What does NPDES mean to you, in simple terms?

1. NPDES permits are required for pesticide applications made to or over waters of the State or at water's edge whether you spray privately or commercially; whether the land is private or public.

2. If water is "hydrologically connected," meaning it flows through your property at one time or another (it doesn't have to be continually flowing), you will need a permit in order to spray. Swimming pools, borrow pits (large ponds near interstates), and backyard ponds with no water flowing in or out aren't included.

3. Waterways and ditches that flow are "hydrologically connected."

4. "Near the water's edge" is purposely vague, but you need to use your best judgment and protect yourself with a permit if needed.

5. Permits are free.

6. Apply online with the IEPA.

7. Penalties may be severe. While IEPA doesn't have a large enforcement arm, they are required to handle complaints, and anyone can file a complaint.

8. This isn't something that the IEPA wanted to do. In fact, their action is in response to the USEPA losing a lawsuit and being forced to have states implement rules pertaining to surface water and pesticide use.

9. Congress has had the opportunity since 2009 to rectify the problem granting preference to FIFRA. Several bills were introduced in both chambers and hearings have been held; no action has occurred.