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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Indiana Department of Environmental Management


Table of Contents: Water Quality

Wastewater - Petroleum-related Activities

Anyone intending to have a point source discharge of wastewater associated with certain petroleum-related activities may be required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit-by-rule found in Title 327 of the Indiana Administrative Code, Article 15 [PDF].

  • Rule 9 [PDF] establishes discharge requirements for discharges for wastewater associated with petroleum products terminals.
  • Rule 10 [PDF] establishes discharge requirements for discharges of wastewater associated with ground water remediation systems for gasoline only.
  • Rule 11 [PDF] establishes requirements for discharges of wastewater associated with hydrostatic testing of commercial pipelines.

As the public comment period for general discharge permits already was held when the rules were established, no further comment period is required for this type of permit. These permits are non-transferable.

Some of the things a discharger must do to comply with certain petroleum-related discharges (Rules 9, 10, or 11) include (but are not limited to):
  • Submit to IDEM a NPDES Notice of Intent (NOI) (available on the IDEM Forms page), up to, if possible, 180 days before the discharge is to commence;
  • Publish a public notice of the intent to comply with the rule in a local newspaper of general circulation, and send a copy of that notice to IDEM along with the NOI;
  • Provide a list of affected parties;
  • Name the receiving stream;
  • Include a $50 application fee with the NOI; and,
  • Apply to renew the permit every five years, 90 days prior to the expiration of permit coverage.

What to Expect

Upon receipt of the NOI, IDEM will review it for applicability, which takes an average of 50 days, but can take up to 150 days. If the applicant is eligible to operate under the specific general permit sought, IDEM will issue an approval letter and permit identification number. Coverage under these general permits must be secured prior to any discharge. The underground injection of salt or sulfur bearing wastewater and waste liquids associated with the properly permitted recovery of oil and natural gas does not require a permit from IDEM.

Changing Ownership/Transferring

IDEM-issued general NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permits are not transferable. Therefore, if there is an ownership/operator change at a facility operating under a general NPDES permit-by-rule, the existing permit becomes invalid on the date of the transfer. To avoid being without permit coverage after the transfer, the new owner/operator should plan ahead by submitting an application, known as a NOI (Notice of Intent), for a new permit at least 30 days in advance of the transfer. NOI's should be sent to:

IDEM-Office of Water Quality
100 North Senate Avenue, MC 65-42
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2251

For Additional Information:

Discharges into streams listed as outstanding state resources or exceptional use waters are not eligible for a Rule 9, 10, or 11 permit. The applicant must instead apply for an individual National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems Permit. To obtain a list of outstanding state resource waters (327 IAC 2-1-2(3)) and  exceptional use waters (327 IAC 2-1-11), to secure additional information regarding petroleum related discharges please contact:

Questions may be directed to IDEM's OWQ Wastewater Permits staff at (800) 451-6027, ext. 2-8703.

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