The Clean Water Act turns 42 on Saturday. To celebrate we’ll be sharing reflections on the Act, talking about the fight to protect clean water, and discussing what we can all do to put drinking water first. This is the first in our series, and it’s a 2-parter, so stay tuned for more.
12 Clean Water Act Facts (part 1 of 2) — Learn these and you’ll be an expert
by Jonathan A. Scott, a member of Clean Water Action’s development and communications teams, @jscottnh
FACT #1: First passed in 1972, the Clean Water Act was not a new law but rather a complete overhaul of earlier legislation, the 1948 Federal Water Pollution Control Act
FACT #2: Clean Water Action (then known as Fisherman’s Clean Water Action Project) played important roles in this 1972 victory:
- Publishing and publicizing the book, Water Wasteland (by Clean Water Action’s founder, David Zwick), which uniquely combined research and grassroots organizing with the communities and constituencies featured in the book’s case studies, helped to galvanize public support for action by Congress.
- Working directly with Congressional staff and leaders to develop the Act’s sweeping goals and policy provisions including a major role in drafting key language used in the Act (e.g., around public participation and citizen suits, “zero discharge” goals, and more)
- Mobilizing the public, including groups and leaders involved in Water Wasteland research and organizing and the fishing tackle industry to reinforce Clean Water Action’s Capitol Hill lobbying with grassroots political muscle.
FACT #3: President Richard M. Nixon vetoed the Clean Water Act and never signed the legislation. It became law only once Congress overrode the President’s veto, with strong bipartisan support. Read the rest of this entry »