The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) eRule for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program became effective on Dec. 21, 2015. You can see EPA’s eRule page at http://www.epa.gov/compliance/final-national-pollutant-discharge-elimination-system-npdes-electronic-reporting-rule).
Kentucky is leading the nation in the rule’s implementation.
The rule makes major changes in reporting for many regulated entities and programs.
The rule requires NPDES regulated entities (facilities with Clean Water Act discharge permits) to submit many types of required program reports in a secure, electronic format. The eRule is expected to increase the accuracy of NPDES compliance data, save time and money for both the regulated community and the regulating agencies by eliminating duplicate data entry, sets standards for required data fields, and provides standard methods for submitting the required program data.
The Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW) has already implemented the Phase I requirements of the eRule, which required the KDOW to provide the EPA with permit, outfall and limit-set information for all KPDES permits, and also required regulated entities to submit Discharge Monitoring reports (DMR) electronically.
KDOW has completed the eDMR implementation for more than 95 percent of all KPDES permits that are required to submit DMRs using EPA’s NetDMR program more than a year prior to the eRule requirement date, and currently leads the nation in number of facilities utilizing NetDMR for DMR submission.
Early implementation of the eRule Phase I requirements has allowed KDOW to begin planning and implementation of the Phase II requirements ahead of schedule. This in turn allows the KDOW to provide a longer notification and implementation period for regulated entities to implement the eRule requirements. Regulated entities will not be required to create an electronic submission method for the required information – KDOW will provide online electronic forms or other electronic tools for facilities to use to meet the requirements. The Phase II requirements include electronic receipt of:
KPDES General Permit eNOIs and eNOTs (substantially complete at this time);
No exposure certifications;
Low erosivity and permit waivers;
Pretreatment Program Annual Reports;
CAFO Annual Reports, MS4 Reports;
Sewer Overflow Event reporting; and
CWA Section 316(b) Annual Reports.
Over the next year, KDOW will be preparing an implementation plan for these Phase II requirements, which must be provided to EPA by Dec. 21, 2016. Kentucky does not have primacy for the biosolids program, so EPA will be contacting regulated biosolids operators directly to assist with implementation of the eRule requirements for the biosolids program.
The Phase II implementation plan will define how and when Kentucky will implement the secure electronic transmittal of the required program information listed previously. One change users will see is increased security and identity requirements to submit data electronically. NetDMR already incorporates the security requirements so there will be no changes in that system, and KDOW is currently working to implement the security requirements for the eForms system (eNOIs and eNOTs).
If your facility is required to submit any of the aforementioned eNOIs, eNOT or reports, KDOW will provide an explanation of the requirements related to your facility, assistance on how to make the change to electronic reporting, and the time frame each requirement will become effective. KDOW anticipates that all provisions of the eRule (or waivers to the eRule) will be fully implemented by Dec. 21, 2019, but may implement individual reports or eNOIs/eNOTs prior to that time based on the needs of the KDOW.
Facilities with severe limitations for implementing electronic reporting may request a five-year, renewable, non-transferrable waiver of the eRule requirements. The waiver process, forms and requirements will made available when the Phase II implementation plan is completed.
If you have questions about NetDMR, please see our website at http://water.ky.gov/permitting/Pages/netDMRInformation.aspx
Questions about the implementation of the NPDES eRule may be directed to Shawn.Hokanson@ky.gov.