National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting

Highlights of Phase 1 of E-Reporting Rule Schedule - NEW

DEC has developed the following implementation schedule for Phase 1 of the Electronic Reporting Rule. The schedule is based on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) planned integration of NetDMR with EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX). DEC agrees with EPA in the benefits of the integration, and is delaying implementation of the electronic reporting of Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) in order to fully realize the benefits of the CDX integration, which is currently scheduled for March 17, 2017.

Revised Implementation Schedule: DEC intends to implement electronic reporting of DMR data based on the type of Alaska Pollutant Discharge Eliminiation System (APDES) permit:

  • Group 1: Major individual APDES permits — April - June 2017
  • Group 2: Minor indiviudal APDES permtis — July - September 2017
  • Group 3: General APDES permits - October - December 2017

Training for APDES Permittees: DEC encourages APDES permittees to attend the EPA's scheduled webinars which are available on the NetDMR Support website.

Overview of NPDES E-Reporting Rule

EPA has published the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule, which will modernize Clean Water Act reporting requirements for municipalities, industries and other facilities. Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the rule on September 24, 2015 and it was published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2015. The rule replaces most paper-based NPDES reporting requirements with electronic reporting. Specifically, the rule requires regulated entities to report information electronically, instead of filing written paper reports. These reports include:

  • Discharge Monitoring Reports
  • Notices of Intent to discharge in compliance with a general permit
  • Other specified program reports.

Important: The rule does not change what information is required. It only changes the method by which information is provided (i.e., electronic rather than paper-based).

Benefits of Electronic Reporting

The final NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule moves EPA and states into the 21st Century by taking advantage of advances in information technology, expanding EPA efforts to provide meaningful data to the public, and supporting the EPA-wide effort to move from paper to electronic reporting. EPA anticipates the rule will save time and resources for permittees, states, tribes, territories, and the U.S. Government while increasing data accuracy, improving compliance, and supporting the goal of providing better protection of the nation’s waters. The rule will help provide greater clarity on who is and who is not in compliance and enhances transparency by providing a timelier, complete, more accurate, and nationally-consistent set of data about the NPDES program. It will provide EPA and states the ability to strategically address the most serious water pollution problems while using limited resources efficiently.

Electronic Reporting Tools

Regulated entities and state and federal regulators will use existing, available information technology to submit, share, and manage the required data. EPA is working with states, tribes, territories, and third-party software vendors to develop and have in place all of the necessary electronic reporting tools. Recognizing that many states, tribes, and territories have their own electronic data systems and reporting tools for managing NPDES data, the electronic reporting rule provides flexibility on the specific data systems and reporting tools to be used.

EPA has developed electronic reporting tools for NPDES data and is making them available to states. EPA’s tools are web-based and require only a computer, an Internet browser (e.g., Microsoft Internet Explorer), and high-speed access to the Internet (i.e., DSL, fiber optic). These tools communicate securely, requiring passwords and known responses to security questions. They are designed to provide electronic submittals with the same level of legal dependability as paper submittals. States have the option of using EPA’s tools directly, installing and hosting their own version of EPA’s tools, or developing their own tools. Alaska will be using EPA's NetDMR tool.

NetDMR:
NetDMR is a nationally-available electronic reporting tool, initially designed by states and later adapted for national use by EPA, which can be used by NPDES-regulated facilities to submit Discharge Monitoring Reports electronically to EPA through a secure Internet application over the National Environmental Information Exchange Network.

Alaska is currently working with EPA to prepare for the electronic reporting of DMRs for Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES) permits in NetDMR. This means you will not currently be able to look up your APDES permit in NetDMR. Please keep checking back to this webpage for new information.

Electronic Reporting Schedule

EPA is phasing in the requirements of the rule over a five-year period. The two phases of the rule and their key milestones are:

  • Phase 1 – Starting on December 21, 2016
    • Permittees, who currently submit Discharge Monitoring Reports, will begin submitting these reports electronically, instead of on paper.
    • Permittees, who submit Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Annual Program Reports to EPA (but not to state governments) will begin submitting these reports electronically.
    • States and other regulatory authorities will begin sharing their compliance monitoring (e.g., inspection), violation determination, and enforcement action data electronically.
    • The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation will submit an implementation plan for meeting the Phase 2 data requirements for EPA to review.

  • Phase 2 – Starting on December 21, 2020
    • Permittees that currently submit certain other NPDES reports will begin submitting these reports electronically, instead of on paper. Reports covered in the second phase include Notices of Intent to discharge in compliance with an NPDES general permit, Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Annual Program Reports submitted to state governments, and a number of other NPDES program reports.

DEC Water Compliance

EPA E-Reporting Rule Information

NetDMR Information

Contact

Gina Shirey
Environmental Program Specialist
DEC, Division of Water
gina.shirey@alaska.gov
(907)465-5272