Spare the Rod and Spoil the Law: Why the Clean Water Act has Never Grown Up


Victor B. Flatt


The Clean Water Act at thirty presents a good example of how laws sometimes do not do all that is intended or even required. It thus presents an opportunity to analyze why laws in general are apt to accomplish their goals or what would keep that from happening. In this article Professor Flatt focuses on enforcement as the culprit and notes that success of statutes can most likely be traced to the method of enforcement prescribed in the statute. Particularly, Professor Flatt notes in the Clean Water Act how the parts of the statute that have specific and enforceable prescriptions (such as the NPDES program) have functioned far better than those parts whose enforcement program is unclear (such as the control of non-point sources.)


Clean Water Act

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Publication Information

55 Alabama Law Review 595 (2004)


COinS Victor B. Flatt Faculty Bio