The Evolution of the Enforcement Provisions of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act: A Study of the Difficulty in Developing Effective Legislation

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act,1 which was originally enacted in 1948 and which has been amended five times from 1956 to 1970, has been the primary federal response to the problem of water pollution. The development of that Act in the past twenty-two years has been a story of delayed and inadequate response to the increasing problems of water pollution. The development of the Act’s enforcement provisions is particularly representative of those problems. It is the purpose of this Article to examine that development, to point out the shortcomings in the Act, and to analyze the effort that has been made to improve the Act’s enforcement provisions.