NJDEP Compliance Advisory Targets Significant Non-Compliant Dischargers

NJDEP Compliance Advisory Targets Significant Non-Compliant Dischargers

The NJDEP recently issued a compliance advisory prioritizing enforcement against significant non-compliant dischargers

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently issued a compliance advisory (Advisory) directed to New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) permit holders who submit discharge monitoring reports. The Advisory warns that the NJDEP is prioritizing enforcement against significant non-compliant dischargers.

Significant Noncompliers Under the Water Pollution Control Act

The New Jersey Water Pollution Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10A-1 et seq., is implemented by regulations at N.J.A.C. 7:14-2.1 et seq.  The regulations define a “Significant noncomplier" (SNC) as any person, except a local agency for an exceedance of an effluent limitation for flow, who commits any of the following violations:

  • A serious violation for the same pollutant, same discharge point, in any two months of any consecutive six-month period;
  • Exceedance of an effluent limitation expressed as a monthly average, for the same pollutant, at the same discharge point source, by any amount in any four months of any consecutive six-month period;
  • If there is not an effluent limitation for a particular pollutant expressed as a monthly average, exceedance of the monthly average of the daily maximums for the effluent limitation, for the same pollutant, at the same discharge point source, by any amount in any four months of any consecutive six-month period;
  • Any exceedance of an effluent limitation for pH by any amount, excluding the excursions specifically excepted by a NJPDES permit with continuous pH monitoring, at the same discharge point source in any four months of any consecutive six-month period; or
  • Failure to submit a completed discharge monitoring report in any two months of any consecutive six-month period.

As set forth in the Advisory, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established the reduction of significant non-compliance as a National Compliance Initiative. The NJDEP has also made it one of its own priorities, and the advisory is designed to help NJPDES permittees achieve or maintain compliance and avoid potential enforcement and penalties. “If you own or operate a facility with a permit issued under the NJPDES program, including a state-issued permit under the New Jersey Water Pollution Control Act, you have an obligation to comply with the effluent limits, reporting requirements, and other requirements in the permit,” the Advisory states. “Non-compliance may subject you to substantial penalties through enforcement actions.”

Next Steps for Impacted Entities

The Advisory NJPDES advises permittees to assess their compliance status in the following ways:

  • Review your permit and discharge monitoring reports (DMRs).
    Pay particular attention to new or modified monitoring requirements.
  • Test as early in the month as possible to facilitate the ability to do additional monitoring.
    Use EPA’s Enforcement & Compliance History Online (ECHO) tool to look up your facility (see Page 2 for EPA website link).
  • If your facility has NJPDES violations, DEP recommends that you take immediate action to correct them and notify your Water Compliance and Enforcement inspector.
  • Be familiar with non-compliance reporting requirements specified in your permit, which include notifying the DEP’s hotline (1877-WARN-DEP)

We encourage impacted entities to review the Advisory and take any applicable recommendations provided by the NJDEP. For additional compliance assistance, we encourage working with an experienced New Jersey environmental attorney.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Dan McKillop, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-896-4100.


  • Share:

AboutDaniel T. McKillop

Dan McKillop has more than fifteen years of experience representing corporate and individual clients in complex environmental litigation and regulatory proceedings before state and federal courts and environmental agencies arising under numerous state and federal statutes.Full Biography

Get In Touch

* The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Share this article


Get the latest from our attorneys!

Please fill out our short form to get the latest articles from the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorneys weekly on the cutting-edge legal topics.