U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 26, 2023
In addition to the conditions established under § 122.43(a), each NPDES permit shall include conditions meeting the following requirements when applicable.
(a)(1) Technology-based effluent limitations and standards based on: effluent limitations and standards promulgated under section 301 of the CWA, or new source performance standards promulgated under section 306 of CWA, on case-by-case effluent limitations determined under section 402(a)(1) of CWA, or a combination of the three, in accordance with § 125.3 of this chapter. For new sources or new dischargers, these technology based limitations and standards are subject to the provisions of § 122.29(d) (protection period).
(2) Monitoring waivers for certain guideline-listed pollutants. (i) The Director may authorize a discharger subject to technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and standards in an NPDES permit to forego sampling of a pollutant found at 40 CFR Subchapter N of this chapter if the discharger has demonstrated through sampling and other technical factors that the pollutant is not present in the discharge or is present only at background levels from intake water and without any increase in the pollutant due to activities of the discharger.
(ii) This waiver is good only for the term of the permit and is not available during the term of the first permit issued to a discharger.
(iii) Any request for this waiver must be submitted when applying for a reissued permit or modification of a reissued permit. The request must demonstrate through sampling or other technical information, including information generated during an earlier permit term that the pollutant is not present in the discharge or is present only at background levels from intake water and without any increase in the pollutant due to activities of the discharger.
(iv) Any grant of the monitoring waiver must be included in the permit as an express permit condition and the reasons supporting the grant must be documented in the permit's fact sheet or statement of basis.
(v) This provision does not supersede certification processes and requirements already established in existing effluent limitations guidelines and standards.
(b)(1) Other effluent limitations and standards under sections 301, 302, 303, 307, 318 and 405 of CWA. If any applicable toxic effluent standard or prohibition (including any schedule of compliance specified in such effluent standard or prohibition) is promulgated under section 307(a) of CWA for a toxic pollutant and that standard or prohibition is more stringent than any limitation on the pollutant in the permit, the Director shall institute proceedings under these regulations to modify or revoke and reissue the permit to conform to the toxic effluent standard or prohibition. See also § 122.41(a).
(2) Standards for sewage sludge use or disposal under section 405(d) of the CWA unless those standards have been included in a permit issued under the appropriate provisions of subtitle C of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, Part C of Safe Drinking Water Act, the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, or the Clean Air Act, or under State permit programs approved by the Administrator. When there are no applicable standards for sewage sludge use or disposal, the permit may include requirements developed on a case-by-case basis to protect public health and the environment from any adverse effects which may occur from toxic pollutants in sewage sludge. If any applicable standard for sewage sludge use or disposal is promulgated under section 405(d) of the CWA and that standard is more stringent than any limitation on the pollutant or practice in the permit, the Director may initiate proceedings under these regulations to modify or revoke and reissue the permit to conform to the standard for sewage sludge use or disposal.
(3) Requirements applicable to cooling water intake structures under section 316(b) of the CWA, in accordance with part 125, subparts I, J, and N of this chapter.
(c) Reopener clause: For any permit issued to a treatment works treating domestic sewage (including “sludge-only facilities”), the Director shall include a reopener clause to incorporate any applicable standard for sewage sludge use or disposal promulgated under section 405(d) of the CWA. The Director may promptly modify or revoke and reissue any permit containing the reopener clause required by this paragraph if the standard for sewage sludge use or disposal is more stringent than any requirements for sludge use or disposal in the permit, or controls a pollutant or practice not limited in the permit.
(d) Water quality standards and State requirements: any requirements in addition to or more stringent than promulgated effluent limitations guidelines or standards under sections 301, 304, 306, 307, 318 and 405 of CWA necessary to:
(1) Achieve water quality standards established under section 303 of the CWA, including State narrative criteria for water quality.
(i) Limitations must control all pollutants or pollutant parameters (either conventional, nonconventional, or toxic pollutants) which the Director determines are or may be discharged at a level which will cause, have the reasonable potential to cause, or contribute to an excursion above any State water quality standard, including State narrative criteria for water quality.
(ii) When determining whether a discharge causes, has the reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an in-stream excursion above a narrative or numeric criteria within a State water quality standard, the permitting authority shall use procedures which account for existing controls on point and nonpoint sources of pollution, the variability of the pollutant or pollutant parameter in the effluent, the sensitivity of the species to toxicity testing (when evaluating whole effluent toxicity), and where appropriate, the dilution of the effluent in the receiving water.
(iii) When the permitting authority determines, using the procedures in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section, that a discharge causes, has the reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an in-stream excursion above the allowable ambient concentration of a State numeric criteria within a State water quality standard for an individual pollutant, the permit must contain effluent limits for that pollutant.
(iv) When the permitting authority determines, using the procedures in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section, that a discharge causes, has the reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an in-stream excursion above the numeric criterion for whole effluent toxicity, the permit must contain effluent limits for whole effluent toxicity.
(v) Except as provided in this subparagraph, when the permitting authority determines, using the procedures in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section, toxicity testing data, or other information, that a discharge causes, has the reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an in-stream excursion above a narrative criterion within an applicable State water quality standard, the permit must contain effluent limits for whole effluent toxicity. Limits on whole effluent toxicity are not necessary where the permitting authority demonstrates in the fact sheet or statement of basis of the NPDES permit, using the procedures in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section, that chemical-specific limits for the effluent are sufficient to attain and maintain applicable numeric and narrative State water quality standards.
(vi) Where a State has not established a water quality criterion for a specific chemical pollutant that is present in an effluent at a concentration that causes, has the reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an excursion above a narrative criterion within an applicable State water quality standard, the permitting authority must establish effluent limits using one or more of the following options:
(A) Establish effluent limits using a calculated numeric water quality criterion for the pollutant which the permitting authority demonstrates will attain and maintain applicable narrative water quality criteria and will fully protect the designated use. Such a criterion may be derived using a proposed State criterion, or an explicit State policy or regulation interpreting its narrative water quality criterion, supplemented with other relevant information which may include: EPA's Water Quality Standards Handbook, October 1983, risk assessment data, exposure data, information about the pollutant from the Food and Drug Administration, and current EPA criteria documents; or
(B) Establish effluent limits on a case-by-case basis, using EPA's water quality criteria, published under section 304(a) of the CWA, supplemented where necessary by other relevant information; or
(C) Establish effluent limitations on an indicator parameter for the pollutant of concern, provided:
(1) The permit identifies which pollutants are intended to be controlled by the use of the effluent limitation;
(2) The fact sheet required by § 124.56 sets forth the basis for the limit, including a finding that compliance with the effluent limit on the indicator parameter will result in controls on the pollutant of concern which are sufficient to attain and maintain applicable water quality standards;
(3) The permit requires all effluent and ambient monitoring necessary to show that during the term of the permit the limit on the indicator parameter continues to attain and maintain applicable water quality standards; and
(4) The permit contains a reopener clause allowing the permitting authority to modify or revoke and reissue the permit if the limits on the indicator parameter no longer attain and maintain applicable water quality standards.
(vii) When developing water quality-based effluent limits under this paragraph the permitting authority shall ensure that:
(A) The level of water quality to be achieved by limits on point sources established under this paragraph is derived from, and complies with all applicable water quality standards; and
(B) Effluent limits developed to protect a narrative water quality criterion, a numeric water quality criterion, or both, are consistent with the assumptions and requirements of any available wasteload allocation for the discharge prepared by the State and approved by EPA pursuant to 40 CFR 130.7.
(2) Attain or maintain a specified water quality through water quality related effluent limits established under section 302 of CWA;
(3) Conform to the conditions to a State certification under section 401 of the CWA that meets the requirements of § 124.53 when EPA is the permitting authority. If a State certification is stayed by a court of competent jurisdiction or an appropriate State board or agency, EPA shall notify the State that the Agency will deem certification waived unless a finally effective State certification is received within sixty days from the date of the notice. If the State does not forward a finally effective certification within the sixty day period, EPA shall include conditions in the permit that may be necessary to meet EPA's obligation under section 301(b)(1)(C) of the CWA;
(4) Conform to applicable water quality requirements under section 401(a)(2) of CWA when the discharge affects a State other than the certifying State;
(5) Incorporate any more stringent limitations, treatment standards, or schedule of compliance requirements established under Federal or State law or regulations in accordance with section 301(b)(1)(C) of CWA;
(6) Ensure consistency with the requirements of a Water Quality Management plan approved by EPA under section 208(b) of CWA;
(7) Incorporate section 403(c) criteria under part 125, subpart M, for ocean discharges;
(8) Incorporate alternative effluent limitations or standards where warranted by “fundamentally different factors,” under 40 CFR part 125, subpart D;
(9) Incorporate any other appropriate requirements, conditions, or limitations (other than effluent limitations) into a new source permit to the extent allowed by the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. and section 511 of the CWA, when EPA is the permit issuing authority. (See § 122.29(c)).
(e) Technology-based controls for toxic pollutants. Limitations established under paragraphs (a), (b), or (d) of this section, to control pollutants meeting the criteria listed in paragraph (e)(1) of this section. Limitations will be established in accordance with paragraph (e)(2) of this section. An explanation of the development of these limitations shall be included in the fact sheet under § 124.56(b)(1)(i).
(1) Limitations must control all toxic pollutants which the Director determines (based on information reported in a permit application under § 122.21(g)(7) or in a notification under § 122.42(a)(1) or on other information) are or may be discharged at a level greater than the level which can be achieved by the technology-based treatment requirements appropriate to the permittee under § 125.3(c) of this chapter; or
(2) The requirement that the limitations control the pollutants meeting the criteria of paragraph (e)(1) of this section will be satisfied by:
(i) Limitations on those pollutants; or
(ii) Limitations on other pollutants which, in the judgment of the Director, will provide treatment of the pollutants under paragraph (e)(1) of this section to the levels required by § 125.3(c).
(f) Notification level. A “notification level” which exceeds the notification level of § 122.42(a)(1)(i), (ii) or (iii), upon a petition from the permittee or on the Director's initiative. This new notification level may not exceed the level which can be achieved by the technology-based treatment requirements appropriate to the permittee under § 125.3(c)
(g) Twenty-four hour reporting. Pollutants for which the permittee must report violations of maximum daily discharge limitations under § 122.41(1)(6)(ii)(C) (24-hour reporting) shall be listed in the permit. This list shall include any toxic pollutant or hazardous substance, or any pollutant specifically identified as the method to control a toxic pollutant or hazardous substance.
(h) Durations for permits, as set forth in § 122.46.
(i) Monitoring requirements. In addition to § 122.48, the following monitoring requirements:
(1) To assure compliance with permit limitations, requirements to monitor:
(i) The mass (or other measurement specified in the permit) for each pollutant limited in the permit;
(ii) The volume of effluent discharged from each outfall;
(iii) Other measurements as appropriate including pollutants in internal waste streams under § 122.45(i); pollutants in intake water for net limitations under § 122.45(f); frequency, rate of discharge, etc., for noncontinuous discharges under § 122.45(e); pollutants subject to notification requirements under § 122.42(a); and pollutants in sewage sludge or other monitoring as specified in 40 CFR part 503; or as determined to be necessary on a case-by-case basis pursuant to section 405(d)(4) of the CWA.
(iv) According to sufficiently sensitive test procedures (i.e., methods) approved under 40 CFR part 136 for the analysis of pollutants or pollutant parameters or required under 40 CFR chapter I, subchapter N or O.
(A) For the purposes of this paragraph, a method is “sufficiently sensitive” when:
(1) The method minimum level (ML) is at or below the level of the effluent limit established in the permit for the measured pollutant or pollutant parameter; or
Consistent with 40 CFR part 136, applicants or permittees have the option of providing matrix or sample specific minimum levels rather than the published levels. Further, where an applicant or permittee can demonstrate that, despite a good faith effort to use a method that would otherwise meet the definition of “sufficiently sensitive”, the analytical results are not consistent with the QA/QC specifications for that method, then the Director may determine that the method is not performing adequately and the Director should select a different method from the remaining EPA-approved methods that is sufficiently sensitive consistent with 40 CFR 122.44(i)(1)(iv)(A). Where no other EPA-approved methods exist, the Director should select a method consistent with 40 CFR 122.44(i)(1)(iv)(B).
(B) In the case of pollutants or pollutant parameters for which there are no approved methods under 40 CFR part 136 or methods are not otherwise required under 40 CFR chapter I, subchapter N or O, monitoring shall be conducted according to a test procedure specified in the permit for such pollutants or pollutant parameters.
(2) Except as provided in paragraphs (i)(4) and (5) of this section, requirements to report monitoring results shall be established on a case-by-case basis with a frequency dependent on the nature and effect of the discharge, but in no case less than once a year. For sewage sludge use or disposal practices, requirements to monitor and report results shall be established on a case-by-case basis with a frequency dependent on the nature and effect of the sewage sludge use or disposal practice; minimally this shall be as specified in 40 CFR part 503 (where applicable), but in no case less than once a year. All results must be electronically reported in compliance with 40 CFR part 3 (including, in all cases, subpart D to part 3), § 122.22, and 40 CFR part 127.
(3) Requirements to report monitoring results for storm water discharges associated with industrial activity which are subject to an effluent limitation guideline shall be established on a case-by-case basis with a frequency dependent on the nature and effect of the discharge, but in no case less than once a year.
(4) Requirements to report monitoring results for storm water discharges associated with industrial activity (other than those addressed in paragraph (i)(3) of this section) shall be established on a case-by-case basis with a frequency dependent on the nature and effect of the discharge. At a minimum, a permit for such a discharge must require:
(i) The discharger to conduct an annual inspection of the facility site to identify areas contributing to a storm water discharge associated with industrial activity and evaluate whether measures to reduce pollutant loadings identified in a storm water pollution prevention plan are adequate and properly implemented in accordance with the terms of the permit or whether additional control measures are needed;
(ii) The discharger to maintain for a period of three years a record summarizing the results of the inspection and a certification that the facility is in compliance with the plan and the permit, and identifying any incidents of non-compliance;
(iii) Such report and certification be signed in accordance with § 122.22; and
(iv) Permits for storm water discharges associated with industrial activity from inactive mining operations may, where annual inspections are impracticable, require certification once every three years by a Registered Professional Engineer that the facility is in compliance with the permit, or alternative requirements.
(5) Permits which do not require the submittal of monitoring result reports at least annually shall require that the permittee report all instances of noncompliance not reported under § 122.41(l) (1), (4), (5), and (6) at least annually.
(j) Pretreatment program for POTWs. Requirements for POTWs to:
(1) Identify, in terms of character and volume of pollutants, any Significant Industrial Users discharging into the POTW subject to Pretreatment Standards under section 307(b) of CWA and 40 CFR part 403.
(2)(i) Submit a local program when required by and in accordance with 40 CFR part 403 to assure compliance with pretreatment standards to the extent applicable under section 307(b). The local program shall be incorporated into the permit as described in 40 CFR part 403. The program must require all indirect dischargers to the POTW to comply with the reporting requirements of 40 CFR part 403.
(ii) Provide a written technical evaluation of the need to revise local limits under 40 CFR 403.5(c)(1), following permit issuance or reissuance.
(3) For POTWs which are “sludge-only facilities,” a requirement to develop a pretreatment program under 40 CFR part 403 when the Director determines that a pretreatment program is necessary to assure compliance with Section 405(d) of the CWA.
(k) Best management practices (BMPs) to control or abate the discharge of pollutants when:
(1) Authorized under section 304(e) of the CWA for the control of toxic pollutants and hazardous substances from ancillary industrial activities;
(2) Authorized under section 402(p) of the CWA for the control of storm water discharges;
(3) Numeric effluent limitations are infeasible; or
(4) The practices are reasonably necessary to achieve effluent limitations and standards or to carry out the purposes and intent of the CWA.
Additional technical information on BMPs and the elements of BMPs is contained in the following documents: Guidance Manual for Developing Best Management Practices (BMPs), October 1993, EPA No. 833/B–93–004, NTIS No. PB 94–178324, ERIC No. W498); Storm Water Management for Construction Activities: Developing Pollution Prevention Plans and Best Management Practices, September 1992, EPA No. 832/R–92–005, NTIS No. PB 92–235951, ERIC No. N482); Storm Water Management for Construction Activities, Developing Pollution Prevention Plans and Best Management Practices: Summary Guidance, EPA No. 833/R–92–001, NTIS No. PB 93–223550; ERIC No. W139; Storm Water Management for Industrial Activities, Developing Pollution Prevention Plans and Best Management Practices, September 1992; EPA 832/R–92–006, NTIS No. PB 92–235969, ERIC No. N477; Storm Water Management for Industrial Activities, Developing Pollution Prevention Plans and Best Management Practices: Summary Guidance, EPA 833/R–92–002, NTIS No. PB 94–133782; ERIC No. W492. These and other EPA guidance documents can be obtained through the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) at http://www.epa.gov/nscep. In addition, States may have BMP guidance documents. These EPA guidance documents are listed here only for informational purposes; they are not binding and EPA does not intend that these guidance documents have any mandatory, regulatory effect by virtue of their listing in this note.
(l) Reissued permits. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (l)(2) of this section when a permit is renewed or reissued, interim effluent limitations, standards or conditions must be at least as stringent as the final effluent limitations, standards, or conditions in the previous permit (unless the circumstances on which the previous permit was based have materially and substantially changed since the time the permit was issued and would constitute cause for permit modification or revocation and reissuance under § 122.62.)
(2) In the case of effluent limitations established on the basis of Section 402(a)(1)(B) of the CWA, a permit may not be renewed, reissued, or modified on the basis of effluent guidelines promulgated under section 304(b) subsequent to the original issuance of such permit, to contain effluent limitations which are less stringent than the comparable effluent limitations in the previous permit.
(i) Exceptions—A permit with respect to which paragraph (l)(2) of this section applies may be renewed, reissued, or modified to contain a less stringent effluent limitation applicable to a pollutant, if—
(A) Material and substantial alterations or additions to the permitted facility occurred after permit issuance which justify the application of a less stringent effluent limitation;
(B)(1) Information is available which was not available at the time of permit issuance (other than revised regulations, guidance, or test methods) and which would have justified the application of a less stringent effluent limitation at the time of permit issuance; or
(2) The Administrator determines that technical mistakes or mistaken interpretations of law were made in issuing the permit under section 402(a)(1)(b);
(C) A less stringent effluent limitation is necessary because of events over which the permittee has no control and for which there is no reasonably available remedy;
(D) The permittee has received a permit modification under section 301(c), 301(g), 301(h), 301(i), 301(k), 301(n), or 316(a); or
(E) The permittee has installed the treatment facilities required to meet the effluent limitations in the previous permit and has properly operated and maintained the facilities but has nevertheless been unable to achieve the previous effluent limitations, in which case the limitations in the reviewed, reissued, or modified permit may reflect the level of pollutant control actually achieved (but shall not be less stringent than required by effluent guidelines in effect at the time of permit renewal, reissuance, or modification).
(ii) Limitations. In no event may a permit with respect to which paragraph (l)(2) of this section applies be renewed, reissued, or modified to contain an effluent limitation which is less stringent than required by effluent guidelines in effect at the time the permit is renewed, reissued, or modified. In no event may such a permit to discharge into waters be renewed, issued, or modified to contain a less stringent effluent limitation if the implementation of such limitation would result in a violation of a water quality standard under section 303 applicable to such waters.
(m) Privately owned treatment works. For a privately owned treatment works, any conditions expressly applicable to any user, as a limited co-permittee, that may be necessary in the permit issued to the treatment works to ensure compliance with applicable requirements under this part. Alternatively, the Director may issue separate permits to the treatment works and to its users, or may require a separate permit application from any user. The Director's decision to issue a permit with no conditions applicable to any user, to impose conditions on one or more users, to issue separate permits, or to require separate applications, and the basis for that decision, shall be stated in the fact sheet for the draft permit for the treatment works.
(n) Grants. Any conditions imposed in grants made by the Administrator to POTWs under sections 201 and 204 of CWA which are reasonably necessary for the achievement of effluent limitations under section 301 of CWA.
(o) Sewage sludge. Requirements under section 405 of CWA governing the disposal of sewage sludge from publicly owned treatment works or any other treatment works treating domestic sewage for any use for which regulations have been established, in accordance with any applicable regulations.
(p) Coast Guard. When a permit is issued to a facility that may operate at certain times as a means of transportation over water, a condition that the discharge shall comply with any applicable regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, that establish specifications for safe transportation, handling, carriage, and storage of pollutants.
(q) Navigation. Any conditions that the Secretary of the Army considers necessary to ensure that navigation and anchorage will not be substantially impaired, in accordance with § 124.59 of this chapter.
(r) Great Lakes. When a permit is issued to a facility that discharges into the Great Lakes System (as defined in 40 CFR 132.2), conditions promulgated by the State, Tribe, or EPA pursuant to 40 CFR part 132.
(s) Qualifying State, Tribal, or local programs. (1) For storm water discharges associated with small construction activity identified in § 122.26(b)(15), the Director may include permit conditions that incorporate qualifying State, Tribal, or local erosion and sediment control program requirements by reference. Where a qualifying State, Tribal, or local program does not include one or more of the elements in this paragraph (s)(1), then the Director must include those elements as conditions in the permit. A qualifying State, Tribal, or local erosion and sediment control program is one that includes:
(i) Requirements for construction site operators to implement appropriate erosion and sediment control best management practices;
(ii) Requirements for construction site operators to control waste such as discarded building materials, concrete truck washout, chemicals, litter, and sanitary waste at the construction site that may cause adverse impacts to water quality;
(iii) Requirements for construction site operators to develop and implement a storm water pollution prevention plan. (A storm water pollution prevention plan includes site descriptions, descriptions of appropriate control measures, copies of approved State, Tribal or local requirements, maintenance procedures, inspection procedures, and identification of non-storm water discharges); and
(iv) Requirements to submit a site plan for review that incorporates consideration of potential water quality impacts.
(2) For storm water discharges from construction activity identified in § 122.26(b)(14)(x), the Director may include permit conditions that incorporate qualifying State, Tribal, or local erosion and sediment control program requirements by reference. A qualifying State, Tribal or local erosion and sediment control program is one that includes the elements listed in paragraph (s)(1) of this section and any additional requirements necessary to achieve the applicable technology-based standards of “best available technology” and “best conventional technology” based on the best professional judgment of the permit writer.