Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version




Nonpoint pollution control. The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) regulates point sources of water pollution (such as municipal and industrial wastewater discharges to river and streams) but not nonpoint sources (NPSs), like farm runoff. EPA has provided financial incentives to states to develop and implement NPS programs but does not regulate NPSs itself. Clean water groups have sued to force states to implement wasteload allocation under the CWA on streams not meeting water quality requirements and to require cities and idustries to clean up their wastewater discharges to improve water quality. States can elect to regulate NPSs under this total maximum daily load (TMDL) program but EPA cannot require states to regulate NPSs. EPA is collaborating with states to reduce nonpoint pollution runoff into the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico.