EPA Approves State's NPDES Program Application

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On October 31, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the State of Alaska's application to take over issuing and enforcing permits for wastewater discharges issued under the Clean Water Act.

Wastewater discharge permits are issued to municipal sewage treatment plants, to seafood processors, and to industrial facilities, such as mines and certain oil and gas facilities. Prior to approval, permits in Alaska were issued by the federal EPA. With approval, Alaska joins the forty-five other states that administer their own state wastewater permitting programs. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issues and enforces wastewater discharge permits, and EPA retains an oversight role.

EPA approval triggered a four-year transition from federal to state control of the program. During the transition period, responsibility for developing and enforcing different types of permits transferred from EPA to DEC in phases. The transition was complete on October 31, 2012.