Clean Water Act – Environmental Policy

Water pollution has been increasingly problematic ever since factories and industries starting polluting our water supply by dumping their waste on it. In 1972, the Clean Water Act was created to address the public’s concern regarding water pollution (EPA, 2017). The EPA was given the power to implement pollution control programs do regulate how much waste the industry is able to put in the water. This policy was placed in effect because the public started to notice that the fish were dying due to the pollutants in the rivers. Residents were also dealing with water shortages since they were unable to drink their water (PBS, 2002).

For this reason, the public demanded the government to do something to restore the water to its previous healthy state. The Clean Water Act was the policy that tried to accomplish this goal. Ever since it passed, companies have been more aware and cautious about polluting the water too much because they do not want to receive penalties or fines. It was reported that before this environmental policy about two-thirds of the country’s lakes, rivers, and coastal waters were not safe for fishing or swimming. Currently, only 39% of rivers and 45% of the lakes are contaminated so this policy definitely reduced water pollution (PBS, 2002).

Corporations are also encouraged to be environmentally sustainable to prevent further damage to our ecosystems. A stronger belief in corporate social responsibility has also emerged ever since businesses have started to be held more accountable for polluting our environment and water (Martinez, 2016). The pollution that companies create causes social issues as well. Companies dump pollutants in impoverished communities all over the world and this increases social inequality because these low-income individuals face public health hazards and they live in an unsafe environment due to the harmful substances. The Clean Water Act did not solely encourage corporate social responsibility but it definitely helped raise awareness to the public about the pollution companies emit.



EPA, 2017:

PBS, 2002:

Martinez, 2016: Corporate Social Responsibility:


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