NJPDES Information


The New Jersey Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) Program protects New Jersey's ground and surface water by assuring the proper treatment and discharge of wastewater and stormwater from various types of facilities and activities.

To accomplish this, permits are issued limiting the amount of pollutants, which may be discharged into ground water, streams, rivers, and the ocean.

CWA & Phase II

The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal legislation that protects the nation's surface waters. Developed in 1972 to expand on the Water Pollution Control Act of 1948, the CWA initially focused on point sources (i.e. any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance) that introduced pollutants into a surface water body.

Section 402 of the CWA introduced the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). This required a permit to discharge a pollutant from a point source into the nation's waters, with an initial focus on industrial wastewater.

Brief History

The CWA has proven to be one of the nation's most successful environmental regulations and has significantly improved water quality. In 1987, the CWA was amended to include a phased program to regulate storm water discharges (including non-point source pollutants) under the NPDES program.

In 1990, Phase I was issued to address storm water discharges from medium and large municipal separate storm sewer systems (communities of more than 100,000) and discharges associated with industrial activities. On October 29, 1999, Phase II came into effect.

Phase II Purpose

Phase II is used to control pollution discharges from small municipal storm sewers (communities of less than 100,000), highway (federal, state, and county) systems, and certain public complexes.