DEFINITION of 'Water Quality Improvement Act Of 1970 '

Water Quality Improvement Act Of 1970 is legislation that expanded the federal government's authority over water quality standards and water polluters. The Water Quality Improvement Act Of 1970 grew out of the 1948 Federal Water Pollution Control Act and placed additional limits on the discharge of oil into water where it could damage human health, marine life, wildlife or property. The act also included a number of other provisions intended to reduce water pollution. Federal regulation of water pollution dates back to 1886, when the River and Harbor Act was signed into law.

BREAKING DOWN 'Water Quality Improvement Act Of 1970 '

The Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970 expanded Federal authority, and established a State certification procedure to prevent degradation of water below applicable standards.

The EPA noted that, "Despite the improvements achieved by each amendment to the original (1948) Act, the result of this sporadic legislation was a hodgepodge of law. Eleven reorganizations and restructurings of Federal agency responsibility compounded the difficulty of effectively implementing the law. To solve these problems, the 1972 amendments to the FWPCA restructured the authority for water pollution control and consolidated authority in the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The first national goal of the act was the elimination of the discharge of all pollutants into the navigable waters of the United States by 1985. The second national goal was an interim level of water quality that provides for the protection of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation by July 1, 1983. 

Water Pollution Today

Although water pollution has been reduced substantially since the 1970s, the figures for 2018 show that much needs to be done. Over two-thirds of U.S. estuaries and bays are severely degraded because of nitrogen and phosphorous pollution and 45% of U.S. streams, 47% of lakes, and 32% of bays are polluted. In addition, some 40% of America’s rivers are too polluted for fishing, swimming or aquatic life; the corresponding figure for lakes is 46%. Much of the pollution these days is caused by pesticides, whereas in the early 1970s it was direct dumping of chemicals and other pollutants into the water by industry.

Potential accidental water polluters can protect themselves from the liabilities they face under federal water regulations by purchasing marine pollution insurance. This insurance covers losses such as cleanup, damage to natural resources, legal defense and civil penalties. Mobile drilling units, cargo owners and operators, ship yards, and marina owners and operators are examples of businesses that can benefit from having this type of insurance coverage.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Environmental Protection Agency ...

    The Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the United ...
  2. Water Damage Insurance

    Water Damage Insurance provided in most homeowners insurance ...
  3. The Toxic 100

    The Toxic 100 refers to the top 100 corporate polluters in the ...
  4. Groundwater

    Groundwater is water that is below the land surface of the earth.
  5. Water Damage Clause

    A water damage clause in a property-casualty insurance contract ...
  6. Littoral Land

    Littoral land includes land refers to land that is situated ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Opportunities In The Emerging Market's Water Crisis

    Water scarcity and increasing demand caused by population growth is one of the most compelling long-term portfolio themes.
  2. Investing

    Four Interesting Ways to Invest in Water (PHO, CGW)

    The U.S. and many other countries are widely expected to invest in water infrastructure and equipment on an unprecedented scale over the next several years – ostensibly to make up for decades ...
  3. Investing

    5 Water Stocks To Tap Into

    An increase in population and pollution has made water a fragile resource.
  4. Investing

    Is Water The Next Big Commodity?

    An increase in both population and pollution has made water a very fragile and important resource. Learn the key players.
  5. Investing

    Top 3 ETFs for Investing in Water in 2018

    It may be time to look at a scarce commodity that isn't getting the investor attention it deserves.
  6. Investing

    Global Water Resources Trades Ex-Dividend Thursday (GWRS)

    Global Water will send its dividend payment on Oct. 31 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 17.
  7. Investing

    WaterSense: Saving Water And Money

    With a few simple updates, you could be saving on your annual water expenses.
  8. Investing

    Beverage Giants Blur Line Between Water and Soda

    With bottled water America's No. 1 beverage, firms are looking to more profitable variations.
  9. Financial Advisor

    Water Investments: Will They Sink or Swim?

    Will these water-related investments sink or swim?
  10. Investing

    PepsiCo's New Water to be Introduced at Super Bowl

    "LIFEWTR" may help PepsiCo close the gap between itself and Coca-Cola in the bottled water market.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What does it mean to be "above water"?

    The term "above water" is used to describe any situation in which the ending or current value of a subject is higher than ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are some of the drawbacks of industrialization?

    Learn about the major drawbacks of industrialization, such as environmental damage, income inequality, overcrowding of cities, ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between marginal utility and marginal value?

    Find out what marginal utility and marginal value mean in economics and why these terms sometimes overlap to describe the ... Read Answer >>
  4. How can marginal utility explain the 'diamond/water paradox'?

    Learn why a diamond is valued more highly than a bucket of water or why a professional athlete is valued more highly than ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do externalities affect equilibrium and create market failure?

    Discover the ways that externalities lead to market failure. Externalities are costs or benefits that go to a third party, ... Read Answer >>
  6. How does industrialization lead to urbanization?

    Discover the connection between industrialization and urbanization and learn how economic growth increases the demand for ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    Gross profit is the profit a company makes after deducting the costs of making and selling its products, or the costs of ...
  2. Diversification

    Diversification is the strategy of investing in a variety of securities in order to lower the risk involved with putting ...
  3. Intrinsic Value

    Intrinsic value is the perceived or calculated value of a company, including tangible and intangible factors, and may differ ...
  4. Current Assets

    Current assets is a balance sheet item that represents the value of all assets that can reasonably expected to be converted ...
  5. Volatility

    Volatility measures how much the price of a security, derivative, or index fluctuates.
  6. Money Market

    The money market is a segment of the financial market in which financial instruments with high liquidity and very short maturities ...
Trading Center