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Nevada Groundwater Discharge Permit (14-NV-e)

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) Bureau of Water Pollution Control (BWQC) is responsible for protecting Nevada water quality from adverse effects resulting from the addition of a pollutant or pollutants to waters of the state under NRS 445A Water Controls. The NDEP protects groundwater quality through issuing groundwater discharge permits under NAC 445A.228 for activities that impact groundwater quality such as surface disposal, septic systems, unlined ponds, overland flow, reuse and irrigation. Groundwater discharge should not be confused with non-point source discharges. Groundwater discharges impact underground sources of water such as drinking water supplies, while non-point source discharges impact surface water bodies such as rivers or streams through runoff.

Groundwater Discharge Permit Process

14-NV-e.1 – Groundwater Discharge Permit Application and Associated Documents

A developer seeking to discharge pollutants into waters of the state of Nevada (including groundwater) must complete a Groundwater Discharge Permit Application provided by the NDEP no less than 180 days before the discharge of such pollutants. The principle executive officer of the corporation, a general partner of a partnership, or the proprietor of a sole partnership must certify and sign the application before submitting it to the NDEP. NAC 445A.230

14-NV-e.2 to 14-NV-e.3 – Review Application for Completeness

The NDEP reviews the application for completeness and does not process the application until the department has received any missing information.

14-NV-e.4 to 14-NV-e.5 – Does the NDEP Determine a Groundwater Discharge Permit is not Required

If the NDEP determines the activity does not require a NEV permit upon reviewing the application, the NDEP notifies the developer of the determination in writing, which constitutes a final agency action.

14-NV-e.6 – Draft Permit or Proposed Denial of Issuance

The NDEP formulates and prepares a tentative determination regarding the permit application before issuing public notice of the proposed issuance or denial of the permit. The tentative determination must include the NDEP’s decision to issue or deny the permit. If the DEP determines to issue a permit, the Draft permit must include the proposed effluent limitations, a proposed schedule of compliance, and a brief description of any other proposed special conditions. NAC 445A.233

14-NV-e.7 – Publish Notice of Tentative Determination

The NDEP publishes notice of every application for a NEV permit and the NDEP’s tentative determination to issue or deny the permit. The NDEP must circulate the public notice within the geographical area of the proposed discharge by publishing notice in a local newspaper or periodical. Additionally, the NDEP must mail notice to any person or group on a mailing list maintained by the NDEP or upon request of the person or group. The public notice should include:

  • The name, address, and phone number of the Department
  • The name and address of each applicant
  • A brief description of each applicant’s activities or operations which result in the discharge described in the application
  • The name of the water source the discharge will impact and the location of the discharge
  • The NDEP’s tentative determination to approve or deny the permit
  • The procedures for commenting on the tentative determination or requesting a hearing
  • The address and phone number of where interested persons can seek further information on the discharge and the NDEP’s tentative determination.

NAC 445A.234

14-NV-e.8 – Provide Notice of Tentative Determination to other Appropriate Government Agencies

The NDEP must notify other appropriate governmental agencies of the application and the NDEP’s tentative determination to issue or deny the permit. The appropriate government agencies, including other states where the discharge will affect water resources and the appropriate district engineer of the Army Corp. of Engineers where the activity discharges to navigable waters, must receive a fact sheet describing the discharge and the opportunity to submit written comments on the discharge. NAC 445A.235

14-NV-e.9 – Comment on Tentative Determination

The public must receive 30 days to submit written comments on the discharge application and tentative determination following the date of public notice. The NDEP must retain all of the written comments submitted during the comment period and consider such comments in the final determination. The NDEP director may extend the comment period at his or her discretion. NAC 445A.234

14-NV-e.10 to 14-NV-e.11 – Does the Developer, an Interested Party, or Interested Government Agency request a Hearing

The NDEP director must provide interested parties the opportunity to request a hearing during the 30 day public comment period. If the developer, an interested party, or a interested government agency requests a hearing the NDEP Director must determine if there is significant public interest in holding a public hearing. NAC 445A.238

14-NV-e.12 – Publish Notice of Public Hearing

If the NDEP director determines there is significant public interest in holding a public hearing, the NDEP publishes notice of the hearing at least 30 days before the hearing. The public notice should include:

  • The name, address, and phone number of the department
  • The name and address of the applicant
  • The name of the water source where the developer proposes to discharge and a short description of the location of discharge
  • A brief reference of the public notice issued for the permit application and tentative determination
  • The purpose of the hearing
  • A description of the issues raised by the persons requesting a hearing
  • The address and phone number of where interested persons may obtain further information
  • A brief description of the nature of the hearing and the rules and procedures followed at the hearing

NAC 445A.239

14-NV-e.13 – Hold Public Hearing

The NDEP holds a public hearing on the tentative determination to issue or deny the permit application.

14-NV-e.14 to 14-NV-e.16 – Does the Department Approve the Groundwater Discharge Permit Application

The NDEP makes a final determination to approve or deny the Groundwater Discharge Permit Application based on applicable effluent limitations. If the NDEP approves the application, the department issues a Groundwater Discharge (NEV) permit. If the NDEP determines not to approve the Groundwater Discharge Permit Application, the department issues a Notice of Denial of Groundwater Discharge Permit. NAC 445A.240

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