Oct 23, 2007

Clean Water Act Turns 35

The United States Senate marked the 35th anniversary of Clean Water Act with a resolution lauding its successes.

The Clean Water Act, a bipartisan measure that was enacted on October 18, 1972, is the primary federal law addressing water pollution, aiming to keep waterways safe and clean. The CWA places restrictions on pollution levels and creates water quality standards for the nation's lakes, rivers, streams and other waters.

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Senator David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Transportation Safety, Infrastructure Security and Water Quality, joined with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) to sponsor a resolution commemorating the anniversary. The resolution was adopted by the Senate by unanimous consent.

Senator Lautenberg said: "For 35 years, Americans have relied on the Clean Water Act to keep our lakes, rivers, streams and coastal waters safe for us to fish and swim. It is the law that preserves our wetlands and protects our drinking water. I'm pleased to join my colleagues in commemorating this landmark of environmental and public health protection."

Senator Vitter said: "The Clean Water Act is responsible for many important impacts since it became law more than 35 years ago. The Act has leveraged billions of dollars for state and local governments to improve water quality and address water infrastructure needs. The entire Lake Pontchartrain Basin ecosystem will continue to benefit from the assistance provided under the Act."

Senator Boxer said: "The Clean Water Act has been one of our most successful environmental statutes to date. Since 1972, we have made tremendous progress, and today, our rivers, lakes and streams are far cleaner than they were three decades ago. But there is still more work to be done. Forty percent of the nation's tested waters currently fail to meet quality standards. As we honor the successes of the CWA today, it is important that we also recommit to protecting the quality of our nation's water."