For a half century, the states & interstates have worked with our partners at EPA to achieve the goals set out in the Act in 1972. This landmark law has defined how they do work to protect and restore the nation’s waters. We’ve asked them to share their thoughts on this important anniversary.
It gives me great pleasure to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which aimed to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution in our nation’s water to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of our waterways.Eric J. Holcomb
Protecting and maintaining the quality of the water throughout our great state, and subsequently the nation, has been important to me since childhood. Ensuring that water and the aquatic community is protected secures our place in history and our societal health moving into the future.Mary Anne Nelson
Surface & Wastewater Division Administrator
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Missouri has made great strides over the past 50 years toward attainment of the Clean Water Act’s objective to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters” and the goal of “wherever attainable, an interim goal of water quality which provides for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and provides for recreation in and on the water.”
The federal Clean Water Act and Missouri Clean Water Law have resulted in improvements in water quality through investment in wastewater treatment infrastructure and implementation of a state permitting, compliance and enforcement, and monitoring program. In turn, better water quality has resulted in increased economic and recreational opportunity and an improved quality of life for Missourians.Chris Wieberg
Water Protection Program
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
October 18, 2022, marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972. An act that President Nixon vetoed saying our country could not afford how expensive it was, seriously. I wonder how he thought having our waterways catch fire; turn red, orange and pink in color with floating chicken heads and other body parts was good for our human health and economy?
I am happy to say that two hours after the President’s veto, the United States Senate over road President Nixon’s veto with the House following shortly afterwards. The CWA is still known to be one of the most expensive and comprehensive pieces of environmental legislation in this nation’s history. Legislation desperately needed and valued to define how we protect and restore our water resources to this day.
Together, our nation’s states and interstates work with federal partners to regulate water pollution to fulfill Clean Water Act goals. The way we have completed our work has evolved in many ways, but the goal remains the same… clean water for everyone, everywhere!Susan J. Sullivan
The District of Columbia is excited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act! We share the goals of this landmark act to restore our local waters to their full potential. As a result of the mandates under this act and significant investments by the District, we are seeing many positive signs of improved water quality, including the return of critical species such as shad, sturgeon and nesting bald eagles, and increased recreational use of our rivers. The District looks forward to continuing this progress and fully restoring our waters as envisioned by the Clean Water Act.Jeffrey Seltzer, P.E.
Natural Resources Administration
Department of Energy and Environment
When the CWA celebrates its 50th Anniversary, I will be celebrating my 30th year in the water sector. In my career I have watched a polluted urban water body – the Oklahoma River – become a place of recreation and home of the Olympic Training Center for rowing, canoeing and kayaking. While laboratory detection limits continue to decrease and more pollutants are detected in our waters, it is easy to forget about the incredible improvements that have been made. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CWA and thanks for helping us protect human health and the environment.Shellie R. Chard
Water Quality Division
Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
Proclamations Pertaining to the Clean Water Act’s 50th Anniversary
Governors of various states, as well as the Commissioners of several Interstate Commissions, have issued proclamations to bring attention to the importance of clean water in their states for industry, agriculture, tourism, public and environmental health and quality of life.
The proclamations also recognize and applaud the collaborative efforts of the state-Federal partnership to achieve the goals of the Act.
To honor and celebrate the achievements in protecting and restoring the nation’s waters over the past 50 years, we gathered several stories of how the states & interstates have used the CWA’s goals to ensure that there is clean water everywhere for everyone.