Chemical Data Reporting (CDR)
Data Quality Assurance
EPA conducts a number of activities every reporting cycle to ensure the quality of Chemical Data Reporting rule (CDR) data reported to EPA. These activities range from providing extensive reporting guidance, intelligent reporting software, and training to data submitters prior to the reporting deadline, as well as data validation and analysis after the data are received. The information below outlines the CDR's Data Quality Program.
- What steps are taken to ensure that CDR data reported by sites are correct?
- Does EPA offer reporting assistance?
- What data quality checks are used to verify the validity of CDR submissions after they are received by EPA?
- Are potential data quality issues discussed with the facility that submitted a particular CDR report?
- Some submitters will file their Form U after the deadline. How does EPA update the data as it comes in?
Q. What steps are taken to ensure that CDR data reported by sites are correct?
A. Each reporting cycle, EPA publishes a number of detailed guidance documents, which are available to all interested parties via the Internet. These documents provide detailed instructions to help submitters determine and complete their reporting obligations under the CDR rule.
For the 2012 submission period, EPA for the first time required all companies to complete the Form U electronically using the Central Data Exchange (CDX) and the e-CDRweb tool. E-CDRweb is a web-based, interactive, user-friendly tool that guides users through the CDR reporting process. The tool contains intelligence to prevent submitters from making common data entry errors and alert users to possible errors so they can double check their forms before submitting them. For the 2012 CDR, all Form U submissions received by EPA were created using e-CDRweb. CDR data is transparent and accessible to the public, except for information that is claimed as confidential business information.
Q. Does EPA offer reporting assistance?
A. Yes. Prior to the deadline for the 2012 submission period, EPA conducted several webinars and provided on-line training presentations and guidance documents to explain the substance and mechanics of the CDR reporting requirements. EPA also provided support to companies through a range of resources, including the TSCA Hotline, CDX help desk, and the e-CDRweb mailbox. Resource materials are available at www.epa.gov/cdr/tools/index.html.
Q. What data quality checks are used to verify the validity of CDR submissions after they are received by EPA?
- The CDR Program requires each Form U submitted to EPA be signed by an Authorized Official (e.g., Senior Manager/Owner/Operator) of the reporting site.
- Form Us submitted using e-CDRweb are immediately loaded into the CDR staging database tables for analysis. The data is queried and examined for any data outliers or data sets that do not comply with the reporting requirements. If any data outliers or unexpected data sets are identified, additional queries are run to verify the data and the rendered PDFs are compared against the query results to verify accuracy.
- EPA then performs a technical audit and data quality checks of selected submissions. If potential errors are identified in the forms submitted, EPA sends a Data Quality Alert (DQA) or a Notice of Significant Error (NOSE) to the submitter to ensure accurate reporting of the information. These notices indicate what the potential errors are and request that the submitter provide EPA with corrections, if necessary. EPA also makes follow-up telephone calls, as necessary.
- EPA performs additional data quality checks as it prepares the data for public release.
- Finally, EPA conducts further analyses when inconsistencies in the CDR data are identified and updates the database as necessary.
Q. Are potential data quality issues discussed with the submitter of a particular CDR report?
A. Yes. All DQAs and NOSEs are sent to the submitter for review. If the submitter then determines that an error occurred, they may correct the error and resubmit the report using the reporting tool. If a potential error could materially affect the validity of EPA's release of the data, EPA may contact the submitter for clarification.
Q. Some submitters will file their Form U after the deadline. How does EPA update the data as it comes in?
A. Form Us submitted after the reporting deadline are immediately loaded into the CDR data processing system for analysis and combined with data from previously submitted Form Us. Similar to the process for other submissions (e.g., amendments to original Form Us), the data are queried and examined for any data outliers and checked for accuracy. EPA often performs periodic extractions of the data and posts updated versions of the database to the CDR website.