There are two key reasons why wastewater management should be evaluated in the context of a regional comprehensive plan. First, good water quality is necessary for protecting public health and sustaining a growing economy. Maintaining and improving the quality of our nation's waterways has long been a national priority. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act) calls for all waterways to ultimately be "fishable and swimmable." Its principal goal is to "restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters" which "provides for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife (Federal Water Pollution Control Act, Title I)."
Second, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) plays a unique role in this process as the areawide water quality management planning agency for the region which includes the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. As such, it provides leadership to local communities, integrating their needs and goals into a comprehensive regional framework. Therefore, it is essential that CMAP participate in wastewater planning efforts at the earliest possible opportunity.