A central purpose of the Clean Water Act, and of our mission, is not only to reduce pollution, but to eliminate it. It may seem like a lofty goal–but that is what Congress came up with back in 1972. The Congress even went so far as to include a goal that “the discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters be eliminated by 1985.”
Well, the honest truth is that we haven’t even come close to that goal. In fact, a second goal of the Clean Water Act was “that wherever attainable, an interim goal of water quality which provides for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and provides for recreation in and on the water be achieved by July 1, 1983.” We haven’t even met this goal!
Many of the “waters of the Commonwealth”, which includes streams, creeks, rivers, lakes, and wetlands, still have issues. Some still don’t meet water quality standards intended to protect aquatic life, and others don’t meet standards intended to protect human health when recreating in those waters. Fortunately, we know what many of the contributors are for the continued pollution of waters of the Commonwealth, and we work everyday to try and make the original goals of the Clean Water Act a reality in Kentucky.
Take some time, and explore some of the areas below that we are currently working on, or have worked on in the recent past, to try and eliminate pollution in our waterways.