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See national section for basic information and federal regulations.
Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. Washington is authorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to administer the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general wastewater discharge permit program for discharges to state surface waters and for certain industrial users that discharge waste into sanitary sewers. Washington's wastewater discharge permit rules predate the federal NPDES program. As a result, some facilities will be required to obtain both NPDES permits and state discharge permits. A state waste discharge permit is required for discharges to groundwater or to a publicly-owned treatment works (POTW). In order to streamline its dual permitting requirement, the state permit has been incorporated into the NPDES application and permit process. In most cases, issuance of a state permit occurs automatically as a consequence of obtaining a NPDES permit.