The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently delegated to the State of Alaska its authority under the Clean Water Act. EPA will transfer its wastewater discharge permitting authority and enforcement in Alaska to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Alaska joins 45 other States that oversee their own National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Delegated States can write their own standards, but they can not be any less strict than federal standards. EPA maintains an oversight role for Clean Water Act programs in these States.
In November 2008, DEC took control over wastewater discharge permits for timber harvesting, seafood processing and municipal dischargers. Existing permits issued by the EPA will be converted into State permits. Over the next three years, in phases, Alaska DEC will take over permitting of federal facilities in Alaska, stormwater, mining, and finally oil and gas permits, cooling water and other minor permitting programs.
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