RAPID/Roadmap/14-NM-b

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New Mexico NPDES Permit (14-NM-b)

The Clean Water Act (CWA) required the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program to require facilities discharging from a point source into waters of the United States to obtain discharge permits. A NPDES permit contains limits on what can be discharged and other provisions to ensure that the discharge does not harm water quality or public health. In New Mexico, the NPDES permit program is administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). New Mexico’s role in the NPDES process is to ensure that NPDES-permitted projects comply with state water quality standards outlined in NMAC 20.6.4 through the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED).



NPDES Permit Process


14-NM-b.1 – Initiate EPA NPDES Permitting Process

New Mexico’s review of NPDES permits occurs in conjunction with the EPA’s review of the NPDES permit. The developer must initiate the federal NPDES process outlined in Green arrow.PNG14-FD-b: EPA NPDES Permitting Process, and follow requirements for federal review.

14-NM-b.2 – Provide Draft Permit to NMED

After the EPA develops a Draft Permit, they must provide a copy of the Draft Permit to NMED for review.

14-NM-b.3 – Provide Public Notice of Draft Permit Review

NMED is required to provide public notice that they are reviewing a Draft Permit for the purpose of preparing a state certification or denial. NMED is also required to post notice on its website. NMAC 20.6.2.2001(C).

14-NM-b.4 – Review Draft Permit for Compliance with State Water Quality Standards

EPA will provide NMED with a Draft Permit for review to ensure compliance with state water quality standards.

14-NM-b.5 – Does NMED Certify the Application?

Following review of the Draft Permit, NMED will either:

  • Certify that the discharge will comply with the applicable provisions of the CWA and with applicable state laws;
  • Certify that the discharge will comply with the applicable provisions of the CWA and with appropriate requirements of state law upon inclusion of specified conditions in the permit and include the justification for the conditions; or
  • Deny certification and include reasons for the denial. NMAC 20.6.2.2001.

14-NM-b.6 to 14-NM-b.7 – Does NMED Approve the Final Certification?

Following a required EPA notice and comment period, NMED may approve, approve with conditions, or deny the final certification. If NMED denies the certification, then the developer may amend project conditions and seek certification again.

14-NM-b.8 – Final Certification

NMED then provides a final certification decision within 45 days unless a longer period of time is requested. NMAC 20.6.2.2001(G).

14-NM-b.9 – Continue EPA NPDES Permitting Process

After the developer has obtained Certification from NMED for the project, they must fulfill any further requirements necessary for an EPA NPDES permit.

Green arrow.PNG14-FD-b: EPA NPDES Permitting Process


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