Dear Ms. Dupont,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
Under Record Control Schedule N1-412-08-6 (EPA Records Schedule 205), Item b and Item c, NPDES permit files are scheduled as temporary. NPDES minor permits are closed “when no longer needed” and may be destroyed 10 years after file closure. NPDES (except minors) files are closed at permit renewal or termination (revocation or expiration) or at the end of the calendar year and may be destroyed 10 years after file closure. Because they are scheduled as temporary, these records are never transferred to the National Archives. If the files you seek still exist, they are in the custody of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Please see their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) page for information about requesting their files.
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 19 record series in the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency (Record Group 412) with records relating to NPDES. These files mostly related to rulemaking and policy concerning the program as a whole and do not include any comprehensive collection of permits. Some of the series such as Records Relating to Public Hearings, 1973 - 1976; Adjudicatory Hearing Case Files, 10/1/1979 - 9/30/1985; Landmark Case Files, 1971 - 1992; Records Relating to Cases, 1992 - 1995; Historical and Regulatory Program Records Concerning Water Pollution Control and Permitting, 1963 - 1993; and the Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS) Files, 1/1/2002 - 3/18/2009 contain information about some individual cases, particularly those that result in appeals, court action, or enforcement actions. Additionally, some of the Environmental Impact Statement Files, 1977 - 1998 relate to NPDES permits. We also located Litigation Case Files, 1973 - 2001 in Record Group 412 that includes files relating to the enforcement of water pollution related laws and regulations by the EPA’s Water Enforcement Division. If the EPA took enforcement action relating to violations of the terms of NPDES permits, there may be records concerning that in this series. For more information about these records, please email the reference unit listed as the contact in the Catalog description. When you email them, please provide all relevant information regarding the organizations involved and the dates.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from the various NARA units. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!