An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

NPDES: Compilation of Permit Writing Tips and Best Practices

This document was compiled from existing permit and rule drafting resources to provide a repository of tips for writing clear, specific and measureable NPDES permits. While many of the permit tips shared in this document can be applicable to other environmental programs, the intended audience for this document is EPA and state NPDES permit writers. The tips apply to both individual and general NPDES permits.

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.