Illinois Water Quality and the Clean Water Act

by Albert Ettinger

Oct 1, 2003
This report contains the conclusions of a study performed by the Environmental Law and Policy Center of the Midwest ("ELPC") on the water quality of Illinois' rivers, lakes and streams, and Illinois' implementation of the Clean Water Act. The Lumpkin Foundation of Mattoon, Illinois provided funding for the study. Because the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency ("IEPA") is responsible for implementing the Clean Water Act in Illinois and for preparing most of the key reports relating to Illinois water quality, our research necessarily focused on the work of that agency. ELPC studied the publicly available IEPA data on a number of key indicators of water quality and the strength of a number of elements of IEPA's water pollution control efforts. Within the resources available for this study, ELPC also looked, for comparison purposes, at data from federal agencies and selected data collected by pollution control agencies of other states. Further, ELPC conducted interviews with federal and state officials and others with knowledge relating to the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Illinois water quality program. The study considered the following areas: Illinois Water Quality; Amount and Kind of Water Quality Data Collected; Strength of Water Quality Standards; Adequacy of Permit Conditions For Preventing Violations of Water Quality Standards; Permit Enforcement; Illinois' Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflow Programs; Illinois' Non-Point Source Programs. Project Team: Howard Learner, Executive Director; Ann Alexander, Staff Attorney; Faith Bugel, Staff Attorney; Albert Ettinger, Senior Staff Attorney*; Shannon Fisk, Staff Attorney. * Principal Author
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