Introduction Surface water in the United States is prone to pollution from various sources of untreated sewerage. This therefore means that care must be taken to ensure that these water bodies are protected from circumstances that can give rise to contamination…
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Clean Water in the Environmental Policy Context
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Download file to see previous pages Secondly, the maintenance of a pollution-free waterbody requires several technological and monitoring arrangements which can come at a high cost. Thirdly, water is an essential and abundant resource. People believe that they have the right to clean water. This therefore means that authorities need to ensure that waterbodies are clean and free of pollution. Additionally, the flora and fauna related to the ecosystems of rivers and other waterbodies have the right to be preserved. These three factors imply that federal and state governments have a primary obligation to ensure that water is free from pollution. The inherent nature of clean water issues means that government can only handle the issue of providing safe water through policy. This paper examines the challenges facing policymakers in providing clean water to the public. To this end, the focus will be on the Clean Water Act, 1977 which provides the basic policy framework to tackle this issue through pollution control programs and limitation of discharge into waterbodies (Summary of Clean Water Act, 2011). The research examines perspectives into the challenges facing this Act and comes up with recommendations on how to deal with these challenges. The paper undertakes a critical view of the recommendations and examines how it can be applied in reality. Clean Water Act 1977 The Clean Water Act was enacted “... to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation's waters” (Section 101 a). This means that it provides a framework to ensure that practical steps are taken to prevent the pollution of our waterbodies. The Act empowers the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Army Corps of Engineers and the States to take reasonable steps to prevent the pollution of surface water in the country (National Research Council, 2008 p65). These parties work together with the other law enforcement agencies to ensure that all limits the law is followed appropriately in local jurisdictions. The Act was ammended in 1981, 1987 and 1990 (National Research Council, 2008 p265). The Act has six different Titles. Title I is about research and related programs. It sets out the goals of the act and the preamble it follows. Title II is about Grants for the Construction of Treatment Works. It shows how the various municipalities will be assisted to expand sewerage treatment plants. Title III is about Standards & Enforcement. It borders on discharge points, technology quality standards, water quality programs as well as criminal and civil provision for the enforcement of the law. Title IV outlines the federal and state certification and the issuance of permits and licenses needed for various potential polluters. Title V is about the facts that citizens can sue polluters and the procedures they can follow for that. It also describes the protections offered to whistleblowers. Title VI is about funding for State and local water pollution control systems. Policy Challenges of the Clean Water Act There are three main significant challenges that can be identified in relation to the Clean Water Act. First of all, there is a major problem in relation to the uniformity of the application of the Act. Secondly, there is limited funding for treatment services as well as monitoring services to ensure that the Act is fully controlled and kept in motion. Thirdly, due to the apathy in the society and the existence of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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