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NPDES and WQM Permitting Programs

DEP is now accepting permit applications and fees electronically through the Public Upload tool. Where an application or NOI fee is due, it must be paid electronically when using the Public Upload tool. Please see DEP’s Instructions for Public Upload for NPDES Permit Applications.

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. For information on NPDES permits for earth disturbance activities issued under DEP’s Chapter 102 regulations, please visit DEP’s construction stormwater website.

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:

The Notice of Termination Form should be used to request termination of individual or general NPDES permit coverage for NPDES permits issued under the authority of Chapter 92a:

DEP's NPDES Permitted Facilities Report can be used to identify facilities with NPDES and WQM permits issued by the Clean Water Program. Please see the instructions for using this report for additional information.

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 (PDF).

WQM Permits

Important Notice to WQM Permittees Who Have Not Completed Construction Activities

On November 29, 2022, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published notice in the Federal Register of its rule to reclassify the Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The listing of the Northern Long-eared Bat as endangered became effective on March 31, 2023.

Any permittee who has not completed the work authorized by the permit is responsible for complying with the new listing of the Northern Long-eared Bat as an endangered species under ESA.

Permittees should complete a new PNDI search using the PNDI tool on the appropriate project area using the PNDI tool and follow the instructions that results from PNDI screening and/or specific guidance for the USFWS. PNDI Receipts can be re-screened and updated using the Update Receipt function.

The following procedure is recommended:

  1. Pause all construction activities.
  2. Conduct a new/updated PNDI screening.
  3. If no impacts are identified or if work is consistent with screening, recommence construction activities.
  4. If impacts are identified, avoidance measures listed on the PNDI receipt should be followed.
  5. If PNDI requires further consultation with USFWS, contact the appropriate USFWS office.
  6. If the permittee cannot comply with avoidance measures or if the permittee believes that the avoidance measures are outside the ESA scope of analysis, contact the appropriate USFWS office.

Permittees that recommence construction activities without complying with the avoidance measures or receiving authorization from the appropriate USFWS office is not recommended.

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.

For more information you may contact DEP’s Division of NPDES Permitting at