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Discharge Permits

The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of a pollutant from a point source to a “water of the United States” without a permit.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program was created to issue these discharge permits.

NEIWPCC monitors NPDES policy issues on behalf of our member states. From time to time, the Commission writes comment letters to the EPA and Congress.

These letters spell out our states’ views on federal actions or proposals. NEIWPCC also facilitates communication and information exchange among state employees who are responsible for the permit system and the EPA.

The Commission’s NPDES Workgroup fosters interstate communication on issues about discharge permits for wastewater treatment facilities.

The workgroup meets annually. It comprises staff members from NEIWPCC and the EPA, and the NPDES coordinators from each of our member states’ environmental agencies.

Additional NPDES topics currently of interest to NEIWPCC’s member states include the NPDES Update Rule, electronic reporting, stormwater, and integrated planning.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Lichtensteiger the NPDES Workgroup Coordinator, at 978-349-2518 or

Massachusetts' Pursuit of NPDES Authorization: A Status Update

NEIWPCC hosted a webinar in October 2017 focused on Massachusetts’ pursuit of authorization from the EPA to manage its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.

The recording of that presentation may be viewed above and the slides may be found here.