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Water: Water Quality Standards Academy

Basic Course: Supplemental Topics (NPDES Permit)

Introduction: What's Covered in This Module?

NPDES Permit Program

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This module provides an overview of the regulatory program—established under the Clean Water Act (CWA)—that authorizes the issuing of permits to control the discharge of pollutants from point sources into waters covered by a State or Tribe’s water quality standards. Since its introduction in 1972, significant improvement in the Nation’s water quality has been attributed to implementation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. 

In particular, this module provides answers to the following:

  • Who issues NPDES permits and under what authority?
  • What types of NPDES permits can be issued under the program?
  • What steps are involved in developing an NPDES permit?

At the end of the module is a brief quiz intended to touch on aspects of the NPDES permit program. The topic is further examined in the classroom session of this module.

This module's main pages and brief quiz at the end take about 30 minutes to complete.


Disclaimer: This online course presentation and any associated links have been prepared by EPA staff for informational purposes only. Their sole purpose is to make available training online from recent Water Quality Standards Academy classroom courses. As such, this online course and any associated links are not binding on EPA or the public and have no legal effect. They do not constitute an EPA statute, regulation or other requirement and do not substitute for such authorities. In addition, the course and any associated links have not been reviewed or endorsed by EPA management. Thus, they are not intended or written as official statements of EPA’s scientific views, policies, guidance, or requirements and cannot be used or cited as evidence of EPA’s position on any matter.

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