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Enforcement Actions

Enforcing Clean Water Act Discharge Permits

The federal Clean Water Act is the primary U.S. law aimed at protecting the quality of our nation’s waters. When Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, it declared a national goal of eliminating discharges into our nation’s waters by 1985, however 1985 came and went without the elimination of discharges into our nation’s waters. Here in Oregon, there is permit coverage under the Clean Water Act’s permitting scheme for almost 4,000 discharges into Oregon’s waters, including about 300 discharges in Lane County. Most of our enforcement work involves ensuring compliance with Clean Water Act discharge permits, and the primary means by which we do this is by reviewing permit compliance data at the offices of government agencies that administer Clean Water Act permits.

Our most recent Clean Water Act permit enforcement work has been (and continues to be) on enforcement of Oregon’s statewide general industrial stormwater permit.

OCWAP has brought numerous enforcement actions over the years that have again and again resulted in reducing the amount of pollution discharged to Oregon’s waters. This area of our site is very much a work-in-progress at present, and we hope to have a complete listing of links to more information on all of OCWAP’s enforcement actions here in the near future.