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Waste Water Construction Permitting

Moratoriums on Issuance of Wastewater Construction Permits

From time to time, the Bureau of Water imposes a moratorium on taps or additional construction permits being issued to projects which will connect to a wastewater treatment facility. This is usually done through an enforcement action when severe performance problems exist at a facility, but it can be done through the decisions on individual permit applications when enforcement actions have not been completed.

The Department does not like to impose a moratorium on a facility unless it is absolutely necessary to protect public health and/or to minimize environmental problems. The Bureau recognizes the overall impact of a moratorium; so a decision to impose a moratorium is only made after considerable review. Also, moratoriums are only used as a last resort when all other efforts by the Department have failed to get the permittee to correct problems within a sewerage system.

Please note that a moratorium is different from a situation where a wastewater treatment facility does not have any permit capacity remaining. In a moratorium situation there maybe unused permit capacity that the Bureau will not allow to be used until certain problems are corrected. In other words, there is some discretion on when to impose a moratorium and a moratorium in many cases is imposed by an enforcement order.

The situation where a facility runs out of permitting capacity is not the result of an action of the Bureau but rather it is the result of the permittee failing to provide capacity for use in permitting projects in its service area. There are no enforcement actions associated with this situation and no further wastewater construction permits can be issued until the permittee provides additional capacity. This situation is not under the control of the Bureau and the Bureau does not have any discretion in the decision not to issue additional permits which will allow a wastewater treatment facility to receive flows beyond its permit flow limitation.

A developer may look at both of these situations as moratoriums since no permits can be issued in both situations, but they are different situations as explained above. Please contact Mr. Mike Montebello to inquire about a specific facility 803/898-4228.

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