Congress enforced the Clean Water Act in 1972. This was an act was to restore and maintain the nation’s water. This act was also to protect wildlife and provide a healthy environment for people to enjoy. Currently, the bill is still needs much work. Most rivers have poor water quality due to pollution. The ELPC makes sure the most iconic waterways in the Midwest, such as the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes, are not polluted. Since 2011, the ELPC are enforcing stricter laws regarding the Chicago River. The Chicago River has suffered from wastewater being dumped over the last few decades. This made it unsafe for swimmers and kayakers.
ELPC is currently working to protect the Great Lakes from unnecessary new pollution. There are power plants, pipelines, rural and urban runoff that leads into the Great Lakes. ELPC is advocating to acquire the funds to clean up sites, protect and restore animal habitats and reduce pollution.