UCLA School of Law
The Past, Present and Future of the Safe Drinking Water Act
- Author(s): Salzman, James
- et al.
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) has long been "the statute that environmental law courses forgot." It receives scant or no coverage in all but a few environmental law casebooks and is not covered in most environmental law courses. After Flint, though, drinking water problems have become high profile and SDWA's exclusion seems increasingly untenable. The law raises important issues of cost and risk assessments, environmental justice, federalism, private governance, and human rights, among others. To encourage teaching the statute, this chapter is intended for a course syllabus. Twenty pages long, it is written in an accessible style and covers the history of the law, its key provisions, successes, and challenges. To stimulate classroom discussion, it includes a Questions and Discussion section and Teacher's Manual. The text is free for all non-commercial use.