Environmental Caps & Limits
As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. The primary focus of the NPDES permitting program is municipal and non-municipal direct dischargers. Municipal sources are publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) that receive primarily domestic sewage from residential and commercial customers. Specific NPDES program areas applicable to municipal sources include the National Pretreatment Program, the Municipal Sewage Sludge Program, Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), and the Municipal Storm Water Program. Non-municipal sources are industrial and commercial facilities. Specific NPDES program areas applicable to industrial sources include Process Wastewater Discharges, Non-process Wastewater Discharges, and the Industrial Storm Water Program. The two basic types of NPDES permits issued are individual and general permits. An individual permit is a permit specifically tailored to an individual facility, while a general permit covers multiple facilities within a specific category. The NPDES permits may contain limits for nutrient concentrations or requirements for certain treatment technologies. The NPDES permit program is administered by authorized states.
The NPDES program in the United States contribute to reducing pollutant discharges as well as improving the quality of water resources.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (U.S.)