Hastings Law Journal


The Clean Water Act of 1972 regulates the cleanliness of the nation's waters by requiring federal and state pollution-control agencies to set water-quality standards and establish maximum loads. Confusion surrounds the requirement for maximum loads and federal courts have declined to enforce it. This Comment first examines the history of the Clean Water Act of 1972, then discusses four cases in which courts have refused to enforce maximum load requirements. The Comment analyzes the procedural and substantive requirements of judicial enforcement of maximum loads, as well as the nature of the pollution involved. The Comment concludes that the courts have erred and that Congress intended maximum loads to be comprehensive cleanup plans for ensuring compliance with water-quality standards, and proposes rules for maximum loads that would aid in judicial enforcement of the Act.

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