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NPDES eRule Readiness and Reporting Dashboard User Guide

Overview of Annual NPDES Electronic Reporting Participation Rate Assessments

The 2015 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (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 the “DMR Reporting Method” view to conduct these assessments for DMRs and the "Biosolids Annual Report" view to conduct these assessments for the biosolids annual report. EPA is currently only using the biosolids view for 41 states where EPA is the regulatory authority for the Federal biosolids program (as well as for all tribal and territorial lands).

EPA worked with several states to refine and test the dashboard prior to its release. Please send any edits, comments, or suggestions you might have on this dashboard to Carey Johnston (johnston.carey@epa.gov).

Please used this user guide for more detailed information on this dashboard as well as examples and best practices for EPA Region and state Water Data Stewards: NPDES eRule Readiness and Reporting Dashboard - User Guide (August 2022) (PDF)


Overview of NPDES eRule Readiness and Reporting 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 or a subset based on their selections as an Excel spreadsheet using the "Export Table" button in the "DMR Facilities List" tab. 


Data Update Frequency

The DMR data are refreshed each weekend and the biosolids data are updated annually (usually in June). The DMR data are pulled from its NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES). The biosolids data are pulled each year from EPA's NPDES Electronic Reporting Tool for Biosolids (or NeT-Biosolids) and the EPA Biosolids Center of Excellence (located in EPA Region 7). 

The “Monthly Snapshots” part of the dashboard provides charts showing trends and these DMR data are also updated from ICIS-NPDES but are stored as static data files updated on a monthly schedule.


Scope of the Dashboard 

The dashboard is currently limited to facilities with individual NPDES permittees that are DMR filers. EPA relies on data from states to make these distinctions. 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 non-major facilities are included in the dashboard.
  • Permit Version: Only the current version of the permit is included in the dashboard (i.e., Permit Version = 0).
  • The “DMR Data Completeness” view only includes 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 inactive permit limits when the facility 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.

The "Biosolids Annual Report" view is updated each year to show the facilities that filed a biosolids annual report.


DMR Reporting Method View

Overview

The 2015 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 view to conduct these assessments for 2021 and future years. Please note that the dashboard uses a one-year rolling assessment for this sorting process [e.g., a facility that electronically submitted a DMR in the past year will be put in the “Electronic Submissions” (blue) category.]

It is important to note that this dashboard view uses the "Electronic Submission Type (Compliance Monitoring Activity)" data element. This data element is included in the minimum set of NPDES program data, which states are required to share with EPA under the NPDES eRule (see Appendix A, 40 CFR part 127). These data are included in the ICIS-NPDES schema using the "ElectronicSubmissionTypeCode" tag and are shown on the ICIS DMR data entry webscreen as shown below. 

ICIS web screen

Please also note that this dashboard view does not use the "approved for Electronic DMR Submission" checkbox on the ICIS basic info permit data entry webscreen. Please contact EPA (icis@epa.gov) if you need help sharing these data.

Dashboard View Categories

This dashboard view sorts NPDES permits into one of six categories based on the information in ICIS-NPDES in the following order:

  1. EPA Region or state permitting authority has identified the NPDES ID as a regular DMR filer but has only shared facility data. This prohibits the permitting authority from sharing of DMR data with ICIS-NPDES for this NPDES ID. (“Permit Limits Not in ICIS”).
  2. EPA Region or state permitting authority has turned off compliance tracking of DMRs for this NPDES ID (“DMR Tracking Off”).
  3. EPA Region or state permitting authority has approved a permanent or temporary waiver from NPDES electronic reporting requirements for this NPDES ID (“eReporting Waiver). Permanent waivers do not have expiration dates; however, temporary waivers cannot not have a duration exceeding five years. See 40 CFR 127.15(b)(1).
  4. NPDES ID has made one or more electronic DMR submissions within the rolling one-year assessment period (“Electronic Submissions”).
  5. NPDES ID has made one or more paper submissions of DMRs but no electronic submissions of DMRs within the rolling one-year assessment period. These NPDES IDs are not covered by an effective eReporting Waiver (“Paper Submission”).
  6. NPDES ID has one or more DMRs with a monitoring period end date within the rolling one-year assessment period that: (a) were not submitted to the permitting authority; (b) were submitted to the permitting authority but the permitting authority did not share the DMR data with ICIS-NPDES; or (c) were submitted to the permitting authority, permitting authority did share DMR data with ICIS-NPDES, but without the code that indicates how that submission was made by the permittee (“Unknown Submission Type”).

EPA generally conducts the assessment of electronic reporting in the last week of June of each year. 

Permit Limits Not in ICIS

This category includes NPDES IDs where the EPA Region or state has shared facility data with 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 or monitoring requirements. EPA’s NPDES data system requires these permit effluent limits prior to accepting DMR data.

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.” Permits that have tracking set to “On” are evaluated in the following categories.

eReporting Waiver

This category includes NPDES IDs with effective permanent waivers and temporary waivers (but not expired). The permanent waivers do not have expiration dates; however, temporary waivers cannot not have a duration exceeding five years. See 40 CFR 127.15(b)(1). These permits also have tracking turned to “On.” 

Electronic Submission

This category includes NPDES IDs with at least one DMR Form with the “Electronic Submission Type (Compliance Monitoring Activity)” field set to “ES1” (EPA Electronic Tool), “ES2” (State Electronic Tool), or “ES7" (Third-Party Electronic Tool) within the rolling one-year assessment period. These permits also have tracking turned to “On.”

Paper Submission

This category includes NPDES IDs that have one or more paper submissions of DMRs [“Electronic Submission Type (Compliance Monitoring Activity)” field set to “ES8”] but no electronic submissions of DMRs within the rolling one-year assessment period. These permits also have tracking turned to “On.”

Unknown Submission Type

This category includes NPDES ID that have one or more DMRs with a monitoring period end date within the rolling one-year assessment period that: (a) were not submitted to the permitting authority; (b) were submitted to the permitting authority but the permitting authority did not share the DMR data with ICIS-NPDES; or (c) were submitted to the permitting authority, permitting authority did share DMR data with ICIS-NPDES, but without the code that indicates how that submission was made by the permittee (“Unknown Submission Type”). EPA uses the “Electronic Submission Type (Compliance Monitoring Activity)” code in ICIS-NPDES to identify how each DMR was submitted by the permittee. These permits also have tracking turned to “On.”


DMR Data Completeness View

Overview

In accordance with the NPDES eRule implementation schedule (see Table 1 to 40 CFR 127.16), all permittees that are required to submit a Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) must start electronically submitting these reports no later than 21 December 2016. The NPDES eRule also requires states to share these data with EPA’s NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES). See 40 CFR 127.1(b) and 127.23. EPA is using this dashboard view to highlight strengths and weaknesses in DMR data sharing between state NPDES data systems and ICIS-NPDES.

Dashboard View Categories

This dashboard view sorts NPDES permits into one of four categories based on the information in ICIS-NPDES in the following order:

  1. NPDES ID with only facility data in ICIS-NPDES (“Permit Limits Not in ICIS”);
  2. State has turned off DMR compliance tracking in ICIS-NPDES for the NPDES ID (“DMR Tracking Off”);
  3. NPDES ID with facility and permit data in ICIS-NPDES/One or More DMR Values Recorded as Missing in ICIS-NPDES (“Unresolved DMRs”); or
  4. NPDES ID with facility and permit data in ICIS-NPDES/All DMR Values Recorded in ICIS-NPDES (“DMR Ready”).

Four categories of permits presented in the NPDES eRule Dashboard.


The dashboard view sorts permit (identify by the “NPDES ID) into the first matching category. For example, a permit would only be placed in the “DMR Ready” category if it did not meet the criteria for the preceding three categories. Please note that the dashboard uses a one-year rolling assessment for this sorting process [e.g., a facility that has all expected DMR values in EPA's national NPDES data system over the past rolling year will be put in the “DMR Ready” (blue) category.]

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 one-year-old (or older) DMR non-receipt violations from affecting the RNC Status code after one year of no DMR non-receipt violations [i.e., the RNC resolution code is set to “0”, which is “RE - Automated Administratively Resolved (DMR Non-Receipt Violations)”].

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, this dashboard view shows all unresolved DMR non-receipt violations for majors within the last rolling year 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.


Biosolids Annual Report View

The 2015 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 view to conduct these assessments for the biosolids annual report. EPA is currently only using the biosolids view for 41 states where EPA is the regulatory authority for the Federal biosolids program (as well as for all tribal and territorial lands). The nine states that have authorization for the Federal biosolids program will share with EPA the biosolids annual report data that they collect in accordance with the NPDES eRule (see Table 1, 40 CFR 127.16). The biosolids data are pulled each year from EPA's NPDES Electronic Reporting Tool for Biosolids (or NeT-Biosolids) and the EPA Biosolids Center of Excellence (located in EPA Region 7). 

This dashboard sorts NPDES permits into one of two categories for each assessment year.  

  1. NPDES ID electronically submitted their biosolids annual report through EPA's NPDES Electronic Reporting Tool for Biosolids (or NeT-Biosolids) (“Electronic Submissions”); or
  2. NPDES ID submitted their biosolids annual report on paper to EPA (“Paper Submission”).

Please note that the dashboard uses a one-year rolling assessment for this sorting process. This assessment period usually ends in June. Please also note that currently there are no facilities with an EPA approved electronic reporting waiver for this annual report.


Additional NPDES eRule Dashboards

EPA has additional dashboards to show different aspects of NPDES eRule implementation. EPA will continue its collaboration with states prior to any deployment of new dashboards or enhancements.


Major Caveats and Limitations

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

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.  As Iowa works through the system changes necessary to accommodate the eReporting rule implementation, accurate reporting to eliminate the missing data is expected to be addressed. (Last updated: August 5, 2021)
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. All MN permittees are electronically filing their DMRs and that MN PCA is migrating limit sets to ICIS-NPDES as permits are re-issued. 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 BrowserExit. (Last updated: December 29, 2021)
Missouri
Facilities appear in ECHO to be in noncompliance for failing to submit expected Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs), which may or may not be the case. Users should verify these data with Missouri DNR prior to using it for any intended purpose. Missouri DNR and EPA are working to resolve the issue. (Last updated: July 8, 2021)
Oregon
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality uses NetDMR to collect Discharge Monitoring Report data for >95% of their individually permitted facilities and has moved on to working on the General Permitted facilities. If ECHO users have questions or concerns, please contact Jim Billings, ICIS-NPDES Data Steward at Billings.Jim@deq.state.or.us.  (Last updated: July 28, 2021)
Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has been working towards full implementation of the NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule. PADEP has made progress including processing paper registration 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 not been able to meet the Phase 1 rule deadlines for 90% electronic reporting of Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) and data transfer of all state program data. The main challenges are processing the paper registrations for their electronic reporting systems and correcting data errors. Due to resource constraints, PADEP is taking a phased approach to transferring the information to ICIS-NPDES as they register permittees for electronic reporting. More information will become available to the public during this process. (Last updated: July 8, 2021)
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. (Last updated: July 28, 2021)
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. (Last updated: July 28, 2021)

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