The Illinois v. Milwaukee Federal District Court decision is the most far reaching application yet of the federal common law of nuisance to interstate water pollution conflicts. Although a Federal Appelate Court recently rescinded part of the district court decision, Milwaukee must still upgrade its metropolitan sewage system to a level beyond that required by federal and state regulations. The improvements must be completed with or without federal aid. The case points out the apparent inability of the Clean Water Act, the most comprehensive federal legislation affecting the nation's water quality, to deal with certain interstate water quality conflicts. The Milwaukee decision could set a precedent for similar settlements elsewhere which may in turn affect the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's water quality clean up program. A more integrated, ecosystem conscious approach to management of shared water resources (e.g., the Great Lakes) would help reduce the need for court decisions like Illinois v. Milwaukee
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