- Benefits of Electronic Reporting
- Electronic Reporting Tools
- Electronic Reporting Schedule
- Phase 2 Implementation Plan
- 2015 Final Rule Documents
- 2020 Phase 2 Extension
- NPDES eRule National Webinar
EPA published the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule ("NPDES eRule") on October 22, 2015. This rule is modernizing Clean Water Act (CWA) reporting for municipalities, industries and other facilities. 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 (DMRs)
- Notices of Intent to discharge in compliance with a general permit
- Other specified program reports.
The rule also requires states and other regulatory authorities to share data electronically with EPA. The data that these regulatory authorities will share with EPA includes permit, compliance monitoring (e.g., inspection), violation determination, and enforcement action data.
The rule also requires the U.S. EPA to assess the progress each authorized state is making in implementing NPDES electronic reporting and to repeat these assessments annually. EPA is using the following two dashboards to conduct these assessments:
UPDATE: On November 2, 2020, EPA published the NPDES eRule Phase 2 Extension final rule which provides states and EPA additional time to implement electronic reporting for certain Clean Water Act discharge permitting requirements. In this final rule, EPA extended the compliance deadline for implementation of Phase 2 of the eRule by five years, from December 21, 2020 to December 21, 2025.
Benefits of Electronic Reporting
The NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule moves EPA and states into the 21st Century by:
- providing EPA and states the ability to strategically address the most serious water pollution problems while using limited resources efficiently
- supporting the goal of providing better protection of the nation’s waters
- enhancing transparency by providing a timelier, complete, more accurate, and nationally-consistent set of data about the NPDES program
- saving time and resources for permittees, states, tribes, territories, and the U.S. Government
- expanding EPA's efforts to provide more data to the public
- taking advantage of advances in information technology
- supporting the EPA-wide effort to move from paper to electronic reporting
- increasing data accuracy
- improving compliance
Data reported electronically will be made available to the public via the Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) system. ECHO enables public searches for facilities in local communities to assess their compliance with environmental regulations. It can also help investigate pollution sources, examine and create enforcement-related maps, or explore states' performance.
Electronic Reporting Tools
EPA and states are working collaboratively so that NPDES-regulated entities can electronically sign and submit NPDES reports. 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. Therefore, the process for electronic reporting depends on the permitting authority and on the type of information to be submitted.
Discharge Monitoring Reports
States may elect to use EPA’s electronic reporting tool for DMRs (called “NetDMR”) or build their own state electronic discharge monitoring report (state eDMR) systems. The web page Who Can Report Using NetDMR? provides a listing of the states that use NetDMR and states that have their own systems.
Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Annual Program Reports
Facilities located in the 42 states, including the District of Columbia where EPA implements the Federal Biosolids Program must use EPA’s NPDES Electronic Reporting Tool for Biosolids (or “NeT-Biosolids”) to annually submit these reports. Three states (South Dakota, Texas, and Utah) have also elected to require facilities in their states to use NeT-Biosolids. Facilities in these three states should use NeT-Biosolids to annually submit these biosolids program reports. Facilities in the five remaining states (Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin) should contact their regulatory authority to identify how to electronically submit these annual reports.
Phase 2 General Permits and Program Reports
States may elect to use EPA’s electronic reporting tool for these Phase 2 reports (called NPDES Electronic Reporting Tool or “NeT”) or build their own state electronic reporting tools. The online “NPDES eRule Phase 2 Implementation Dashboard” provides an inventory of all general permits and program reports covered by the NPDES eRule. This dashboard also identifies if the state has elected to use NeT or build its own electronic reporting tool. This dashboard also provides an updated view of EPA’s progress in deploying NPDES electronic reporting tools for Phase 2 general permits and program reports.
- NeT: Please use the NeT Help Center if you are located in a state that uses NeT to learn more about how to electronically file a Phase 2 report.
- State Phase 2 Tools: Please contact your state regulatory agency if you are located in a state that has its own electronic report tool for Phase 2 reports.
Electronic Reporting Schedule
EPA split implementation of the NPDES eRule into two phases:
NPDES permittees that are currently required to electronically submit their Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) (unless their permit directs otherwise or they received a waiver). Also included in Phase 1 is electronic reporting of the Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Annual Program Reports within the 42 states where EPA implements the Federal Biosolids Program. The Phase 1 compliance deadline was December 21, 2016.
NPDES permittees and other regulated entities that are currently required to submit these reports must begin submitting them electronically by December 21, 2025 (unless their regulatory authority directs otherwise, or they received a waiver):
- Notices of Intent to discharge (NOIs) under a general permit
- Notices of Termination (NOTs) of coverage under a general permit
- No Exposure Certifications (NOEs) under a stormwater general permit
- Low Erosivity Waivers (LEWs) under a stormwater general permit
- Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Annual Program Reports
- Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program Reports
- Pretreatment Program Annual Reports
- Significant Industrial User (SIU) Bi-annual Compliance Reports in municipalities without approved pretreatment programs
- Sewer Overflow/Bypass Event Reports
- Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 316(b) Annual Reports
Additionally, facilities located in states authorized for the biosolids program (Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin) must begin submitting their Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Annual Program Reports by December 21, 2025 (unless their regulatory authority directs otherwise, or they received a waiver).
EPA and states are also working collaboratively to summarize noncompliance on the NPDES Noncompliance Report (or “NNCR”). In accordance with the NPDES eRule Phase 2 Extension final rule, the public release of the NNCR using Phase 1 data is schedule for December 2022. The NNCR will incorporate Phase 2 data as these data become available but no later than December 2026. The NNCR public release dates for Phase 2 data would be phased in over time to give states at least one year to review and provide comments on draft versions of the NNCR that incorporates Phase 2 data before EPA releases a new version to the public. EPA will provide states with an informal notice whenever a new draft version of the NNCR using Phase 2 data is ready for their review and comment. This will help EPA and states identify and fix data quality and data sharing issues.
Phase 2 Implementation Plan
In accordance with the final rule [40 CFR 127.26(h)], authorized NPDES programs were required submit an Implementation Plan (IP) to EPA by December 21, 2016. The IP is meant to help authorized states, territories, and tribes identify all the major tasks related to Phase 2 electronic reporting. EPA worked with states to develop the Implementation Plan Template to help facilitate the creation of these plans. The following Phase 2 Implementation Plan webpage provides the current IP for each authorized NPDES program.
The IP should be seen as a “living document” that can be updated as unexpected issues and problems occur during Phase 2 implementation. EPA requests that updates to IPs be emailed to EPA using the following email address: NPDESElectronicReporting@epa.gov.
2015 Final Rule Documents
- Press Release
- Fact Sheet
- Federal Register Notice of Final Rule
- Economic Analysis for the NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule
- Docket of public comments and supporting documents at regulations.gov
- User Guide to the Docket for the NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule
2020 Phase 2 Extension
On September 23, 2020, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the final "Phase 2 Extension Rule," which provides states and EPA additional time to implement electronic reporting for certain Clean Water Act discharge permitting requirements. In this final rule, EPA is extending the compliance deadline for implementation of Phase 2 of the eRule by five years from December 21, 2020, to December 21, 2025. This final rule also provides states with additional flexibility to request additional time as needed. Further, this final rule promulgates clarifying changes to the NPDES eRule and eliminates some duplicative or outdated reporting requirements. Taken together, these changes are designed to save the NPDES authorized programs considerable resources, make reporting easier for NPDES-regulated entities, streamline permit renewals, ensure full exchange of NPDES program data between states and EPA, enhance public transparency, improve environmental decision-making, and protect human health and the environment.
On January 31, 2020, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the proposed "Phase 2 Extension Rule," which would provide states and EPA additional time to implement electronic reporting for certain Clean Water Act discharge permitting requirements. In this notice, EPA proposes extending the compliance deadline for implementation of Phase 2 of the eRule by three years from December 21, 2020, to December 21, 2023.
- Proposal Fact Sheet
- Federal Register Notice of Extension Rule
- User Guide to the Online Docket for the NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule – Phase 2 Extension (Proposed Rule)
NPDES eRule National Webinar
The following links exit the site
- November 2, 2016:
- November 9, 2016:
- March 26, 2019:
- January 19, 2021: