Clean Water Act

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A watershed-related issue examined by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.

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Passed into law in 1972, the Clean Water Act (CWA) is the principle federal law concerning water quality in the U.S..

Section 303(d)

Under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, states are required list impaired waterways. An impaired waterway is a waterway in which the pollution control methods set in place, are not enough to maintain or achieve appropriate water quality standards. Water quality monitoring data, along with additional information, is used by the state to determine which waterways do not meet water quality standards. For each waterway listed as impaired under Section 303(d), the state is required to establish a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). TDMLs determine the daily loading capacity for each individual pollutant for a body water such that the waterway will meet the standards for that pollutant.[1]

A list of Section 303(d) impaired water ways in California can be found on the State Water Resources Control Board's website.



  1. EPA Section 303


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