"There is little doubt that very small trace amounts of natural and synthetic drugs are showing up in waterways in some parts of the country. For instance, a stream study by the U.S. Geological Survey states: “Results show that a broad range of chemicals found in residential, industrial, and agricultural wastewaters commonly occurs in mixtures at low concentrations in streams in the United...
The Common Law Solution to Water Pollution: The Path Not Taken
"Before passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the right to pollute water was determined primarily by state common law rules of nuisance and of water rights. The common law rules were strict. As a Texas court noted, 'any corruption of water which prevents its use for any of its reasonable purposes is an infringement of rights of riparian owners.'
If the common law had not been superseded, it might have provided more ecologically sound pollution control than has occurred under the CWA. Advances in pollution control technology and in understanding the consequences of pollution, and changes in society's attitudes about pollution would probably have led to a common law standard of strict liability for polluters."
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