It’s time to reevaluate the Clean Water Act

  • 15.07.2022
  • Pacific Legal Foundation

The Clean Water Act turns 50 this fall—and like most things at age 50, it no longer functions like it once did.

Congress passed the Clean Water Act (CWA) on October 18, 1972, to combat pollution in the country’s more-than-25,000 miles of waterways. But 50 years later, the government isn’t enforcing the CWA as a water-quality statute. Instead, the government treats it like a federal land use code, under which countless Americans have had their livelihoods and property rights destroyed.

In fact, the CWA presents a classic tale of an unmitigated federal agency power grab—and it’s time to reevaluate the 50-year-old law.