Individual Permit - NPDES

What is the purpose of this permit?
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Individual Permits include permit limits and conditions designed to protect water quality and prevent the pollution of the States surface waters such as estuaries, lakes, rivers, and streams.
Who issues this permit?
Department of Ecology
What activities require this permit?
Any discharge of wastewater and/or stormwater into surface waters through a conveyance system for which Ecology has not developed a general permit requires an individual NPDES permit.
How much will this permit cost?
There are both application fees and annual coverage fees for this permit. The one-time application fee for new facilities must be submitted with the application of 25% of the annual permit fee or $250.00, whichever is greater. The annual fee rates are set by regulation and depend on the type of industrial facility. Refer to Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-224 for more information on fees
Where can I get the application for this permit?
The application is online and can be accessed at
Do I need to include anything with my application?
The application may require attachments and Ecology may request additional information after a preliminary review of the application.
Is the decision on my permit dependent on anything besides the information in my application?
When making the decision on your order/permit, Ecology will consider the applicable laws and rules, the contents of your application, and the background environmental conditions.

In addition, the permitting process includes public participation. This means that the public may submit comments to Ecology (during the public comment period) to support or oppose your proposed activity. If any comments are received, Ecology must review and respond to the comments and take them into consideration when making the decision to issue or deny permit coverage.
How long will it take to review my application?
For a new permit, Ecology will inform permit applicants in writing whether their application is complete within 60 days of receipt. If the application is deemed incomplete, Ecology will itemize what is needed to make the application complete.

Ecology will work with applicants to develop a permit issuance schedule that recognizes the applicants' business needs.

See the Permit Timeliness Results above for average processing times.
Where do I submit my application?
The application is submitted to the appropriate Ecology Regional Office. You can find the appropriate regional office at or call the statewide contact noted below.
View the schematic
How long is my permit valid?
Ecology typically issues individual permits for five years, which is the maximum duration.
What is the appeal process for the permit?
You, or a third party, have a right to appeal this permit coverage to the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) within 30 days of the date of your decision. The appeal process is governed by Chapter 43.21B RCW and Chapter 371-08 WAC. "Date of receipt" is defined in RCW 43.21B.001(2). To appeal, you must do the following within 30 days of the date of notice of coverage:
  • File your appeal and a copy of the permit cover page with the PCHB (see addresses below). Filing means actual receipt by the PCHB during regular business hours.
  • Serve a copy of your appeal and the permit cover page on Ecology in paper form - by mail or in person (see addresses below). E-mail is not accepted.
You must also comply with other applicable requirements in Chapter 43.21B RCW and Chapter 371-08 WAC.     Mailing Addresses:     Pollution Control Hearings Board     PO Box 40903     Olympia, WA 98504-0903     Department of Ecology     Attn: Appeals Processing Desk     PO Box 47608     Olympia, WA 98504-7608     Physical Addresses:     Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB)     1111 Israel Road SW, Suite 301     Tumwater, WA 98501     Department of Ecology     Attn: Appeals Processing Desk     300 Desmond Drive SE     Lacey, WA 98503
Notes / Comments:
A facility applying for this permit must conduct a public notice announcement in the newspaper. The applicant must publish public notice once each week for two consecutive weeks (twice), at least seven days apart, in a newspaper of general circulation within the county in which the discharge is proposed.
Legal Authority:
Permit Timeliness Results

Permit Timeliness data collection is in response to a State Auditor’s Performance Audit and RCW 43.42A. Each regulatory agency developed a plan to improve permit clarity, predictability, and timeliness. Each agency considers the customers experience to ensure permit assistance is simple to use, easy to access, and designed in a customer-friendly manner. Agencies report progress to the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA). ORIA prepares and distributes reports, with participation from the State Auditor’s Office and Results Washington. See latest report here:

All permits submitted for reporting were entered into this Regulatory Handbook. Here are the results of the performance data:

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Process a Permit Application (Definition)
Average number of days from Receipt to Complete: 210
Maximum number of days from Receipt to Complete: 210

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Issue a Permit Decision (Definition)
Average number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 36
Maximum number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 36

(Summary results based on 1 submittals in 2017, no data for current year)

Where can I get permitting assistance?
Web page URL:
Department of Ecology
Water Quality Program
300 Desmond Drive
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Fax: (360) 407-6426
Telephone: (360) 407-6600
Triggering Questions:
  • Will the project involve a discharge of wastewater to surface water?
* Permit information last updated 8/21/2023