Abstract The basic authority for federal enforcement in water pollution is the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (P.L. 84-660, as amended, 33 USC, Sec. 1151-1175). The Environmental Protection Agency has been charged with the administration and enforcement of this act, which declares the policy of Congress “to recognize, preserve and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of the states in preventing and controlling water pollution.”
By use of three enforcement tools-the “Enforcement Conference,” the “180-Day Notice,” and the “Permit Program”-the EPA is to see that water pollution is prevented and controlled. Although these statutory authorities apply to surface waters, the Federal Water Quality Ad-ministration, EPA's predecessor, recognized the increasing use of the subsurface for disposal and storage of liquid wastes and thus announced a policy on disposal of wastes by subsurface injection. The EPA has followed the FWQA policy but has required clear demonstration that subsurface disposal of wastes will not interfere with present or potential use of subsurface water supplies and/or will not contaminate interconnected surface waters or otherwise damage the environment.
The President, by E.O. 11574, ordered the implementation of the Refuse Act Permit Program, under the authority of the 1899 Refuse Act. This act prohibits putting almost anything, by any means, into a navigable water or its tributaries.
The enforcement tools of EPA initially will be used to focus on the most serious cases of pollution. However, it appears obvious that substantial changes will take place in the near future. The Senate has passed the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendment of 1971, which calls for the elimination of the discharge of all pollutants by 1985. The states are given the prime responsibility for achieving this goal, but the bill grants EPA broad powers regarding enforcement if the state