Water quality law
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Law and the Environment
|Pollution control law|
|Natural resources law|
Water quality laws govern the release of pollutants into water resources, including surface water, ground water, and stored drinking water. Some water quality laws, such as drinking water regulations, may be designed solely with reference to human health. Many others, including restrictions on the alteration of the chemical, physical, radiological, and biological characteristics of water resources, may also reflect efforts to protect aquatic ecosystems more broadly. Regulatory efforts may include identifying and categorizing water pollutants and dictating acceptable pollutant concentrations in water resources. Regulatory areas include sewage treatment and disposal, industrial and agricultural waste water management, and control of surface runoff from construction sites and urban environments.
Oceans and international waters
Groundwater is protected at the federal level principally through two laws:
- The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, through regulation of the disposal of municipal solid waste and hazardous waste.
- The Safe Drinking Water Act, through regulation of injection wells.
Both laws are administered by EPA.
The Safe Drinking Water Act governs public water systems in the United States, and is administered by EPA. Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
- Canada Water Act, R.S., 1985, c. C-11.
- Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972, P.L. 92-500, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq., as amended.
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, P.L. 94-580 (1976), 42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq., as amended.
- Safe Drinking Water Act, P.L. 93-523 (1974), 42 U.S.C. § 300f et seq., as amended.
- Health Canada. Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. December 2010.
- Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, P.L. 75-717 (1938), 21 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., as amended.
- Environment Canada - Water
- Health Canada - Drinking Water
- US EPA - Office of Water
- US FDA - Food Facts: Bottled Water
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