Surface Water Discharge Permitting (NPDES)

MassDEP and US EPA administer this permit program in Massachusetts.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program is administered by the US EPA and MassDEP. The NPDES program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to surface waters.

State-Specific Discharge Reporting

Regular filing of monitoring reports is a required element of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

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NPDES Authorization

MassDEP is currently in the early stages of pursuing delegation from US EPA for the NPDES program. 

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NPDES Regulations

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Surface Water Discharge General Permits

For the most part, general permits are administered by EPA, require submission of a Notice of Intent (NOI) to EPA, and do not require an application to MassDEP. However, there are some circumstances that require submittal to both MassDEP and EPA. The following situations require applicants to submit a MassDEP transmittal form, a copy of the EPA’s NOI, payment (unless exempt), and any other required submittals to MassDEP:

  • Construction General Permit (CGP) with discharge to Outstanding Resource Waters (ORW);
  • Massachusetts Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Permit;
  • Publicly Owned Treatment Works General Permit (POTW GP);
  • Potable Water Treatment Facilities General Permit (PWTF GP) for first time applicants that also discharge to an ORW and High Quality Waters; 
  • Remediation General Permit (RGP) discharges from non-MCP sites;
  • Dewatering General Permit (DGP) with discharge to Class A or Class SA Waters;
  • Hydroelectric Generating Facilities General Permit (Hydro GP) with discharge to ORW waters.

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Surface Water Discharge Individual Permits

Individual Permits are those not covered under a General Permit, for both industrial and non-industrial discharges.

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