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Authors: Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D., William Lockeretz, Ph.D.

Readings

Note: We will ask half of the class to read on Clean Water and half on Safe Drinking Water.

Team 1-

25 Years of the Safe Drinking Water Act: History and Trends, EAP 816 –R-99 -007, Dec.1999. Access at: http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/websites/epagov/www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwa/trends.html (50 pages)

Bottled Water Facts: Regulations, International Bottled Water Association. Access at: http://www.bottledwater.org/public/BWFactsRegFed.htm (4 pages)

Bottled Water: Pure Drink of Pure Hype? Natural Resources Defense Council issue brief, Access at: http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/bwinx.asp

Team 2 –

Clean Water Act Issues in the 108th Congress, Claudia Copeland, CRS Report for Congress, Feb. 15, 2003. Access online at: http://www.ncseonline.org/NLE/CRS/. In the request form type in CRS code # -IB10108. (21 pages).

Clean Water report Card: Failing Grades, Environmental Working Group, Sept. 2003, Access at: www.ewg.org/reports/reportcard/home.html. (8 pages).

Reckless Abandon: How the Bush Administration is Exposing America’s Waters to Harm, report of Several NGOs, Aug.2004, Access at: http://www.cwn.org/cwn/files/Clean%20Water%20Report.pdf

Key Questions

25 Years of the Safe Drinking Water Act: History and Trends

  • What is the proportion of community water systems drawing supplies from ground and surface water sources? What is the trend over the years?
  • What are the key issues that the 1986 SWDA Amendments focused on?
  • What are the key issues that the 1996 SWDA Amendments focused on?
  • What are the different steps involved in the Wellhead Protection Program?

Bottled Water

  • What is the difference in existing mechanisms that regulate bottled and municipal waters?

Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype?

  • Despite the existence of rules and agencies for regulating the industry, the bottled water may turn out to be not completely safe (at least, if one went by the claims made by the manufacturer). What may the reasons be?

Clean Water Act Issues in the 108th Congress

  • What was the mandate of the Clean Water Act (CWA)? Has it been successful?
  • What interest groups support and oppose CWA? Why?
  • Why has the Congress focused on narrow bills which extend or modify selected portions of the CWA, rather than making significant changes or comprehensive proposals under the Act?
  • What was the purpose of the State Revolving Fund (SRF), which came into being with the amendment of the Act in 1987?
  • What are the general criticisms pertaining to SRF?
  • What are the arguments in favor and against the CAFO rules (2002) of the EPA?

Clean Water Report Card: Failing Grades

  • What is the general trend with reference to CWA permits? What are the reasons?
  • What are the suggestions offered by the authors to improve the situation?
  • What are the two approaches for determining pollutant limitations under National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)?

Reckless Abandon: How the Bush Administration is Exposing America’s Waters to Harm

  • What recent policy changes have diluted the authority of the CWA?