Why Would I Need A Discharge Permit?
Since 1972, with a passage of the federal Clean Water Act, a discharge permit (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, NPDES, permit) is required to discharge wastes to Water of the US. An NPDES permit is required for the discharge of wastes in any amount, which is contrary to other permitting programs, such as under the Clean Air Act where a permit is required if emissions are above certain thresholds. Through extensive studies in the 1980s (Nationwide Urban Runoff Program, NURP), it was determined that contaminated stormwater runoff from urban areas, industries and construction sites was a significant contributor to water quality issues. Since the 1990s permits have been required for selected types of discharges in order to minimize these impacts.
Who needs A Stormwater Permit?
Stormwater discharge permits are required for three categories of dischargers:
- Industries and industrial-like sites that fall into listed categories
- Construction sites
- Medium to large sized municipalities.
In many cases, States have developed General Discharge Permits to reduce the administrative burden of managing the many permitted sites. In general, these permits require permittees to develop programs to minimize the amount of pollutants discharged through stormwater runoff.
Caltha LLP assists industries, construction contractors and municipal government in applying for stormwater discharge permits, developing stormwater management programs, providing SWPPP training and storm water pollution prevention consulting.