Clean Water Act Not Strong Enough

Hills Water Flat Land

A new report from the Environmental Integrity Project calls for eliminating agricultural exemptions for the Clean Water Act. They want the Act fixed because it’s missed the original goal of getting 100 percent of American waters fishable and swimmable by 1983. DTN says farmers and ranchers have had many of their practices exempted from the CWA, basically assessing ag runoff as non-point sources of pollution. “Congress should strengthen the Clean Water Act by closing its loophole for agricultural runoff and other non-point sources of pollution,” the EIP report says, “which are by far the largest sources of impairments in U.S. waterways.” The report also says “factory-style animal production” should get regulated like other industries because of its “massive waste disposal problem,” and that government agencies should get more power to enforce total maximum daily loads or TMDLs. The Biden administration is currently rewriting the definitions of the “Waters of the U.S. Rule.”

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