EPA reaffirms Clean Water Act permit not needed for water transfers

EPA is publishing a final rule that clarifies water transfers are excluded from regulation under the Clean Water Act's NPDES permitting program. The rule defines a water transfer as an activity that conveys or connects waters of the United States without subjecting the transferred water to intervening industrial, municipal, or commercial use. This exclusion does not apply to pollutants introduced by the water transfer activity itself to the water being transferred...

WASHINGTON, DC, June 9, 2008 -- EPA is publishing a final rule that clarifies water transfers are excluded from regulation under the Clean Water Act's (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program. The rule defines a water transfer as an activity that conveys or connects waters of the United States without subjecting the transferred water to intervening industrial, municipal, or commercial use. This exclusion does not apply to pollutants introduced by the water transfer activity itself to the water being transferred.

"EPA's Water Transfer Rule gives communities greater certainty and makes clear they have the flexibility to protect water quality and promote the public good without going through a new federal permitting process," said Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin H. Grumbles. "Clean water permits should focus on water pollution, not water movement. EPA is committed to working with our state, tribal, and local partners to reduce environmental impacts associated with transfers and will continue to use all appropriate tools such as standards, best management practices, and watershed plans."

For additional information, including a copy of the final rule, visit the NPDES website: http://www.epa.gov/npdes/agriculture

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