Clean Water Act Compliance Monitoring
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
- Pretreatment of Wastewater
- Oil Spill Prevention
- Industrial Storm Water
- Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
- Municipal Storm Water
- Wastewater Trading Program
- Discharge Monitoring Report - Quality Assurance
EPA works with its federal, state and tribal regulatory partners to assure compliance with clean water laws and regulations in order to protect human health and the environment. The major federal law governing water is the Clean Water Act.
Several different approaches are utilized by EPA. They include:
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) - Compliance monitoring in the NPDES program encompasses analyses of Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) which provide continuous monitoring information from permitted facilities on the characteristics of their effluent discharges, guidance to state and EPA regional inspectors on how and when to conduct inspections, and inspector training.
- Pretreatment of Wastewater (Industrial Users) - EPA and states conduct periodic inspections and audits of the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) pretreatment implementation programs to ensure that the programs are being properly implemented.
- Biosolids (POTW sludge) - When treated and processed, sewage sludge becomes biosolids which can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to soils. EPA conducts inspections of POTW and other industrial facilities that generate, store, transport and dispose of biosolids.
- Oil Spill Prevention - EPA conducts inspections of facilities that storage oil to insure that the facility satisfies requirements designed to prevent oil spills.
- Industrial Storm Water - EPA conducts inspections of three types of facility operations subject to the storm water regulations: construction sites, industrial sites, and municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4). For MS4 operations, EPA also conducts audits designed as a comprehensive review of all facets of the Control Authority's storm water program.
- Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
EPA and its regulatory partners monitor Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) through inspections, report and record reviews, and self-auditing.
- Municipal Storm water: Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) - CSOs and SSOs present important concerns for public health and the environment. To address these concerns, EPA and state agencies work to identify and address public health and environmental threats posed by overflows from municipal sewer collection systems.
- Wetlands (Section 404) - EPA conducts inspections of sites to determine whether dredged or fill material is being illegally dumped into wetlands in violation of the regulations and statute; to verify whether and if facilities/sites have a wetlands permit and are complying with it; and whether steps are being taken to minimize or avoid wetland impacts where practicable.
- Wastewater Trading Program - This program allows facilities facing high pollution control costs to meet their regulatory obligations by purchasing environmentally equivalent (or superior) pollution reductions from another source at lower cost.
- Discharge Monitoring Report-Quality Assurance Study Program - An annual quality assurance (QA) study conducted to evaluate the analytical and reporting ability of permittees and laboratories routinely performing inorganic chemistry and whole-effluent toxicity self-monitoring analyses required in NPDES permits.