What is the Clean Water Act?

The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) is the primary federal law that governs surface water pollution.   To protect water quality, the CWA includes regulation of pollutant limits on the discharge of oil and gas related produced water.   The CWA does this through a national pollutant discharge elimination system permitting process, which makes it illegal to discharge any pollutant from a point source into the navigable waters of the United States, unless such discharge complies with an approved permit.  According to the EPA, the CWA applies to both direct discharges as well as indirect discharges of wastewaters into waters of the U.S. through sewer systems connected to publicly owned treatment works.  

You can learn more about the Clean Water Act at the EPA’s website at:


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