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Virtual Guided Learning March 9 – April 13, 2023
The U.S. EPA is pleased to announce the opening of registration for the the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Basic Permit Writers’ Virtual Guided Learning Courses starting on March 9, 2023, with a morning and afternoon session running for five weeks. The objective of this course is to provide the basic regulatory framework and technical considerations that support the development of wastewater discharge permits required under the NPDES program. The course was designed for permit writers with about six months to one year of experience in the NPDES program, but experienced permit writers wanting a refresher course and other water program staff or interested parties wanting to learn more about the NPDES program also are welcome. 

The 5-week course will begin on Thursday, March 9, 2023. Participants should anticipate a time commitment of approximately 8-10 hours per week and should seek supervisor approval before signing up. The course is scheduled to conclude on April 13th, however a “rain date” of April 18th should be reserved by the participants in case of technical issues. 

Each week, participants will have assigned “homework” consisting of NPDES online modules and permit exercises. These modules and exercises will then be discussed in a live virtual classroom setting on Tuesday and Thursday of each week. Participants will have the opportunity to join live office hour discussions with instructors and other participants each Tuesday as well. Participants will be expected to complete some pre-course assignments the week of arch 5th prior to the course start.

Microsoft Teams will be utilized for the virtual classroom and can be accessed through the desktop application or a web browser. Course materials will be provided electronically on the Microsoft Teams classroom site for download by the participants prior to the start date. 

As a foundational course, the training does not address in detail specialized topics such as industrial and municipal stormwater, concentrated animal feeding operations, and pesticide discharges. For more information on these specialized topics, please visit EPA’s NPDES website at

Course Schedule and Logistics 
We are offering two separate sessions, a morning and afternoon, for this course offering. Please see the registration pages for the agendas with dates and times and only register for one of the sessions. Please note that on most Tuesdays, the AM session will meet in the afternoon with the PM session for a combined meeting

There is no cost for the course. Registration is limited and available at: NPDES Permit Writers’ Course – Virtual Guided Learning March 2023 (AM) NPDES Permit Writers’ Course – Virtual Guided Learning March 2023 (PM) 
Following registration, an email with further instruction will be provided.
For any questions related to this announcement, please contact Sean Ramach at or (202) 564-2865. Do not respond directly to this e-mail, as this inbox is not monitored.
ABOUT NPDES The NPDES permit program addresses water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States. Created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES permit program is authorized to state governments by EPA to perform many permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects of the program.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Office of WaterOffice of Wastewater Management | Website

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