NPDES Regulations

North Carolina's General Assembly enacts law in the form of General Statutes. Chapter 143-215.1 involves the Control of Sources of Water Pollution; Permits Required. It defines the activities for which a permit is required, the Commission's power as to permits, procedures for applications and renewals, public hearings, sewer system permits, administrative review of decisions, etc.

The Environmental Management Commission (EMC) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) create regulations to enforce the law. The regulations used by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Unit fall under Section 15A of the North Carolina Administrative Code. The primary rules used by the section for compliance purposes are summarized below.

2B .0100 - Assigning Water Quality Standards
2B .0200 - Classifications and Standards
2B .0300 - Stream Classifications
2B .0400 - Effluent Limitations
2B .0500 - Monitoring and Reporting
2H .0100 - Wastewater Discharged to Surface Water
2H .0200 - Wastewater Not Discharged to Surface Water
2H .0400 - Coastal Waste Treatment Disposal
2H .0500 - Water Quality Certification
2H .0800 - Laboratory Certification
2H .0900 - Pretreatment Programs
2H .1000 - Stormwater Management
2H .1100 - Biological Laboratory Certification
2H .1200 - Special Orders


2B .0100 - Procedures for Assignment of Water Quality Standards

Each stream in North Carolina has a classification based upon its designated uses. This section provides the EMC a method of setting standards.

* Defines administrative procedure for setting stream standards and classifications;
* Defines a name for each stream class and designated use for each class;
* Sets analytical procedures;
* Sets considerations for defining each stream class.

2B .0200 - Classifications and Water Quality Standards Applicable to Surface Waters

This section establishes the physical, chemical, and biological standards required to protect each stream class.

* Explains the State's anti-degradation policy;
* Sets standards for establishing sampling sites and mixing zones;
* Sets stream flow criteria used to determine permit effluent limits;
* Sets stream standards for toxic substances and temperature;
* Sets numerical standards for each water class.

2B .0300 - Classifications and Water Quality Standards

Each stream in North Carolina has an index number based upon its river basin and location within that basin. This section is organized by basin and index number and lists the classification for each stream. You can click here to access stream classifications.

2B .0400 - Surface Water Effluent Limitations

This section sets minimum effluent limitations for all wastewater treatment facilities.

* Explains seasonal variation in setting effluent limitations;
* Sets minimum effluent limits for different levels of wastewater treatment;
* Lists federal guidelines for industrial waste discharges.

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2B .0500 - Surface Water Monitoring: Reporting

This section establishes the monitoring and reporting requirements to be installed in NPDES permits for wastewater treatment facilities.

* Sets standards for flow monitoring;
* Sets standards for sample types for various parameters;
* Sets standards for tests and analyses;
* Sets reporting requirements;
* Sets monitoring frequencies based upon SIC code and treatment plant class.

2H .0100 - Wastewater Discharges to Surface Waters

This section sets the procedure used to apply for, develop, and issue wastewater discharge permits.

* Establishes permit application fees;
* Establishes requirements for the contents of a permit application;
* Lists types of discharges which are deemed automatically permitted;
* Establishes minimal procedure for application review;
* Sets procedure for writing permit fact sheets;
* Establishes public notice procedure for hearings and permit actions;
* Sets procedure for permit modifications;
* Sets procedure for evaluating animal feedlot applications;
* Establishes reliability standards for wastewater treatment plants;
* Establishes permit requirements for peat mining operations;
* Sets procedure for developing and implementing general permits;
* Sets procedure for applying for and receiving an Authorization to Construct (ATC).

2H .0200 - Waste Not Discharged to Surface Waters

The Non-Discharge Permitting Unit is the primary user of this section. 2H .0219 applies to the Authorization to Construct process for wastewater treatment plants.

2H .0400 - Coastal Waste Treatment Disposal

This section defines coastal areas and establishes guidelines for treatment and disposal of wastewater in coastal areas.

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2H .0500 - Water Quality Certification

These rules are the cornerstone of North Carolina's wetlands certification program.

2H .0800 - Laboratory Certification

This section establishes the rules associated with obtaining state certification for laboratory analyses.

2H .0900 - Pretreatment Programs

This section establishes the procedures for developing a pretreatment program.

2H .1000 - Stormwater Management

This section establishes rules associated with the discharge of stormwater.

2H .1100 - Biological Laboratory Certification

This section establishes the rules associated with obtaining state certification for a laboratory conducting biological analyses.

2H .1200 - Special Orders

This section pertains to the issuance of surface water, groundwater, and air quality special orders.

Summaries of rules written by NPDES staff members

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