The Clean Water Act Returns (Again): Part I, TMDLs and the Chesapeake Bay
The CWA, with multiple paths to its destination, is reinventing itself once more. Enacted in modern for in 1972, the next quarter century saw EPA focused on the development of technology standards for industrial and municipal point sources. In the mid-1990s, prodded forward by a stream of citizen suits, the Agency started to address nonpoint sources of pollution through water quality standards and the TMDL program. This movement stalled from 2000-2009, and the current revival raises the question whether EPA, at last, can make nonpoint and ambient-based controls effective. The answers are being tested in two venues where the problems are among the most acute and their solutions the most resisted: the Chesapeake Bay and Florida. As go the Chesapeake and the Sunshine State, so will go the future of clean water for years to come.