Water Quality Management Planning Is Not Comprehensive and May Not Be Effective for Many Years

CED-78-167: Published: Dec 11, 1978. Publicly Released: Dec 11, 1978.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Section 208 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 authorized a planning program, referred to as 208 planning, to be undertaken in areas with substantial water quality control problems. The program evolved from an optional one for urban regions to a mandatory one carried on by local, state, and interstate planning agencies. Statutory requirements for planning include identifying: (1) needs and methods for financing treatment works; (2) agencies necessary to construct, operate, and maintain facilities, and carry out the plan; and (3) nonpoint sources of pollution and control measures. Planning agencies had up to 2 years to address these requirements, complete initial plans, and submit them to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The statutory 2-year period was inadequate for comprehensive planning and for developing information on pollution and water quality. Data on effects of pollutants on water quality were inadequate or unavailable. Waste-load allocations for polluters could be subject to legal action if adequate cause and effect data are not available. Other problems hindering 208 planning include: (1) lack of committed local funds to continue planning and to carry out recommendations when federal funds are exhausted; (2) disagreements among governmental units which may hamper implementing potential solutions to water quality problems; and (3) the need for public participation programs more sensitive to local needs.

Oct 6, 2020

Sep 23, 2020

Aug 6, 2020

Aug 5, 2020

Jul 23, 2020

Jul 14, 2020

Jun 25, 2020

May 29, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here