WM 15: NPDES General Permit Notice of Intent

The process for submitting a Notice of Intent for NPDES General Permits, which the US Environmental Protection Agency issues in Massachusetts.

NPDES Permitting Contacts

The Details

What you need

A general permit is not tailored to a specific facility but rather written to cover multiple dischargers with similar operations and types of discharges. Once issued, dischargers may request coverage, consistent with the permit eligibility and authorization provisions. Dischargers covered under general permits know their applicable requirements before obtaining coverage under that permit. In order to request coverage, an applicant must submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to EPA and may also, depending on circumstances described below, need to apply to MassDEP.

This permit category replaces WM 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.

In general, NPDES permits must be applied for and obtained by:

  • Any agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth
  • Any federal agency
  • Any public or private:
    • corporation
    • authority
    • individual
    • partnership
    • association, or
    • other entity

proposing to discharge wastewater from a point source to surface water must apply to EPA. The following situations require applicants to submit a copy of EPA’s Notice of Intent (NOI) to MassDEP, along with transmittal form and payment (unless exempt):

  • POTW General Permit: all applicants
  • Dewatering General Permit: Discharges to an Outstanding Resource Water or Class SA Water
  • All other general permits: discharges to an Outstanding Resource Water.

How to apply

See details in Step 5 below.

Next steps

  1. Review the Instructions

  2. Complete the Application Form

    For this permit category, MassDEP is accepting EPA's Notice of Intent form as the application form. 

  3. Obtain a Transmittal Form and Number

    A unique Transmittal Number is needed for each application you submit to MassDEP.

  4. Look up the Permit Application Fee

    The fee for WM 15 is on page 8 of the fee schedule below.

  5. Mail your Application and Fee Payment

    Send your Notice of Intent application to:

    EPA New England
    5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
    Boston, MA 02109-3912
    ATTN: Olga Vergara

    Submit your application fee payment and a copy of your Transmittal Form to:

    Department of Environmental Protection
    PO Box 4062
    Boston, MA 02211

    Submit a copy of the Transmittal Form, a copy of the EPA Notice of Intent, and any other required submittals (see the Instructions) to:

    Department of Environmental Protection
    Surface Water Discharge Permit Program
    One Winter Street, 5th floor
    Boston, MA 02108

More info

US EPA General Permits

  • US EPA Construction General Permit

    Coverage under the CGP is required for stormwater discharges from construction sites disturbing one or more acres of land or smaller sites that are part of a common plan of development or sale. The 2017 Construction General Permit took effect on February 16, 2017.

  • US EPA Multi Sector General Permit (MSGP)

    The MSGP provides coverage for the following types of discharges: stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity for any primary industrial activities and co-located industrial activities; discharges designated by EPA as needing a stormwater permit; discharges that are not otherwise required to obtain NPDES permit authorization but are mixed with discharges subject to the MSGP; and stormwater discharges from facilities subject to any of the national stormwater-specific effluent limitations guidelines. The current version of the MSGP was issued on June 4, 2015.

  • US EPA: Massachusetts Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Permit

    The MS4 permit authorizes the discharge of stormwater from small municipal separate storm sewer systems that are located entirely or partially within an urbanized area as determined by the latest census, and are not designated as a medium or large MS4. The 2016 Permit was signed April 4, 2016, and will become effective July 1, 2017.

  • US EPA Dewatering General Permit (DGP)

    This general permit provides coverage for facilities with construction dewatering of groundwater intrusion and/or storm water accumulation from sites less than one acre, and short-term and long-term dewatering of foundation sumps into waters of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The permit establishes permit eligibility conditions, notice of intent requirements, effluent limitations, standards, prohibitions, and best management practices. The most recent version of this permit took effect May 20, 2015.

  • US EPA Hydroelectric Generating Facilities General Permit (HYDROGP)

    Coverage under the HYDROGP is available to hydroelectric generating facilities in Massachusetts that discharge equipment cooling water, equipment and floor drain water, equipment backwash water, certain maintenance related waters, and combinations of the preceding discharges. The most recent version of this permit took effect December 7, 2009.

  • US EPA: Noncontact Cooling Water General Permit (NCCWGP)

    The NCCW general permit is for discharges of non-contact cooling water to waters of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The permit establishes permit eligibility conditions, notice of intent requirements, effluent limitations, standards, prohibitions, and best management practices for facilities discharging NCCW. The most recent version of the permit took effect on November 3, 2014.

  • US EPA Pesticide General Permit

    This permit is available to operators who discharge to waters of the United States from the application of (1) biological pesticides or (2) chemical pesticides that leave a residue when the pesticide application is for one of the following pesticide use patterns: Mosquito and Other Flying Insect Pest Control; Weed and Algae Pest Control; Animal Pest Control; or Forest Canopy Pest Control. The most recent version of the permit took effect October 31, 2016.

  • US EPA: Potable Water Treatment Facilities General Permit (PWTF GP)

    Under the PWTF GP, owners and operators of PWTFs which discharge wastewater from one or more eligible treatment processes can be covered by this permit. The treatment processes covered include: clarification, coagulation, media filtration, membrane filtration (not including reverse osmosis), and disinfection. The most recent version of this permit took effect on March 6, 2017.

  • US EPA Publicly Owned Treatment Works General Permit (POTW GP)

    This permit authorizes discharges of wastewater from certain POTWs and other treatment works treating domestic sewage. Only facilities classified as minor are eligible for coverage under this permit. More specific eligibility requirements are provided in the permit. Facilities interested in seeking coverage under the POTW GP should follow the instructions for submitting an NOI found in the permit on EPA’s website. Facilities must also submit an individual application to MassDEP, as described here. The most recent version of this permit took effect July 6, 2011.

  • US EPA Remediation General Permit (RGP)

    The RGP authorizes discharge of water from four general categories: site remediation primarily related to petroleum contamination; site remediation activities where petroleum is not the primary contaminant; contaminated construction site dewatering; and miscellaneous contaminated discharges. The most recent version of the permit takes effect on April 8, 2017.

  • US EPA Vessel and Small Vessel General Permits (VGP and sVGP)

    The VGP provides for NPDES permit coverage for incidental discharges into waters of the United States from commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length and for ballast water from commercial vessels of all sizes. The sVGP provides coverage for vessels less than 79 feet in length. Vessels in the small category are not required to obtain coverage until December 18, 2017, except for any ballast water discharges. Commercial fishing vessels are exempt from having to obtain NPDES permit coverage for incidental discharges until December 18, 2017, except for ballast water.



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