Frequent Questions

What is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program?

The NPDES permit program, created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act (CWA), helps address water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States. The CWA defines “point source” to include any discernible, confined, and discrete conveyance from which pollutants are or may be discharged. Point source discharges include discharges from publicly owned treatment works (POTWs), industrial process wastewater discharges, runoff conveyed through a storm sewer system, and discharges from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). More information is available at EPA’s NPDES permit program website.

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