Friday, October 18, 2019

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Glossary

Best Management Practice

Schedules of activities, prohibitions or practices, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States. BMPs also include treatment requirements, operating procedures, and practice to control plant site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal, or drainage from raw material storage.

Biochemical Oxygen Demand

A measurement of the amount of oxygen utilized by the decomposition of organic material, over a specified time period (usually 5 days) in a wastewater sample; it is used as a measurement of the readily decomposable organic content of a wastewater.

Code of Federal Regulations

A codification of the final rules published daily in the Federal Register. Title 40 of the CFR contains the environmental regulations.

General Permit

An NPDES permit issued under 40 CFR 122.28 that authorizes a category of discharges under the CWA within a geographical area. A general permit is not specifically tailored for an individual discharger.

Hazardous Substance

Any substance, other than oil, which when discharged in any quantities into waters of the U.S., presents an imminent and substantial danger to the public health or welfare, including but not limited to fish, shellfish, wildlife, shorelines and beaches (section 311 of the CWA); identified by EPA as the pollutants listed under 40 CFR Part 116. Any substance, other than oil, which, when discharged in any quantities into waters of the U.S., presents an imminent and substantial danger to the public health or welfare, including but not limited to fish, shellfish, wildlife, shorelines and beaches (section 311 of the CWA); identified by EPA as the pollutants listed under 40 CFR Part 116.

Large Construction Activity

As defined at 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(x), a large construction activity includes clearing, grading, and excavating resulting in a land disturbance that will disturb equal to or more than five acres of land or will disturb less than five acres of total land area but is part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb equal to or more than five acres. Large construction activity does not include routine maintenance that is performed to maintain the original line and grade, hydraulic capacity, or original purpose of the site.

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)

A conveyance or system of conveyances (including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, manmade channels, or storm drains):

  1. Owned and operated by a state, city, town borough, county, parish, district, association, or other public body (created by or pursuant to state law) having jurisdiction over disposal of sewage, industrial wastes, stormwater, or other wastes, including special districts under state law such as sewer district, flood control district or drainage district, or similar entity, or an Indian tribe or an authorized Indian tribal organization, or a designated and approved management agency under section 208 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) that discharges to waters of the United States;
  2. Designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater;
  3. Which is not a combined sewer; and
  4. Which is not part of a publicly owned treatment works (POTW).

(40 CFR 122.26(b)(8)).

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

The national program for issuing, modifying, revoking and reissuing, terminating, monitoring and enforcing permits, and imposing and enforcing pretreatment requirements, under Sections 307, 318, 402, and 405 of CWA.

Owner/Operator

For the purpose of the 2003 Construction General Permit and in the context of stormwater associated with construction activity, any party associated with a construction project that meets either of the following two criteria:

The party has operational control over construction plans and specifications, including the ability to make modifications to those plans and specifications.

The party has day-to-day operational control of those activities at a project, which are necessary to ensure compliance with a SWPPP for the site or other permit conditions (e.g. authorized to direct workers at a site to carry out activities required by the SWPPP or comply with other permit conditions).

(Source: Appendix A of the 2003 Construction General Permit)

Point Source

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, landfill leachate collection system, vessel or other floating craft from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include return flows from irrigated agriculture or agricultural stormwater runoff.

Pollutant, Conservative

Pollutants that do not readily degrade in the environment, and which are mitigated primarily by natural stream dilution after entering receiving bodies of waters. Included are pollutants such as metals.

Pollutant, Non-Conservative

Pollutants that are mitigated by natural biodegradation or other environmental
decay or removal processes in the receiving stream after in-stream mixing and dilution have occurred.

Sanitary Sewer

A pipe or conduit (sewer) intended to carry wastewater or water-borne wastes form homes, businesses, and industries to the POTW.

Small Construction Activity

Clearing, grading, and excavating resulting in a land disturbance that will disturb equal to or more than one acre and fewer than five acres or total land area but is part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb equal to or fewer than five acres. Small construction activity does not include routine maintenance that is performed to maintain the original line and grade, hydraulic capacity, or original purpose of the site (40 CFR 122.26 (b)(15).

Stormwater

Stormwater runoff, snow melts runoff, and surface runoff and drainage.

Stormwater Discharge – Related Activities

Activities that cause, contribute to, or result in stormwater point source pollutant discharges, including excavation, site development, grading, and other surface disturbance activities, and measures to control stormwater, including the siting, construction, and operation of BMP’s to control, reduce, or prevent stormwater pollution.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan

A stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) is a written document that describes the construction operator’s activities to comply with the requirements in the construction general permit (CGP). The SWPPP is intended to facilitate a process whereby the operator evaluates potential pollutant sources at the site and selects and implements appropriate measures designed to prevent or control the discharge of pollutants in stormwater runoff. Guidance on developing a SWPPP and the implementation of appropriate best management practices (BMP’s) is available on the EPA website.

Toxic Pollutant

Pollutants or combinations of pollutants, including disease-causing agents, which after discharge and upon exposure, ingestion, inhalation or assimilation into any organism, either directly from the environment or indirectly by ingestion through food chains, will, on the basis of information available to the Administrator or EPA, cause death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer genetic mutations, physiological malfunctions (including malfunctions in reproduction), or physical deformations, in such organisms or their offspring. Toxic pollutants also include those pollutants listed by the Administrator under CWA Section 307(a)(1) or any pollutant listed under Section 405(d), which relates to sludge management.

Waters of the United States

All waters that are currently used, were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide. Waters of the United States include all interstate waters and intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sand flats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds.

Wetlands

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.

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