Celebrating 40 years of the Clean Water Act in Anoka County

Forty years ago, public concern about untreated sewage, industrial and toxic discharges, and contaminated stormwater runoff led to passage of a principal law to protect the nation’s waters – the Clean Water Act (CWA).  Based on state and local efforts, CWA sets a national goal “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters”, with interim goals that all waters be fishable and swimmable.  The Act established a new partnership between up-stream and down-stream communities where objectives and limits were set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, while states and communities would administer CWA programs.

Today, in Anoka County communities, sewage is either collected by city sewers or septic systems are constructed and maintained under city guidelines.  Hazardous and solid waste is managed by Anoka County ordinances to protect our water resources.  Wetlands are recognized as a natural and important part of our landscape.  Watershed Management Organizations have been established to monitor and protect surface water resources.  And pollution from storm water running off of buildings, roads and parking lots is managed to protect streams, lakes and rivers.

For more information see the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s CWA 40th Anniversary webpage or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water is Worth It  webpage.

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