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Effluent Guidelines Implementation & Compliance
Implementation of Effluent Guidelines occurs under two related EPA programs, depending on the way an industrial facility discharges its wastewater:
- Direct dischargers to a water body are subject to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program.
- Indirect dischargers to a municipal treatment plant (publicly owned treatment workspublicly owned treatment worksA treatment works, as defined by Section 212 of the CWA, that is owned by the state or municipality. This definition includes any devices and systems used in the storage, treatment, recycling, and reclamation of municipal sewage or industrial wastes of a liquid nature. It also includes sewers, pipes, and other conveyances only if they convey wastewater to a POTW treatment plant [40 CFR 403.3]. Privately-owned treatment works, Federally-owned treatment works, and other treatment plants not owned by municipalities are not considered POTWs.) fall under the Pretreatment Program.
- For industry-specific information, see Industrial Effluent Guidelines.
ICIS is the national database used to track compliance with NPDES permit requirements for major dischargers. You can review information on when a permit was issued and expires, how much the company is permitted to discharge, and the actual monitoring data showing what the company has discharged. ICIS-NPDES integrates data that are located in several separate data systems and replaces the older Permit Compliance System (PCS).
DMR Pollutant Loading Tool
The Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool is designed to help you determine who is discharging, what pollutants they are discharging and how much, and where they are discharging. It uses data from ICIS-NPDES and PCS.
Compliance and Enforcement
EPA's compliance and enforcement program monitors compliance with Effluent Guidelines and other Agency regulations with the help of states and tribes and takes enforcement actions when necessary. EPA provides information, environmental management tools and incentives to assist businesses in complying with the law.
Enforcing environmental laws is a central part of EPA's Strategic Plan to protect human health and the environment. When warranted, EPA will take civil or criminal enforcement actions against violators of environmental laws.
- Water Enforcement Policy, Guidance and Publications
- Compliance Assistance Centers
Websites targeted to industry and government sectors