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Clean Water Act

Metadata Updated: September 19, 2023

These data represent geographic terms used within the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA establishes the basic structure for regulating the addition of pollutants (discharges) into waters of the United States, a three mile territorial sea, a 12 mile contiguous zone, and the ocean. The goal of the CWA is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters. This data includes two component boundaries, which delineate the seaward extent of various parts of the CWA. The boundary of a three mile territorial sea and 12 mile contiguous zone are relevant to application of various discharge standards associated with vessels or other floating craft, that vary depending on operational status. As referenced within the CWA, these two boundaries are based on the 1958 Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, and not the contemporary extent of these respective boundaries. While the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is not specified with the CWA, it is denoted here for illustrative purposes. The CWA does not include inland waters because 1) it is difficult to properly identify the nationwide extent of all inland water bodies, and 2) there is current litigation with EPA of such water bodies falling under the jurisdiction of the CWA. When investigating geo-regulatory boundaries near the boundary edges, users should consult the most up-to-date applicable jurisdictional boundaries from all respective authoritative sources.

Source: Date enacted: April 30, 1948 Codification: 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1251 et seq. Authority: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Access & Use Information

License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Date May 30, 2023
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date September 19, 2023
Reference Date(s) November 9, 2016 (publication)
Frequency Of Update asNeeded

Metadata Source

Harvested from NOS OCM

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date May 30, 2023
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date September 19, 2023
Reference Date(s) November 9, 2016 (publication)
Responsible Party NOAA Office for Coastal Management (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Guid gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:48856
Access Constraints Cite As: Office for Coastal Management, [Date of Access]: Clean Water Act [Data Date Range],, Use Constraints: For coastal and ocean planning | Distribution Liability:
Bbox East Long 180
Bbox North Lat 74.708841
Bbox South Lat -17.555007
Bbox West Long -180
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update asNeeded
Harvest Object Id 91d6f93b-4bf5-4d1f-b123-1e63ff45fe09
Harvest Source Id c0121fd9-df15-4168-ac04-42f6e36a794d
Harvest Source Title NOS OCM
Licence NOAA provides no warranty, nor accepts any liability occurring from any incomplete, incorrect, or misleading data, or from any incorrect, incomplete, or misleading use of the data. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether or not the data is suitable for the intended purpose.
Metadata Language eng
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": [[[-180.0, -17.555007], [180.0, -17.555007], [180.0, 74.708841], [-180.0, 74.708841], [-180.0, -17.555007]]]}
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True

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