Clean Water Action

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Clean Water Action
Founded 1972
Focus "Clean, safe and affordable water; prevention of health threatening pollution; creation of environmentally safe jobs and businesses; and empowerment of people to make democracy work."[1]
Area served
United States

Clean Water Action is an American environmental advocacy group.[2] Created in 1972, Clean Water Action focuses on canvassing and gaining support for political issues and candidates. It is a 501(c)(4) organization.


During the late 1960s water pollution was spreading in many parts of the country, with a burning Cuyahoga River in northeast Ohio and biologically dead Lake Erie among the visible examples of wider problems.[3] David Zwick was a young law school student when Ralph Nader recruited him to a task force researching water pollution problems. After a two-year tour of America's most polluted waters, Zwick authored Water Wasteland and then founded Clean Water Action to address the issues outlined in his book.[4]

Zwick founded Clean Water Action in 1972 as a grassroots and lobbying organization. The fledgling organization's goal was to enact many of Water Wasteland's platforms of recommended changes into law. To reach this goal, Zwick outlined a grassroots strategy of door-to-door canvassing and public education.[1] Zwick contributed to the Clean Water Act, including the citizen suit provision, which allows members of the public to enforce the law when the government fails to.[1]

In 1986, Clean Water Action, the United States Public Interest Research Group and the National Campaign Against Toxic Hazards published a report claiming the Environmental Protection Agency was failing to properly enforce the federal Superfund toxic waste cleanup program.[5] As a result, the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act was passed into law on October 17, 1986.[6]

See also[edit]


  • David Zwick, Water Wasteland: Ralph Nader's study group report on water pollution, (Bantam Books, 1972).


  1. ^ a b c "About Us". Clean Water Action. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Phillips, Ari (August 13, 2014). "This Leading Candidate For Texas Governor Really Doesn’t Like Clean Water". Think Progress. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Dykstra, Peter (December 15, 2008). "History of environmental movement full of twists, turns". CNN. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "David Zwick". Harvard University Institute of Politics. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Superfund Cleanups Termed Lax". New York Times. Associated Press. November 24, 1987. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "SARA Overview". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 

External links[edit]