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CHEM 216X - Water Quality: SPDES Reports

SPDES Overview

P/C/I SPDES Permit Program: Introduction

State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) - Overview


New York is rich in surface and groundwater resources. Article 17 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) entitled "Water Pollution Control" was enacted to protect and maintain these valuable resources. Article 17 authorized creation of the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) program to maintain New York's waters with reasonable standards of purity.

The pages accessed from the links in the left navigation panel will help you understand and apply for a SPDES permit for Private, Commercial or Institutional (P/C/I) Facilities. The program is designed to eliminate the pollution of New York waters and to maintain the highest quality of water possible-- consistent with:

  • public health
  • public enjoyment of the resource
  • protection and propagation of fish and wildlife
  • industrial development in the state.


Using FOIL to Request Information

In New York State, access to government records is provided under Public Officers Law, Article 6, Sections 84-90, commonly called the Freedom of Information Law or "FOIL." This is how we are going to be able to access a specific SPDES permit (ex. for a municipality, a water treatment plant, etc).

To view or request copies of records held by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) you may send a letter or a completed Records Access Form (PDF) (125 kB) by mail; facsimile, or e-mail to:

Records Access Officer
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-1500
phone: (518) 402-9522
fax: (518) 402-9018

Please be as specific as possible when requesting records, so that we may easily identify which records maintained by the Department are responsive to your request.

NOTE: the website states that it will charge 25 cents per page. Requests will be filled within 10 days.