Contributed by Holden Volentine, Project Manager, PPM Consultants
State and Federal regulators often use the terminology “Significant Noncompliance” (SNC), specifically in regards to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. However, permittees don’t always fully understand what conditions actually trigger a SNC from a regulatory body. According to the EPA, there are several criteria that can trigger SNC for NPDES permit violations.
A 40% exceedance of any pollutant limits for the parameters listed in Table 1 or a 20% exceedance of any pollutant limit for the parameters listed in Table 2 at a given discharge point for any two or more months during a two consecutive quarter period is considered SNC.
|Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)||Inorganic Phosphorus Compounds||Calcium|
|Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)||Inorganic Nitrogen Compounds||Chloride|
|Total Oxygen Demands||Oil & Grease||Fluoride|
|Total Organic Carbon (TOC)||MBAS||Magnesium|
|Total Suspended Solids (TSS)||NTA||Sodium|
|Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)||Other Detergents or algicides||Potassium|
|Cobalt||Total Alkalinity||Total Hardness|
|Other Metals not listed in Table 1||Cyanide|
|Total Residual Chlorine||All other Organics not listed in Table 1|
Also, violation of any monthly effluent limit at a given discharge by any amount for any four or more months during a two consecutive quarter period is considered SNC. It is noted that when a parameter has both a monthly average and a non-monthly average limit, a facility would only be considered in SNC for the non-monthly limit if the monthly average is also violated to some degree (but less than SNC).
The following are other scenarios that will trigger SNC:
- Any effluent violation that causes or has the potential to cause a water quality or human health problem.
- Any unauthorized bypass, unpermitted discharge, or pass through of pollutants which causes or has the potential to cause a water quality problem or health problems.
- Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs), POTW Pretreatment Performance Reports, or the Compliance Schedule Final Report of Progress are submitted 30 or more days late.
If you have any questions regarding Significant Noncompliance or would like our team to help you in any way, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.