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Clean Water Issues in the 105th Congress

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Publication Date: August 1997

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: 96-910

Topic: Environment (Water, waterways, and water management)


For the 105th Congress, reauthorization of the Clean Water Act may be a priority in the second session. The Act was last amended in 1987 and authorizations expired on Sept. 30, 1990. Clean water was a priority for the last two Congresses, but no legislation was enacted. In the 104th Congress, the House passed a comprehensive reauthorization bill, but during House debate and subsequently, controversies arose over whether and how the Act should be made more flexible and less burdensome on regulated entities. Issues likely to be of interest again in the 105th Congress include funding, overall flexibility and regulatory reform of water quality programs, and measures to address polluted runoff from farms and city streets. Reforming the Act's wetlands permit program, a pivotal and contentious issue in the recent past, also remains on the legislative agenda for many. During the first session, committees with jurisdiction are giving priority to reauthorizing two other laws, Superfund and the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act.