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Wastewater Dashboard Help

On this page: 


Overview

The EPA/State Wastewater Dashboard provides an overview of Clean Water Act (CWA) regulatory oversight activities of authorized agencies and EPA. The dashboards provide an easy-to-use summary of key activities to answer questions like: which facilities are regulated, how many have had compliance monitoring activities (e.g., inspections), how many have alleged violations, and how many enforcement actions have been taken.


Data Sources

The data source for the EPA/State Wastewater Dashboard is EPA's Clean Water Act data program system, Integrated Compliance Information System National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (ICIS-NPDES), which contains permit information, limits related to discharges and operations, and discharge monitoring data for facilities managed under the CWA NPDES program. Data are refreshed weekly and subject to change as the data system is updated.

Data for the current federal fiscal year and nine previous federal fiscal years are presented to show multi-year trends. The federal fiscal year is from October 1 to September 30.

About the Data and Assessing State Performance

State performance is a complex and difficult matter to analyze and explain. Data alone cannot provide a complete picture of performance. Many states have issues with data completeness and accuracy, and without investigation and program knowledge, data can be misleading or misinterpreted. Often, there is important context around data that must be taken into account to provide an accurate picture. For example, not all activities and violations may be reported, some states are not authorized to run programs, current year data may still be in the process of being reported, and states may have alternative inspection plans. EPA uses data, like the information here, as a starting point for assessing state performance, but not as the sole measure of performance. More in-depth program reviews (see State Review Framework Reports) are used to identify needed state program improvements. While file reviews and management discussions can add to our understanding, the many layers of context and information make it difficult to portray performance in a consistent and transparent way.

Caveats

Activities and Violations
Data shown in the State Dashboards are based on data reported to EPA and may not reflect all compliance monitoring/inspections, enforcement, or the full extent of noncompliance within a state. State environmental agencies may have more information on activities and noncompliance within their state on their agency websites. Links to state agency websites can be found on the Health and Environmental Agencies of U.S. States and Territories page. Activities for terminated permits are not included in the dashboard.
Data from 2011 and 2012 in the following states may be incomplete: Arizona, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Permits from these years were incomplete or missing and were not brought into ICIS from the legacy data system, Permit Compliance System (PCS).
New Jersey CWA
Please note that New Jersey was not supplying EPA with data about its Clean Water Act discharge program, as it did not convert to the current program data system (ICIS-NPDES) until March 2018. EPA copied New Jersey's data from the old data system on November 29, 2012. This allowed users to see the list of regulated facilities and associated historical activities; however, subsequent state activities were not being reported until recently.
Authorization
Some states/territories do not have authorization/delegation to enforce any or all regulations implemented under the Clean Water Act. In these instances, when State is selected as the Lead Agency, it may appear that no activity was conducted. Activity in these states/territories may be displayed when EPA is selected as the permitting or lead Agency.
States, tribes, and territories may be authorized by EPA to administer the NPDES program. A state may receive authorization for one or more of the NPDES Program components (e.g., NPDES Base Program for municipal and industrial facilities, Federal Facilities, General Permitting, Pretreatment Program, and Biosolids.) For example, if the state had not received authorization for federal facilities, EPA would continue to issue permits to federal facilities (e.g., military bases, national parks, federal lands, etc.). For more information about state authorization, please visit the NPDES State Program Information page.
Current Year
The most recent federal fiscal year may not show a complete dataset because the year is not completed.

Additional data caveats are explained on the ECHO Known Data Problems page.


Using the Dashboard

Chart Functionality

The dashboard is organized in a structure logical for the scope and activities of federal compliance and enforcement programs. To learn more about these programs, visit EPA's Basic Information on Enforcement page. 

There are six chart types, described in the chart types section below. Select the pulldown menu at the top of each chart to see a list of available chart metric views. 

For the best user experience with the dashboard, we recommend setting the browser zoom level between 80 and 90%. If you are having trouble viewing parts of the dashboard, you can try experimenting with this zoom level.
Expand any chart to full screen by clicking the crossed arrows iconExpand iconat the top right of the chart. 

Download the underlying data from each chart view in Excel format by selecting the download arrow iconDownload iconat the top right of the chart. 

View underlying data for any chart by selecting "Details" from the pulldown menu to display a preview table of the selected data. Note that this table preview is interactive; each data field can be sorted and filtered. We suggest expanding this view to full screen to best view the data table. Also note that the table can be slower to load than the charts.

Filters

The dashboard defaults to show nationwide activity and performance metrics for the most recent ten federal fiscal years. Six filters are available at the top of the dashboard, which allow users to create many possible customizations of the charts.

Click on any of the filters to see the list of values. Note that after selecting a filter, a search bar will appear that allows users to search for their value of interest. Multiple values may be selected by clicking on multiple selection options. Current selections will be highlighted in green. The charts dynamically update as the user selects value(s) from the dropdown list.

Confirm selection iconFilter selection changes will be saved either by clicking away from the filter dropdown or by clicking the green Confirm Selection button.

Cancel iconIf a user selects or de-selects filter options but does not want to save the changes, they can be canceled by clicking the red Cancel Selection button.

Note that the Cancel Selections button does not clear filter selections. An individual filter can be cleared of all selections by clicking the Clear Selections Clear selections iconbutton to the left in the filter dropdown. There is also a Clear All Selections button at the top left of the dashboard page. 

Additionally, the dashboard charts are interactive; users can click directly on a portion of the chart (e.g., the bars on the chart or items in the chart legend) to change/add filters.

Current filter selections will appear as tabs at the top of the screen, above the page title. Clicking on the "x" button on the filter tab will remove the filter.

Filters available on the EPA/State Wastewater Dashboard include:

State
Filter the dashboard data by the state the facility is permitted in.  Selecting "State" includes states, tribes, and territories authorized to administer the NPDES program and corresponds to the first two characters of the NPDES ID.
EPA Region
Filter the dashboard data by EPA Region corresponding to the state the facility is permitted in.
Facility Type
Filter the dashboard by Major or Non-Major facilities. If the facility does not have Facility Type in the database, the dashboard defaults the facility type to non-major. 
Permit Type
Filter the dashboard data by Permit Type (General, Individual, Individual Industrial User (IU), Associated Permit Record, or Unpermitted).
Permitting Agency
Filter the dashboard data by permitting agency (EPA or State). Unpermitted facilities have a 'Permitting Agency' associated. In these situations, the Permitting Agency represents the agency that first entered a record or activity (e.g., compliance monitoring activity/inspection, violation, or enforcement action) associated with the facility. 
The option of choosing "Permitting Agency" is provided because EPA may be responsible for NPDES permitting at some facilities located within a state, territory, or tribe. Selections here will filter results to all facilities permitted by the selected agency, regardless of whether a different agency has taken any compliance monitoring activities/inspections at or enforcement action against that facility.
Lead Agency
Filter the dashboard data by lead agency (EPA or State). Note that the lead agency refers to the agency that led the compliance or enforcement action, which is not necessarily the permitting agency.
  • For Compliance Monitoring Activities, this refers to the agency that inspected the facility.
  • For Enforcement Actions and Penalties, this refers to the agency that issued the enforcement action.
Selections here will filter results to facilities which have been subject to any compliance or enforcement action from the agency selected, regardless of which agency permitted the facility.
Federal Facility
Filter the dashboard data by Federal Facilities (Yes/No). A “Yes” indicates that the facility is owned or operated by the U.S. Federal Government, based on data available in ICIS-NPDES.
Tribe Name
Filter the dashboard data by a specific tribe name. The association of a facility to a tribe is based on comparing the best available spatial location of the facility to the U.S. Census Bureau’s tribal boundary layer. Some tribal areas may overlap, so a facility may be associated with more than one tribe. This is a geographic distinction and is not based on the permitting agency for the facility. To select all tribe names, use the three dot selection option and choose "Select all" from the dropdown menu.

Dashboard Chart Types

The following describes the charts available within each of the six sections of the Wastewater Dashboard.

Facilities

This section displays information about facilities regulated under the Clean Water Act. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA) all facilities that discharge pollutants from any point source (e.g., pipe, ditch, and channel) into waters of the United States are required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. EPA administers the NPDES program in conjunction with authorized states and other agencies.

Most states currently have authorized NPDES programs and perform many of the permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects of the NPDES Program. To be authorized, a state must have statutes that are as stringent as Federal laws. In these authorized states, EPA still retains oversight responsibilities. EPA works closely with states and other agencies that have been authorized to carry out Federal compliance enforcement programs. EPA and the states plan and set priorities together and pursue joint enforcement activities when appropriate. In most cases, EPA administers the NPDES program in Indian Country. Navajo Nation has an authorized NPDES program.

Note: the Facilities pie chart reflects the most recent year of all selected data. 

NPDES Facility and Permit Type

In administration and oversight of the CWA NPDES wastewater discharge permit program, EPA classifies permit holders as either "major" or "non-major" dischargers. NPDES permitting authorities classify "major" facilities based on considerations such as toxic pollutant potential, ratio of discharge flow/stream flow volume, conventional pollutant loading, public health impact, water quality factors, and proximity to coastal waters. For example, EPA identifies municipal wastewater treatment plants that discharge 1 million gallons per day or more as major dischargers. All dischargers that do not meet the definition of "major" are referred to as "non-majors."

A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) individual permit is written to reflect site-specific conditions of a single discharger (or in rare instances to multiple co-permittees) based on information submitted by that discharger in a permit application and is unique to that discharger. Individual permits are issued directly to an individual discharger. The dashboard also includes associated permit records, which are records associated to a NPDES permit and used for tracking purposes (e.g., biosolids program data can be reported as an associated permit record distinct from the POTW's permit record).  

EPA and authorized agencies issue general permits to cover multiple facilities in specific categories of discharges. General permits can be a cost-effective option for agencies because of the large number of facilities that can be covered under a single permit. Where a large number of similar facilities require permits, a general permit allows the permitting authority to allocate resources in a more efficient manner and to provide timelier permit coverage than issuing an individual permit to each facility. In addition, using a general permit ensures consistent permit conditions for comparable facilities. Most general permits are classified by EPA and authorized agencies as "non-majors." Note: The general permits and associated activities may not be inclusive of the entire universe. Regulatory authorities are required to report general permit data to EPA in accordance with the NPDES eRule Phase 2 deadline in December 2025.  

Individual IU permits are for industrial users in a pretreatment program as NPDES indirect dischargers. Although an industrial user is not issued a NPDES Permit, a permit record is maintained for tracking purposes. Similarly, the permit type "unpermitted" is used to track facilities without an active permit but have records associated (inspections, violations, or enforcement actions) during the year. 

Facilities with a permits that have a NPDES data group number of G2C (No Exposure Certification (NOE)) or G2D (Low Erosivity Waiver or Other Waiver from Stormwater Controls (LEW)) are excluded from the dashboard, if there are no activities associated during the year, as these facilities have waivers rather than NPDES permits. 

Facilities by Classification
Description of Metrics
Definition
Count of NPDES IDs by classification in the selected federal fiscal year.
Classification
The dashboard classifies permit holders as: 
  • Major (Individual)
  • Major (General) 
  • Major (Individual (IU))  
  • Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Non-Major (Individual)
  • Non-Major (General)
  • Non-Major (Individual (IU))
  • Non-Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Unpermitted
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Facilities by Permitting Agency
Description of Metrics
Definition
Count of NPDES ID by permitting agency in the selected federal fiscal year.
Permitting Agency
The agency, either EPA or State, which initially issued a NPDES permit.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes: The Permitting Agency is involved in issuing and renewing NPDES permits. Lead Agency refers to the entity leading a particular activity (e.g., compliance monitoring activity or enforcement action) at a facility.
Facilities by Classification (Single Year %)
Description of Metrics
Definition
Percent of NPDES IDs by classification in the selected federal fiscal year. 
Classification
The dashboard classifies permit holders as: 
  • Major (Individual)
  • Major (General) 
  • Major (Individual (IU))  
  • Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Non-Major (Individual)
  • Non-Major (General)
  • Non-Major (Individual (IU))
  • Non-Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Unpermitted
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:

Compliance Monitoring Strategy (CMS) Activities

EPA sets national goals for how frequently facilities should be evaluated by the authorized enforcement agency. EPA develops Compliance Monitoring Strategies (CMSs) to ensure that the regulated facilities across the country are evaluated for compliance on a regular basis. The CWA Compliance Monitoring Strategy (CMS) sets the national frequency goals for all categories of dischargers in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.

The national frequency goal for NPDES major facilities is for each to be inspected at least once every two years. The frequency goal for traditional non-major facilities is at least one at each facility every five years. States may choose to spread these evenly over the two and five year time periods (i.e., 50% and 20% coverage of major facilities and traditional non-major facilities each year, respectively), or may decide to unevenly plan over the two and five year time periods. The frequency goals for other non-major facilities vary depending on the type of facility. In addition, states are afforded flexibility under the CWA CMS that may accommodate alternative frequencies. For more information on NPDES frequency goals, including facility categories within the NPDES program that are not currently shown on the dashboards, please refer to CWA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Compliance Monitoring Strategy.

Facilities with CMS Activities by Classification
Description of Metrics
Definition
Count of NPDES IDs with compliance monitoring strategy (CMS) activities by classification in the selected federal fiscal year. 
Classification
The dashboard classifies permit holders as: 
  • Major (Individual)
  • Major (General) 
  • Major (Individual (IU))  
  • Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Non-Major (Individual)
  • Non-Major (General)
  • Non-Major (Individual (IU))
  • Non-Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Unpermitted
Compliance Monitoring (Inspections)
Compliance monitoring activities that involve evaluation of compliance of a facility or permittee with the provisions of the Clean Water Act and related permit requirements.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Facilities with CMS Activities by Lead Agency
Description of Metrics
Definition
NPDES IDs with compliance monitoring strategy (CMS) activities by lead agency in the selected federal fiscal year.
Compliance Monitoring (Inspections)
Compliance monitoring activities that involve evaluation of compliance of a facility or permittee with the provisions of the Clean Water Act and related permit requirements. 
Lead Agency
Describes the regulatory agency undertaking the compliance monitoring activity/inspection, either EPA or State.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes: The Permitting Agency is involved in issuing and renewing NPDES permits. Lead Agency refers to the entity leading a particular activity (e.g., compliance monitoring activity or enforcement action) at a facility. 
DMR Submission Rate by Classification
Description of Metrics
Definition
Discharge monitoring report (DMR) submission rate compared to the national average in the selected federal fiscal year.
DMR Submission Rate:
  • Numerator: The total number of Discharge Monitoring Report submissions received in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The number of Discharge Monitoring Report submissions expected in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
DMRs Expected (Facilities)
Count of expected DMRs.
DMRs Received (Facilities)
The count of DMRs submitted in ICIS-NPDES. The count of DMRs received will be equal to or less than the DMRs expected.
Classification
The dashboard classifies permit holders as: 
  • Major (Individual)
  • Major (General) 
  • Major (Individual (IU))  
  • Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Non-Major (Individual)
  • Non-Major (General)
  • Non-Major (Individual (IU))
  • Non-Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Unpermitted
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes: Percentages are used in this metric.
Replication of metric for DMR Submission Rate by Classification using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumeratorDenominator 
Facilities DetailClassificationSum of "DMRs Received"Sum of "DMRs Expected"
DMR Submission Rate vs. National Average
Description of Metrics
Definition
Discharge monitoring report (DMR) submission rate compared to the national average in the selected federal fiscal year.
DMR Submission Rate:
  • Numerator: The total number of discharge monitoring report submissions received in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The number of discharge monitoring report submissions expected in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
National Average:
  • Numerator: The total number of discharge monitoring report submissions received nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The number of discharge monitoring report submissions expected nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
DMRs Expected (Facilities)
Count of expected DMRs.
DMRs Received (Facilities)
The count of DMRs submitted in ICIS-NPDES. The count of DMRs received will be equal to or less than the DMRs expected.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes
  • Percentages are used in this metric.
  • If no specific states are selected, the state average and national averages will be the same.
Replication of metric for DMR Submission Rate vs. National Average using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumerator (Count of records where...)Denominator (Count of records where...)
Facilities DetailSelected State(s)Sum of "DMRs Received" where "State" is {Selected State(s)}Sum of "DMRs Expected" where "State" is {Selected State(s)}
Facilities DetailNational AverageSum of "DMRs Received"Sum of "DMRs Expected"
% Facilities with CMS Activities vs. National Average
Description of Metrics
Definition
Percent of NPDES IDs with compliance monitoring strategy (CMS) activities compared to the national average.
Bar Chart:

Facilities with CMS Activities in Selected State(s) / Facilities in Selected State(s)

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs with compliance monitoring strategy activities in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of active NPDES IDs and NPDES IDs with the identified activity that are closed or inactive in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
National Average (Line Chart):

Facilities with CMS Activities / Facilities

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs with compliance monitoring strategy (CMS) activities nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of active NPDES IDs and NPDES IDs with the identified activity that are closed or inactive nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
Compliance Monitoring Strategy Activity (Inspections)
Compliance monitoring strategy (CMS) activities that involve evaluation of compliance of a facility or permittee with the provisions of the Clean Water Act and related permit requirements. 
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes
  • Percentages are used in this metric.
  • If no specific states are selected, the state average and national averages will be the same.
Replication of metric for % Facilities with CMS Activities vs. National Average using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumerator (Count of records where...)Denominator (Count of records where...)
Facilities DetailSelected State(s)"Compliance Monitoring Flag" is "Yes" and "State" is {Selected State(s)}("Compliance Monitoring Flag" is "Yes" or "Active Flag" is "Active") and "State" is {Selected State(s)}
Facilities DetailNational Average("Compliance Monitoring Flag" is "Yes""Compliance Monitoring Flag" is "Yes" or "Active Flag" is "Active"

Violations

This section displays information about CWA violations noted at regulated facilities. The violation data includes system-generated records. ICIS automatically generates three basic types of violations: schedule violations, effluent violations, and DMR non-receipt violations. For each of these three types of violations, there are one or two automatic processes that serve to generate the violations. For each type, there is a process that runs when certain data related to requirements or permittee performance are entered or edited.

Facilities with Violations by Classification
Description of Metrics
Definition
Count of NPDES IDs with violations by classification in the selected federal fiscal year.
The dashboard classifies permit holders as: 
  • Major (Individual)
  • Major (General) 
  • Major (Individual (IU))  
  • Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Non-Major (Individual)
  • Non-Major (General)
  • Non-Major (Individual (IU))
  • Non-Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Unpermitted
Violation
An act of noncompliance with CWA regulatory requirements.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Facilities with Violations by Permitting Agency
Description of Metrics
Definition
Count of NPDES IDs with violations by permitting agency in the selected federal fiscal year.
Permitting Agency
The agency, either EPA or State, which initially issued a NPDES permit. “State” includes states, tribes, and territories authorized to administer the NPDES program.
Violation
An act of noncompliance with CWA regulatory requirements.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes: The Permitting Agency is involved in issuing and renewing NPDES permits. Lead Agency refers to the entity leading a particular activity (e.g., compliance monitoring activity or enforcement action) at a facility.
% Facilities with Violations vs. National Average
Description of Metrics
Definition
Percent of NPDES IDs with violations compared to the national average in the selected federal fiscal year.
Bar Chart:

Facilities with Violations in Selected State(s) / Facilities in Selected State(s)

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs with violations in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of NPDES IDs in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
National Average (Line Chart):

Facilities with Violations / Facilities

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs with violations nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of NPDES IDs nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
Violation
An act of noncompliance with CWA regulatory requirements.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes
  • Percentages are used in this metric. 
  • If no specific states are selected, the state average and national averages will be the same.
Replication of metric for % Facilities with Violations vs. National Average using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumerator (Count of records where...) Denominator (Count of records where...)
Facilities DetailSelected State(s)"SNC Flag" is "Yes" and "State" is {Selected State(s)}("SNC Flag" is "Yes" or "Active Flag" is "Active") and "State" is {Selected State(s)}
Facilities DetailNational Average"SNC Flag" is "Yes""SNC Flag" is "Yes" or "Active Flag" is "Active"

 


Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance

This section displays information about serious violations of environmental regulations determined at CWA regulated facilities. The national program database calculates the severity of violations, which have specific criteria specifying the duration, severity, and type of violations that rise to the level of Significant/Category I Noncompliance (SNC). SNC can occur at major facilities. The calculation of "Category I" violations is equivalent to the SNC calculations, but because the violations occur at smaller dischargers (non-major) EPA does not classify the violations as "SNC". Whether a violation is SNC or Category I has some bearing on the government response used to address the violation(s). Repeat SNC occurrences are typically addressed through formal enforcement actions, while Category I violations are often addressed via informal enforcement processes.

The compliance status for NPDES dischargers is typically determined by the comparison of discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) submitted by facilities to their permitted discharge limits. Both permit limits and discharge data must be present for the system to generate an accurate compliance status. EPA's data system uses a sophisticated algorithm that considers severity and duration of violations when determining whether a facility is considered to be in Significant/Category I Noncompliance (SNC), including state or EPA manually-entered compliance data, if present.

Facilities in Significant or Category I Noncompliance by Classification
Description of Metrics
Definition
Count of NPDES IDs in Significant or Category I Noncompliance by classification in the selected federal fiscal year.
Classification
The dashboard classifies permit holders as: 
  • Major (Individual)
  • Major (General) 
  • Major (Individual (IU))  
  • Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Non-Major (Individual)
  • Non-Major (General)
  • Non-Major (Individual (IU))
  • Non-Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Unpermitted
Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance
The national program database calculates the severity of violations, which have specific criteria specifying the duration, severity, and type of violations that rise to the level of Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Facilities in Significant or Category I Noncompliance by Permitting Agency
Description of Metrics
Definition
Count of NPDES IDs in Significant or Category I Noncompliance by permitting agency in the selected federal fiscal year.
Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance
The national program database calculates the severity of violations, which have specific criteria specifying the duration, severity, and type of violations that rise to the level of Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance.
Permitting Agency
The agency, either EPA or State, which initially issued a NPDES permit. “State” includes states, tribes, and territories authorized to administer the NPDES program.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes: The Permitting Agency is involved in issuing and renewing NPDES permits. Lead Agency refers to the entity leading a particular activity (e.g., compliance monitoring activities or enforcement action) at a facility.
% Facilities in Significant or Category I Noncompliance vs. National Average
Description of Metrics
Definition
Percent of NPDES IDs in the count of NPDES IDs in Significant or Category I Noncompliance compared to the national average in the selected federal fiscal year.
Bar Chart:

Facilities in Significant or Category I Noncompliance in Selected State(s) / Facilities in Selected State(s)

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs in Significant or Category I Noncompliance in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of NPDES IDs in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
National Average (Line Chart):

Facilities in Significant or Category I Noncompliance / Facilities

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs in Significant or Category I Noncompliance nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of NPDES IDs nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance
The national program database calculates the severity of violations, which have specific criteria specifying the duration, severity, and type of violations that rise to the level of Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes
  • Percentages are used in this metric.
  • If no specific states are selected, the state average and national averages will be the same.
Replication of metric for % Facilities in Significant or Category I Noncompliance vs. National Average using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumerator (Count of records where...) Denominator (Count of records where...)
Facilities DetailSelected State(s)"SNC Flag" is "Yes" and "State" is {Selected State(s)}("SNC Flag" is "Yes" or "Active Flag" is "Active") and "State" is {Selected State(s)}
Facilities DetailNational Average"SNC Flag" is "Yes""SNC Flag" is "Yes" or "Active Flag" is "Active"
% Major Facilities in Significant or Category I Noncompliance with Enforcement Actions vs. National Average
Description of Metrics
Definition
Percent of major NPDES IDs in Significant or Category I Noncompliance with enforcement actions compared to the national average in the selected federal fiscal year.
Bar Chart:

Facilities in SNC or Category I Noncompliance with Enforcement Actions in Selected State(s) / Facilities in Selected State(s)

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs in significant or category I noncompliance with enforcement actions in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of NPDES IDs in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
National Average (Line Chart):

 Facilities with SNC or Category I Noncompliance with Enforcement Actions / Facilities

  • Numerator: The total number of NPDES IDs in significant or category I noncompliance with enforcement actions nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of NPDES IDs nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance
The national program database calculates the severity of violations, which have specific criteria specifying the duration, severity, and type of violations that rise to the level of Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance.
Enforcement Action
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, several types of enforcement actions may be taken: informal actions (e.g., notices of violation and warning letters) and formal enforcement actions (e.g., civil judicial actions and administrative orders).
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes
  • Percentages are used in this metric.
  • If no specific states are selected, the state average and national averages will be the same.
Replication of metric for % Major Facilities in Significant or Category I Noncompliance with Enforcement Actions vs. National Average using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumerator (Count of records where...) Denominator (Count of records where...)
Facilities DetailSelected State(s)"Classification" contains "Major" and "SNC Flag" is "Yes" and ("Formal Enforcement Flag" is "Yes" or Informal Enforcement Flag" is "Yes") and "State" is {Selected State(s)}"Classification" contains "Major" and "SNC Flag" is "Yes" and "State" is {Selected State(s)}
Facilities DetailNational Average"Classification" contains "Major" and "SNC Flag" is "Yes" and ("Formal Enforcement Flag" is "Yes" or Informal Enforcement Flag" is "Yes")"Classification" contains "Major" and "SNC Flag" is "Yes"
% Major Facilities in Significant or Category I Noncompliance with Formal Enforcement Actions vs. National Average
Description of Metrics
Definition
Percent of major NPDES IDs in Significant or Category I Noncompliance with formal enforcement actions compared to the national average in the selected federal fiscal year.
Bar Chart:

Facilities in SNC or Category I Noncompliance with Enforcement Actions in Selected State(s) / Facilities in Selected State(s)

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs in significant or category I noncompliance with formal enforcement actions in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The number of NPDES IDs in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.
National Average (Line Chart):

 Facilities with SNC or Category I Noncompliance with Enforcement Actions / Facilities

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs in significant or category I noncompliance with formal enforcement actions nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The number of NPDES IDs nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance
The national program database calculates the severity of violations, which have specific criteria specifying the duration, severity, and type of violations that rise to the level of Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance.
Enforcement Action
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, several types of enforcement actions may be taken: informal actions (e.g., notices of violation and warning letters) and formal enforcement actions (e.g., civil judicial actions and administrative orders).
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes
  • Percentages are used in this metric.
  • If no specific states are selected, the state average and national averages will be the same.
Replication of metric for % Major Facilities in Significant or Category I Noncompliance with Formal Enforcement Actions vs. National Average using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumerator (Count of records where...) Denominator (Count of records where...)
Facilities DetailSelected State(s)"Classification" contains "Major" and "SNC Flag" is "Yes" and "Formal Enforcement Flag" is "Yes" and "State" is {Selected State(s)}"Classification" contains "Major" and "SNC Flag" is "Yes" and "State" is {Selected State(s)}
Facilities DetailNational Average"Classification" contains "Major" and "SNC Flag" is "Yes" and "Formal Enforcement Flag" is "Yes""Classification" contains "Major" and "SNC Flag" is "Yes"

Enforcement Actions

This section displays information about EPA and state enforcement activity at regulated facilities. Enforcement action included in the dashboard are specific to NPDES cases. The dashboard does not include Clean Water Act Section 311 (oil and hazardous substance liability) or Section 404 (wetlands) enforcement actions. For EPA, formal enforcement action is (1) a referral to the U.S. Department of Justice for the commencement of a civil action in the appropriate U.S. District Court, or (2) the filing of an administrative complaint, or the issuance of an order, requiring compliance and a sanction.

For states, formal enforcement action is (1) a referral to the State’s Attorney General for the commencement of a civil or administrative action in the appropriate forum, or (2) the filing of an administrative complaint, or the issuance of an order, requiring compliance and a sanction.

Facilities with Enforcement Actions by Action Type
Description of Metrics
Definition
Count of NPDES IDs with enforcement actions by action type (Formal, Informal) in the selected federal fiscal year.
Enforcement Action
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, several types of enforcement actions may be taken: informal actions (e.g., notices of violation and warning letters) and formal enforcement actions (e.g., civil judicial actions and administrative orders).
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Facilities with Formal Actions by Classification
Description of Metrics
Definition
Count of NPDES IDs with formal enforcement actions by classification in the selected federal fiscal year.
Enforcement Action
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, several types of enforcement actions may be taken: informal actions (e.g., notices of violation and warning letters) and formal enforcement actions (e.g., civil judicial actions and administrative orders).
Classification
The dashboard classifies permit holders as: 
  • Major (Individual)
  • Major (General) 
  • Major (Individual (IU))  
  • Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Non-Major (Individual)
  • Non-Major (General)
  • Non-Major (Individual (IU))
  • Non-Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Unpermitted
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Facilities with Enforcement Actions by Lead Agency
Description of Metrics
Definition
Count of enforcement actions, by lead agency in the selected federal fiscal year.
Enforcement Action
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, several types of enforcement actions may be taken: informal actions (e.g., notices of violation and warning letters) and formal enforcement actions (e.g., civil judicial actions and administrative orders).
Lead Agency
Describes the regulatory lead for the enforcement action, either EPA or State. 
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes: The Permitting Agency is involved in issuing and renewing NPDES permits. Lead Agency refers to the entity leading a particular activity (e.g., compliance monitoring activity or enforcement action) at a facility.
% Facilities with Violations with Formal Enforcement Actions
Description of Metrics
Definition
Percent of NPDES IDs with violations with formal enforcement actions in the selected federal fiscal year.
Bar Chart:

Facilities with Formal Enforcement Actions / Facilities with Violations

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs with violations that were subsequently issued enforcement actions in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of active NPDES IDs and NPDES IDs with the identified activity that are closed or inactive with violations in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
Enforcement Action
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, several types of enforcement actions may be taken: informal actions (e.g., notices of violation and warning letters) and formal enforcement actions (e.g., civil judicial actions and administrative orders).
Violation
An act of noncompliance with CWA regulatory requirements.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes: Percentages are used in this metric.
Replication of metric for % Facilities with Violations with Formal Enforcement Actions using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumerator (Count of records where...) Denominator (Count of records where...)
Facilities DetailClassification"Violation Flag" is "Yes" and "Formal Enforcement Flag" is "Yes""Violation Flag" is "Yes"
% Facilities with Violations with Formal Enforcement Actions vs. National Average
Description of Metrics
Definition
Percent of NPDES IDs with violations with formal enforcement actions in the selected federal fiscal year.
Bar Chart:

Facilities with Formal Enforcement Actions / Facilities with Violations

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs with violations that were subsequently issued enforcement actions in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of active NPDES IDs and NPDES IDs with the identified activity that are closed or inactive with violations in the selected federal fiscal year.
National Average (Line Chart):

Facilities with Formal Enforcement Actions / Facilities with Violations

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs with formal enforcement actions nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The number of active NPDES IDs and NPDES IDs with the identified activity that are closed or inactive nationally with violations in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
Enforcement Action
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, several types of enforcement actions may be taken: informal actions (e.g., notices of violation and warning letters) and formal enforcement actions (e.g., civil judicial actions and administrative orders).
Violation
An act of noncompliance with CWA regulatory requirements.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes: Percentages are used in this metric.
Replication of metric for % Facilities with Violations with Formal Enforcement Actions vs. National Average using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumerator (Count of records where...) Denominator (Count of records where...)
Facilities DetailClassification"Violation Flag" is "Yes" and "Formal Enforcement Flag" is "Yes""Violation Flag" is "Yes"
% Facilities with Violations with Informal Enforcement Actions
Description of Metrics
Definition
Percent of NPDES IDs with violations with informal enforcement actions in the selected federal fiscal year.
Bar Chart:

Facilities with Informal Enforcement Actions / Facilities with Violations

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs with violations that were subsequently issued informal enforcement actions in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of active NPDES IDs and NPDES IDs with the identified activity that are closed or inactive with violations in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
Enforcement Action
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, several types of enforcement actions may be taken: informal actions (e.g., notices of violation and warning letters) and formal enforcement actions (e.g., civil judicial actions and administrative orders).
Violation
An act of noncompliance with CWA regulatory requirements.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes: Percentages are used in this metric.
Replication of metric for % Facilities with Violations with Informal Enforcement Actions using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumerator (Count of records where...) Denominator (Count of records where...)
Facilities DetailClassification"Violation Flag" is "Yes" and "Informal Enforcement Flag" is "Yes""Violation Flag" is "Yes"
% Facilities with Violations with Informal Enforcement Actions vs. National Average
Description of Metrics
Definition
Percent of NPDES IDs with violations with informal enforcement actions in the selected federal fiscal year.
Bar Chart:

Facilities with Informal Enforcement Actions / Facilities with Violations

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs with violations that were subsequently issued informal enforcement actions in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The total number of active NPDES IDs and NPDES IDs with the identified activity that are closed or inactive with violations in the selected federal fiscal year.
National Average (Line Chart):

Facilities with Informal Enforcement Actions / Facilities with Violations

  • Numerator: The number of NPDES IDs with informal enforcement actions nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The number of active NPDES IDs and NPDES IDs with the identified activity that are closed or inactive nationally with violations in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
Enforcement Action
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, several types of enforcement actions may be taken: informal actions (e.g., notices of violation and warning letters) and formal enforcement actions (e.g., civil judicial actions and administrative orders).
Violation
An act of noncompliance with CWA regulatory requirements.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes: Percentages are used in this metric.
Replication of metric for % Facilities with Violations with Informal Enforcement Actions vs. National Average using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumerator (Count of records where...) Denominator (Count of records where...)
Facilities DetailClassification"Violation Flag" is "Yes" and "Informal Enforcement Flag" is "Yes""Violation Flag" is "Yes"

Penalties

This section displays information about penalties at regulated facilities that had alleged violations.

Civil administrative and judicial actions often end with a settlement, an agreed upon resolution to an enforcement case. Settlements in civil administrative actions are often in the form of Consent Agreements/Final Orders. Settlements in civil judicial actions are generally embodied in Consent Decrees, signed by all parties to the action and filed in the appropriate court.

In the settlements, EPA or the state often requires injunctive relief (actions needed to return to compliance and correct environmental damage) and the payment of penalties. Settlements also may include Supplemental Environmental Projects, environmentally beneficial projects that a defendant/respondent agrees to undertake in settlement of an enforcement action, but which the defendant/respondent is not otherwise legally required to perform.

Formal Enforcement Actions with Penalties Assessed by Lead Agency
Description of Metrics
Definition
Count of formal enforcement actions with penalties assessed in the selected federal fiscal year by lead agency. To replicate the counts of formal enforcement actions with penalties assessed, count the unique Action IDs from the Details table. The rows in the Details table are defined by the combination of NPDES ID, year, action ID, and enforcement conclusion, but the NPDES IDs and enforcement conclusions do not factor into this metric.
Lead Agency
Describes the regulatory lead for the enforcement action, either EPA or State. 
Enforcement Action
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, several types of enforcement actions may be taken: informal actions (e.g., notices of violation and warning letters) and formal enforcement actions (e.g., civil judicial actions and administrative orders). This chart is only inclusive of formal enforcement actions where the total penalty assessed is greater than 0. 
Penalties
A monetary sanction, if deemed appropriate by the lead agency, incorporated into a settlement of civil administrative (Consent Agreements/Final Orders) or judicial actions (Consent Decrees) that might recover the economic benefit of noncompliance plus some appreciable amount reflecting the gravity of the violation. 
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:

Notes

  • The Permitting Agency is involved in issuing and renewing NPDES permits.
  • Lead Agency refers to the entity leading a particular activity (e.g., compliance monitoring activity or enforcement action) at a facility.
Penalties Assessed by Lead Agency
Description of Metrics
Definition
Sum value of penalties assessed by lead agency in the selected federal fiscal year. If the state is the lead agency, it is the sum of the state penalties by enforcement conclusion. To replicate the counts of penalties assessed by lead agency, sum the penalties assessed amounts by Action ID and enforcement conclusion from the Details table, and exclude the unique NPDES IDs associated.
Lead Agency
Describes the regulatory lead for the enforcement action, either EPA or State. 
Penalties
A monetary sanction, if deemed appropriate by the lead agency, incorporated into a settlement of civil administrative (Consent Agreements/Final Orders) or judicial actions (Consent Decrees) that might recover the economic benefit of noncompliance plus some appreciable amount reflecting the gravity of the violation.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:

Notes

  • The Permitting Agency is involved in issuing and renewing NPDES permits.
  • Lead Agency refers to the entity leading a particular activity (e.g., compliance monitoring activity or enforcement action) at a facility.
Median Penalties Assessed by Lead Agency
Description of Metrics
Definition
Median value of penalties assessed by lead agency in the selected federal fiscal year. If the state is the lead agency, it is the median of the enforcement conclusion penalties assessed for the state penalties. To replicate the median penalties assessed values, find the median of the total assessed amounts by Action ID and enforcement conclusion from the Details table, and exclude the unique NPDES IDs associated. 
Lead Agency
Describes the regulatory lead for the enforcement action, either EPA or State. 
Penalties
A monetary sanction, if deemed appropriate by the lead agency, incorporated into a settlement of civil administrative (Consent Agreements/Final Orders) or judicial actions (Consent Decrees) that might recover the economic benefit of noncompliance plus some appreciable amount reflecting the gravity of the violation.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes
  • The Permitting Agency is involved in issuing and renewing NPDES permits. Lead Agency refers to the entity leading a particular activity (e.g., compliance monitoring activity or enforcement action) at a facility.
  • The median value in a sorted distribution is the middle value: one half of the values are higher than the median and one-half of the values are lower than the median.
  • Selections by state are selecting the state the facility is permitted in. This corresponds to the first two characters of the NPDES ID.
Median Penalties Assessed vs. National Median
Description of Metrics
Definition
Median value of penalties assessed, compared to the national median in the selected federal fiscal year. The median is by total penalty by enforcement conclusion, and not the state penalty or federal penalty assessed. To replicate the median penalties assessed by state, find the median of the total penalty assessed amounts by Action ID and enforcement conclusion from the Details table, and exclude the unique NPDES IDs associated.

Bar Chart (Median Penalties): The median of the value of the total penalties accessed in the selected state(s) in the selected federal fiscal year.

Line Chart (National Median): The median of the value of the total penalties accessed nationally in the selected federal fiscal year.

Penalties
A monetary sanction, if deemed appropriate by the lead agency, incorporated into a settlement of civil administrative (Consent Agreements/Final Orders) or judicial actions (Consent Decrees) that might recover the economic benefit of noncompliance plus some appreciable amount reflecting the gravity of the violation.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes
  • The median value in a sorted distribution is the middle value: one half of the values are higher than the median and one-half of the values are lower than the median.
  • If no specific state(s) are selected, the state median and national median will be the same.
  • Selections by state are selecting the state the facility is permitted in. This corresponds to the first two characters of the NPDES ID.
% Formal Enforcement Actions with Penalties Assessed by Lead Agency
Description of Metrics
Definition
Percent of formal enforcement actions with penalties assessed by lead agency, in the selected federal fiscal year.
Bar Chart (EPA):

Formal Enforcement Actions with Penalties Assessed where EPA was the Lead Agency / Formal Enforcement Actions where EPA was the Lead Agency

  • Numerator: The number formal enforcement actions with penalties assessed where EPA was the lead agency in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The number formal enforcement actions where EPA was the lead agency in the selected federal fiscal year.
Bar Chart (State):

Formal Enforcement Actions with Penalties Assessed where a State was the Lead Agency / Formal Enforcement Actions where a State was the Lead Agency

  • Numerator: The number formal enforcement actions with penalties assessed where a State was the lead agency in the selected federal fiscal year.
  • Denominator: The number formal enforcement actions where a State was the lead agency in the selected federal fiscal year.
Metric Replication
 
Enforcement Action
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, several types of enforcement actions may be taken: informal actions (e.g., notices of violation and warning letters) and formal enforcement actions (e.g., civil judicial actions and administrative orders). 
Lead Agency
Describes the regulatory lead for the enforcement action, either EPA or State. 
Penalties
A monetary sanction, if deemed appropriate by the lead agency, incorporated into a settlement of civil administrative (Consent Agreements/Final Orders) or judicial actions (Consent Decrees) that might recover the economic benefit of noncompliance plus some appreciable amount reflecting the gravity of the violation.
Additional details for the following terms can be found in the Data Dictionary:
Notes: The Permitting Agency is involved in issuing and renewing NPDES permits. Lead Agency refers to the entity leading a particular activity (e.g., compliance monitoring activity or enforcement action) at a facility.
Replication of metric for % Formal Enforcement Actions with Penalties Assessed by Lead Agency using Details Table downloads
Source Data for DownloadMetric ComponentNumerator (Count of records where...)Denominator (Count of records where...)
Enforcement Actions DetailLead Agency = EPACount distinct Action IDs where Lead Agency is EPA, Action Type is Formal, and Total Penalty is greater than 0.  Count distinct Action IDs where Lead Agency is EPA and Action Type is Formal.
Enforcement Actions DetailLead Agency = StateCount distinct Action IDs where Lead Agency is State, Action Type is Formal, and Total Penalty is greater than 0.  Count distinct Action IDs where Lead Agency is State and Action Type is Formal.

Data Dictionary

Active
Facilities with a permit status of Effective, Administratively Continued, or Expired.
Classification
The dashboard classifies permit holders as: 
  • Major (Individual)
  • Major (General) 
  • Major (Individual (IU))  
  • Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Non-Major (Individual)
  • Non-Major (General)
  • Non-Major (Individual (IU))
  • Non-Major (Associated Permit Record)
  • Unpermitted
DMRs Expected (Facilities)
Count of expected DMRs.
DMRs Received (Facilities)
The count of DMRs submitted in ICIS-NPDES. The count of DMRs received will be equal to or less than the DMRs expected. 
Enforcement Action Types 
Informal CWA enforcement actions consist of the following:
  • LOVWL - Letter of Violation/Warning Letter
  • NOV - Notice of Violation
  • NONC - Notice of Noncompliance Issued
Formal CWA enforcement actions include:
  • CIV - Civil Judicial Action
  • EOGOV - Emergency Order - Governor
  • OSUSREV - Order of Suspension or Revocation
  • SCWAAO - State CWA Non Penalty AO
  • SCWAAPO - State CWA Penalty AO
  • STAOCO - State Administrative Order of Consent
Facility 
Any facility that holds a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. All facilities that discharge pollutants from any point source (e.g., pipe, ditch, and channel) into waters of the United States are required to obtain such a permit.
Facility Type 
  • Major - NPDES permitting authorities classify "major" facilities based on considerations such as toxic pollutant potential, ratio of discharge flow/stream flow volume, conventional pollutant loading, public health impact, water quality factors, and proximity to coastal waters. Major NPDES permits cover discharges from Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) facilities with designed discharge flows of greater than 1 million gallons per day and active major industrial facilities scoring more than 80 for the six factors on the NPDES Permit Rating Work Sheet
  • Non-Major - Traditional non-major NPDES permits cover Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) facilities with designed discharge flows of less than 1 million gallons per day (1 MGD) or serving populations of less than 10,000 persons and active non-major industrial facilities (i.e., facilities scoring less than 80 for the six factors on the NPDES Permit Rating Work Sheet that have not been designated as a discretionary major by the EPA region.
Federal Fiscal Year 
The Federal Fiscal Year runs from October 1 to September 30 of the following year. Because the federal fiscal year differ from the fiscal years of individual states, users should take care when comparing results from the EPA/State Dashboards with stat-specific summaries of similar compliance and enforcement information.
 Permit Type
  • Associated Permit Record - A NPDES ID that records activities associated to a NPDES permit and used for tracking purposes (e.g., biosolids program data can be reported as an associated permit record distinct from the POTW's permit record).  
  • General Permit - A NPDES permit used to cover multiple facilities in specific categories of discharges. General permits can be a cost-effective option for agencies because of the large number of facilities that can be covered under a single permit. Where many similar facilities require permits, a general permit allows the permitting authority to allocate resources in a more efficient manner and to provide timelier permit coverage than issuing an individual permit to each facility. In addition, using a general permit ensures consistent permit conditions for comparable facilities. Most general permits are classified by EPA and authorized agencies as "non-majors."
  • Individual Permit - A NPDES permit written to reflect site-specific conditions of a single discharger (or in rare instances to multiple co-permittees) based on information submitted by that discharger in a permit application and is unique to that discharger. Individual permits are issued directly to an individual discharger. 
  • Individual IU - A NPDES ID that records activities for industrial users in a pretreatment program as a NPDES indirect discharger. Although an industrial user is not issued a NPDES permit, a permit record is maintained for tracking purposes.
  • Unpermitted - A NPDES ID use to track facilities without an active permit but have records associated (inspections, violations, or enforcement actions). 
Compliance Monitoring (Inspection) Types
  • On-Site
    • AFD - Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) Defined
    • AFN - AFO Designation
    • AU1 – Audit
    • AU2 – Audit (This compliance monitoring type is considered on-site unless the POTW does not have an approved pretreatment program.)
    • CBI – Biomonitoring
    • CEI – Evaluation
    • CE2– Evaluation
    • DIA – Diagnostic
    • FLP - Follow-Up
    • OPM - Operation and Maintenance
    • PIU - Non-Sampling
    • PSI - Sampling
    • ROS - Reconnaissance without Sampling
    • RWS - Reconnaissance with Sampling
    • SA1 - Sampling
    • TX1 - Toxics
    • TX2 - Toxics
  • Off-Site
    • ADR - Asbestos Demolition and Renovation
    • AER - Aerial Photography
    • AU2 – Audit (This compliance monitoring type is considered off-site if the POTW does not have an approved pretreatment program.)
    • CAI - Compliance Assistance Inspection
    • CCP - Citizen Complaint
    • CDI - Case Development
    • CEF - Full Evaluation
    • CEP - Partial Evaluation
    • OSN -  Noncompliance Rate
    • OSV - On Site Visit
    • PRV - Plan Review
    • RMT - Remote Sensing
    • SCE - Schedule Evaluation
    • WIT - Witness Response Drill
Lead Agency 
Describes the regulatory agency undertaking the compliance monitoring activity/inspection, either EPA or State.
  • For Compliance Monitoring Activities, this refers to the agency that lead the compliance monitoring activity/inspection the facility.
  • For Enforcement Actions and Penalties, this refers to the agency that issued the enforcement action.
NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) 
Under the Clean Water Act all facilities that discharge pollutants from any point source into waters of the United States are required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The permit provides two levels of control: technology-based limits (based on the ability of dischargers in the same industrial category to treat wastewater) and water quality-based limits (if technology-based limits are not sufficient to provide protection of the water body). The NPDES program also requires controls on industrial discharges to sewage treatment plants ("pretreatment program”) and the management and disposal of biosolids from sewage treatment plants ("biosolids program”).
The CWA allows EPA to authorize the NPDES program to state, territorial, and tribal governments, enabling these agencies to perform many of the permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects of the NPDES program. Most states have authorized NPDES programs. In these states, EPA still retains oversight responsibilities. EPA works closely with the states, territories, localities, and tribes to implement federal environmental programs. States, territories, and tribes authorized to manage federal programs must have enforcement authorities that are at least as stringent as federal law. EPA works with officials in these environmental, health, and agricultural agencies on strategic planning, priority-setting, and measurement of results.
Finally, separate from the NPDES program, EPA uses its authority under Section 311 of the CWA to implement procedures, methods, equipment, and other requirements to prevent discharges of oil from vessels and facilities and to contain such discharges when they occur.
Penalties
A monetary sanction, if deemed appropriate by the lead agency, incorporated into a settlement of civil administrative (Consent Agreements/Final Orders) or judicial actions (Consent Decrees) that might recover the economic benefit of noncompliance plus some appreciable amount reflecting the gravity of the violation. In the settlements, EPA or the state often require injunctive relief (actions needed to return to compliance and correct environmental damage) and the payment of penalties. Settlements also may include Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs), environmentally beneficial projects that a defendant/respondent agrees to undertake in settlement of an enforcement action, but which the defendant/respondent is not otherwise legally required to perform.
Permitting Agency 
The agency, either EPA or State, which initially issued a NPDES permit. “State” includes states, tribes, and territories authorized to administer the NPDES program.
Significant or Category I Noncompliance (SNC) 
The national program database calculates the severity of violations, which have specific criteria specifying the duration, severity, and type of violations that rise to the level of Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance. SNC can occur at major facilities. The calculation of "Category I" violations is equivalent to the SNC calculations, but because the violations occur at smaller dischargers (non-major) EPA does not classify the violations as "SNC". Whether a violation is SNC or Category I has some bearing on the government response used to address the violation(s). Repeat SNC occurrences are typically addressed through formal enforcement actions, while Category I violations are often addressed via informal enforcement processes.The following violations are considered Significant (SNC) or Category I Noncompliance:
  • Compliance/Permit Schedule - Reporting - Compliance schedule non-receipt.
  • Compliance/Permit Schedule - Violations - An enforcement action has been issued, and the facility is not meeting its compliance schedule.
  • Effluent - Monthly Average Limit - The facility has exceeded the monthly effluent restrictions established by a state or EPA on quantities, rates, and concentrations in wastewater discharges.
  • Effluent - Non-monthly Average Limit - The facility has exceeded the non-monthly effluent restrictions established by a state or EPA on quantities, rates, and concentrations in wastewater discharges.
  • Failure to Report DMR - Not Received - Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) not received.
Violation
An act of noncompliance with CWA regulatory requirements.
Violation types
ViolationCWA CategoryCWA Description
Compliance/Permit Schedule - ViolationsSNC/Category I NoncomplianceEnforcement action or permit compliance schedule event violation - more than 90 days late.
Effluent - Monthly Average LimitSNC/Category I NoncomplianceEffluent violations of monthly average limits (Technical Review Criteria and chronic) or SNC-level single event violation. 
Effluent - Non-monthly Average LimitSNC/Category I NoncomplianceEffluent violations of non-monthly average limits (Technical Review Criteria and chronic).
Compliance/Permit Schedule - ReportingSNC/Category I NoncomplianceEnforcement action or permit compliance report violation - more than 30 days late.
Failure to Report DMR - Not ReceivedSNC/Category I NoncomplianceReporting violation - non-receipt of DMR. Note: For non-major facilities, the system replaced "D" (non-receipt of DMR) with "W", except for facilities in Arkansas and Louisiana, for monitoring period end dates before July 1, 2017.
Reportable NoncomplianceRNC/Category II NoncomplianceReportable noncompliance.
Other Violationsnon-RNC violationsThe facility has effluent, compliance schedule, permit schedule, or single-event violations in the current quarter; however, is not considered to be in RNC or SNC.
Resolved - PendingN/AAn enforcement action has been issued, and facility compliance with the action is pending final completion.
ResolvedN/AThe facility has returned to compliance with its permit conditions, either with or without issuance of an enforcement action.
UndeterminedN/AEPA's data system is not able to determine the facility-level compliance status because the system has not been set to track it or because the data haven't been entered. This information may be available from a state database.

Common Questions

What is the NPDES Permit Program?
Under the Clean Water Act all facilities that discharge pollutants from any point source into waters of the United States are required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The permit provides two levels of control: technology-based limits (based on the ability of dischargers in the same industrial category to treat wastewater) and water quality-based limits (if technology-based limits are not sufficient to provide protection of the water body). The NPDES program also requires controls on industrial discharges to sewage treatment plants ("pretreatment program”) and the management and disposal of biosolids from sewage treatment plants ("biosolids program”).
The CWA allows EPA to authorize the NPDES program to state, territorial, and tribal governments, enabling these agencies to perform many of the permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects of the NPDES program. Most states have authorized NPDES programs. In these states, EPA still retains oversight responsibilities. EPA works closely with the states, territories, localities, and tribes to implement federal environmental programs. States, territories, and tribes authorized to manage federal programs must have enforcement authorities that are at least as stringent as federal law. EPA works with officials in these environmental, health, and agricultural agencies on strategic planning, priority-setting, and measurement of results.
Finally, separate from the NPDES program, EPA uses its authority under Section 311 of the CWA to implement procedures, methods, equipment, and other requirements to prevent discharges of oil from vessels and facilities and to contain such discharges when they occur.
What are expectations related to compliance monitoring within states?
Please see ECHO's Compliance Monitoring Expectations page for more information.
What are the types of facilities regulated by EPA and the states under the CWA NPDES program?
All facilities that discharge pollutants through a point source into waters of the United States are regulated by EPA and authorized agencies under the NPDES program. These include municipal and industrial sources of wastewater pollution. The NPDES program also regulates wastewater from industrial facilities connected to the publicly-owned treatment works (POTWs) sewerage system through the pretreatment program and biosolids from POTWs through the biosolids program. Another main part of the NPDES program is regulating discharges related to wet-weather events. The majority of facilities covered by the NPDES program are stormwater discharging facilities. These wet weather enforcement programs regulate the following discharges:
Where can I search for a particular facility to see if they have violations or find water quality data for the watershed where a NPDES permittee is located?
Please use the ECHO Wastewater/Stormwater/Biosolids Facility Search.
How can I download detailed information about compliance and enforcement activity?
ECHO integrates facility data from different EPA databases, including ICIS-NPDES. In the event that the facility searches available through ECHO do not meet your needs, datasets from the primary enforcement and compliance history databases are available.
EPA also maintains the ECHO Exporter download, which provides a summary of all regulated facilities in one file. There are up to 130 data fields available for each facility, including the frequency of compliance monitoring activities/inspections, violations, actions, and penalties. The file includes Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and other data, such Toxics Release Inventory releases, industry codes, and permit types.

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