Press Release

Statement: 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act

October 18, 2022

Chicago, IL (October 18, 2022) – Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Alliance for the Great Lakes President & CEO Joel Brammeier issued the following statement about this historic legislation:

“The Clean Water Act has been essential in helping the Great Lakes region recover and thrive since it was passed following the catastrophic burning of the Cuyahoga River 53 years ago. This event and other similar crises dramatically highlighted what happens when we don’t protect waterways from industrial and sewage pollution. Today, many parts of the Great Lakes are far cleaner than they were 50 years ago.

“While we must continue to fight for compliance with this historic environmental legislation, we also must build on the Clean Water Act’s precedent and, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, focus the next 50 years on issues the Clean Water Act didn’t address: namely, emerging chemicals and other toxins that pollute our water, toxic algae blooms, the growing stress climate change is placing on our lakes, and harmful lead pipes that make our neighbors sick. Americans everywhere, particularly in communities like Toledo, Ohio; and Flint and Benton Harbor, Michigan know that access to clean water can’t be taken for granted.

“The Alliance for the Great Lakes looks forward to continuing to work with our state partners throughout the region, the U.S. EPA, and members of Congress to make sure the Lakes are protected and can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.”


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