NPDES General Permits
Iowa DNR General NPDES Permits:
The Iowa DNR has issued nine General NPDES Permits. They are as follows:
- General Permit No. 1, Storm Water Discharge Associated with Industrial Activity, effective March 1, 2023 to February 29, 2028.
- General Permit No. 2, Storm Water Discharge Associated with Construction Activities, effective March 1, 2023 to February 29, 2028.
- General Permit No. 3, Storm Water Discharge Associated with Industrial Activity for Asphalt Plants, Concrete Batch Plants, Rock Crushing Plants, and Construction Sand and Gravel Facilities, effective March 1, 2023 to February 29, 2028.
- General Permit No. 4, Discharge from Private Sewage Disposal Systems, effective March 1, 2023 to February 29, 2028.
- General Permit No. 5, Discharge from Mining and Processing Facilities, effective July 20, 2021 to July 19, 2026.
- General Permit No. 6, Discharge Associated with Well Construction Activities, effective March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2025.
- General Permit No. 7, Pesticide General Permit (PGP) for Point Source Discharges to Waters of the United States From the Application of Pesticides, effective May 18, 2021 to May 17, 2026.
- General Permit No. 8, NPDES and State Operation permit, Discharge from Hydrostatic Testing, Tank Ballasting and Water Lines, effective July 1, 2018 to June 20, 2023.
- General Permit No. 9, NPDES and State Operation permit, Dewatering and Residential Geothermal Systems, effective July 1, 2018 to June 20, 2023.
For more information on the storm water general permits (1, 2, and 3), refer to the Storm Water Permitting Requirements Information page.
For more information on General Permits 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, please follow the links above.
Renewal of NPDES General Permits 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9:
On August 16, 2022, the Environmental Protection Commission adopted a final rule to renew five of Iowa’s general permits for wastewater discharges. General Permit Nos. 8 and 9 were renewed because the current versions will expire on June 30, 2023. General Permit Nos. 5, 6, and 7 were renewed at the same time in order to align the effective dates for all five general permits. The renewed permits will become effective on July 1, 2023.
For more information on these renewals, please see the NPDES Rules page.
Iowa DNR General Permit Databases:
Refer to the Online Storm Water Database section of the NPDES Databases page for more information on the following:
- discharges authorized under General Permits 1, 2, and 3, or
- applying for coverage under storm water General Permits 1, 2, and 3 online.
Refer to the General Permits 5, 8, and 9 Database section of the NPDES Databases page for more information on the following:
- discharges authorized under General Permits 5, 8, and 9
- information on submitting an electronic Notice of Intent for Coverage under General Permits 5, 8 and 9, or
- submitting annual monitoring reports or fees for General Permit 5.
Basic Information on NPDES General Permits:
General NPDES Permits allow the Iowa DNR to allocate resources in an efficient manner to provide more timely permit coverage. For example, many facilities that have common elements may be covered under a general permit without expending the time and money necessary to issue individual permits to each facility. In addition, using a general permit ensures consistency of permit conditions for similar facilities.
A General NPDES Permit covers multiple facilities within a specific category. General permits can be cost-effective, as a large number of facilities can be covered under a single permit. A general permit may be written to cover categories of point sources having common elements.
The process for developing and issuing General NPDES Permits is similar to the process for individual permits. However, there are differences in the order of events. The Iowa DNR first identifies the need for a general permit by collecting data demonstrating that a group of dischargers has similarities that warrant a general permit. In deciding whether to develop a general permit, the Iowa DNR will consider the following:
- Are there a large number of facilities to be covered?
- Do the facilities have similar production processes or activities?
- Do the facilities generate similar pollutants?
- Do only a small percentage of the facilities have the potential for violations of water quality standards?
The remaining steps of the permit process are similar to those for individual permits. The Iowa DNR develops the draft general permit and rationale, issues a public notice, addresses public comments, and issues the final permit. However, General NPDES Permits in Iowa must be adopted by rule, so the public notice, response to comments, and issuance of the general permit are all part of the rulemaking process. For more information on the rulemaking process, see the NPDES Rules page.
After a general permit has been issued, facilities may either submit a paper or electronic Notice of Intent (NOI) to the Iowa DNR for coverage under the permit (General Permits No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9), or a facility may automatically be covered by the general permit (General Permits No. 6, 7, 8 and 9). Upon receipt of an NOI, the Iowa DNR may either request additional information from the facility, notify the facility that it is covered by the general permit, or require the facility to apply for an individual permit.