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The California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year 2010-11

REGULATE: NPDES WASTEWATER

GROUP: NPDES GENERAL FACILITIES
MEASURE: NUMBER OF PERMITS ADOPTED OR RENEWED
NUMBER OF PERMITS PAST EXPIRATION DATE AS OF END OF FISCAL YEAR 2010-11
MESSAGE:   The number of new enrollees represents less than 3% of the total number of enrolled facilities.

MEASUREMENTS  - Data Last Updated on: 

 

WHAT THE MEASURE IS SHOWING

General Permits are  used broadly across the state. The largest number of facilities regulated with a general wastewater NPDES permit are in Regions 2, 4, 5 and 8. General permits themselves must be renewed every five years. Overall, the number of new enrolless did not increase siginificantly across the state during FY 10-11. The largest increases occurred in Region 5.

WHY THIS MEASURE IS IMPORTANT

In order to ensure that discharges to surface waters do not adversely affect the quality and beneficial uses of such waters the NPDES permits must be reviewed and revised to reflect new standards and requirements (such as new TMDLs and other water quality plans and policies adopted) and updates to monitoring and reporting requirements (reflecting previous facility performance and compliance history). NPDES permits expire five years after issuance and shall be reissued (renewed) every five years or less (40 CFR Part 122.46). Permits may also be revoked or terminated. Typically, permit requirements remain in effect until the permit is reissued. Revising and reissuing permits for major facilities requires a significant amount of time and resources and is considered a good indicator of overall program performance

TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS

GLOSSARY

General Facility
A general facility is a discharge with a design flow of less than one million gallons per day (MGD) that has not been determined to have an actual or potential adverse environmental impact classifying the discharge as major.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
The NPDES permit program (Section 402 of the Clean Water Act) controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters. US EPA has approved the Water Board’s program to issue NPDES permits.

NPDES Permit
The Clean Water Act prohibits anybody from discharging "pollutants" through a "point source" into a "water of the United States" unless they have an NPDES permit. The permit contains limits on what can be discharged, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to protect water quality and public health. In essence, the permit translates general requirements of the Clean Water Act into specific provisions tailored to the operations of each person discharging pollutants.

( Page last updated:  9/19/11 )