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Issue

Volume 27, Issue 8 — August 1997

Articles

TMDLs, Are We There Yet? The Long Road Toward Water Quality-Based Regulation Under the Clean Water Act

by Oliver A. Houck

Editors' Summary: Water quality standards-based regulation has been the "reserve clause" of the Clean Water Act (CWA), intended to clean up waters that remain polluted after the application of technology standards. For 20 years, these provisions lay idle, prodded forward at least by litigation in the early 1990s. Today, they are at the center of nearly two dozen lawsuits, a Federal Advisory Committee Act committee, and a flurry of regulatory guidance. Their implementation presents serious issues of federalism, science, and political will. In a prior Article in ELR—The Environmental Law Reporter, the author discussed the origin of CWA § 303(d), the Act's provision on water quality standards. In this Article, he describes the implementation of § 303(d).

Dialogue

Developing a Culture of Compliance in the International Environmental Regime

by Ruth Greenspan Bell

Over the past 20 or so years, the world has developed a vast array of international environmental agreements. Approximately 900 international environmental agreements worldwide have been negotiated and set into place.1 These include bilateral and multilateral, regional, and global agreements that cover a variety of issues and problems and vary tremendously in purpose and strength. The United States participates in or has a significant interest in more than 170.2

Many difficult hours have been spent negotiating the language of these agreements. The complexity and intensity of negotiation, the science supporting decisionmaking, and the politics of reaching agreement have dominated public perception of the international environmental regime, as well as the attention of the environmental community.3 The agreements have become increasingly ambitious in their scope.4