How to Apply for an NPDES permit






In August 2015, the Department of Environmental Quality, Water Resources Division (WRD), is planning to launch a new information system called MiWaters.  MiWaters will be a state-of-the-art, comprehensive, Web-based permitting and compliance database.  The system will replace over 25 applications and databases currently used by the WRD, some of which are over 30 years old. 


MiWaters will establish a streamlined electronic permitting process, allowing Michigan to fulfill federal electronic reporting requirements and providing an online component for access to public information.  The focus of MiWaters will be permitting and compliance, including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits (including storm water permits) and Groundwater Discharge Permits.   It will also include electronic reporting of untreated or partially treated sanitary wastewater.


One of our focuses in developing MiWaters is to create a system that makes it easier for the WRD to communicate with, and provide services electronically to, our regulated community.  Below is a list of some of the functions and features that MiWaters will provide: 


•           Permit applications will be submitted electronically. 


•           The current Electronic Environmental Discharge Monitoring Reporting (e-DMR) system will be replaced with a more sophisticated system that will provide additional validation and feedback to permittees, and help detect and prevent errors prior to submittal. 


•           All permit-required submittals will be submitted electronically. 


•           Those with a MiWaters account will be able to manage permissions, deciding who can view, edit, and submit applications or submittals. 


•           Wastewater treatment plants will manage biosolids application sites online.  Requests may be submitted through MiWaters with notification sent upon approval.


•           MiWaters will provide near real-time notifications, to the permittee, of any violations determined by the system or by staff, providing permittees with an early "heads up" and opportunity to correct problems. 



Upon implementation of MiWaters, paper applications for NPDES permits will no longer be accepted.



Additional information will be made available prior to the implementation of MiWaters.


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Permit applications for discharges to surface water must be submitted to the Permits Section in Lansing at least 180 days before the permit is needed. The application then proceeds through the standard permit review and development process. 


Antidegradation applies to any NPDES action that is anticipated to result in a new or increased loading of pollutants to the surface waters of the state.  Information regarding Department requirements for antidegradation can be found in the following downloadable procedure.



General information regarding the NPDES permit process can be found in the following downloadable PowerPoint presentation.


The NPDES application form and instructions can be obtained from the district office in your area.  In addition, these documents can be downloaded from this web page in Microsoft Word and PDF formats. 


The electronic permit application should be completed, saved, printed, and signed. The original should be sent to the Department as directed in the application.  Be sure to save a copy for your records.  We are not accepting electronic submittals of the application at this time.


The issuance of an NPDES permit or certificate of coverage does not authorize violation of any federal, state or local laws or regulations, nor does it obviate the necessity of obtaining such permits, including any other DEQ permits, or approvals from other units of government as may be required by law.



Downloadable Forms


The Permit Application for Discharges to Surface Water contains a limited amount of space for reporting general information (adjacent property owners, contract laboratories, and service area), biosolids land application information, and combined sewer overflow outfalls/bypasses.  In addition, there is only enough space for information about one outfall.  Applicants requiring additional pages can download these extra pages below.


Downloadable Forms


Extra Page:  No Exposure Certification Form  
Extra Page:  
Acute Toxicity Test Report  
Extra Page:  
Ceriodaphnia Chronic Toxicity Test Report  
Extra Page:  
Fathead Minnow Chronic Toxicity Test Report  
Extra Page:  
Contract Laboratory  
Extra Page:  
Adjacent Property Owners

Extra Page:  Collection System Information
Extra Page:  Significant Industrial Users 
Extra Page:  Biosolids Data  
Extra Page:  Service Area Information 




If you encounter any difficulties regarding the downloadable NPDES permit forms, please contact Mr. Tarek Buckmaster at 517-284-5584.  Electronic inquires may be submitted by clicking on his name.