40 CFR § 122.2 - Definitions.
The following definitions apply to parts 122, 123, and 124. Terms not defined in this section have the meaning given by CWA. When a defined term appears in a definition, the defined term is sometimes placed in quotation marks as an aid to readers.
Animal feeding operation is defined at § 122.23.
Applicable standards and limitations means all State, interstate, and federal standards and limitations to which a “discharge,” a “sewage sludge use or disposal practice,” or a related activity is subject under the CWA, including “effluent limitations,” water quality standards, standards of performance, toxic effluent standards or prohibitions, “best management practices,” pretreatment standards, and “standards for sewage sludge use or disposal” under sections 301, 302, 303, 304, 306, 307, 308, 403 and 405 of CWA.
Application means the EPA standard national forms for applying for a permit, including any additions, revisions or modifications to the forms; or forms approved by EPA for use in “approved States,” including any approved modifications or revisions.
Aquaculture project is defined at § 122.25.
Average monthly discharge limitation means the highest allowable average of “daily discharges” over a calendar month, calculated as the sum of all “daily discharges” measured during a calendar month divided by the number of “daily discharges” measured during that month.
Average weekly discharge limitation means the highest allowable average of “daily discharges” over a calendar week, calculated as the sum of all “daily discharges” measured during a calendar week divided by the number of “daily discharges” measured during that week.
Best management practices (“BMPs”) means schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the pollution of “waters of the United States.” BMPs also include treatment requirements, operating procedures, and practices to control plant site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal, or drainage from raw material storage.
BMPs means “best management practices.”
Class I sludge management facility means any POTW identified under 40 CFR 403.8(a) as being required to have an approved pretreatment program (including such POTWs located in a State that has elected to assume local program responsibilities pursuant to 40 CFR 403.10(e)) and any other treatment works treating domestic sewage classified as a Class I sludge management facility by the Regional Administrator, or, in the case of approved State programs, the Regional Administrator in conjunction with the State Director, because of the potential for its sludge use or disposal practices to adversely affect public health and the environment.
Bypass is defined at § 122.41(m).
Combined sewer overflow (CSO) means a discharge from a combined sewer system (CSS) at a point prior to the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) Treatment Plant (defined at § 403.3(r) of this chapter).
Combined sewer system (CSS) means a wastewater collection system owned by a State or municipality (as defined by section 502(4) of the CWA) which conveys sanitary wastewaters (domestic, commercial and industrial wastewaters) and storm water through a single-pipe system to a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) Treatment Plant (as defined at § 403.3(r) of this chapter).
Concentrated animal feeding operation is defined at § 122.23.
Concentrated aquatic animal feeding operation is defined at § 122.24.
Continuous discharge means a “discharge” which occurs without interruption throughout the operating hours of the facility, except for infrequent shutdowns for maintenance, process changes, or other similar activities.
CWA means the Clean Water Act (formerly referred to as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act or Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972) Public Law 92-500, as amended by Public Law 95-217, Public Law 95-576, Public Law 96-483 and Public Law 97-117, 33 U.S.C. 1251et seq.
Daily discharge means the “discharge of a pollutant” measured during a calendar day or any 24-hour period that reasonably represents the calendar day for purposes of sampling. For pollutants with limitations expressed in units of mass, the “daily discharge” is calculated as the total mass of the pollutant discharged over the day. For pollutants with limitations expressed in other units of measurement, the “daily discharge” is calculated as the average measurement of the pollutant over the day.
Direct discharge means the “discharge of a pollutant.”
Director means the Regional Administrator or the State Director, as the context requires, or an authorized representative. When there is no “approved State program,” and there is an EPA administered program, “Director” means the Regional Administrator. When there is an approved State program, “Director” normally means the State Director. In some circumstances, however, EPA retains the authority to take certain actions even when there is an approved State program. (For example, when EPA has issued an NPDES permit prior to the approval of a State program, EPA may retain jurisdiction over that permit after program approval, see § 123.1.) In such cases, the term “Director” means the Regional Administrator and not the State Director.
Discharge when used without qualification means the “discharge of a pollutant.”
Discharge of a pollutant means:
(a) Any addition of any “pollutant” or combination of pollutants to “waters of the United States” from any “point source,” or
(b) Any addition of any pollutant or combination of pollutants to the waters of the “contiguous zone” or the ocean from any point source other than a vessel or other floating craft which is being used as a means of transportation.
Discharge Monitoring Report (“DMR”) means the EPA uniform national form, including any subsequent additions, revisions, or modifications for the reporting of self-monitoring results by permittees. DMRs must be used by “approved States” as well as by EPA. EPA will supply DMRs to any approved State upon request. The EPA national forms may be modified to substitute the State Agency name, address, logo, and other similar information, as appropriate, in place of EPA's.
DMR means “Discharge Monitoring Report.”
Draft permit means a document prepared under § 124.6 indicating the Director's tentative decision to issue or deny, modify, revoke and reissue, terminate, or reissue a “permit.” A notice of intent to terminate a permit, and a notice of intent to deny a permit, as discussed in § 124.5, are types of “draft permits.” A denial of a request for modification, revocation and reissuance, or termination, as discussed in § 124.5, is not a “draft permit.” A “proposed permit” is not a “draft permit.”
Effluent limitation means any restriction imposed by the Director on quantities, discharge rates, and concentrations of “pollutants” which are “discharged” from “point sources” into “waters of the United States,” the waters of the “contiguous zone,” or the ocean.
Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) means the United StatesEnvironmental Protection Agency.
EPA means the United States “Environmental Protection Agency.”
Federal Indian reservation means all land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States Government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and including rights-of-way running through the reservation.
Great Lakes Basin means the waters defined as “Great Lakes” and “Great Lakes System” as those terms are defined in § 132.2 of this chapter.
Indian country means:
(1) All land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States Government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and, including rights-of-way running through the reservation;
(2) All dependent Indian communities with the borders of the United States whether within the originally or subsequently acquired territory thereof, and whether within or without the limits of a state; and
(3) All Indian allotments, the Indian titles to which have not been extinguished, including rights-of-way running through the same.
Indirect discharger means a nondomestic discharger introducing “pollutants” to a “publicly owned treatment works.”
Individual control strategy is defined at 40 CFR 123.46(c).
Interstate agency means an agency of two or more States established by or under an agreement or compact approved by the Congress, or any other agency of two or more States having substantial powers or duties pertaining to the control of pollution as determined and approved by the Administrator under the CWA and regulations.
Major facility means any NPDES “facility or activity” classified as such by the Regional Administrator, or, in the case of “approved State programs,” the Regional Administrator in conjunction with the State Director.
Maximum daily discharge limitation means the highest allowable “daily discharge.”
Municipality means a city, town, borough, county, parish, district, association, or other public body created by or under State law and having jurisdiction over disposal of sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes, or an Indian tribe or an authorized Indian tribal organization, or a designated and approved management agency under section 208 of CWA.
Municipal separate storm sewer system is defined at § 122.26 (b)(4) and (b)(7).
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) means the national program for issuing, modifying, revoking and reissuing, terminating, monitoring and enforcing permits, and imposing and enforcing pretreatment requirements, under sections 307, 402, 318, and 405 of CWA. The term includes an “approved program.”
New discharger means any building, structure, facility, or installation:
(a) From which there is or may be a “discharge of pollutants;”
(b) That did not commence the “discharge of pollutants” at a particular “site” prior to August 13, 1979;
(c) Which is not a “new source;” and
New source means any building, structure, facility, or installation from which there is or may be a “discharge of pollutants,” the construction of which commenced:
(b) After proposal of standards of performance in accordance with section 306 of CWA which are applicable to such source, but only if the standards are promulgated in accordance with section 306 within 120 days of their proposal.
Permit means an authorization, license, or equivalent control document issued by EPA or an “approved State” to implement the requirements of this part and parts 123 and 124. “Permit” includes an NPDES “general permit” (§ 122.28). Permit does not include any permit which has not yet been the subject of final agency action, such as a “draft permit” or a “proposed permit.”
Point source means 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 storm water runoff. (See § 122.3).
Pollutant means dredged spoil, solid waste, incinerator residue, filter backwash, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials (except those regulated under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2011et seq.)), heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt and industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste discharged into water. It does not mean:
(a)Sewage from vessels; or
(b) Water, gas, or other material which is injected into a well to facilitate production of oil or gas, or water derived in association with oil and gas production and disposed of in a well, if the well used either to facilitate production or for disposal purposes is approved by authority of the State in which the well is located, and if the State determines that the injection or disposal will not result in the degradation of ground or surface water resources.
Radioactive materials covered by the Atomic Energy Act are those encompassed in its definition of source, byproduct, or special nuclear materials. Examples of materials not covered include radium and accelerator-produced isotopes. See Train v. Colorado Public Interest Research Group, Inc.,426 U.S. 1 (1976).
POTW is defined at § 403.3 of this chapter.
Primary industry category means any industry category listed in the NRDC settlement agreement (Natural Resources Defense Council et al. v. Train, 8 E.R.C. 2120 (D.D.C. 1976), modified 12 E.R.C. 1833 (D.D.C. 1979)); also listed in appendix A of part 122.
Process wastewater means any water which, during manufacturing or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any raw material, intermediate product, finished product, byproduct, or waste product.
Proposed permit means a State NPDES “permit” prepared after the close of the public comment period (and, when applicable, any public hearing and administrative appeals) which is sent to EPA for review before final issuance by the State. A “proposed permit” is not a “draft permit.”
Publicly owned treatment works is defined at 40 CFR 403.3.
Recommencing discharger means a source which recommences discharge after terminating operations.
Schedule of compliance means a schedule of remedial measures included in a “permit”, including an enforceable sequence of interim requirements (for example, actions, operations, or milestone events) leading to compliance with the CWA and regulations.
Secondary industry category means any industry category which is not a “primary industry category.”
Sewage from vessels means human body wastes and the wastes from toilets and other receptacles intended to receive or retain body wastes that are discharged from vessels and regulated under section 312 of CWA, except that with respect to commercial vessels on the Great Lakes this term includes graywater. For the purposes of this definition, “graywater” means galley, bath, and shower water.
Sewage Sludge means any solid, semi-solid, or liquid residue removed during the treatment of municipal waste water or domestic sewage. Sewage sludge includes, but is not limited to, solids removed during primary, secondary, or advanced waste water treatment, scum, septage, portable toilet pumpings, type III marine sanitation device pumpings (33 CFR part 159), and sewage sludge products. Sewage sludge does not include grit or screenings, or ash generated during the incineration of sewage sludge.
Silvicultural point source is defined at § 122.27.
Sludge-only facility means any “treatment works treating domestic sewage” whose methods of sewage sludge use or disposal are subject to regulations promulgated pursuant to section 405(d) of the CWA and is required to obtain a permit under § 122.1(b)(2).
Standards for sewage sludge use or disposal means the regulations promulgated pursuant to section 405(d) of the CWA which govern minimum requirements for sludge quality, management practices, and monitoring and reporting applicable to sewage sludge or the use or disposal of sewage sludge by any person.
State means any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, or an Indian Tribe as defined in these regulations which meets the requirements of § 123.31 of this chapter.
State Director means the chief administrative officer of any State or interstate agency operating an “approved program,” or the delegated representative of the State Director. If responsibility is divided among two or more State or interstate agencies, “State Director” means the chief administrative officer of the State or interstate agency authorized to perform the particular procedure or function to which reference is made.
State/EPA Agreement means an agreement between the Regional Administrator and the State which coordinates EPA and State activities, responsibilities and programs including those under the CWA programs.
Storm water is defined at § 122.26(b)(13).
Storm water discharge associated with industrial activity is defined at § 122.26(b)(14).
Total dissolved solids means the total dissolved (filterable) solids as determined by use of the method specified in 40 CFR part 136.
Toxic pollutant means any pollutant listed as toxic under section 307(a)(1) or, in the case of “sludge use or disposal practices,” any pollutant identified in regulations implementing section 405(d) of the CWA.
Treatment works treating domestic sewage means a POTW or any other sewage sludge or waste water treatment devices or systems, regardless of ownership (including federal facilities), used in the storage, treatment, recycling, and reclamation of municipal or domestic sewage, including land dedicated for the disposal of sewage sludge. This definition does not include septic tanks or similar devices. For purposes of this definition, “domestic sewage” includes waste and waste water from humans or household operations that are discharged to or otherwise enter a treatment works. In States where there is no approved State sludge management program under section 405(f) of the CWA, the Regional Administrator may designate any person subject to the standards for sewage sludge use and disposal in 40 CFR part 503 as a “treatment works treating domestic sewage,” where he or she finds that there is a potential for adverse effects on public health and the environment from poor sludge quality or poor sludge handling, use or disposal practices, or where he or she finds that such designation is necessary to ensure that such person is in compliance with 40 CFR part 503.
TWTDS means “treatment works treating domestic sewage.”
Upset is defined at § 122.41(n).
Variance means any mechanism or provision under section 301 or 316 of CWA or under 40 CFR part 125, or in the applicable “ effluent limitations guidelines” which allows modification to or waiver of the generally applicable effluent limitation requirements or time deadlines of CWA. This includes provisions which allow the establishment of alternative limitations based on fundamentally different factors or on sections 301(c), 301(g), 301(h), 301(i), or 316(a) of CWA.
Waters of the United States or waters of the U.S. means:
(1) For purposes of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251et seq. and its implementing regulations, subject to the exclusions in paragraph (2) of this definition, the term “waters of the United States” means:
(i) All waters which are currently used, were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide;
(ii) All interstate waters, including interstate wetlands;
(iii) The territorial seas;
(iv) All impoundments of waters otherwise identified as waters of the United States under this section;
(v) All tributaries, as defined in paragraph (3)(iii) of this section, of waters identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this section;
(vii) All waters in paragraphs (1)(vii)(A) through (E) of this definition where they are determined, on a case-specific basis, to have a significant nexus to a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition. The waters identified in each of paragraphs (1)(vii)(A) through (E) of this definition are similarly situated and shall be combined, for purposes of a significant nexus analysis, in the watershed that drains to the nearest water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition. Waters identified in this paragraph shall not be combined with waters identified in paragraph (1)(vi) of this definition when performing a significant nexus analysis. If waters identified in this paragraph are also an adjacent water under paragraph (1)(vi), they are an adjacent water and no case-specific significant nexus analysis is required.
(D)Western vernal pools.Western vernal pools are seasonal wetlands located in parts of California and associated with topographic depression, soils with poor drainage, mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.
(E)Texas coastal prairie wetlands.Texas coastal prairie wetlands are freshwater wetlands that occur as a mosaic of depressions, ridges, intermound flats, and mima mound wetlands located along the Texas Gulf Coast.
(viii) All waters located within the 100-year floodplain of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition and all waters located within 4,000 feet of the high tide line or ordinary high water mark of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition where they are determined on a case-specific basis to have a significant nexus to a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition. For waters determined to have a significant nexus, the entire water is a water of the United States if a portion is located within the 100-year floodplain of a water identified in (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition or within 4,000 feet of the high tide line or ordinary high water mark. Waters identified in this paragraph shall not be combined with waters identified in paragraph (1)(vi) of this definition when performing a significant nexus analysis. If waters identified in this paragraph are also an adjacent water under paragraph (1)(vi), they are an adjacent water and no case-specific significant nexus analysis is required.
(2) The following are not “waters of the United States” even where they otherwise meet the terms of paragraphs (1)(iv) through (viii) of this definition.
(i) Waste treatment systems, including treatment ponds or lagoons designed to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act. This exclusion applies only to manmade bodies of water which neither were originally created in waters of the United States (such as disposal area in wetlands) nor resulted from the impoundment of waters of the United States. [See Note 1 of this section.]
(ii) Prior converted cropland. Notwithstanding the determination of an area's status as prior converted cropland by any other Federal agency, for the purposes of the Clean Water Act, the final authority regarding Clean Water Act jurisdiction remains with EPA.
(iii) The following ditches:
(C) Ditches that do not flow, either directly or through another water, into a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition.
(iv) The following features:
(A) Artificially irrigated areas that would revert to dry land should application of water to that area cease;
(B) Artificial, constructed lakes and ponds created in dry land such as farm and stock watering ponds, irrigation ponds, settling basins, fields flooded for rice growing, log cleaning ponds, or cooling ponds;
(C) Artificial reflecting pools or swimming pools created in dry land;
(D) Small ornamental waters created in dry land;
(E) Water-filled depressions created in dry land incidental to mining or construction activity, including pits excavated for obtaining fill, sand, or gravel that fill with water;
(F) Erosional features, including gullies, rills, and other ephemeral features that do not meet the definition of tributary, non-wetland swales, and lawfully constructed grassed waterways; and
(v) Groundwater, including groundwater drained through subsurface drainage systems.
(vi) Stormwater control features constructed to convey, treat, or store stormwater that are created in dry land.
(vii) Wastewater recycling structures constructed in dry land; detention and retention basins built for wastewater recycling; groundwater recharge basins; percolation ponds built for wastewater recycling; and water distributary structures built for wastewater recycling.
(3) In this definition, the following terms apply:
(i)Adjacent. The term adjacent means bordering, contiguous, or neighboring a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition, including waters separated by constructed dikes or barriers, natural river berms, beach dunes, and the like. For purposes of adjacency, an open water such as a pond or lake includes any wetlands within or abutting its ordinary high water mark. Adjacency is not limited to waters located laterally to a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition. Adjacent waters also include all waters that connect segments of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) or are located at the head of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition and are bordering, contiguous, or neighboring such water. Waters being used for established normal farming, ranching, and silviculture activities (33 U.S.C. 1344(f)) are not adjacent.
(ii)Neighboring. The term neighboring means:
(A) All waters located within 100 feet of the ordinary high water mark of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition. The entire water is neighboring if a portion is located within 100 feet of the ordinary high water mark;
(B) All waters located within the 100-year floodplain of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of this definition and not more than 1,500 feet from the ordinary high water mark of such water. The entire water is neighboring if a portion is located within 1,500 feet of the ordinary high water mark and within the 100-year floodplain;
(C) All waters located within 1,500 feet of the high tide line of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) or (iii) of this definition, and all waters within 1,500 feet of the ordinary high water mark of the Great Lakes. The entire water is neighboring if a portion is located within 1,500 feet of the high tide line or within 1,500 feet of the ordinary high water mark of the Great Lakes.
(iii)Tributary and tributaries. The terms tributary and tributaries each mean a water that contributes flow, either directly or through another water (including an impoundment identified in paragraph (1)(iv) of this definition), to a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition that is characterized by the presence of the physical indicators of a bed and banks and an ordinary high water mark. These physical indicators demonstrate there is volume, frequency, and duration of flow sufficient to create a bed and banks and an ordinary high water mark, and thus to qualify as a tributary. A tributary can be a natural, man-altered, or man-made water and includes waters such as rivers, streams, canals, and ditches not excluded under paragraph (2) of this definition. A water that otherwise qualifies as a tributary under this definition does not lose its status as a tributary if, for any length, there are one or more constructed breaks (such as bridges, culverts, pipes, or dams), or one or more natural breaks (such as wetlands along the run of a stream, debris piles, boulder fields, or a stream that flows underground) so long as a bed and banks and an ordinary high water mark can be identified upstream of the break. A water that otherwise qualifies as a tributary under this definition does not lose its status as a tributary if it contributes flow through a water of the United States that does not meet the definition of tributary or through a non-jurisdictional water to a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition.
(iv)Wetlands. The term wetlands means those 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.
(v)Significant nexus. The term significant nexus means that a water, including wetlands, either alone or in combination with other similarly situated waters in the region, significantly affects the chemical, physical, or biological integrity of a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition. The term “in the region” means the watershed that drains to the nearest water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition. For an effect to be significant, it must be more than speculative or insubstantial. Waters are similarly situated when they function alike and are sufficiently close to function together in affecting downstream waters. For purposes of determining whether or not a water has a significant nexus, the water's effect on downstream (1)(i) through (iii) waters shall be assessed by evaluating the aquatic functions identified in paragraphs (3)(v)(A) through (I) of this definition. A water has a significant nexus when any single function or combination of functions performed by the water, alone or together with similarly situated waters in the region, contributes significantly to the chemical, physical, or biological integrity of the nearest water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition. Functions relevant to the significant nexus evaluation are the following:
(A) Sediment trapping,
(B) Nutrient recycling,
(C)Pollutant trapping, transformation, filtering, and transport,
(D) Retention and attenuation of flood waters,
(F) Contribution of flow,
(G)Export of organic matter,
(H)Export of food resources, and
(I) Provision of life cycle dependent aquatic habitat (such as foraging, feeding, nesting, breeding, spawning, or use as a nursery area) for species located in a water identified in paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition.
(vi)Ordinary high water mark. The term ordinary high water mark means that line on the shore established by the fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as a clear, natural line impressed on the bank, shelving, changes in the character of soil, destruction of terrestrial vegetation, the presence of litter and debris, or other appropriate means that consider the characteristics of the surrounding areas.
(vii)High tide line. The term high tide line means the line of intersection of the land with the water's surface at the maximum height reached by a rising tide. The high tide line may be determined, in the absence of actual data, by a line of oil or scum along shore objects, a more or less continuous deposit of fine shell or debris on the foreshore or berm, other physical markings or characteristics, vegetation lines, tidal gages, or other suitable means that delineate the general height reached by a rising tide. The line encompasses spring high tides and other high tides that occur with periodic frequency but does not include storm surges in which there is a departure from the normal or predicted reach of the tide due to the piling up of water against a coast by strong winds such as those accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm.
(4)Applicability date. This definition is applicable beginning on February 6, 2020.
Whole effluent toxicity means the aggregate toxic effect of an effluent measured directly by a toxicity test.