Skip to content
NPDES Permitting

NPDES Permit Program Definitions


  1. "Administrator" means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency or any employee of the Agency to whom the Administrator may by order delegate the authority to carry out his functions under section 307(a) of the CWA, or any person who shall by operation of law be authorized to carry out such functions.
     
  2. "Applicable standards and limitations" means all State, interstate, and federal standards and limitations to which a discharge, a sewage sludge use or disposal practice, or a related activity is subject under the CWA, including effluent limitations, water quality standards, standards of performance, toxic effluent standards or prohibitions, best management practices, pretreatment standards, and standards for sewage sludge use or disposal under section 301, 302, 303, 304, 306, 307, 308, 403 or 405 of CWA.
     
  3. "Applicant" means a person applying to the Department for a State or NPDES permit to discharge wastes into the waters of the State or to operate a treatment works.
     
  4. "Application" means the uniform NPDES application form, including subsequent additions, revisions, or modifications thereof promulgated by the Administrator of EPA, and adopted for use by the Board or a State permit application form.
     
  5. "Average monthly discharge limitation"means the highest allowable average of daily discharges over a calendar month, calculated as the sum of all daily discharges measured during a calendar month divided by the number of daily discharges measured during that month.
     
  6. "Average weekly discharge limitation" means the highest allowable average of daily discharges over a calendar week, calculated as the sum of all daily discharges measured during a calendar week divided by the number of daily discharges measured during that week.
     
  7. "Best management practices" (BMPs) means schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the pollution of waters of the State. BMPs also include treatment requirements, operating procedures and practices to control plant site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal, or drainage from raw material storage.
     
  8. "BMPs" means best management practices.
     
  9. "Board" means the Board of Health and Environmental Control for the State of South Carolina and shall be inclusive of any agent designated by the Board to perform any function.
     
  10. "CFR" means the Code of Federal Regulations, as amended.
     
  11. "Class I sludge management facility" means any POTW identified under R.61-9.403.8(a), as being required to have an approved pretreatment program and any other treatment works treating domestic sewage classified as a Class I sludge management facility by the Regional Administrator in conjunction with the Department because of the potential for its sludge use or disposal practices to adversely affect public health and the environment.
     
  12. "Code" means the South Carolina Code of 1976, as amended.
     
  13. "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, or his designated representative.
     
  14. "Contiguous zone" means the entire zone established by the United States under Article 24 of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone.
     
  15. "Continuous discharge" means a discharge which occurs without interruption throughout the operating hours of the facility, except for infrequent shutdowns for maintenance, process changes, or other similar activities.

  16. "CWA" means the Clean Water Act (formerly referred to as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act or Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972) Pub. L. 92-500, as amended by Pub. L. 95-217, Pub. L. 95-576, Pub. L. 96-483, and Pub. L. 97-117, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq. Specific references to sections within the CWA will be according to Pub. L. 92-500 notation.

  17. "CWA and regulations" means the Clean Water Act (CWA) and applicable regulations promulgated thereunder and includes State NPDES program requirements.

  18. "Daily discharge" means the discharge of a pollutant measured during a calendar day or any 24-hour period that reasonably represents the calendar day for purposes of sampling. For pollutants with limitations expressed in units of mass, the daily discharge is calculated as the total mass of the pollutant discharged over the day. For pollutants with limitations expressed in other units of measurement, the daily discharge is calculated as the average measurement of the pollutant over the day.

  19. "Department" means the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and shall also be inclusive of those persons within the Department authorized by the Board to administer the NPDES program or take any action in behalf of the Board.

  20. "Direct discharge" means the discharge of a pollutant.

  21. "Discharge" means any discharge or discharge of any sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes into any of the waters of the State, whether treated or not.

  22. "Discharge of a pollutant" means:

    1. Any addition of any pollutant or combination of pollutants to waters of the State from any point source, or

    2. Any addition of any pollutant or combination of pollutants to the waters of the contiguous zone or the ocean from any point source other than a vessel or other floating craft which is being used as a means of transportation.

    3. This definition includes additions of pollutants into waters of the State from: surface runoff which is collected or channelled by man; discharges through pipes, sewers, or other conveyances owned by a State, municipality, or other person which do not lead to a treatment works; and discharges through pipes, sewers, or other conveyances, leading into privately owned treatment works. This term does not include an addition of pollutants by any indirect discharger.
  23. "Discharge Monitoring Report" (DMR) means the EPA uniform national form, including any subsequent additions, revisions, or modifications for the reporting of self-monitoring results by permittees, and modified to substitute the State Agency name, address, logo, and other similar information, as appropriate, in place of EPA's.

  24. "Discharger" means any person who discharges any treated or untreated sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes into any of the waters of the State.
     
  25. "DMR" means Discharge Monitoring Report.
     
  26. "Draft permit" means a document prepared by the staff of the Department, in accordance with R.61-9.124.6, prior to public notice of an application for a permit by a discharger. This document indicates the Department's tentative decision to issue or deny, modify, revoke and reissue, terminate, or reissue a permit to discharge. It contains proposed effluent standards and limitations, proposed compliance schedules and other proposed conditions or restrictions deemed necessary by the Department for a discharge. The draft permit constitutes an order of the Department and shall constitute a final determination of the Department thirty (30) days after issuance unless timely appealed in accordance with the provisions of the Pollution Control Act (PCA) and this Regulation. A notice of intent to terminate a permit, and a notice of intent to deny a permit, as discussed in R.61-9.124.5, are types of draft permits. A denial of a request for modification, revocation and reissuance, or termination, as discussed in R.61-9.124.5, is not a draft permit. A "proposed permit" is not a draft permit.
     
  27. "Effluent limitation" means any restriction imposed by the Department on quantities, discharge rates, and concentrations of pollutants which are discharged from point sources into waters of the State, the waters of the contiguous zone, or the ocean.
     
  28. "Effluent limitations guidelines" means: A regulation published by the Administrator under section 304(b) of CWA to adopt or revise effluent limitations.
     
  29. "Effluent standards and limitations" means restrictions or prohibitions of chemical, physical, biological, and other constituents which are discharged from point sources into State waters, including but not limited to, effluent limitations, standards of performance, toxic effluent standards and prohibitions, pretreatment standards and schedules of compliance.
     
  30. "Environmental Protection Agency" (EPA) means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
     
  31. "EPA" means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
     
  32. "Facility or activity" means any NPDES point source or any other facility or activity (including land or appurtenances thereto) that is subject to regulation under the NPDES program.
     
  33. "Fact sheet" means a description of a discharge available to the public prepared by the Department staff pursuant to the guidelines, which includes, but is not limited to, information on the location of the discharge, rate of frequency of the discharge, components of the discharge, proposed requirements of the Department regarding the discharge, the location and identification of uses of the receiving waters, water quality standards and procedures for formulation of final requirements on the discharge by the Department.
     
  34. "Federal Act" means the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (CWA), as amended.
     
  35. "General Permit" means an NPDES permit issued under section 122.28 authorizing a category of discharges or activities under the PCA and CWA within a geographical area.
     
  36. "Guidelines" means the Federal guidelines promulgated by EPA, entitled, "Part 124 - State Program Elements Necessary for Participation in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System," as published in 40 CFR 124, Volume 37, Number 247.
     
  37. "Hazardous substance" means any substance designated under 40 CFR Part 116 pursuant to section 311 of CWA.
     
  38. "Indirect discharger" means a non-domestic discharge introducing pollutants to a publicly owned treatment works.
     
  39. "Industry" means a private person, corporation, firm, plant or establishment which discharges sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes into the waters of the State.
     
  40. "Interstate agency" means an agency of two or more States established by or under an agreement or compact approved by the Congress, or any other agency of two or more States having substantial powers or duties pertaining to the control of pollution as determined and approved by the Administrator under the CWA and regulations.
     
  41. "Mailing list" means a list of persons requesting notification and information on public hearings, permits and other NPDES forms.
     
  42. "Major Facility" means any NPDES facility or activity classified as such by the Regional Administrator in conjunction with the Department.
     
  43. "Management agency" means an area-wide waste treatment management agency designated by the governor pursuant to Section 208(a) of the Federal Act.
     
  44. "Maximum daily discharge limitation" means the highest allowable daily discharge.
     
  45. "Minor discharge" means a discharge of wastewater which has a total volume of less than 50,000 gallons on every day of the year, does not closely affect the waters of another state and is not identified by the Department, the Regional Administrator or by the Administrator of EPA in regulations issued by him pursuant to Section 307(a) of the Federal Act, as a discharge which is not a minor discharge, except that in the case of a discharge of less than 50,000 gallons on any day of the year which represents 1 or 2 or more discharges from a single person which in total exceeds 50,000 gallons on any day of the year, then no discharge from the facility is a minor discharge.
     
  46. "Municipality" means a city, town, borough, county, parish, district, association, or other public body created by or under State law and having jurisdiction over disposal of sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes, or an Indian tribe or an authorized Indian tribal organization, or a designated and approved management agency under section 208 of CWA.
     
  47. "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System" ("NPDES") means the national program for issuing, modifying, revoking and reissuing, terminating, monitoring and enforcing permits, and imposing and enforcing pretreatment requirements, under sections 307, 402, 318, and 405 of CWA.
     
  48. "New discharger" means any building, structure, facility, or installation:
       
    1. From which there is or may be a discharge of pollutants.
       
    2. That did not commence the discharge of pollutants at a particular site prior to August 13, 1979;
       
    3. Which is not a new source, and
       
    4. Which has never received a finally effective NPDES permit for discharges at that site. This definition includes an indirect discharger which commences discharging into waters of the State after August 13, 1979. It also includes any existing mobile point source (other than an offshore or coastal oil and gas exploratory drilling rig or a coastal oil and gas developmental drilling rig) such as a seafood processing rig, seafood processing vessel, or aggregate plant, that begins discharging at a site for which it does not have a permit; and any offshore or coastal mobile oil and gas exploratory drilling rig or coastal mobile oil and gas developmental drilling rig that commences the discharge of pollutants after August 13, 1979, at a site under Department's permitting jurisdiction for which it is not covered by an individual or general permit and which is located in an area determined by the Department in the issuance of a final permit to be an area of biological concern. In determining whether an area is an area of biological concern, the Department shall consider the factors specified in section 122(a)(1) through (10). An offshore or coastal mobile exploratory drilling rig or coastal mobile developmental drilling rig will be considered a new discharger only for the duration of its discharge in an area of biological concern.

  49. "New source" means any building, structure, facility, or installation from which there is or may be a discharge of pollutants, the construction of which commenced:
     
      After promulgation of standards of performance under section 306 of CWA which are applicable to such source, or

      After proposal of standards of performance in accordance with section 306 of CWA which are applicable to such source, but only if the standards are promulgated in accordance with section 306 within 120 days of their proposal.
       

  50. "NPDES" means National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System established by the CWA.
     
  51. "NPDES form" means any issued permit or any uniform national form used by the Department developed for use in the NPDES, including a NPDES application, a Refuse Act permit application and a reporting form.
     
  52. "NPDES permit" means a permit issued by the Department to a discharger pursuant to regulations adopted by the Board for all point source discharges into surface waters, and shall constitute a final determination of the Board.
     
  53. "Non-compliance list" means a list of dischargers, prepared by the Department pursuant to this regulation and the guidelines for transmittal to the Regional Administrator, who fail or refuse to comply with a compliance schedule in a NPDES permit issued pursuant to the State law.
     
  54. "Owner or operator" means the owner or operator of any facility or activity subject to regulation under the NPDES program.
     
  55. "Permit" means an authorization, license, or equivalent control document issued by the Department to implement the requirements of this regulation, 40 CFR Parts 123, and R.61-9.124. Permit includes an NPDES general permit (section 122.28). Permit does not include any permit which has not yet been the subject of final agency action, such as a draft permit or a proposed permit.
     
  56. "Person" means any individual, public or private corporation, political subdivision, association, partnership, corporation, municipality, State or Federal agency, industry, copartnership, firm, trust, estate, any other legal entity whatsoever, or an agent or employee thereof.
     
  57. "Point source" means any discernible, confined, and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to, any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, vessel, or other floating craft from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include return flows from irrigated agriculture.
     
  58. "Point source discharge" means a discharge which is released to the waters of the State by a discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to a pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, vessel, or other floating craft from which waste is or may be discharged.
     
  59. "Pollutant" means dredged spoil, solid waste, incinerator residue, filter backwash, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials (except those regulated under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.)), heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt and industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste discharged into water.
      It does not mean:
       
    1. Sewage from vessels; or
       
    2. Water, gas, or other material which is injected into a well to facilitate production of oil or gas, or water derived in association with oil and gas production and disposed of in a well, if the well used either to facilitate production or for disposal purposes is approved by authority of the State in which the well is located, and if the State determines that the injection or disposal will not result in the degradation of ground or surface water resources.

     
  60. "Pollution Control Act" (PCA) means the South Carolina Pollution Control Act (PCA), S.C. Code Ann. section 48-1-10 et seq. (1976).

  61.  
  62. "POTW" means publicly owned treatment works.
     
  63. "Primary industry category" means any industry category listed in the NRDC settlement agreement (Natural Resources Defense Council et al., v. Train, 8 E.R.C. 2120 (D.D.C. 1976), modified 12 E.R.C. 1833 (D.D.C. 1979)); also listed in Appendix A of SC Regulation 61-9.
     
  64. "Privately owned treatment works" means any device or system which both is used to treat wastes from any facility whose operator is not the operator of the treatment works and is not a POTW.
     
  65. "Process wastewater" means any water which, during manufacturing or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any raw material, intermediate product, finished product, byproduct, or waste product.
     
  66. "Proposed permit" means a State NPDES permit prepared after the close of the public comment period (and, when applicable, any public hearing and administrative appeals) which is sent to EPA for review before final issuance by the State. A "proposed permit" is not a draft permit.
     
  67. "Publicly owned treatment works" (POTW) means any device or system used in the storage, treatment, recycling, and reclamation of municipal sewage or industrial wastes of a liquid nature which is owned and operated by the State, a municipality, or a regional entity composed of two (2) or more municipalities or parts thereof. The term also means the municipality as defined in section 502(4) of CWA, which has jurisdiction over the Indirect Discharges to and the discharges from such a treatment works. This definition includes sewers, pipes, or other conveyances only if they convey wastewater to a POTW providing treatment.
     
  68. "Recommencing discharger" means a source which recommences discharge after terminating operations.
     
  69. "Refuse Act permit application" means an application for a permit issued under authority of Section 13 of the United States Rivers and Harbors Act of March 3, 1899.
     
  70. "Regional Administrator" means the Regional Administrator of Region IV of the Environmental Protection Agency or the authorized representative of the Regional Administrator.
     
  71. "Reporting form" means the uniform NPDES reporting form, including subsequent additions, revisions or modifications thereof, adopted by the Department for use in administering this regulation, or a State form prescribed by the Department for use in administering this regulation, for reporting data and information to the Department by a discharger on monitoring and other conditions of permits.
     
  72. "Schedule of compliance" means a schedule of remedial measures included in a "permit", including an enforceable sequence of interim requirements (for example, actions, operations, or milestone events) leading to compliance with the CWA and regulations.
     
  73. "Secondary industry category" means any industry category which is not a primary industry category.
     
  74. "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers.
     
  75. "Septage" means the liquid and solid material pumped from septic tank, cesspool or similar domestic sewage treatment system, or a holding tank when the system is cleaned or maintained.
     
  76. "Sewage from vessels" means human body wastes and the wastes from toilets and other receptacles intended to receive or retain body wastes that are discharged from vessels and regulated under section 312 of CWA.
     
  77. "Sewage Sludge" means any solid, semi-solid, or liquid residue removed during the treatment of municipal waste water or domestic sewage. Sewage sludge includes, but is not limited to, solids removed during primary, secondary, or advanced waste water treatment, scum, septage, portable toilet pumpings, type III marine sanitation device pumpings (33 CFR Part159), and sewage sludge products. Sewage sludge does not include grit or screenings, or ash generated during the incineration of sewage sludge.
     
  78. "Sewage sludge use or disposal practice" means the collection, storage, treatment, transportation, processing, monitoring, use or disposal of sewage sludge.
     
  79. "Silvicultural point source" means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance related to rock crushing, gravel washing, log sorting, or log storage facilities which are operated in connection with silvicultural activities and from which pollutants are discharged into waters of the State.  The term does not include non-point source silvicultural activities such as nursery operations, site preparation, reforestation and subsequent cultural treatment, thinning, prescribed burning, pest and fire control, harvesting operations, surface drainage, or road construction and maintenance from which there is natural
     
  80. "Site" means the land or water area where any facility or activity is physically located or conducted, including adjacent land used in connection with the facility or activity.
     
  81. "Sludge-only facility" means any treatment works treating domestic sewage whose methods of sewage sludge use or disposal are subject to regulations promulgated pursuant to section 405(d) of the CWA, and is required to obtain a permit under section 122.1(b)(3) of this regulation.
     
  82. "Standards for sewage sludge use or disposal" means the regulations promulgated pursuant to section 405(d) of the CWA which govern minimum requirements for sludge quality, management practices, and monitoring and reporting applicable to sewage sludge or the use or disposal of sewage sludge by any person.
     
  83. "State" means the State of South Carolina.
     
  84. "State/EPA Agreement" means an agreement between the Regional Administrator and the State which coordinates EPA and State activities, responsibilities and programs including those under the CWA programs.
     
  85. "State Law" means the S.C. Pollution Control Act (PCA), specifically 48-1-10 through 48-1-350 of the South Carolina Code of 1976, and any subsequent amendments thereto.
     
  86. "State permit" See R-61-9.505.2 for definition.
     
  87. "Total dissolved solids" (TDS) means the total dissolved (filterable) solids as determined by use of the method specified in 40 CFR Part 136.
     
  88. "Toxic pollutant" means any pollutant listed as toxic under section 307(a)(1) or, in the case of sludge use or disposal practices, any pollutant identified in regulations implementing section 405(d) of the CWA.

  89.  
  90. "Trade secret" means the whole or any portion or phase of any manufacturing proprietary process or method, not patented, which is secret, useful in compounding an article of trade having a commercial value, and the secrecy of which the owner has taken reasonable measures to prevent from becoming available to persons other than those selected by the owner to have access thereto to limited purpose. It shall not be construed for purpose of this regulation to include any information relative to the quantity and character of waste products or their constituents discharged into waters of the State.
     
  91. "Treatment works" means any plant, disposal field, lagoon, constructed drainage ditch or surface water intercepting ditch, incinerator, area devoted to sanitary landfills or other works not specifically mentioned herein, installed for the purpose of treating, neutralizing, stabilizing or disposing of sewage, industrial waste or other wastes.
     
  92. "Treatment works treating domestic sewage" means a POTW or any other sewage sludge or waste water treatment devices or system, regardless of ownership (including federal facilities), used in the storage, treatment, recycling, and reclamation of municipal or domestic sewage, including land dedicated for the disposal of sewage sludge. This definition does not include septic tanks or similar devices. For purposes of this definition, domestic sewage includes waste and waste water from humans or household operations that are discharged to or otherwise enter a treatment works. In States where there is no approved State sludge management program under section 405(f) of the CWA, the Regional Administrator may designate any person subject to the standards for sewage sludge use and disposal in 40 CFR Part 503 as a treatment works treating domestic sewage, where he or she finds that there is a potential for adverse effects on public health and the environment from poor sludge quality or poor sludge handling, use or disposal practices, or where he or she finds that such designation is necessary to ensure that such person is in compliance with 40 CFR Part 503.
     
  93. "Variance" means any mechanism or provision under section 301 or 316 of CWA, PCA, or R.61-9.125, or in the applicable effluent limitations guidelines which allows modification to or waiver of the generally applicable effluent limitation requirements or time deadlines of CWA. This includes provisions which allow the establishment of alternative limitations based on fundamentally different factors or on section 301(c), 301(g), 301(h), 301(i), or 316(a) of CWA.
     
  94. "Vessel" means any contrivance used or capable of being used for navigation upon water, whether or not capable of self-propulsion, including foreign and domestic vessels engaged in commerce upon the waters of this State, passenger or other cargo carrying vessels, privately owned recreational watercraft or any other floating craft.
     
  95. "Waste" shall be synonymous with sewage, industrial waste, and other wastes.
     
  96. "Waters of the State" means lakes, bays, sounds, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, wells, rivers, streams, creeks, estuaries, marshes, inlets, canals, the Atlantic Ocean within the territorial limits of the State, and all other bodies of surface or underground water, natural or artificial, public or private, inland or coastal, fresh or salt, which are wholly or partially within or bordering the State or within its jurisdiction.
     
  97. "Waters of the United States" or "waters of the U.S." means:
     
    1. All waters which are currently used, were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide;
       
    2. All interstate waters, including interstate "wetlands;"
        All other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, "wetlands," sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds the use, degradation, or destruction of which would affect or could affect interstate or foreign commerce including any such waters:
       
      1. Which are or could be used by interstate or foreign travelers for recreational or other purposes;
         
      2. From which fish or shellfish are or could be taken and sold in interstate or foreign commerce; or
         
      3. Which are used or could be used for industrial purposes by industries in interstate commerce;
    3. All impoundments of waters otherwise defined as waters of the United States under this definition;
       
    4. Tributaries of waters identified in paragraphs (A) through (D) of this definition;
       
    5. The territorial sea; and
       
    6. Wetlands adjacent to waters (other than waters that are themselves wetlands) identified in paragraphs (A) through (F) of this definition.
       
    7. Waste treatment systems, including treatment ponds or lagoons designed to meet the requirements of CWA are not waters of the United States.
       
  98. "Wetlands" means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.
     
  99. "Whole effluent toxicity" means the aggregate toxic effect of an effluent measured directly by a toxicity test.


Bureau of Water . Phone: (803) 898-4300 . Fax: (803) 898-3795 . Contact Us