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Water: Permitting (NPDES)

Industrial and Commercial Facilities


Wastewater discharges from industrial sources may contain pollutants at levels that could effect the quality of receiving waters. The NPDES permit program establishes specific requirements for discharges from industrial sources. Depending on the type of industrial or commercial facility you operate, more than one NPDES program may apply. For example, the stormwater that runs off from the property of an industrial facility or from a construction site may require an NPDES permit under the stormwater program. An industrial facility may also discharge wastewater to a municipal sewer system and be covered under the NPDES pretreatment program. The industrial facility may also discharge wastewater directly to a surface water and require an individual or general NPDES permit. Finally, many industrial facilities, whether they discharge directly to a surface water or to a municipal sewer system, are covered by effluent limitation guidelines and standards.



This page provides links to the following program area pages:

  • Water Quality-Based and Technology-Based Permitting - Presents information on the development of technology-based effluent limits in NPDES permits.
  • Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Facilities - Describes the NPDES Permit Program to prevent runoff from industrial facilities into nearby storm sewers and waterbodies.
  • Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities - Describes the NPDES Permit Program to prevent runoff from construction activities into nearby storm sewers and waterbodies.
  • National Pretreatment Program - Describes the NPDES program to control pollution from industrial facilities into municipal sewer systems.
  • Vessel Discharges - The Vessels General Permit (VGP) covers non-recreational vessels 79 feet in length or longer, such as cruise ships or oil and cargo tankers, but excludes fishing vessels of any length, unless they discharge ballast water.
  • Pesticide Discharges - The Pesticide General Permit (PGP) covers point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States.
  • Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards - Describes the effluent limitation guidelines developed for industrial categories.
  • Oil and Gas - Describes how EPA regulates discharges associated with offshore oil and gas exploration, development, and production on the outer continental shelf (OCS) under the NPDES permit program.
  • Mining - Discusses how EPA regulates point source discharges from mining operations
  • Cooling Water Intake Structures (Section 316(b)) - Requires that the location, design, construction, and capacity of cooling water intake structures (CWIS) to reflect the best technology available for minimizing adverse environmental impact.
  • Wastewater Education Materials - Helps municipal officials educate citizens on important wastewater issues by providing information on essential EPA programs and funding sources.
  • Hydrofracturing FAQs - Provides questions and answers for shale gas production, current discharge options under the NPDES program, and treatment and water quality issues associated hydrofracturing.

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