New EPA Guidance Says Groundwater Discharges Do Not Require Permits

EPA released interpretive guidance on April 16 to clarify whether groundwater pollution that eventually reaches federally regulated traditional navigable waters — e.g., seas, rivers, lakes — requires a permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.

EPA stated that discharges to groundwater are not covered by the Clean Water Act (CWA): “… releases of pollutants to groundwater are categorically excluded from the Act’s permitting requirements because Congress explicitly left regulation of discharges to groundwater to the states and EPA has other statutory authorities.”

EPA’s position is consistent with NAHB comments submitted to the Agency last spring. Click here to read more.