The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a regulation on Tuesday that would require electronic reporting for current paper-based National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) reports.  The proposed Clean Water Act regulation would require permittees and regulators to use existing information technology to electronically report information and data related to the NPDES permit program in lieu of filing written reports.

EPA said that the proposal will allow better allocation and use of resources and enhance transparency and public accountability by providing regulatory agencies and the public with more timely, complete, accurate, and nationally-consistent sets of data about the NPDES program and potential sources of water pollution.  The benefits of this proposed rulemaking should allow NPDES-authorized programs to shift resources from data management activities to those more targeted to solving water quality and noncompliance issues, according to EPA.  This, in turn, may contribute to increased compliance, improved water quality, and a level playing field for the regulated community, EPA said.

Comments to this proposed rule are due on October 28.  The proposed rule is available here.