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NPDES Permits in New England

NPDES Stormwater Permit Program

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The Clean Water Act authorizes EPA and states, which are delegated the authority by EPA, to regulate point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. So-called "point sources" are generated from a variety of municipal and industrial operations, including treated wastewater, process water, cooling water, and stormwater runoff from drainage systems. The NPDES Stormwater Program, in place since 1990, regulates discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, industrial activities, and those designated by EPA due to water quality impacts.


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Large & Medium MS4 Permits

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Small MS4 Program

2003 Permit for MA and NH

Permit Reissuance

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Construction Activities

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Industrial Activities

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Residual Designations

The Clean Water Act (CWA) and related regulations define the specific industrial and municipal stormwater sources that must be authorized by an NPDES permit. The CWA recognizes that other sources, such as commercial properties, may need to be regulated on a case-by-case or category-by-category basis based on additional information or localized conditions. The authority to regulate other sources based on the localized adverse impact of stormwater on water quality through NPDES permits is commonly referred to as the "Residual Designation" authority. In 2008, EPA issued records of decision requiring additional NPDES stormwater permits in specific areas within the Charles River watershed in Massachusetts and the Long Creek watershed in Maine. In July 2013, Conservation Law Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, and American Rivers filed a petition in Regions 1,3 and 9 seeking EPA to make a determination that commercial, industrial and institutional sites contribute to violations of water quality standards and require NPDES permits. In March 2014, EPA released a response to the petition. Additional information is provided via the links below.

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Stormwater BMP Tools and External Resources

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