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Who Needs an NPDES Permit?

Anyone discharging, or proposing to discharge, waste or wastewater into the surface waters of the State is required by law to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The NPDES program is intended to control direct discharge into the surface waters of the State by imposing effluent limits and other conditions necessary to meet State and federal requirements.

The NPDES program regulates pollutants discharged directly into waterways from wastewater sources. Indirect dischargers (those who discharge to a municipal treatment facility via a sanitary sewer) are not required to have an NPDES permit. Discharge to a storm sewer does not go to a municipal treatment facility, and is considered a direct discharge. Discharge to a municipal treatment facility may require a permit from the municipality under the Industrial Pretreatment Program.

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 EGLE permits, or approvals from other units of government as may be required by law.