With forwards penned by Mark Ruffalo and Kerri Evelyn Harris, the new edition of The Green Amendment by Maya K. van Rossum is more relevant than ever. The attorney, Delaware River Keeper and founder of Green Amendments for The Generations opted to time the release of her new edition to align with the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

The much-lauded landmark legislation helped spawn the environmental remediation and contaminant cleanup industries we know today, but in the 50 years since its passage, the original intent of the Act has faded into memory. 

Rossum reminds readers that while the Act has created a system by which polluters can apply for a permit to discharge up to a certain amount of a contaminant, the authors of the CWA originally intended to reduce and even eliminate contaminant discharge into the environment by 1985. 

“Those who would like to discharge pollution have to go to the right agency to get the right permit in order to manage how much pollution they're allowed to discharge into the environment and how they in fact, undertake that discharge,” Rossum says in a video interview with Remediation Technology. “So it's all about legalizing pollution through reviews and permitting. And the goal of zero discharge of pollution into the waterways sort of got lost in history.”

To hear the full conversation, listen to the podcast below.