Available Now: 2023 Schedule of Hazmat & RCRA Training

Question of the Week: Comparing CWA Control Technologies: BPT, BCT, BAT, BADCT

Posted on 9/15/2011 by James Griffin

Q. If I am subject to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act, which of the many control technology acronyms am I subject to?
A. Short Answer: Check your permit, do what it says.
Long Answer: The type of water treatment controls you need depend on several factors, including the type of pollutants you discharge, and whether you are a new source or an existing source.
What Pollutants Are You Discharging?
The NPDES establishes effluent limitations for three different categories of pollutants. A detailed list of common pollutants under each category can be found at 40 CFR 122, Appendix D. In broad terms, the three categories are:
  1. Conventional Pollutants – including biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, fecal coliform, pH, oil, and grease
  2. Non-conventional Pollutants – including nutrients and phosphorous
  3. Toxic Pollutants – including organics and metals
New Source or Old?
There are four levels of control technology authorized under the NPDES; from least to most stringent they are:
  1. BPT – Best practicable control technology currently available
  2. BAT – Best available control technology economically achievable
  3. BCT – Best conventional pollutant control technology
  4. BADCT – Best available demonstrated control technology
BPT is the minimum standard for existing point sources of conventional, toxic, or non-conventional pollutants. If local water quality standards require more treatment, then the permitting authority may require you to install BCT (for conventional pollutants) or BAT (for toxic or non-conventional pollutants).
New point sources are subject to BADCT for all categories of water pollution.
Categorical Standards
In addition to discharge permits and generic control technologies, the EPA has created a set of technology-based effluent guidelines and standards for over 50 industrial categories (called Categorical Standards, or Industry-Specific Standards). These Categorical Standards are codified in 40 CFR Subchapter N (specifically Parts 405 through 471).
If your site falls in one of these industrial categories, then the effluent guidelines and standards in Subchapter N automatically become part of your NPDES permit.
If your site is not included in these industrial categories, then it is up to the permit-issuer to establish a site-specific technology-based limit. While the EPA does not have a strict list of what exact controls fall under each of the four levels, the Agency does have some guidance at http://water.epa.gov/scitech/wastetech/guide/questions_index.cfm to help regulated facilities.

Tags: Act, Clean, EPA, Water

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

These are the best classes I attend each year. I always take something away and implement improvements at my sites.

Kim Racine

EH&S Manager

Lion was very extensive. There was a lot of things that were covered that were actually pertaining to what I do and work with. Great Job. I will be coming back in three years!

Tony Petrik

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Lion courses always set the bar for content, reference, and practical application. Membership and access to the experts is an added bonus.

John Brown, CSP

Director of Safety & Env Affairs

Given the choice, I would do all coursework this way. In-person courses go very fast without the opportunity to pause or repeat anything.

Ellen Pelton

Chemical Laboratory Manager

Lion's training was by far the best online RCRA training I've ever taken. It was challenging and the layout was great!

Paul Harbison

Hazardous Waste Professional

We have a very busy work schedule and using Lion enables us to take the course at our own time. It makes it easy for me to schedule my employees' training.

Timothy Mertes

Hazmat Shipping Professional

The instructor was great, explaining complex topics in terms that were easily understandable and answering questions clearly and thoroughly.

Brittany Holm

Lab Supervisor

Energetic/enthusiastic! Made training enjoyable, understandable and fun!

Amanda Walsh

Hazardous Waste Professional

I have attended other training providers, but Lion is best. Lion is king of the hazmat jungle!!!

Henry Watkins

Hazardous Waste Technician

The instructor created a great learning environment.

Avinash Thummadi

CAD & Environmental Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Hazardous materials shipment rejections bear a big cost. Use this guide to end operational and logistical disruptions that severely impact your bottom line.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.