The Two Lost Books in the Water Quality Trilogy: The Elusive Objectives of Physical and Biological Integrity
Robert W. Adler
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law
In 1977, only five years after articulating the objective of the 1972 Clean water Act, Congress speculated that “It may be that the states will be reluctant to develop adequate control measures...and it may be some time in the future a Federal presence can be justified and afforded.” Now, another 25 years later the time is long overdue for Congress to revisit that prediction. Indeed, based on the trends in aquatic biodiversity and other factors, if serious action is not taken soon to reverse the decline in U.S. aquatic ecosystems, it does not seem unduly hyperbolic to suggest it may well be too late to do so. The appropriate question is not whether a stronger Federal government can be “justified and afforded” but whether we can afford not to adopt and implement more serious federal efforts to address all forms of water pollution, and in short, to write all three books in the water quality trilogy that Congress outlined 30 years ago.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50working papers series
Date posted: September 27, 2010
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