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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Section 301(a) of the Clean Water Act

Except as in compliance with this section and sections 302, 306, 307, 318, 402, and 404 of this Act, the discharge of any pollutant by any person shall be unlawful. [33 USC 1311]

In lay terms, the above section of the CWA requires that point source discharges of pollutants to waters of the United States have an NPDES permit. There are a few exceptions, with the major exception being agricultural runoff [see 40 CFR 122.2 "point source"; 40 CFR 122.3(e) and (f); and 40 CFR 122.26(a)(1)(v)]

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