United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Water
Washington, D.C.
EPA 800-R-94-001
February 1994
                                         Printed with Soy/Canola Ink on paper that
                                         contains at least 50% recycled fiber

The President's Clean Water Initiative was developed through the coordinated
effort of the following federal agencies:

                      Office of Environmental Policy
                      Council of Economic Advisors
                    Office of Management and Budget
                        National Economic Council
                     Environmental Protection Agency
                        Department of Agriculture
                        Department of Commerce
                         Department of Defense
                         Department of Energy
                 Department of Health and Human Services
                         Department of Interior
                         Department of Justice
                      Department of Transportation

Printing of this document is provided courtesy of the Environmental Protection

                    TABLE OF CONTENTS


Expanding Eligibility for SRF Funding	   1
Clarifying/Limiting the Eligibility
     of Certain Activities for SRF Funding	   3
Modifying Project Requirements	   4
Project Targeting and Priority Setting  	   6
Meeting the Needs of Disadvantaged Communities	   8
Capitalization Options for SRF Program	  11
Permit Fees for the NPDES,
     Pretreatment and Sludge Programs   	  13
Section 404 Permit Fees	  16
Laboratory Performance Evaluation Fees 	  17


Pollutant Discharge Prohibitions 	  19
Water Quality Criteria Development  	24
State Water Quality Standards Reviews	27
Antidegradation 	     31
Pollution Prevention in the Effluent Guidelines Program 	34


Nonpoint Source Pollution in Brief	 .  35
Strengthened State Programs	37
Funding and Financing  	42
Federal Lands and Activities	44
Irrigation Return Flows	45


Watershed Management in Brief   	47
State Watershed Programs	49

Minimum Elements for a Watershed Management Plan  	54
The Federal Role in Watershed Management  	57
Incentives for Watershed Management  	61
Watershed Market-Based Approach  	66
Restoration  of Urban Waters  	70


Civil Judicial Enforcement Authorities  	72
Federal Facilities	78
Criminal Enforcement  	82
Improving Administrative Enforcement	85
Clean Water Act Citizen Suits	90
CWA Imminent and Substantial Endangerment Provision  	93
CWA 311:  Oil and Hazardous Substances	96
Contractor Listing	98
Supplemental Environmental Projects	  100
Environmental Audits  	  102
Miscellaneous and Technical Issues	  104


Permitting in Brief	  109
Pollution Prevention in NPDES  Program	  111
Innovative Technology Incentives	  113
Storm Water Programs  	  116
Combined Sewer Overflows	  123
Pretreatment	  125


Background   	  128
Strengthening State and Tribal Programs	  129
Inventory of Waters  	  131
Coordination of Water Monitoring	  133
Relationship of Other Agency Research
and Monitoring Activities to the Clean Water Act  	  135
                                 -  11 -


National Estuary Program Management Plans	  137
The National Estuary Program
     and the  Watershed Protection Program	  139
Ground Water  and Drinking Water Protection	  141
Increasing Tribal Assumption of EPA Water Programs  	  144
Water Use Efficiency	  147
Market-Based  Approaches	  149
Benefits and Costs of the Reauthorized CWA	  150
                                -  111 -


Just as water is vital to human life, the imperative for clean water touches closely the
life of every American.

Every American knows that clean water is essential, whether we draw a living on or
from our waters, seek recreation in them, or look to them as a scenic setting for a
home, a workplace or  a site for spiritual nourishment.  Water pollution remains
consistently among the public's top environmental concerns. A 1993 Times Mirror
poll found that 77% of the public believes that government should do more to control
such pollution.

President Clinton proposes a clean water agenda that will  energize our efforts to
secure clean and healthy water, while making simpler and more efficient State and
local governments' central role in this effort.   The President's  agenda strives for
support of all affected sectors:  State, local and tribal governments; environmental,
agricultural, civic and business groups.

The Need for Action

The Clean Water Act (CWA) has dramatically  improved water quality since 1972.
Still, serious quality threats grow unchecked, and heightened vigilance is required for
other, persistent problems. Recent State assessments show 30 percent of rivers, 42
percent of  lakes, and 32 percent of  estuaries surveyed continue  to be degraded,
mainly by silt and nutrients from farm and urban runoff, combined  sewer overflows
(CSOs)  and municipal sewage. 740 million pounds of toxic chemicals pour into
waterways and municipal sewers each year. Localized ground-water contamination
is widespread.

Approximately 1,300  waterbodies  have been so degraded by  pesticides, organic
chemicals,  and  metals that  State  authorities have had  to  limit the public's
consumption of the fish and shellfish found therein.   Bottom  sediments are
contaminated in more than 1,000 waterways nationwide.   Bacterial contamination
shrinks our shellfish beds.   Beach  closures  diminish  recreation for  thousands.
Commercial fishing harvests  in U.S. rivers have decreased by over 80 percent.
Between 60 and 80 percent of riparian corridors have been degraded.
                                   -  iv  -

 A New Vision for Water Quality in America

       "We must pass a new Clean Water Act with standards for nonpoint source
       pollution and incentives to develop ways to reduce and prevent polluted runoff
       at its source."
                                     President Clinton
                                      "A Vision of Change for America"

 An updated CWA can tackle these problems through a new, more targeted approach.
 Through "designer partnerships" among Federal, State, and local governments, private
 landowners, industry  and the  public, we can craft flexible, innovative,  efficient
 solutions  to  water  quality problems,  increasingly making watersheds the basis of
 analysis and action.

 Here are the key objectives of our policy:

 >     to reduce nonpoint source pollution (NPS) through clear performance objectives,
       and by giving incentives,  information and technical aid to farmers, developers,
       foresters and others, so they can lessen the damaging pressure their activities
       exert on aquatic resources;

 >     to streamline and strengthen regulatory and enforcement authorities to assure
       a prompt,  effective and  appropriate response to environmental and health

 >     to slash unfunded mandates, increase flexibility and cut red tape for States,
       municipalities and the private sector, so resources are targeted to the  most
       serious quality problems;

 *     to improve and maintain the municipal wastewater infrastructure, as too many
       areas find  their sewers  and treatment plants inadequate to protect water

 >     to encourage dischargers  to move beyond compliance with the letter of the law
       to innovation that will prevent pollution, promote efficiency and protect living
       resources;  and

 >    to improve quality of life for all, regardless of ethnicity, race or income, leaving
       no  group  bearing a  disproportionate  burden of  the consequences  of
      environmental pollution.

 In sum, the Clinton Administration is asking Congress, in reauthorizing the CWA, to
enter a new era in environmental protection. Instead of simply controlling the end of
the discharge pipe, we propose to protect and conserve our water, aquatic habitats,
                                    -  v  -

and the living resources within, through an integrated, holistic approach, based on
natural watersheds, and aimed at reducing pollutants from all sources that impair
water quality.  This vision for water quality is powerful and wide enough to realize
other vital national priorities, such as improving wetlands programs, growing jobs, and
addressing key border issues in the new U.S.-Mexico trade agreement.

The CWA has greatly  improved water quality.  However,  emerging threats and
persistent problems alike require new vigilance. The Clinton  initiative will:

Strengthen State nonpoint source programs by including  enforceable minimum
controls in selected waters

+     In conjunction with  other Federal agencies and States, EPA should establish
      national guidance for best available management measures to control nonpoint
      pollution. Measures should consider costs and be broad and flexible enough for
      local tailoring.

>     States  should  apply  their  nonpoint programs,  including  best  available
      management measures, to existing nonpoint sources in targeted waters whose
      quality is impaired,  threatened or deserves special protection, and to new
      sources State-wide.  Site-specific plans and adaptations to  local soils and
      climates should be encouraged if they are as  effective as EPA's guidance.

+     After an initial five-year implementation period, another five years should  be
      allowed for any added controls needed to meet water quality standards. States
      or if necessary the Federal government should ensure compliance with State-set
      management measures.  Federal agencies must carry out State NPS programs
      on Federal lands just as non-Federal entities do elsewhere.