NPDES Permits in New England
NPDES Water Permit Program in New England
NPDES stands for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Under the NPDES program, all municipal, industrial and commercial facilities that discharge wastewater directly from a point source (a discrete conveyance such as a pipe, ditch or channel) into a receiving waterbody (lake, river, ocean) are issued an NPDES permit. Facilities that discharge wastewater to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW), which in turn discharges into the receiving waterbody, are not subject to NPDES permits; rather they are controlled by the national pretreatment program.
The state or federal agencies that issue permits determine the volume of effluent that can be discharged from a given facility and set limits in the permit to ensure that water quality is not compromised. The permits expire after five years. NPDES permits are divided into two categories: municipal and industrial. Each category is then subdivided into major (large dischargers) and minor (small dischargers). Some of the permits cover single facilities while others, called general permits, cover all of the facilities of a certain type in a given state.
This web site contains information on the following: a history of the NPDES program: a description of which government agencies issue permits in the six New England states; a New England state-by-state listing of recently issued permits; links to EPA permit application forms and attachments; and a list a contacts and links.