Waterway in grassy wooded area.

Cwiertny Discusses 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act


David Cwiertny, director of the Environmental Policy Research Program, was featured in articles by Radio Iowa and WHO13 discussing the 50th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act. The act, which established the first national standards for water quality, is credited with making waterways cleaner and holding polluters responsible by addressing point source pollution.

However, Iowa's biggest water problems today are tied to the original structure of the act. While it has done its job thus far, Cwiertny says the act was limited in scope at its conception, as it failed to address non-point source pollution such as runoff from farms and cities - a huge contributor to today's water pollution. Legal battles over the reach of the Clean Water Act ensued as soon as it was passed, and continue to this day, calling for broader regulations in hopes of further addressing water pollution and contamination.