NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule

On September 24, 2015 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed the final electronic reporting rule which requires NPDES regulated entities to file certain reports and permit related data electronically instead of filing paper reports by using EPA’s NPDES Electronic Reporting Tool (NeT) and NETDMR (for DMR data) portal or the equivalent state version of it.

Benefits of the rule

EPA anticipates this rule will save time and resources for regulated entities, states, and EPA. EPA also anticipates better data accuracy, easier reporting for NPDES regulated entities, better data flow between states and EPA, and will help provide clarity on who is and who is not in compliance. The rule changes the way data will be submitted but will not change the specific information required from the NPDES regulated entities. According to EPA, the anticipated savings are:

  • Authorized state NPDES programs: $22.6 million annually 
  • NPDES regulated entities: $0.5 million annually 
  • EPA; $1.2 million annually

Implementation Schedule

This rule will be implemented in two phases.

Phase I Requirements – effective Dec. 21, 2016

In this phase EPA and states will begin receiving electronic Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMR) as well as Sewage Sludge/Biosolids Annual Program Reports for states where EPA is implementing this program. EPA will also begin to electronically receive information from states on inspections, violation determinations and enforcement actions.

Phase II Requirements – effective Dec. 21, 2020

Per EPA, this will cover the remaining set of NPDES program information to be submitted electronically. This phase includes (as listed in the EPA web site) “general permit reports (e.g. Notice of Intent to be covered (NOI); Notice of Termination (NOT); No Exposure Certification (NOE); Low Erosivity Waiver and Other Waivers from Stormwater Controls (LEW)); Sewage Sludge/Biosolids Annual Program Report (where the state is the authorized NPDES biosolids program); and all other remaining NPDES program reports”. If you are already submitting your DMRs electronically, then you can continue doing that the same way. The main change is that it will no longer be voluntary to submit it electronically, it will be mandatory starting December 21, 2016.

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