In 1977, the U.S. Congress reaffirmed the goal of the 1972 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Congress restated that:
- By 1983, the nation's waters should be clean enough for swimming and fishing; and
- By 1985, all discharge of pollutants into our waters should be eliminated.
Through Section 208 of the Act (P.L. 92-500), planning agencies throughout the nation have been funded to establish comprehensive water quality management programs for controlling point source pollution, such as municipal and industrial wastewater; and nonpoint source pollution, such as urban stormwater and agricultural runoff.
Under the law, states or local governments and interested citizens are working through a designated planning agency to develop a management plan to meet water quality goals. The Metropolitan Council is the designated 208 planning agency for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. (information in this section is from the April, 1979 report below)