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Definition: Water Quality Improvement Act Of 1970
It is one of the acts passed by the US Government in an attempt to protect natural water resources from being polluted by industries. In a follow-up to the pollution control acts launched by the Government post 1940s, the Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970 extended federal Government’s power in the regulation of water pollution.
US Government’s intervention in protection of water bodies happened as early as 1886 with the launch of the Rivers and Harbors Act that aimed at preventing discharge of pollutants onto water bodies without proper permits. This was followed by several other acts like the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) of 1948, Water Pollution Control Act of 1956 and Water Quality Act of 1965.
Later, the Government passed the Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970, which mainly dealt with discharge of oil into water bodies that could materially affect quality of marine life or human health. The Act mandated a certification process to be undertaken by the State so as to keep water pollution levels under the check of standards. The polluters, like oil companies, drilling units and shipyards, were required to clean up the water bodies in lieu of the pollution caused by them. The polluters could very well avail insurance in order to cover the cleanup and damage control costs.