Federal Laws and Regulations
Congress passed the federal Water Pollution Control Act which, with subsequent amendments, is commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act (CWA), in 1972 (P.L. 92-500). The preamble to the CWA states that the goal of the Act is to ensure that the nation’s waters are “fishable and swimmable.” The 1987 Federal Water Quality Act Amendments (P.L. 100-4) placed new emphasis on nonpoint source pollution management and contained specific requirements and responsibilities for state nonpoint source pollution programs, including submittal of a Nonpoint Source Assessment Report and a Management Plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval.
The Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990 required Hawaii, as one of the states with a federally-approved coastal zone management (CZM) program, to develop and implement a coastal nonpoint pollution control program, to be approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the EPA. State programs must be developed jointly by the coastal zone management agency (Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism) and the water quality agency (Department of Health, DOH).