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Water Permitting
National Summary
EPA and related federal agencies, the states, and municipalities maintain the quality of U.S. waters through a variety of water permitting regulatory schemes. Under the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. NPDES permit programs include provisions for individual and general permits. NPDES encompasses industrial wastewater, agricultural waste, and stormwater for industrial and construction activities and municipalities. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), EPA and state environmental and public health agencies permit public water supplies and owners and operators of underground injection wells to ensure the safety of drinking water and groundwater sources. The quality and quantity of water sources are also protected under well permitting, water withdrawal, and wetland permitting programs.
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