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Water: Module 5

Basic Course: Key Concepts (Module 5.k)

Compliance Schedule: Discharger Grace Period

Module 5. Water Quality Flexibilities

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Situations also can arise where an individual discharger requests additional time to comply with NPDES permit limits based on new or revised criteria in a State/Tribe's water quality standards.

The regulations afford the flexibility to address such requests with a compliance schedule as part of the discharger's NPDES permit if the State/Tribe has a provision authorizing the use of compliance schedules. The compliance schedule allows the particular discharger time to meet a permit's limit or limits while taking steps to eventually be in compliance. Typically, the compliance schedule is included as part of the Terms and Conditions in an NPDES permit and includes interim requirements. The requirements for granting compliance schedules in NPDES permits can be found in the permitting regulations at 40 CFR 122.47.

Key Point. The compliance schedule's timetable must require the discharger to achieve the final water quality-based effluent limit as soon as possible.
Key Point. The State/Tribe's water quality standards or implementing regulations must specifically authorize the use of compliance schedules in NPDES permits.
Concepts Applied. Read how the flexibility to use compliance schedules to allow an NPDES permitee time to make treatment facility modifications was written into the Tribal water quality standards for Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico (PDF) (55 pp., 2.4 MB, About PDF)

For informational purposes only–Not official statements of EPA policy.

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