Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Agricultural and Resource Economics

Committee Chair

Levan Elbakidze

Committee Member

Alan R. Collins

Committee Member

Suhyun Jung


This research evaluates the impact of state regulations regarding Clean Water Act (CWA) compliance on wastewater and drinking water violations in the continental United States from 2007 to 2017. Using data collected from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), community characteristics and state regulations are analyzed for their effects on CWA compliance. We use count data analysis techniques and annual county-level data on CWA and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) violations from wastewater and drinking water facilities in the United States. The results show that total violations are higher when an additional state CWA regulation is implemented. One year after a new regulation is implemented, however, we observe a decrease in total violations relative to the number of violations prior to the introduction of additional policy or regulation. Total violations may decrease after the introduction of new regulations and policies as the facilities update their procedures, enforcement, or technology to be in compliance with new standards. Research findings confirm previous literature that higher non-white populations experience greater numbers of water violations, but also show that increased average per capita income mitigates the number of violations when the non-white population percentage is also taken into consideration.