SOUTH DAKOTA Department of
Environment & Natural Resources

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Pierre, SD 57501
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Surface Water

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations important?
2. Who needs a NPDES/Surface Water Discharge permit?
3. How does the permitting process work?
4. Where do I get a Surface Water Discharge permit application?

More FAQs:

1. Why are National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations important?

By 1972, municipal and industrial wastewater pollution of the rivers, streams, and lakes in America had become a national concern. To clean up the nation's waters, Congress passed the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972. This Act formed the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Program. The main goals of the NPDES Program are to control the amount of pollution that can enter waters of the United States and protect the beneficial uses of all streams and lakes. EPA delegated authority for this program to South Dakota on December 30, 1993.

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2. Who needs a NPDES/Surface Water Discharge permit?

There are three types of permits issued out of this program.

1. Surface Water Discharge Permit: If pollutants (even heat can be considered a pollutant) are being discharged from a "point source" to waters of the state, a Surface Water Discharge permit is needed for that discharge. An example of a "point source" would be a pipe or ditch. For information please contact Albert Spangler in Pierre at (605) 773-3351.

2. Pretreatment Industrial Users Permit: A Pretreatment Industrial Users Permit is issued to an industry discharging process wastewater to the sanitary sewer. Aberdeen, Brookings, Huron, Mitchell, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and Watertown have received delegation of this program, so the permit will be issued by those municipalities. SDDENR issues this permit to industries located in other municipalities. For information please contact Tina McFarling at (605) 773-3351.

3. Stormwater Permit: A Stormwater permit is issued to an industry or construction site. This permit requires the source to develop a plan to prevent or reduce runoff of pollutants from entering waters of the state during a storm event. For more information on stormwater permits, contact the stormwater staff by email or by calling 1-800-SDSTORM (1-800-737-8676) or (605) 773-3351.

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3. How does the permitting process work?

Surface Water Discharge Permit Process Flowchart

An application should be sent to the department at least 180 days prior to any discharge. The department makes a recommendation on the permit and publishes it in a local newspaper for a 30-day public comment period. If the permit is not contested within this time frame, the permit is issued. If you need a stormwater permit, fill out a short application form, called a Notice of Intent. The type of permit coverage is dependant upon if the discharge will be due to activities associated with construction activities or due to activities associated with industrial activities. Both forms can be found at the Stormwater site.  For more information, contact the stormwater staff by email or by calling 1-800-SDSTORM (1-800-737-8676) or (605) 773-3351. 

The regulations can be found in the Administrative Rules of South Dakota 74:52.

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4. Where do I get a Surface Water Discharge permit application?

A surface water discharge application form may be obtained from the Forms and Permits page.

For information please contact Albert Spangler at (605) 773-3351.

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