Water quality based permits are important because they mean the proof is in the pudding so to speak. The line below in red is copied from the NPDES Permit for the City of Brockton. This same line is in each and every permit because the law demands it. However complicated these permits may appear it all boils down to the line below in red. A NPDES permit which allows a discharge to violate water quality standards is illegal.
(a. The discharge shall not cause a violation
of the water quality standards in the
Below are three important statements made by EPA in response to public comments submitted on a disputed NPDES Permit for the Town of Hudson Ma.
“The establishment of water quality based limits, unlike technology based limits, are not based on treatment capabilities.”
“In addition to technology based controls, permits must contain any more stringent limitations for particular pollutants that are necessary to meet MAWQS. A water quality based effluent limitation must be calculated at levels to ensure achievement of MAWQS, regardless of the availability or effectiveness of technologies or the cost dischargers would incur to meet those limits."
“Finally, The Agencies note that permits must
include limits as stringent as necessary to meet Massachusetts WQS irrespective
of technological feasibility.”