In 1972, the Congress of the United States of America passed major legislation called the Clean Water Act, which required all wastewater discharges to meet minimal standards. The Clean Water Act promoted efficiency and cost effectiveness.

The Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority was created in 1969 by the Legislature of the State of Texas to, among other things, own and operate wastewater disposal systems which would be protective of public health, “terrestrial and aquatic life, the operation of existing industries and the economic development of the state“.

Since enactment of the Clean Water Act, other pieces of legislation, rulings by courts of law, and rules established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have thwarted many efforts to operate efficient and cost-effective wastewater treatment facilities. This paper will discuss several of the laws and rules that have discouraged efficiency and cost effectiveness.