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The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) issues permits to industries based on their wastewater characteristics or amount of discharge. The permits require industries to monitor for pollutants of concern and to comply with reporting schedules, along with general conditions listed in the permit. Industrial pretreatment is essential to protecting the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant is a public asset that is vital to the city’s public and environmental health and has a replacement value of $1 billion.
Industrial Permits and Alternative Discharge Control Mechanisms: The first step in determining if your company needs a permit to discharge wastewater to the sanitary sewer is to complete an Industrial and Commercial Environmental Survey and submit the survey to the City. BES will review the completed survey and notify the business if they are required to complete and submit an Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit Application or if the business is required to have an Alternative Discharge Control Mechanism.
Businesses that meet the definition of a Significant or Categorical Industrial User must complete and submit the Environmental Survey and an Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit Application concurrently.
Construction Dewatering Permits: These are obtained when a business goes through the City Development Process. Copies of the forms you may need are also located here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/71333.
Fees are assessed industries and businesses to recover costs associated with administering the permits and authorizations. The fees help recover costs for application reviews, permit issuance, inspections, industry wastewater sampling, compliance report reviews, enforcement issuance, and State permit fees. To find out the current permit/authorization fees, click here.
Certain industries and businesses may discharge wastewater with higher levels of certain pollutants which costs more for the city to treat. The City recovers that extra costs to treat “high strength” wastewater. More information can be found at the Extra Strength Sewer Charge Program website.