Today, October 18, 2017, is the 45th anniversary of the passing of the Clean Water Act. Hurray for that moment when our legislators came together (thanks to plenty of pushing by citizens suffering the ill effects of water pollution) and decided they needed to do something to protect our precious water resources!
Congress at the time recognized it was every day citizens who knew their lived environment best. They also recognized that administrative agencies were often overtaxed and under-resourced to tackle the breadth and nature of environmental contamination. As a result, the Clean Water Act contains a powerful provision that allows us to act to protect our water resources when government agencies are not and when polluters aren't abiding by the law.