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Senator Collins Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Clean Water Act in Rumford

The landmark legislation has helped to restore and protect Maine’s waterways, including the Androscoggin River


Click HERE for a high-resolution photo of Sen. Collins and Ned Muskie, son of former Senator Edmund Muskie

Click HERE and HERE for high-resolution photos of Sen. Collins delivering remarks


Rumford, ME – U.S. Senator Susan Collins delivered remarks at Rumford’s 50th anniversary celebration of the enactment of the Clean Water Act (CWA). This landmark legislation – authored by former Maine Senator Edmund Muskie – has helped restore and protect Maine’s waterways, including the Androscoggin River.


“Senator Edmund Muskie is rightly called the father of the modern environmental movement.  That makes Rumford its birthplace. Growing up here, he was inspired by the beauty and power of this great river,” said Senator Collins during her remarks. “At the same time, he was heartbroken by its degradation. Spoiled by decades of industrial and municipal wastewater discharges, and runoff from farms and homes, the Androscoggin had become one of the most polluted rivers in America.”


“Developing the Clean Water Act and getting it passed was a challenge of extraordinary difficulty, but Ed Muskie was strengthened by two values that define Mainers – our deep respect for nature and our dogged determination to never give up,” continued Senator Collins. “Fifty years ago, the Androscoggin River was heavily polluted, unsafe for recreation, and deadly to fish and wildlife. Today, it is a shining example of the progress we have made working together in restoring and protecting our waterways. It is an honor to join Rumford town officials in celebrating this golden anniversary.”


The CWA establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. The basis of the CWA was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. "Clean Water Act" became the Act's common name with amendments in 1972.


Under the CWA, EPA has implemented pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry. EPA has also developed national water quality criteria recommendations for pollutants in surface waters. Notably, the CWA made it unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained.



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