U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 27, 2022
(a)(1) General prohibitions. A User may not introduce into a POTW any pollutant(s) which cause Pass Through or Interference. These general prohibitions and the specific prohibitions in paragraph (b) of this section apply to each User introducing pollutants into a POTW whether or not the User is subject to other National Pretreatment Standards or any national, State, or local Pretreatment Requirements.
(2) Affirmative Defenses. A User shall have an affirmative defense in any action brought against it alleging a violation of the general prohibitions established in paragraph (a)(1) of this section and the specific prohibitions in paragraphs (b)(3), (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(6), and (b)(7) of this section where the User can demonstrate that:
(i) It did not know or have reason to know that its Discharge, alone or in conjunction with a discharge or discharges from other sources, would cause Pass Through or Interference; and
(ii)(A) A local limit designed to prevent Pass Through and/or Interference, as the case may be, was developed in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section for each pollutant in the User's Discharge that caused Pass Through or Interference, and the User was in compliance with each such local limit directly prior to and during the Pass Through or Interference; or
(B) If a local limit designed to prevent Pass Through and/or Interference, as the case may be, has not been developed in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section for the pollutant(s) that caused the Pass Through or Interference, the User's Discharge directly prior to and during the Pass Through or Interference did not change substantially in nature or constituents from the User's prior discharge activity when the POTW was regularly in compliance with the POTW's NPDES permit requirements and, in the case of Interference, applicable requirements for sewage sludge use or disposal.
(b) Specific prohibitions. In addition, the following pollutants shall not be introduced into a POTW:
(1) Pollutants which create a fire or explosion hazard in the POTW, including, but not limited to, wastestreams with a closed cup flashpoint of less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Centigrade using the test methods specified in 40 CFR 261.21;
(2) Pollutants which will cause corrosive structural damage to the POTW, but in no case Discharges with pH lower than 5.0, unless the works is specifically designed to accommodate such Discharges;
(3) Solid or viscous pollutants in amounts which will cause obstruction to the flow in the POTW resulting in Interference;
(4) Any pollutant, including oxygen demanding pollutants (BOD, etc.) released in a Discharge at a flow rate and/or pollutant concentration which will cause Interference with the POTW.
(5) Heat in amounts which will inhibit biological activity in the POTW resulting in Interference, but in no case heat in such quantities that the temperature at the POTW Treatment Plant exceeds 40 °C (104 °F) unless the Approval Authority, upon request of the POTW, approves alternate temperature limits.
(6) Petroleum oil, nonbiodegradable cutting oil, or products of mineral oil origin in amounts that will cause interference or pass through;
(7) Pollutants which result in the presence of toxic gases, vapors, or fumes within the POTW in a quantity that may cause acute worker health and safety problems;
(8) Any trucked or hauled pollutants, except at discharge points designated by the POTW.
(c) When specific limits must be developed by POTW. (1) Each POTW developing a POTW Pretreatment Program pursuant to § 403.8 shall develop and enforce specific limits to implement the prohibitions listed in paragraphs (a)(1) and (b) of this section. Each POTW with an approved pretreatment program shall continue to develop these limits as necessary and effectively enforce such limits.
(2) All other POTW's shall, in cases where pollutants contributed by User(s) result in Interference or Pass-Through, and such violation is likely to recur, develop and enforce specific effluent limits for Industrial User(s), and all other users, as appropriate, which, together with appropriate changes in the POTW Treatment Plant's facilities or operation, are necessary to ensure renewed and continued compliance with the POTW's NPDES permit or sludge use or disposal practices.
(3) Specific effluent limits shall not be developed and enforced without individual notice to persons or groups who have requested such notice and an opportunity to respond.
(4) POTWs may develop Best Management Practices (BMPs) to implement paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section. Such BMPs shall be considered local limits and Pretreatment Standards for the purposes of this part and section 307(d) of the Act.
(d) Local limits. Where specific prohibitions or limits on pollutants or pollutant parameters are developed by a POTW in accordance with paragraph (c) above, such limits shall be deemed Pretreatment Standards for the purposes of section 307(d) of the Act.
(e) EPA enforcement actions under section 309(f) of the Clean Water Act.
If, within 30 days after notice of an Interference or Pass Through violation has been sent by EPA to the POTW, and to persons or groups who have requested such notice, the POTW fails to commence appropriate enforcement action to correct the violation, EPA may take appropriate enforcement action under the authority provided in section 309(f) of the Clean Water Act.