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P/C/I SPDES Permit Program: Do I Need a Permit?

Regulated Activities

New York State law requires a permit for the following activities:

  • Constructing or using an outlet or discharge pipe (referred to as a "point source") that discharges wastewater into the surface waters or ground waters of the state
  • Constructing or operating a disposal system such as a sewage treatment plant

Transfers Modifications and Renewals


Do Not Start a Project Before Obtaining a Permit

You must obtain all necessary permits before commencing work on a project that requires any DEC permit. Persons commencing work on such a project before obtaining the required permits, and any contractors engaged in such work, are subject to enforcement action by the DEC. Such action may include:

  1. Civil or criminal court action, or both,
  2. Fines, or
  3. An order to remove structures or materials or perform other remedial action, or both a fine and an order.

Exempt Activities

No SPDES permit is required for a facility whose treatment system has a design flow of total discharges to ground water of less than 1,000 gallons per day of sewage-wastewater containing no industrial or other non-sewage wastes.

However, these discharges may require approval from the appropriate city health department, county health department, or district office of the New York State Department of Health before a system (cesspool, septic system, etc.) can be built. They may also require other DEC permits or approvals from other agencies.

See Other DEC Permits and Determinations and Jurisdiction of Other Agencies

  • Contact for this Page
    Division of Environmental Permits
    4th Floor
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1750

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