Shortcomings of the Clean Water Act and Potential for Progress in the Chesapeake Bay

Delivered by: Rebecca Schisler, 3L

Respondent: Jon Mueller, Vice President for Litigation at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Date: February 12th at 12:30 pm
Columbus School of Law/ Room 220

Abstract: The State of Maryland is home to the Chesapeake Bay, the third largest estuary in the world. Maryland’s economy and watermen depend on the Bay’s resources, only available if the Bay remains healthy. At the top of the Chesapeake Bay and separating the Bay from the Susquehanna River is the Conowingo Dam, which continuously collects pollution from Pennsylvania and New York. After heavy rainfall, the Conowingo Dam is opened or overflows, sending a river of polluted water straight into the Bay. In 1948, Congress enacted the Clean Water Act to address pollution of this nature nationwide. While the Clean Water Act provides an outline for preventing further pollution, the administrators and government agencies responsible for carrying out those procedures have not lived up to the Act’s expectations or full capabilities.

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