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Release Date: 8/25/1998
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final General Sewage Sludge permit that establishes guidelines to assure that sewage sludge, a bi-product of household sewage treatment, is beneficially reused or disposed in accordance with federal regulations protecting human health and the environment.

     Owners of treatment works in Louisiana treating domestic sewage, both publicly-owned and privately-owned, that generate sewage sludge or change or control the quality of sewage sludge are required to apply for the general permit.  The permit regulates the land application, surface disposal, and disposal in a municipal solid waste landfill of sewage sludge generated during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works.

     EPA published a Notice for the general permit in the Federal Register on November 15, 1996, and held a public meeting and a hearing on December 12, 1996.  The public meeting and the hearing were held to fully inform the public about the general permit before it was finalized and to provide people the opportunity to ask questions and submit comments for the official record.

     EPA is asking treatment works treating domestic sewage to submit Notices of Intent for coverage under the permit.  The final permit and information explaining how to submit a Notice of Intent were published in the Federal Register on August 21, 1998.  

     In 1996, EPA authorized Louisiana to implement the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program, except for the sewage sludge program, which Louisiana had not applied for.  As a result, discharge permits issued to wastewater treatment facilities in Louisiana do not provide permit coverage containing federal guidelines for disposal or reuse of sewage sludge.