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Water: Basics

Overview of NPDES Permit Writers Management Tools


EPA's Water Permits Division has developed several tools that will help States and Regions manage the quality and consistency of individual NPDES permits. EPA encourages States and EPA Regions to tailor these tools in ways that best meet their NPDES permitting program needs. The materials include:

  • Central Tenets (PDF) (6 pp, 148K, About PDF) - A summary of the of the NPDES program intended to provide permit writers with a summary of core permitting principles: including, permit administration, technology-based effluent limits, water quality-based effluent limits, monitoring and reporting conditions, special conditions, and standard conditions.

  • NPDES Permit Quality Review (PQR) Assessment Packet (PDF) (57 pp, 1.63MB, About PDF) - On a rotating basis, the Office of Wastewater Management, Water Permits Division (WPD) at EPA Headquarters, in conjunction with EPA Regional offices, conducts Permit Quality Reviews (PQRs). The PQR provides a process to evaluate state NPDES Program effectiveness, as reflected in the permit and other supporting documents (e.g., fact sheet, calculations). The NPDES Permit Quality Review Assessment Packet provides an overview of the PQR process and the type of information that EPA headquarters assesses during its permit reviews. Included are the "central tenets of the NPDES program," review checklists and questions for the core review and all the topic- specific reviews, and a generic PQR site visit outline. The goal of the checklists is to assess and document whether the permit and administrative record provide a complete, comprehensive and transparent record of permit development. As such, the checklist responses are not intended to judge the "correctness" or "incorrectness" of permit limits and conditions. Rather, the checklists are intended to guide a comprehensive evaluation of the NPDES permit development process by a knowledgeable EPA or State NPDES permit reviewer.

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