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Environmental Law

Waters of the United States

Waters of the United States

Learn about the concept of “waters of the United States” used in the Clean Water Act and United States Supreme Court cases, including SWANNC and Rapanos.


The Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, or as it is better known, the Clean Water Act, was enacted to protect the nation’s waters from pollution. Before we look at how the Clean Water Act regulates, we’ll take a look at what it regulates. It seems obvious that any body of water in the county would be considered a water of the United States, but surprisingly, this isn’t true. In this lesson, you’ll learn about the concept of waters of the United States used in the Clean...