There are a number of federal environmental statutes that make up environmental law, and these are aimed at defending and protecting particular aspects of the environment, thus also promoting public health and welfare.
As the name might suggest, the Clean Water Act is dedicated to the defence and protection of the nation’s water. This act is designed to ensure that the water retains the correct balance in terms of its physical, biological and chemical make up. Permits must be applied for under this act for any source that could be a potential pollutant of the water. This program is overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Originally enacted in 1972, this act was originally known as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. It became known simply as the Clean Water Act following amendments in 1977. The Clean Water Act set rules and regulations to protect the waters from pollutants and contamination as well as setting water quality standards.
Over the years, additional amendments have been made to the Clean Water Act in the hope of continually improving the protection provided through this Act. Changes have also been made to the way the Act is funded, and rather than the old municipal grants scheme it is now funded through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.