Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota – National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits

NPDES permits are required for any discharge of wastewater into surface waters, including noncontact cooling water and air-conditioning or heat-pump water. NPDES permits are not required if the discharge is to a publicly-owned sanitary sewer system. However, local permits may be required – check with your local municipality.

NPDES permits are required for feedlots that either exceed the large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) threshold (i.e. 700 dairy cows, 2,500 swine, 1,000 beef, etc.) or have a capacity of 1,000 animal units or more.

Permit applications are available from the MPCA at the address and telephone number listed in the Resource Directory section of this Guide. Applications must be submitted 180 days before the planned activity commences. There is an application fee, and an annual permit fee. Except for the categorical industries listed below, there are no such fees if the discharge goes to a sanitary sewer. Applicants should be prepared to provide information on the location, quantity and quality of the proposed discharge. NPDES permits are issued for a period of up to five years.


CREDITS: This is an excerpt from A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota, provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office, Twenty-eighth Edition, January 2010, written by Charles A. Schaffer, Madeline Harris, and Mark Simmer. Copies are available without charge from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office.

This post is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota Environmental Protection Programs and how they affect starting a business in Minnesota.