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Clean Water Act Overview

The Clean Water Act of 1972 is the principal federal statute protecting navigable waters and adjoining shorelines from pollution. Since its enactment, the CWA has formed the foundation for regulations detailing specific requirements for pollution prevention and response measures. Section 311 of the CWA addresses pollution from oil and hazardous substance releases, providing EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard with the authority to establish a program for preventing, preparing for, and responding to oil spills that occur in navigable waters of the United States. EPA implements provisions of the Clean Water Act through a variety of regulations, including the National Contingency Plan and the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations.

Related information
Clean Water Act History

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