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Effluent Guidelines

Dairy Products Processing Effluent Guidelines

""EPA promulgated the Dairy Products Processing Effluent Guidelines and Standards (40 CFR Part 405) in 1974 and 1975. The regulation covers directHelpdirect dischargerA point source that discharges pollutants to waters of the United States, such as streams, lakes, or oceans. and indirectHelpindirect dischargerA facility that discharges pollutants to a publicly owned treatment works (municipal sewage treatment plant). dischargers. The Effluent Guidelines and Standards are incorporated into NPDES permits for direct dischargers, and permits or other control mechanisms for indirect dischargers (see Pretreatment Program).

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What is the Dairy Products Processing Industry?

Dairy products are manufactured with milk or milk by-products, including whey and buttermilk, as the sole or principal raw material. Typical products include fluid milk, butter, cheese (natural and processed), ice cream and other frozen products, and yogurt.

Dairy products are included within NAICS group 3115. The NAICS listing is provided as a guide and does not define the coverage of the Dairy Products Processing category. For precise definitions of coverage, see the applicability sections in 40 CFR Part 405.

Wastestreams, Pollutants and Subcategories


The industry’s principal wastestreams are:
  • Cleaning out of product remaining in tank trucks, cans, piping, tanks, and other equipment
  • Spillage produced by leaks, overflow, freezing-on, boiling-over, equipment malfunction or operator error
  • Processing losses, including sludge discharges from clarifiers and product wasted during pasteurizer start-up, shut-down, and product change-over
  • Wastage of spoiled products, returned products, or byproducts
  • Detergents and other cleaning compounds.

Regulated Pollutants

  • BOD5
  • TSS
  • pH (abnormally high or low)

Regulation Subcategories

  1. Receiving Stations
  2. Fluid Products
  3. Cultured Products
  4. Butter
  5. Cottage Cheese and Cultured Cream Cheese
  6. Natural and Processed Cheese
  7. Fluid Mix for Ice Cream and Other Frozen Desserts
  1. Ice Cream, Frozen Desserts, Novelties and Other Dairy Desserts
  2. Condensed Milk
  3. Dry Milk
  4. Condensed Whey
  5. Dry Whey

Rulemaking History

1975 Amendment

  • Documents, including:
    • Final Rule (February 11, 1975)
    • Proposed Rule (May 28, 1974)

1974 Initial Rulemaking

  • Documents, including:
    • Final Rule (May 28, 1974)
    • Development Document (May 1974)
    • Proposed Rule (December 20, 1973)

Additional Information

For additional information regarding Dairy Products Processing Effluent Guidelines, please contact Meghan Hessenauer ( or 202-566-1040.

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