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Discharge from construction sites is a part of every major construction project. Because of this, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit program was created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act to address water pollution by monitoring point sources that discharge pollutants into bodies of water. Because of this, having a base knowledge of NPDES Permits is very important in the construction and facility management world. Here are the basics on NPDES Permitting from the experts at Burns Environmental. 


What is an NPDES Permit?

When a facility applies for an NPDES Permit, the permitting authority develops and issues an NPDES Permit to them. This permit, which will not last more than five years, will contain limits on what the facility can discharge, requirements for reporting and monitoring, and any other necessary provisions. In essence, an NPDES Permit is the ruling for how the Clean Water Act’s requirements apply to your operation.


Do I need an NPDES Permit?

Whether or not you need an NPDES Permit comes down to the question of whether or not you discharge pollutants from a point source or point sources into United States waters. If your operation does discharge from a point source into these waters, you need an NPDES Permit. 


What is a point source?

Essentially, a point source is any confined channel where pollutants are discharged, such as a ditch, pipe, tunnel, discrete fissure, container, or conduit. Agricultural stormwater discharges are not defined as point sources. If you do use a point source or point sources to discharge pollutants from your work site into a body of water, you need an NPDES Permit.


What is a pollutant?

As defined by the Clean Water Act, a pollutant is any kind of agricultural, industrial, or municipal waste that is discharged into water. When these pollutants are discharged through a point source, an NPDES Permit is required. Pollutants could include chemical waste, biological waste, rocks, sand, dredged soil, and agricultural waste.


Why are NPDES Permits necessary?

The Environmental Protection Agency, through the Clean Water Act, implemented the NPDES Permitting system to help protect lakes, rivers, and streams from being contaminated by harmful waste from facilities that discharge through point sources. Some point source discharge of pollutants from worksites can be damaging to aquatic ecosystems, as well as the humans who swim and use these bodies of water. 


How do NPDES Permits protect the environment?

An NPDES Permit will specify a calculated and acceptable level of point source pollutant discharge from a worksite. By limiting the amount and form of pollutants that can be discharged from point sources, NPDES Permits mitigate the risk of harming the environment around work sites. Protecting the environment is a priority for all site managers, and NPDES Permits help them do so.


How can I prevent harmful runoff from my worksite?

Preventing worksite runoff before it can harm water sources is a great way to protect the environment and meet government regulations. One of the most effective methods of erosion control is commercial hydroseeding. Hydroseeding can be conducted on any soil plane, sloped hillside, or other difficult to reach area. The roots from the hydroseeded grass help hold soil and slow runoff from work sites.


At Burns Environmental, we make it a priority to provide the best service possible while protecting the environment. Not only do we offer commercial hydroseeding services for work sites, but we also offer NPDES permitting. We follow all the guidelines provided by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and receive all the required permits from NPDES. The permits allow our team to discharge pollutants and monitor the discharge to ensure it will not hurt water quality or human health.

Let us take this process off your hands with our NPDES Permitting service. For hydroseeding solutions and NPDES Permitting services, Contact Burns Environmental to get your FREE quote today!

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