Pronsolino v. Marcus

Shosteck, Debbie
August 2001
Ecology Law Quarterly;2001, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p327
Academic Journal
Before Pronsolino v. Marcus, agricultural operations, timber companies, and other nonpoint source polluters were largely able to evade regulation under the Clean Water Act, As a result of this decision, all water bodies, even those polluted exclusively by nonpoint sources, now warrant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), state-set caps on the maximum amount of pollutant loading a waterway can tolerate and still meet water quality standards. Nevertheless, the court's conclusion will likely have little effect on the condition of the nation's waters because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lacks enforcement power over state TMDL programs, and state sovereignty issues preclude any efforts by EPA to compel TMDL implementation. To overcome these limitations, EPA must make the successful attainment of TMDLs a condition of federal grants to state nonpoint programs, and should prioritize funding based on a state's willingness to implement effluent trading programs or other innovative mechanisms for achieving nonpoint source reduction.


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