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NPDES and WQM Permitting Programs

NPDES Permits

A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit is required for any point source discharge to waters of the Commonwealth. The Clean Water Program in DEP's regional offices issues the majority of NPDES permits for sewage, industrial waste (IW), IW stormwater, municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), biosolids and pesticides activities or facilities that are regulated under the NPDES program. The Bureau of Clean Water (BCW) in DEP's Central Office issues statewide General NPDES permits. If applicants qualify, they may be approved for coverage under a General NPDES permit. The General NPDES Permits that have been issued by BCW are listed below, with links to the Notice of Intent (NOI) forms, instructions and other information.

If facilities do not qualify for General Permit coverage submission of an application for an individual NPDES permit may be necessary. Links to individual NPDES permit application forms are provided below.

Act 14, which amended the Commonwealth's Administrative Code (effective April 17, 1984) requires every applicant for a new, amended, or renewed NPDES permit to give written notice to each municipality and county in which the facility is located. A sample notification letter is available at the link below:

The following links are to application forms that apply to multiple types of permits:

DEP maintains a list of sewage, IW and IW stormwater facilities (XLSX) with NPDES permit coverage in Pennsylvania that is updated periodically.

Many of the individual sewage, IW and stormwater NPDES permits that are issued by DEP are available electronically. Use DEP's Final Issued Individual NPDES Permit Documents Report to view a list of Individual NPDES permits that have been issued by DEP, with links to PDF representations of the permit documents. Note that not all permits may be listed, and these electronic documents are not a substitute for the official, signed hard copies that can be reviewed at DEP regional offices. Please see the Instructions for Using DEP's Final Issued Individual NPDES Permit Documents Report.


WQM Permits

Water Quality Management (WQM) permits are also issued by Regional Clean Water programs under Pennsylvania's Clean Streams Law for discharges to groundwater and for the construction of sewage and IW treatment facilities, sewage collection systems and pump stations, and manure storage facilities. DEP's Central Office has also issued two General WQM permits that applicants may qualify for to streamline the permitting process. DEP also issues a joint permit with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for the application of algicides, herbicides and fish control chemicals. Links to WQM permit application forms are listed below.

Many NPDES and WQM permit applications also require the completion of the DEP-wide General Information Form (GIF), which can be accessed through the link below.