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Clean Water Act Section 402 Permitting

Felicity Hannay, Resources Development, Environmental Land Management, and Permitting (1996)

The Clean Water Act (“CWA”), 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq., as it was adopted in 1972, set as its overeaching objective “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters.” 33 U.S.C. § 1251(a). Various goals and policies were articulated to lead toward the achievement of that objective. Most ambitious is the goal, set in 1972 and obviously not achieved, that the discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters would be eliminated by 1985. 33 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(1). Most famous is the goal that by July 1, 1983, all waters would be of a quality that provides for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife, and provides for recreation in and on the water — the so-called “fishable and swimmable” goal. 33 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2).