Why is This a General Permit?
A general permit is like an individual permit except that it applies to a group of facilities that conduct similar processes and produce wastewaters with similar characteristics. Rather than creating and managing a separate permit for each individual facility, Ecology employs a single general permit for all similar facilities. General permits save time and money for both Ecology and the permitted facilities.
Applying the general permit approach to water treatment plants is appropriate because these facilities use similar treatment processes and generate wastewaters with similar characteristics. A general wastewater discharge permit provides a single set of requirements that is fair to the water treatment plants and that provides adequate environmental protection. Certain eligible individual water treatment plants may apply for coverage under the general permit and must then comply with the permit requirements.
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