Oklahoma Thermal Discharges regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Oklahoma Thermal Discharges: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Oklahoma Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (OPDES) permit program: 27A Oklahoma Statutes Annotated (OSA) 2-6-203

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Oklahoma water quality standards: Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 785:45-1-1 to 785:45-7-3

Thermal pollution prohibition: OAC 785:46-13-3

Temperature limitations: OAC 785:45-5-12

Variances for thermal discharges: 27A OSA 2-6-203

Regulatory Agencies

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Water Quality Division Oklahoma Water Resources Board

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

See national section for basic information and federal regulations.

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. Oklahoma regulates state water temperatures under its general water quality standards. The state also requires that temperature be part of the state's groundwater monitoring system. Therefore, the Oklahoma water pollution control program is more stringent than the federal wastewater permit program since it regulates both surface water and groundwater. See the state section NPDES PERMIT for more information.

Administration and enforcement. DEQ's Water Quality Division administers and enforces the state's water quality program, including thermal discharge requirements. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board designates the beneficial uses of the various state waters, classifies waters of the state, and prescribes water quality standards to sustain the designated uses.

State Requirements


OAC 785:46-13-3

Thermal pollution is prohibited in all waters of the state. Temperature greater than 52°C constitutes thermal pollution and discharges of these high temperature waters is prohibited in all state waters.

"Waters of the state" ...

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