Clean Water Act 40th Anniversary

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Black Warrior Riverkeeper Celebrates 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act

For Immediate Release
October 16, 2012

Birmingham – When Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, it envisioned stopping additional polluted water from flowing into our nation’s waters by 1985. Forty years later, the Clean Water Act has done much to clean up streams, rivers, and lakes within the Black Warrior River watershed and throughout the nation, but new sources of water pollution are being permitted almost every month. Unfortunately we have a long way to go before all streams can be considered safe for swimming, fishing, and drinking.

“Sadly, there are still many interests who would rather dump their waste into the river than dispose of it properly – putting their pollution burden and the cost of cleaning it up squarely on the backs of Alabama taxpayers,” said Nelson Brooke, Black Warrior Riverkeeper.

With regulatory agencies in Alabama unwilling and unable to adequately enforce the Clean Water Act and hold polluters accountable, citizens must pick up the slack. Black Warrior Riverkeeper is dedicated to finding major pollution problems and advocating for their cleanup. Over the past ten years, the nonprofit advocacy organization has been educating the public about where pollution is coming from, and who is responsible, so that appropriate action can be taken.

Today, Black Warrior Riverkeeper is releasing a map showing the location of many wastewater treatment plants with permits to discharge treated sewage into the river and its tributaries. It can be difficult for citizens to find out where such facilities are and where they send polluted water. Now, with this map citizens can better make decisions about where to swim, fish, and recreate. To view the map, click here. To learn more about sewage in the Black Warrior River watershed, click here.

Black Warrior Riverkeeper joins hundreds of Waterkeeper Alliance organizations across this great nation who are celebrating the Clean Water Act’s 40th Anniversary. Additionally, Black Warrior Riverkeeper and many other Alabama organizations will celebrate the Clean Water Act with a public event on its actual birthday, Thursday, October 18. The event will begin at 5:30 that night at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens (2612 Lane Park Road). $10
Tickets supporting the Alabama Coastal Foundation and the Alabama Rivers Alliance, cover the cost of food and two beverages.

To view a picture of the Valley Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant’s permitted discharge, click here. (Photo by Nelson Brooke).


Black Warrior Riverkeeper ( is a citizen-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect and restore the Black Warrior River and its tributaries. A member of Waterkeeper Alliance, Black Warrior Riverkeeper was the Alabama Environmental Council’s 2007 Conservation Organization of the Year and the American Canoe Association’s 2008 Green Paddle Award winner. Nelson Brooke, Riverkeeper, won the Alabama Rivers Alliance’s 2010 River Hero Award. For more information, contact Nelson Brooke, Riverkeeper: (205) 458-0095, [email protected] or John Kinney, Enforcement Coordinator: (205) 458-0095, [email protected]

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