This report profiles the Clean Water Act status of surface waters in a community. The CWA requires states to identify all waters where required pollution controls are not sufficient to attain or maintain applicable water quality standards and rank the waters taking into account the uses of the water and severity of the pollution problem. Under the CWA, waters have designated beneficial uses (such as recreation, or aquatic habitat support). Scorecard identifies where beneficial uses are reported to be impaired, as well as the causes and sources of impairment. You can take action to urge public officials to protect water quality.
Data Source: Scorecard's profiles of Clean Water Act status are derived from U.S. EPA's tracking system to identify surface waters that fail to meet regulatory water quality standards (TMDL tracking system). This, in turn, relies on reports from the individual states. The most current available data are for the year 1998.
NOTE: Data limitations: The official EPA sources that Scorecard uses, compiled from reports by each individual state, have important limitations and flaws. Most importantly:
The user of this information should always keep in mind that some portion of a
state's water bodies may be left out, and there is no reliable way to determine
how much has been left out. One partial clue is the percentage of particular
types of waterbodies (such as Rivers, Streams, and Creeks) that a state has
assessed for the most recent two-year reporting period; but see possible inconsistencies
within state data.
- Not all water bodies or watersheds are included.
- The criteria for including water bodies are not uniform from state to state.
- The criteria for determining whether impairment exists also are not uniform from state to state.