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Water: Industry Effluent Guidelines

Implementation & Compliance

Implementation of effluent guidelines occurs under two EPA programs, depending on the way a facility discharges its wastewater: the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program for direct dischargers and the pretreatment program for indirect dischargers. Brief information on each of these programs is provided below. For industry-specific information, see the Industrial Regulations page.


Facilities discharging wastewater directly into waters of the U.S. must have NPDES permits. 

Pretreatment and Discharges to Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs)

Facilities discharging wastewater to POTWs are considered indirect dischargers and are regulated under the national Pretreatment Program.

Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS)

ICIS is the national database used to track compliance with NPDES permit requirements for major dischargers. You can review information on when a permit was issued and expires, how much the company is permitted to discharge, and the actual monitoring data showing what the company has discharged. ICIS integrates data that are located in several separate data systems and replaces the older Permit Compliance System (PCS).

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DMR Pollutant Loading Tool

The Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool is designed to help you determine who is discharging, what pollutants they are discharging and how much, and where they are discharging. It uses data from ICIS-NPDES and PCS.

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Compliance and Enforcement

EPA's compliance and enforcement program monitors compliance with effluent guidelines and other Agency regulations with the help of states and tribes and takes enforcement actions when necessary. EPA provides information, environmental management tools and incentives to assist businesses in complying with the law.

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