Laws, Regulations and Codes

For decades, there have been local and regional environmental efforts focused on reducing wastewater impacts on coastal ecosystems. While policy will vary based on the social, economic, political, and environmental conditions, we offer some basic guidelines from which to begin, taken from recommendations generated by Our Shared Seas. We also recommend advocating for full implementation of any existing laws and monitoring frameworks that address all types of coastal pollution in addition to proposing new regulations to specifically address ocean wastewater pollution. Examples of some frameworks at both the country and regional level are also provided later in this section, (see Policy Examples), and are meant only to provide information about existing frameworks, not necessarily recommend those approaches. Here are some useful categories to consider for creating, amending, or influencing laws, regulations, and codes:

  1. Agricultural run-off and other land-based pollution source laws, regulations, and codes, such as:
  2. Wastewater management laws, regulations, and codes, such as:
    • Total maximum daily loads
    • Stormwater permitting
  3. Writing town and county regulations for wastewater
  4. Plastics and solid waste management laws, regulations, and codes, such as:
    • International, national, and local policies such as city-wide bag and straw bans
    • Fees for single-use items
    • Requirements to track fishing gear, dumping bans
    • Waste and wastewater recycling, re-use, and byproduct laws, regulations, and codes
  5. Solid waste recycling, re-use, and management laws, regulations, and codes
  6. Writing national legislation on improving water quality
  7. Ballot initiatives to fund wastewater, stormwater, and waste management infrastructure
  8. Writing town and county regulations for wastewater