Log in to view your state's edition
You are not logged in
Free Special Reports
Get Your FREE Special Report. Download Any One Of These FREE Special Reports, Instantly!
Featured Special Report
Claim Your Free Copy of 2018 EHS Salary Guide

This report will help you evaluate if you are being paid a fair amount for the responsibilities you are shouldering.

In addition, EHS managers can find the information to keep their departments competitive and efficient—an easy way to guarantee you are paying the right amount to retain hard-to-fill positions but not overpaying on others.

Download Now!
Bookmark and Share
November 12, 2020
NPDES electronic reporting final rule issued

On November 2, 2020, a final rule addressing the Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule (eRule) was published by the EPA in the Federal Register.

As an EHS professional, it’s hard to tell if you are being paid competitively, and as an employer, it’s hard to tell if you are offering salaries that are competitive and efficient. For a Limited Time we’re offering a FREE copy of the 2018 EHS Salary Guide! Download Now

“EPA published the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule (‘NPDES eRule’) on October 22, 2015,” according to the EPA. “The 2015 rule required EPA and states to modernize Clean Water Act (CWA) reporting for municipalities, industries and other facilities. That rule replaced most paper-based NPDES reporting requirements with electronic reporting.”

The original deadline for making the switch to electronic reporting was set for December 21, 2020. “EPA notes that some states with authorized NPDES programs requested that the Phase 2 implementation date be moved back to provide … sufficient time to develop and implement the information technology solutions necessary for electronic reporting of the Phase 2 data,” according to an article by Walter Wright of Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C., published on JD Supra.

The final rule extends the compliance deadline to December 21, 2025, and allows states the flexibility to request more time if necessary. “EPA estimates that, once the rule is fully implemented, the 46 states and the Virgin Islands Territory that are authorized to administer the NPDES program will collectively save approximately $22.6 million each year as a result of switching from paper to electronic reporting,” according to the EPA.

The final rule also clarifies changes, eliminates outdated reporting requirements, streamlines the permit renewal process, and enhances public transparency.

“EPA and states have made considerable progress in implementing Phase 1 of the NPDES eRule,” according to the EPA.

Reports required to be filed electronically include:

  • Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs)
  • General permit reports (e.g., Notices of Intent to discharge in compliance with a general permit)
  • Other specified program reports

The final rule requires the EPA to make yearly assessments to assess each state’s progress in implementing the NPDES eRule. Two dashboards will be utilized to conduct the assessments:

The public will be able to view the electronically reported data via the EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) system.

In implementing the NPDES eRule, reporting entities have the option to utilize the EPA’s tools or build their own systems. “EPA does not dictate the electronic reporting tools that a state may use. Rather, EPA sets performance requirements for states that wish to build their own electronic reporting tools,” the EPA says.

“This rulemaking is part of EPA's Next Generation Compliance strategy, as well as the E-Enterprise for the Environment strategy with states and tribes, to take advantage of new tools and innovative approaches to increase compliance and reduce pollution,” adds the Agency.

Visit the EPA’s NPDES eReporting website for more information.

Featured Special Report:
2018 EHS Salary Guide
Twitter   Facebook   Linked In
Follow Us