NPDES eRule Dashboard User Guide and Data Caveats

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Overview

The 2015 NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule (“NPDES eRule”) 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 [see 40 CFR 127.26(j)]. EPA is using this dashboard to conduct these assessments. EPA also plans to use this dashboard to measure each state’s progress in meeting the data sharing requirements in the NPDES eRule [see 40 CFR 127.23(b)].

This dashboard provides the NPDES electronic reporting implementation status for each state. In particular, this dashboard focus on Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) filers. In accordance with the NPDES eRule implementation schedule, all permittees that are required to submit a DMR must start electronically submitting these reports no later than 21 December 2016.

Since November 2016, EPA has worked collaboratively with states to improve the functionality of the dashboard and the quality of the data supporting the dashboard. State data caveats are provided below. EPA plans to build additional charts and data visualizations over time to make it easier to evaluate implementation of the NPDES eRule. EPA will continue its collaboration with states prior to any new enhancements of this dashboard.

Please contact us with questions, comments, or suggestions. 


How to Use the Dashboard

Dashboard users can operate the drop down selectors and charts to refine the set of facilities shown on the dashboard. The dashboard views are links so that a selection in one view will update all other views in the dashboard.

Users can also download the entire dataset as an Excel spreadsheet by selecting the "Download All Data" link which appears above the dashboard. See NPDES eRule Dashboard Download Help for description of the fields in the download.


Data Update Frequency

EPA updates the dashboard data on a weekly basis with data from its NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES). Typically, these data are updated on the weekend and the latest data from EPA’s NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES) are available through the dashboard on Mondays.

To view a series of monthly snapshots of the data, which illustrate the progress of each state, users can select on the “View Trends” links. 


Scope of the Dashboard 

The dashboard is currently limited to facilities with individual NPDES permits. The dashboard is further limited to only include Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) filers; however, EPA relies on data from states to make this distinction. Below is a summary of the criteria for inclusion in the dashboard.

  • Permit Type: Only facilities with individual NPDES permits are included in the dashboard. 
  • Permit Status: Only permits with the status of Effective, Administratively Continued, or Expired are included in the dashboard.
  • Major/Non-Major Status: Both major and minor (non-major) facilities are included in the dashboard.
  • Permit Version: Only the current version of the permit is included in the dashboard.
  • DMR Regular Filer: Only facilities that are regular DMR filers (i.e., “NPDES Data Group” field includes “G3A”). 

Note: States should remove the DMR regular filer flag when a facility has stopped discharging and is no longer required to submit a DMR. In other words, the state should remove the "G3A" code from the “NPDES Data Group” field when a facility no longer needs to regularly submit a DMR.


Dashboard Categories

This dashboard sorts NPDES permits into one of the following four categories. An overview of the sorting process is shown below. 

  • Permit Limits Not in ICIS
  • DMR Tracking "Off"
  • Unresolved DMRs
  • DMR Ready 

Four categories of permits presented in the NPDES eRule Dashboard.


Permit Limits Not in ICIS
This category includes permits where the state has shared facility data with EPA’s NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES) but not the full set of permit data. In particular, this category represents permits where EPA’s NPDES data system has facility data but not the necessary data regarding the permit effluent limits. EPA’s NPDES data system requires these permit effluent limits prior to accepting DMR data. EPA is working collaboratively with states to improve the data sharing of permit effluent limits.

DMR Tracking "Off"
This category includes permits where the state has set the “DMR Non-Receipt Tracking” and “Permit Compliance Tracking Status” data elements in EPA’s NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES) to “Off.”  Setting the “DMR Non-Receipt Tracking” or the “Permit Compliance Tracking Status” data elements to “Off” for a NPDES permittee means that EPA’s NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES) will not automatically track compliance for the permittee (e.g., compliance with effluent limits or DMR reporting requirements). EPA recommends that authorized NPDES programs only set the “DMR Non-Receipt Tracking” and “Permit Compliance Tracking Status” data elements to “Off” in limited circumstances and for limited durations (e.g., less than 60 days). The following guidance provides more information on setting “DMR Non-Receipt Tracking” and “Permit Compliance Tracking Status” data elements to “Off.”

Unresolved DMRs
This category includes permits where there is one or more unresolved DMR non-receipt violations as determined by EPA’s NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES). ICIS-NPDES automatically checks to see if DMR data are submitted late. This automatic check creates a violation code [i.e., a violation code of “D80” (DMR, Monitor Only – Overdue) or “D90” (DMR, Limited – Overdue)]. ICIS-NPDES also identifies if these violations are not addressed by the state or EPA [i.e., a Reportable Noncompliance (RNC) resolution code of “1” (NC – Unresolved RNC) or “A” (NC – Manual Unresolved RNC)]. 

It is important to note that ICIS-NPDES will automatically identify a permittee as having one or more DMR non-receipt violations when a state receives the DMR data from a permittee but the state does not share these DMR data with ICIS-NPDES. EPA is working collaboratively with states to improve the data sharing of DMR data. Additionally, EPA limits the time period for DMR non-receipt violations to remain as unresolved. ICIS-NPDES automatically prevents two-year-old (or older) DMR non-receipt violations from affecting the RNC Status code after two years of no DMR non-receipt violations [i.e., the RNC resolution code is set to “0”, which is “Two Years Past Detection (System Administratively Resolved)”].

The previous EPA NPDES data sharing policy only required authorized NPDES programs to share DMR data with EPA for DMR filers classified as “major.” The NPDES eRule requires states to share all DMR data (majors and non-majors) with EPA’s NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES). Accordingly, the dashboard shows all unresolved DMR non-receipt violations for majors within the last two years and all unresolved DMR non-receipt violations for non-majors since July 1, 2017. 

DMR Ready
This category includes permits where there are no unresolved DMR non-receipt violations as determined by EPA’s NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES). Permits in this category must also have “DMR Non-Receipt Tracking” and “Permit Compliance Tracking Status” data elements in EPA’s NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES) to “On.” Permits in this category means that the state and the permittee are sharing DMR data in accordance with NPDES eRule.   


Future Planned Enhancements

EPA plans to improve the dashboard to better track electronic reporting for DMR filers. EPA plans to  exclude facilities that have an approved electronic reporting waiver (i.e., “Electronic Reporting Waiver Type” for the permit is set to “TMP” or “PER”). EPA will also identify if a DMR filer electronically submitted their DMRs [i.e., “Electronic Submission Type (Compliance Monitoring Activity)” code is set to “ES1,” “ES2,” or “ES7”]. EPA plans to make these enhancements in 2020. 

EPA also plans to build additional charts and data visualizations over time to make it easier to evaluate implementation of the NPDES eRule. In particular, EPA will evaluate data completeness and accuracy for key facility and permit data (e.g., facility latitude and longitude data, SIC codes, permit application data). EPA will continue its collaboration with states prior to any new enhancements of this dashboard. 


Major Caveats and Limitations

States should contact us if they would like to add or update a data caveat.

Georgia

Based on the EPA's current assessment method to determine Georgia's readiness to implement electronic reporting from shared ICIS-NPDES data, the permits identified in the category "Permit Limits Not in ICIS" are of the following groups: 1) Permitted MS4 facilities do not require DMR submittals by permit; 2) Permitted Industrial CAFO facilities are required by permit to retain DMRs on site as opposed to submitting reports to GAEPD or EPA through electronic reporting; 3) Permitted Industrial Hydroelectric facilities do not require DMR submittal by permit; and 4) Permitted Municipal facilities under construction, not operational, not discharging, and are not required to report until operational. The majority of the permits identified in the category "Permit Limits Not in ICIS" will be removed from future assessments based on electronic reporting data element coding that was not required for this year's assessment and only recently made available in the federal database. Georgia is in the contracting process to have upgrades to our database completed in order to assign and transmit to EPA this new data element (NPDES Data Group). Updated 10/13/2020.

Iowa

Iowa currently has missing data identified on the e-reporting dashboard.  However, most of this data is not missing, rather it is the result of challenges with synchronizations of data between Iowa's NPDS permitting system and NPDES-ICIS. Iowa is continuing to work with EPA to address issues with the transfer of data from the state system to ICIS-NPDES. Updated 9/23/2020.
 

Minnesota

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has made all reasonable effort to verify and correct the data presented. This is done by ensuring that the data contained in the respective EPA program systems, ICIS-NPDES, RCRAInfo and AFS are in agreement with the Tempo data system maintained by the MPCA as implementer of these programs for the State of Minnesota.  Where discrepancies still exist, they are often beyond the control of the MPCA because they are related to the procedures by which the EPA ECHO database aggregates and assesses the data stored in the stand-alone program systems.  The MPCA is unable to correct or influence any errors that arise in this process, which is wholly within the control of the EPA.  The MPCA is in the process of implementing an ICIS-NPDES data flow to accurately represent the MPCA’s collected eReporting rule required data into ICIS-NPDES.  Until the MPCA’s ICIS-NPDES data flow is fully implemented, the information presented through the dashboard will not be complete, current and/or accurate.  For complete and current information on regulated parties in Minnesota, the MPCA suggests that data be accessed through our What’s in my Neighborhood website Exitand/or Waste Water Data Browser Exit. Updated 9/30/2020.

Missouri

Facilities appear in ECHO to be in noncompliance for failing to submit expected Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs), which may or may not be accurate. Users should verify this data with Missouri DNR for accuracy before using it for any intended purpose. Missouri DNR and EPA are continuing to work to resolve all data integrity issues. Updated 10/1/2020.

Oregon

ICIS-NPDES data for Oregon is accurate according to state databases, with the exception of actual inspection dates for stormwater permits. ICIS-NPDES Data Steward, Martina Frey, compared state data to ICIS-NPDES. Specific data issues and comments were flagged during verification. Ms. Frey verified and submitted the data verification report for federal fiscal year 2019 (Oct 2018-Sep 2019) data. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Frey (frey.martina@deq.state.or.us). Updated 9/23/2020.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has been working towards the full implementation of the NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule. PADEP has made significant progress including processing all paper registrations for electronic reporting, updating data flows and transferring non-major data to ICIS-NPDES, and conducting widespread outreach to their state regions, conservation districts, and facilities. PADEP has met the Phase 1 rule deadline for 90% electronic reporting of Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs), but not data transfer of all state program data. While PADEP continues to successfully collect DMR data within their own system, data transfer problems from that system to ICIS-NPDES have continued to delay the process. Due to these issues, and in an attempt to not negatively affect the state’s low SNC rate with false non-compliances, PADEP continues to take a phased approach at transferring the information to ICIS-NPDES. Updated December 2021.

Texas

Permits that are identified as “Permit Limits Not in ICIS” are for facilities that are either not constructed or not in operation. Permit limits will be added when the permittee notifies TCEQ that the facility started operating. Updated 10/13/2020.

Vermont

Vermont has some permits that have expired and are currently covered under Title 3. Due to errors made when converting from PCS to ICIS we are unable to correct these errors until a new permit is issued. This has caused some facilities to show delinquent DMR's when in fact this may not be true.  Updated 10/13/2020.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin began requiring all NPDES individual permit holders to submit e-reporting of DMRs to the state’s NPDES permit compliance database prior to the implementation of the E-Reporting Rule. The percentage of “Unresolved DMRs” indicated on ECHO may be due more the challenges associated with uploading DMR data from the state database to ICIS-NPDES and the differences between the two systems and less with actual missing DMR data. Wisconsin continues to work through issues associated with the data transfer and intends to make necessary adjustments, especially as changes to ICIS-NPDES occur to fully implement the E-Reporting Rule. Until then, data discrepancies should be mostly resolved on a quarterly basis in line with the EPA permit non-compliance determination processing. Updated 9/23/2020.

West Virginia

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has been working towards full implementation of the NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule. Although WVDEP is making progress and set up new data flows, WVDEP’s data flow to ICIS-NPDES is still undergoing development and testing. Until this is complete, there may be errors causing facilities to be flagged as Significant/Reportable Noncompliers in EPA’s public system. WVDEP and EPA are working together on a regular basis to correct these issues to fully meet the requirements of EPA’s E-reporting rule and ensure the accuracy of facility noncompliance reporting in the public systems. Until this work is complete, West Virginia’s state database includes the most accurate information.  If you would like more information, please contact Peggy Kozak,  Peggy.J.Kozak@wv.gov for routing to the appropriate WVDEP staff member. Updated 10/08/2020.

 

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