Chenoweth Law Group

Environmental law concept: Clean Water Act points to consider

In our post last week, we talked about how dealing with issues involving the Clean Water Act can prove complicated. Our Oregon readers might like to know more about the Clean Water Act. This act is meant to protect the water supply. It is a federal act, so it is universal across the country.

The CWA regulates pollutants that are discharged into the environment. This includes pollutants that are indirectly discharged and those that are directly discharged. Some examples include fecal coliform, grease, oil, biochemical oxygen demand and pH. While those are considered the conventional pollutants, the CWA also includes non-conventional pollutants.

Companies that are subject to the CWA regulations must go through Environmental Protection Agency inspections. These inspections include a variety of aspects. The EPA will sample wastewater, monitor how samples are collected, review how the samples are analyzed, interview personnel, go over discharge monitoring reports and inspect the processes dealing with the wastewater. The inspection isn't limited only to the treatment of the wastewater. Even the process that generates the wastewater is inspected during the investigation.

The purpose of the investigation is to determine if the facility is in compliance with the CWA standards. These guidelines are specific to the state and area, so they can vary from one location to another. This is based on the classification of the water receiving the pollutants and how the 126 primary pollutants can affect human health and aquatic life in that body of water.

Remaining in compliance is a critical aspect of running a business that must comply with the CWA guidelines. If your business has fallen out of compliance or if the EPA has found issues, having proper representation is vital to your case.

Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency, "Clean Water Act (CWA)" accessed Feb. 03, 2015

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