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FEDERAL LAWS ON GROUNDWATER PROTECTION
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) of 1974 was originally designed
to ensure the safety of drinking water supplies. It gave authority
to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop primary
and secondary standards for different contaminants. In 1986, the
SDWA was amended to include wellhead protection. Each state was
to develop a wellhead protection program for their state and submit
it to the EPA for approval. It had to have these elements:
- State and
Local Agency Duties
- Source Identification
- New Wells
In 1996, the
SDWA was amended again to expand wellhead protection to include
protection of surface water that is used for drinking water. This
new program was called the Source Water Protection Program.
Many other federal
laws are responsible for helping to protect groundwater.
Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) - regulates the storage,
transportation, treatment, and disposal of solid and hazardous
wastes to prevent contaminants from leaching into groundwater.
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)
(Superfund) - authorizes the government to clean up contamination
caused by chemical spills or hazardous waste that do or could
pose threats to the environment(groundwater).
Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) - authorizes
EPA to control the availability of pesticides that have the ability
to leach into groundwater.
Substances Control Act (TSCA) - authorizes EPA to control
the manufacture, use, storage, distribution, or disposal of toxic
chemicals that have the potential to leach into groundwater.
Water Act (CWA) - authorizes development of surface water
protection strategies and authorizes a number of programs to prevent
water pollution from a variety of potential sources.
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