Permits for Categorical Industries

Certain types of industries are required to be regulated under the Clean Water Act even if they discharge their wastewater to a municipal sanitary system. Examples of these industries are: pulp and paper mills; most food processing plants; textile mills; chemical manufacturing plants; electroplating companies; plastics and other synthetics manufacturers; fertilizer plants; metal manufacturing plants; steam power plants; companies producing leather, glass, asbestos, rubber, and timber products.

Requirements for categorical industries are set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In most cases, a prospective permit holder cannot contest these requirements. Categorical industries are subject to U.S. EPA pretreatment regulations.

A number of large sanitary districts and cities have been delegated authority to issue categoricalindustry permits. These include the Metropolitan Council, Environmental Services, the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, Winona, Rochester, Albert Lea, Owatonna, St. Cloud, Mankato and Red Wing.

Categorical-industry permits are issued for other cities by the MPCA for a period of up to five years. Application forms may be obtained from the MPCA. There is an application fee and an annual fee for categorical industry permits. Permit applications should be submitted 180 days ahead of the commencement of the proposed activity. Questions about water quality permits should be directed to the MPCA. Addresses and telephone numbers are listed in the Resource Directory section of this Guide.

CREDITS: This is an excerpt from A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota, provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office, Twenty-eighth Edition, January 2010, written by Charles A. Schaffer, Madeline Harris, and Mark Simmer. Copies are available without charge from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office.

This post is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota Environmental Protection Programs and how they affect starting a business in Minnesota.