William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review


This Article summarizes the rise of emerging contaminants in waterways in Virginia and nationwide, and how they affect ecological and human health. First, we review the scientific discovery of chemicals that alter hormone systems, reproductive and developmental processes and how these were discovered in waterways. We go on to explain the current state of emerging contaminant regulations, noting that few states have a clear understanding of what chemicals are discharged into surface waters. The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has no national effort in this area, despite congressional interest and action. Finally, we make recommendations for future emerging contaminant control and monitoring.