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Encyclopedia > Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution.[1] Commonly abbreviated as the CWA, the act established the symbolic goals of eliminating releases to water of high amounts of toxic substances, eliminating additional water pollution by 1985, and ensuring that surface waters would meet standards necessary for human sports and recreation by 1983. Federal law is the body of law created by the federal government of a nation. ... Raw sewage and industrial waste flows into the U.S. from Mexico as the New River passes from Mexicali, Baja California to Calexico, California Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater caused by human activities, which can be harmful to organisms and... This article is about the year. ... For the Jimi Hendrix song, see 1983. ...


The principal body of law currently in effect is based on the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972, which significantly expanded and strengthened earlier legislation.[2] Major amendments were enacted in the Clean Water Act of 1977 enacted by the 95th United States Congress[3] and the Water Quality Act of 1987 enacted by the 100th United States Congress.[4] Year 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... Ninety-fifth United States Congress Links and spelling have to be verified. ... This article is about the year 1987. ... // Dates of Sessions January 3, 1987 to March 3, 1989 Major political events Bicentennial of the United States Constitution Major Legislation Officers Senate Majority leadership Minority leadership House of Representatives Members States Alabama Senators Howell T. Heflin (D) Richard C. Shelby (D) Representatives 1. ...

Contents

Pollution control strategy in the CWA

Point sources

The 1972 act introduced a permit system for regulating point sources of pollution. Point sources include: Look up point source in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

  • industrial facilities (including manufacturing, mining, oil and gas extraction, and service industries)
  • municipal governments and other government facilities (such as military bases), and
  • some agricultural facilities, such as animal feedlots.

Point sources may not discharge pollutants to surface waters without a permit from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). This system is managed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with state environmental agencies. EPA has authorized 45 states to issue permits directly to the discharging facilities. In the remaining states and territories, the permits are issued by an EPA regional office.[5] Beef cattle on a feedlot in the Texas Panhandle A feedlot or feedyard is a type of concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) (also known as factory farming) which is used for finishing livestock, notably beef cattle, prior to slaughter. ... EPA redirects here. ...


In previous legislation, Congress had authorized states to develop water quality standards, which would limit discharges from facilities based on the characteristics of individual water bodies. However, these standards were only to be developed for interstate waters, and the science to support this process (i.e. data, methodology) was in the early stages of development. This system was not effective and there was no permit system in place to enforce the requirements. In the 1972 CWA Congress added the permit system and a requirement for technology-based effluent limitations.[6] Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political...


Technology-based standards

The 1972 CWA created a new requirement for technology-based standards for point source discharges. EPA develops these standards for categories of dischargers, based on the performance of pollution control technologies without regard to the conditions of a particular receiving water body. The standard becomes the minimum regulatory requirement in a permit.[7]


Water quality standards

The 1972 act authorized continued use of the water quality-based approach, but in coordination with the technology-based standards. After application of technology-based standards to a permit, if water quality is still impaired for the particular water body, then the permit agency (state or EPA) may add water quality-based limitations to that permit. The additional limitations are to be more stringent than the technology-based limitations and would require the permittee to install additional controls.


Nonpoint sources

Congress exempted some water pollution sources from the point source definition in the 1972 CWA, and was unclear on the status of some other sources. These sources were therefore considered to be nonpoint sources that were not subject to the permit program.


Agricultural stormwater discharges and irrigation return flows were specifically exempted from permit requirements.[8] Congress, however, provided support for research programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve runoff management practices on farms. USDA redirects here. ...


Stormwater runoff from industrial sources, municipal storm drains, and other sources were not specifically addressed in the 1972 law. EPA declined to include urban and industrial stormwater discharges in the NPDES program and consequently was sued by an environmental group. The courts ruled that stormwater discharges must be covered by the permit program.[9] Stormwater is a term used to describe water that originates during precipitation events. ... Runoff flowing into a stormwater drain Surface runoff is water, from rain, snowmelt, or other sources, that flows over the land surface, and is a major component of the water cycle[1][2]. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called overland flow. ...


A growing body of research during the late 1970's and 1980's indicated that stormwater runoff was a significant cause of water quality impairment in many parts of the U.S. In the early 1980's EPA conducted the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program (NURP) to document the extent of the urban stormwater problem. The agency began to develop regulations for stormwater permit coverage, but encountered resistance from industry and municipalities, and there were additional rounds of litigation.


In the Water Quality Act of 1987 (1987 WQA) Congress responded to the stormwater problem by requiring that industrial stormwater dischargers and municipal separate storm sewer systems (often called "MS4") obtain NPDES permits, by specific deadlines. The permit exemption for agricultural discharges continued, but Congress created a nonpoint source pollution demonstration grant program at EPA to expand the research and development of nonpoint controls and management practices. A storm drain, storm sewer, or stormwater drain (in Australia) system is designed to drain excess rain and ground water from an area. ...


Financing of pollution controls

Congress created a major public works financing program for municipal sewage treatment in the 1972 CWA. A system of grants for construction of municipal wastewater treatment plants was authorized and funded in Title II. In the initial program the federal portion of each grant was up to 75 percent of a facility's capital cost, with the remainder financed by the state. In subsequent amendments Congress reduced the federal proportion of the grants and in the 1987 WQA transitioned to a revolving loan program in Title VI. Industrial and other private facilities are required to finance their own treatment improvements on the "polluter pays" principle. Also called Wastewater treatment works Sewage treatment – treatment and disposal of human waste. ...


Major statutory provisions For those in need

The Act is comprised of six titles.


Title I - Research and Related Programs

Title I includes a Declaration of Goals and Policy[10] and various grant authorizations for research programs and pollution control programs. Some of the programs authorized by the 1972 law are ongoing (e.g. section 104 research programs, section 106 pollution control programs, section 117 Chesapeake Bay Program) while other programs are no longer operational. The Chesapeake Bay Program is the regional partnership that directs and conducts the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. ...


Title II - Grants for Construction of Treatment Works

To assist municipalities in creating or expanding wastewater treatment plants Title II established a system of construction grants. This was replaced by the Clean Water State Revolving Fund in the 1987 WQA. See Title VI.


Title III - Standards and enforcement

Technology-Based Standards Program

Under the 1972 act EPA began to issue technology-based standards for municipal and industrial sources.

  • Municipal sewage treatment plants, also called publicly-owned treatment works (POTW) are required to meet secondary treatment standards.[11]
  • Effluent guidelines (for existing sources) and New Source Performance Standards are issued for categories of industrial facilities discharging directly to surface waters.[12]
  • Categorical Pretreatment Standards are issued to industrial users (also called "indirect dischargers") contributing wastes to POTW.[13] These standards are developed in conjunction with the effluent guidelines program.


The secondary treatment standards for POTWs and the effluent guidelines are implemented through NPDES permits. (See Title IV.) The categorical pretreatment standards are typically implemented by POTWs through permits that they issue to their industrial users.[14] A publicly traded corporation often refers to a company whose shares are traded on the open market, such as a stock market. ... Sewage treatment, or domestic wastewater treatment, is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater, both runoff and domestic. ... Effluent guidelines are national standards for wastewater discharges to surface waters and publicly owned treatment works (municipal sewage treatment plants). ... As part of an effort to control pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency provides New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) to dictate the level of pollution that a new major stationary source may produce. ...


Water Quality Standards Program

Water quality standards (WQS) are risk-based (also called hazard-based) requirements which set site-specific allowable pollutant levels for individual water bodies, such as rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands. States set WQS by designating uses for the water body (e.g., recreation, water supply, aquatic life, agriculture) and applying water quality criteria (numeric pollutant concentrations and narrative requirements) to protect the designated uses. An antidegradation policy is also issued by each state to maintain and protect existing uses and high quality waters.[15] Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... A subtropical wetland in Florida, USA, with an endangered American Crocodile. ...


A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet WQS. Over 60,000 TMDLs are proposed or in development for U.S. waters in the next decade and a half. A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is a value of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive while still meeting water quality standards; alternatively TMDL is an allocation of that pollutant deemed acceptable to the subject receiving waters. ...


Following the issuance of a water quality standard or TMDL for a water body, implementation of the requirements involves modification to NPDES permits for facilities discharging to the water body (see Title IV).


While the effluent guidelines have been largely successful, because they apply to specific sources and are enforceable, the WQS have been much less so. As of 2007, approximately half of the rivers, lakes, and bays under EPA oversight were not safe enough for fishing and swimming. [16]


National Water Quality Inventory

Section 305(b) requires EPA and the states to compile a biennial Report to Congress on the nation's water quality.[17] Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water, characterized through the methods of hydrometry. ...


Enforcement

Under section 309, EPA can issue administrative orders against violators, and seek civil or criminal penalties when necessary.[18]

  • For a first offense of criminal negligence, the minimum fine is $2,500, with a maximum of $25,000 fine per day of violation. A violator may also receive up to a year in jail. On a second offense, a maximum fine of $50,000 per day may be issued.
  • For a knowing endangerment violation, i.e. placing another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury, a fine may be issued up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment up to 15 years for an individual, or up to $1,000,000 for an organization.

States that are authorized by EPA to administer the NPDES program must have authority to enforce permit requirements under their respective state laws.


Federal facilities

Military bases, national parks and other federal facilities must comply with CWA provisions.[19]


Thermal pollution

Section 316 requires standards for thermal pollution discharges, as well as standards for cooling water intake structures.[20] These standards are applicable to power plants and other industrial facilities. Thermal pollution is a temperature change in natural water bodies caused by human influence. ... Watercooling is a method of heat removal from components. ... A power station (also power plant) is a facility for the generation of electric power. ...


Nonpoint Source Management Program

The 1987 amendments created the Nonpoint Source Management Program under CWA section 319.[21] Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Nonpoint source pollution (NPS) does not come from a single source like point source pollution. ...


Title IV - Permits and licenses

NPDES permits for point sources

The NPDES permit program is authorized by CWA section 402.[22] The 1987 WQA expanded the program to cover stormwater discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) and industrial sources.[23] Stormwater is a term used to describe water that originates during precipitation events. ...


NPDES permits must be reissued every five years. Permit agencies (EPA and states) must provide notice to the public of pending permits and provide an opportunity for public comment.


Dredge and fill permits (wetlands)

The discharge of dredged and fill material into "Waters of the United States," including wetlands, is subject to a separate permit program administered by the Army Corps of Engineers under Section 404.[24] Essentially, all discharges of fill or dredged material affecting the bottom elevation of a jurisdictional water of the U.S. require a permit from the Army Corps. These permits are an essential part of protecting wetlands, which are often filled by land developers. Wetlands are vital to the ecosystem in filtering streams and rivers and providing habitat for wildlife. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... United States Army Corps of Engineers logo The United States Army Corps of Engineers, or USACE, is made up of some 34,600 military men and women. ... A subtropical wetland in Florida, USA, with an endangered American Crocodile. ... A real estate developer (American English) or property developer (British English) makes improvements of some kind to real property, thereby increasing its value. ...


There are two main types of permits--general permits, and individual permits. General permits change periodically and cover broad categories of activities, and require the user to comply with all stated conditions. General permits (such as the Nationwide Permits) are issued for fill activities that will result in minimal adverse effects to the environment. Individual permits are utilized for actions that are not addressed by a general permit, or that do not meet the conditions of a General Permit. In addition, Individual Permits (generally) require more analysis than do the general permits, and typically require much more time to prepare the application and to process the permit.


When the Corps processes an application for an Individual Permit, the Corps must publish/issue a public notice (typically in the Federal Register) describing the proposed action described in the permit application. The public notice must be issued no later than fifteen days after the Corps determines the application to be complete. Although the District Engineer makes the decision to grant a permit, this authority is usually delegated to is granted or not the Administrator is able to take-away permits if they feel that the permit is not reasonable; before making this decision though the Administrator must consult with the secretary. A permit expires after five years of being granted.


When a state wants a permit, they make sure that all other states being affected are aware they will be sent a copy of the request and the state is able to write a recommendation. A state permit also expires after five years of being granted.


POTW Biosolids Management Program

The 1987 WQA created a program for management of biosolids (sludge) generated by POTWs.[25]


Title V - General Provisions

Citizen suits

U.S. citizens may file suit against a CWA violator if EPA or a state fails to take enforcement action.[26]


Employee protection

The 1972 act added an employee ("whistleblower") protection provision. Employees in the U.S. who believe they were fired or suffered adverse action related to enforcement of the CWA may file a written complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.[27] Poster in support of whistleblower legislation A whistleblower is an employee, former employee, or member of an organization, especially a business or government agency, who reports misconduct to people or entities that have the power and presumed willingness to take corrective action. ... OSHA logo The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. ...


Title VI - State Water Pollution Control Revolving Funds

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program was authorized by the 1987 WQA.[28] This replaced the municipal construction grants program, which was authorized in the 1972 law under Title II. In the CWSRF, federal funds are provided to the states and Puerto Rico to capitalize their respective revolving funds, which are used to provide financial assistance (loans or grants) to local governments for wastewater treatment, nonpoint source pollution control and estuary protection.


The fund provides loans to municipalities at lower-than-market rates. As of 2007 the average rate was 2.1 percent nationwide, compared to an average market rate of 4.3 percent.[29] In 2006, CWSRF assistance totaling $5 billion was provided to 1,858 local projects across the country.[30]


Earlier legislation

Congress first addressed water pollution issues in the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.[31] Portions of this law remain in effect, including the Refuse Act, while others have been superseded by various amendments, including the 1972 CWA. The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 is the oldest federal environmental law. ... The United States Refuse Act of 1899 is a long-ignored federal statute. ...


Other notable predecessor legislation includes the following.

  • Public Health Service Act of 1912. Expanded the mission of the United States Public Health Service to study problems of sanitation, sewage and pollution.[32]
  • Oil Pollution Act of 1924. Prohibited the intentional discharge or fuel oil into coastal waters.[33] Repealed by 1972 CWA.
  • Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948. Created a comprehensive set of water quality programs that also provided some financing for state and local governments. Enforcement was limited to interstate waters. The Public Health Service provided financial and technical assistance.[34]
  • Water Quality Act of 1965. Required states to issue water quality standards for interstate waters, and authorized the newly-created Federal Water Pollution Control Administration to set standards where states failed to do so.[35]

Template:Higher standard // History of the United States Public Health Service The United States Public Health Service (PHS) was founded first by President John Adams in 1798 as a loose network of hospitals to support the health of American seamen. ...

Recent developments

On July 25, 2007, Senator Russell Feingold, Democrat from Wisconsin, introduced legislation to reiterate the Congress' objective in passing the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972. The bill states that it was Congress' intention to protect all waters of the United States. Known as the Clean Water Restoration Act and co-sponsored by 19 Senators, the bill being reviewed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. This is considered by many environmental groups to be a necessary step towards reversing recent Supreme Court of the United States rulings that have repealed protection for as much as 60 percent of the nation's waters. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... is the 206th day of the year (207th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... Russell Dana Feingold (born March 2, 1953) is an American politician and has been a U.S. senator from Wisconsin since 1993. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... This article is about the U.S. state. ... The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the acronym SCOTUS[1]) is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. ...


Case law

  • United States v. Riverside Bayview Homes, Inc., 474 U.S. 121 (1985), upholding the Act's hold in regulating wetlands that intermingle with navigable waters.
  • Solid Waste Agency of North Cook County (SWANCC) v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, 531 U.S. 159 (2001), possibly denying the CWA's hold in isolated intra-state waters and certainly denying the validity of the 1986 "Migratory Bird Rule."
Water Portal

A body of water, such as a river, canal or lake, is navigable if it is deep and wide enough for a vessel to pass and there are no obstructions, like rocks, trees and low bridges. ... Holding Because the outflow of water from a hydroelectric dam constitutes a discharge into navigable waters, it is subject to the Clean Water Acts requirement of state certification. ... Holding Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded Court membership Chief Justice: John Roberts Associate Justices: John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito Case opinions Plurality by: Scalia Joined by: Roberts, Thomas, Alito Concurrence by: Roberts Concurrence by... Official language(s) English Spoken language(s) English 74. ... The USFWS logo The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is a unit of the United States Department of the Interior that is dedicated to managing and preserving wildlife. ... The Endangered Species Act (, et seq. ... Image File history File links Drinking_water. ...

References

  1. ^ 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.
  2. ^ Pub.L. 92-500, October 18, 1972.
  3. ^ Pub.L. 95-217, December 27, 1977.
  4. ^ Pub.L. 100-4, February 4, 1987.
  5. ^ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, D.C. NPDES State Program Status
  6. ^ Water Pollution Control Foundation (WPCF): "The Clean Water Act of 1987." Joan M. Kovalic et al. Alexandria, VA, 1987. ISBN 978-0943244402.
  7. ^ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, D.C. "NPDES Permit Writers' Manual." Chapter 1. December 1996. Document No. EPA-833-B-96-003.
  8. ^ CWA 502(14), 33 U.S.C. § 1362.
  9. ^ Natural Resources Defense Council v. Train, 396 F.Supp. 1393 (D.D.C. 1975), aff'd. by NRDC v. Costle, 568 F.2d 1369 (D.C. Cir. 1977).
  10. ^ CWA 101, 33 U.S.C. § 1251.
  11. ^ CWA 304(d)(1), 33 U.S.C. § 1314(d)(1) and Secondary Treatment Regulation Code of Federal Regulations, 40 CFR Part 133
  12. ^ CWA 301, 33 U.S.C. § 1311; CWA 304(b), 33 U.S.C. § 1314(b); and CWA 306, 33 U.S.C. § 1316.
  13. ^ CWA 307(b), 33 U.S.C. § 1317(b); and CWA 307(c), 33 U.S.C. § 1317(c).
  14. ^ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, D.C."Introduction to the National Pretreatment Program." February 1999. Document No. EPA-833-B-98-002.
  15. ^ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, D.C. "NPDES Permit Writers' Manual." Chapter 6. December 1996. Document No. EPA-833-B-96-003.
  16. ^ National Public Radio. Cities Battle Over River's Pollution Level. Susan Sharon. May 17, 2007.
  17. ^ CWA 305(b), 33 U.S.C. § 1315(b).
  18. ^ CWA 309, 33 U.S.C. § 1319.
  19. ^ CWA 313, 33 U.S.C. § 1323.
  20. ^ 33 U.S.C. § 1326.
  21. ^ 33 U.S.C. § 1329.
  22. ^ 33 U.S.C. § 1342.
  23. ^ CWA 402(p), 33 U.S.C. § 1342(p).
  24. ^ 33 U.S.C. § 1344.
  25. ^ CWA 405, 33 U.S.C. § 1345.
  26. ^ CWA 505, 33 U.S.C. § 1365.
  27. ^ CWA 507, 33 U.S.C. § 1367.
  28. ^ CWA 601, 33 U.S.C. § 1381 et seq.
  29. ^ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, D.C."Clean Water State Revolving Fund." Accessed 2008-01-12.
  30. ^ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, D.C. "Clean Water State Revolving Fund Programs: 2006 Annual Report," p. 24. March 2007. Document No. EPA-832-R-07-001.
  31. ^ Ch. 425, Sec. 9, 30 Stat. 1151. 33 U.S.C. § 401. March 3, 1899.
  32. ^ 37 Stat. 309. August 14, 1912.
  33. ^ 43 Stat. 604.
  34. ^ Pub.L. 80-845, June 30, 1948.
  35. ^ Pub.L. 89-234, October 2, 1965

Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ... Title 33 of the United States Code outlines the role of navigable waters in the United States Code. ...

See also

Aquatic toxicology is the study of the effects of manufactured chemicals and other anthropogenic and natural materials and activities on aquatic organisms at various levels of organization, from subcellular through individual organisms to communities and ecosystems (Rand, 1995). ... Great Lakes Areas of Concern are designated geographic areas within the Great Lakes watershed that show severe environmental degradation. ... Stormwater is a term used to describe water that originates during precipitation events. ... LLGHHHHHHHHHK BNMNKBV JKVGKJJH JHVG KJVH KJV KJV JKV JV JV KJFYG KHV KJV gfnnnnnnnnnnhngjkv jh b ... Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water, characterized through the methods of hydrometry. ... Water supply and sanitation in the United States is provided by towns and cities, public utilities that span several jurisdictions and rural cooperatives. ...

External links

CWA text and analysis

EPA programs

Research programs


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