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The Clean Water Act of 1972 required states to adopt policies and implementation procedures for preventing the loss of existing water body uses, disallowing water quality degradation except when clear economic and/or social benefits could be identified, and prohibiting any permanent degradation in certain pristine waters. States have largely adopted antidegradation policies, but few have devised – or are using – specific procedures for reviewing the potential for water quality degradation when permit applications or other proposals that may impact water resources are considered. Conservation groups are reviewing state antidegradation policies and implementation procedures, and are beginning to pursue court action to force states and US EPA to formalize antidegradation permit review processes, water quality studies comparing baseline conditions and expected changes caused by new or expanded activities, and the identification of expected social and/or economic benefits.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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