Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a request for further comment on a proposed regulatory program that would make every construction company’s stormwater permit records, inspection results and compliance history accessible to the public. As previously reported, the proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule would require all construction site operators covered by an NPDES permit to submit a variety of permit-related information electronically instead of using paper reports. (See AGC articles here and here for background information.)
In its prior comments (dated December 12, 2013) and subsequent meetings with EPA, AGC expressed concern about the accuracy of data that would appear in EPA’s publicly-available database(s), the likelihood that such data will be misinterpreted or misconstrued, and the potential disclosure of confidential business information. The proposed e-reporting rule would make each company’s site-specific information, such as inspection and enforcement history, pollutant monitoring results, and other data required by permits accessible to the public through EPA’s website.
Over the next few weeks, AGC will carefully review the new information EPA has issued for further comment and further report to members. Comments are due on or before January 30, 2015. To review the proposed rule or to comment, click here for instructions.
In this second round of comments, EPA will consider comments on any aspect of the proposed rule; however, the agency has requested additional comment on specific issues raised previously by commenters. Specifically, EPA would like feedback on the following:
- Initial recipient status;
- The use of the State Readiness Criteria and the possibility of EPA requiring the electronic submission of NPDES program data to EPA when authorized states, tribes, and territories have not successfully implemented electronic reporting;
- Implementation plan schedule;
- Copy of record; and
- Modifications of state NPDES regulations and statutes.
(If you previously submitted comments during the last public comment period, they are still on the record in the regulatory docket; therefore, you do not need to resubmit those comments.)
If you need more information, please contact AGC’s Senior Environmental Advisor Leah Pilconis at firstname.lastname@example.org.