For decades, the Clean Water Act – passed this week in 1972 – has limited pollution in America’s waterways and set water quality standards across the country. Its passage required the work of activists paired with bipartisan support.

Today, the Clean Water Act demonstrates some of the great successes and limitations of environmental regulation in the United States, says Ryke Longest, clinical professor of law and co-director of the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. And while the act has flaws, it's certainly improved water quality, says Martin Doyle, director of the Water Policy Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, professor of river systems science and policy in the Nicholas School of the Environment and author of the book "The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade its Rivers."

Here are their insights. Read more on Duke Today