What does NPDES Mean?

NPDES stands for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. NPDES was created in 1972 as an amendment to the Clean Water Act. It states that the discharge of pollutants from any point and non-point source to waters of the United States is unlawful unless the discharge is in compliance with a permit. This is one of the programs that the EPA established to control and prevent stormwater point and non-point source pollution from manufacturing, construction, and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). 

What is considered a point and non-point source and how is NPDES designed to help limit the damage done to the environment from these discharges? 

A point source is defined by the EPA, as any single identifiable source of pollution from which pollution is discharged. Some examples include discharges from wastewater treatment plants, operational waste from industries, and combined sewer outfalls. Non-point source discharges generally result from runoff of large areas into storm drains or directly into water bodies such as municipalities, construction sites, or agricultural areas. Without proper monitoring and regulation discharges from these sources could have serious implications on surrounding water bodies and the environment. 

In the state of Florida construction projects that impact over an acre of land are required to perform NPDES inspections once a week and for every half inch rain event in accordance with the Florida Construction Generic Permit. It is important to understand the purpose of these inspections and how they can help the surrounding areas and be a successful part of a project. 

Certain industrial facilities in the state of Florida are expected to implement an NPDES permit aligned to the respective facilities criteria.  The designated operators of these regulated industrial facilities must obtain an NPDES stormwater permit and implement appropriate pollution prevention techniques to reduce contamination of stormwater runoff. 

Florida adopted the Federal stormwater permit for industrial activities and operates the permit as the State of Florida Multi-Sector Generic Permit for Stormwater Discharge associated with industrial activity (MSGP) and uses the 1995 version.  There are specific criteria outlined associated to unique industrial sectors that are required to be regulated under the program. 

Florida’s permit regulates industrial activities that discharge of stormwater to surface waters of the State or, discharge into an MS4.

Any industrial facility that falls under any one of the 11 categories of industrial activities identified and described in the permit, must apply, monitor, and maintain compliance to the permit rules and regulations. 

Do you want to learn more about the 11 categories and the various industrial types expected to apply for an NPDES program? Call KCI, we can help you today.  888-346-7779

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