|(Note: This guidance document provides some general information related to online Discharge Monitoring Reports, also known as NetDMRs. For more information, go to NetDMR Introduction.)
What is NetDMR?
NetDMR is a Web-based tool that allows NPDES permittees to electronically sign and submit their discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) to EPA's Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS-NPDES) via the Environmental Information Exchange Network *. NetDMR will reduce the burden on EPA, states, and the regulated community; improve data quality; and expand the ability of both states and EPA in targeting their limited resources to meet environmental goals. An essential component of NetDMR when fully implemented will be the exchange of data with ICIS-NPDES allowing permittees to complete a DMR that is specific to their permit limits and outfalls.
Who can report?
NPDES permittees required to submit discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) may use NetDMR after requesting and receiving permission from their permitting authority. After the state or region has approved the facility's request, the NetDMR tool enables permittees to complete their DMRs via a secure Internet connection. To be eligible for NetDMR your NPDES permit must be an individual permit and must start with NE0. Currently NPDES General Permitees cannot submit data electronically.
Is NetDMR secure?
Yes, your communications with NetDMR are secured by your password, responses to security questions, and use of SSL communications. SSL is commonly used by online banking sites.
In addition, NetDMR has received approval from EPA that it meets the requirements of the Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule (CROMERR) *. CROMERR specifies standards that govern electronic reporting to states, tribes, and local governments under EPA-authorized programs, such as the NPDES program. The CROMERR standards are designed to provide these electronic submittals with the same level of legal dependability as the corresponding paper submittals.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting
EPA has published the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule, which will modernize Clean Water Act reporting 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 (DMRs)
- Notices of Intent to discharge in compliance with a general permit
- Various other program reports.
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).
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 the data they receive from regulated entities, along with the compliance monitoring (e.g., inspection), violation determination, and enforcement action data they generate themselves.
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, expands EPA efforts to provide meaningful data to the public, and supports 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 your 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. Information on EPA’s electronic reporting tools is provided below:
- NetDMR *: 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 DMRs electronically to EPA through a secure Internet application over the National Environmental Information Exchange Network.
- NPDES Electronic Reporting Tool (NeT): NeT is a tool suite developed by EPA to facilitate electronic submittal of data by the regulated community directly to EPA and its partners. It uses commercial "off-the-shelf" software and can support diverse form and data submission formats.
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, regulated entities that currently submit DMRs shall begin submitting these reports electronically, instead of on paper. At the same time, regulated entities that submit Biosolids/Sewage Sludge Annual Program Reports to EPA (but not to state governments) will begin submitting these reports electronically. Also at the same time, states and other regulatory authorities will begin sharing their compliance monitoring (e.g., inspection), violation determination, and enforcement action data electronically. Additionally, these regulatory authorities will submit an implementation plan for meeting the Phase 2 data requirements for EPA to review.
- Phase 2 – Starting on December 21, 2020, regulated entities that currently submit certain other NPDES reports shall 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.
For More Information
EPA Headquarters page on the Final NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule *
* This Page contains links to Non-NDEQ websites, these links will open in a New Tab or Window