For the most part, water is a good thing, but it can cause its share of troubles too. The pressure that water puts on creeks and rivers can loosen ground pollutants and cause water contamination. That's what has happened in one out-of-state location where too much water was going into the creek. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) attempted to place limits on the amount of water that could flow into the creek.
Their suggestions did not involve getting rid of the water, but rather to divert it elsewhere. The court ruled against the EPA citing that water itself was not a pollutant, and therefore it was not in the EPA's jurisdiction to issue such a mandate. Enforcing such a mandate would also have been expensive, costing over $30 million to divert the excess water from the creek. It also would have been difficult to enforce.
While ultimately the EPA may not have a say when water contamination is caused by the water itself, it is still important that the problem not be ignored. Even though they did not win the case, the EPA has increased awareness that creek pollution during heavy rain is a real issue.
It is possible that other less costly solutions might be available if environmental engineers give the problem proper attention. Maybe an extra filtration system could kick in after a heavy rain, or the creek could be expanded, which would not only dilute any contamination, but could prevent flooding as well.
There are human methods of controlling water contamination that must be enforced in order to protect the environment and people's health. Our Georgia river pollution lawyers have experience fighting for quality water standards.
Source: Heartland, "EPA Cannot Regulate Water Flow, Federal Court Rules," Jeff Edgens, Jan. 29, 2013