About CWB

The Clean Water Branch (CWB) protects the public health of residents and tourists who enjoy playing in and around Hawaii’s coastal and inland water resources. The CWB also protects and restores inland and coastal waters for marine life and wildlife. These goals are accomplished through statewide coastal water surveillance and watershed-based environmental management through a combination of permit issuance, monitoring, enforcement, polluted runoff control projects, and public education.

History & Mission Statement

Engineering Section
Administers the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Issues Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certifications for federal permits for construction in nearshore and inland waters. Oversees the City and County of Honolulu in administering the Publicly Owned Treatment Works Pre-Treatment Program.

Monitoring & Analysis Section
Monitors and assesses water quality. Revises the State’s water quality standards. Issues water quality related advisories to protect public health. Conducts special monitoring studies. Submits data that appear to indicate non-compliance to the Enforcement & Compliance Section.

Enforcement & Compliance Section
Determines compliance with permit conditions via site inspections and complaint investigations. Requires corrective measures through administrative or court actions. Analyzes water quality and operational data to determine degree of noncompliance. Coordinates with the Wastewater Branch in enforcement cases regarding wastewater treatment plants.

Polluted Runoff Control Program
Implements watershed-based plans to reduce and prevent nonpoint source pollution. Develops watershed-based plans. Fosters partnerships with other agencies involved in nonpoint source pollution control. Provides federal funding for BMPs to control nonpoint source pollution. Encourages and supports programs for environmental education.