Surface Water Discharges Section: Delegation Authority
Under both state and federal laws and regulations, any discharge of pollutants from a point source to state surface waters is unlawful unless sanctioned by a permit. Such permits are administered under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The fundamental goal of an NPDES permit is just that, to eliminate discharge of pollutants.
Section 402 of the federal Clean Water Act, as amended, and the Delaware Code of Law, Title 7, Part VII, Chapter 60, “Environmental Control," provide the authority for Delaware’s NPDES permits. Federal and state regulations promulgated pursuant to these statutes are the regulatory bases for permit issuance. The U.S. EPA has delegated its authority to administer the federal NPDES permit program in Delaware to the State of Delaware, with the exception of pre-treatment and federal facilities. Within the Division of Water Resources, the Surface Water Discharges Section (SWDS) is responsible for administering the NPDES program in Delaware.
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has regulations that apply to NPDES dischargers to the Delaware River Watershed.