March 02, 2016
In keeping with Taylor Porter’s commitment to its environmental clients to actively monitor the latest state and federal regulatory developments, our firm is pleased to share a monthly Environmental Regulatory Alert. For any further information or to contact Taylor Porter environmental attorneys, visit our Environmental and Regulatory Litigation practice area page.
LDEQ proposes to require all Louisiana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (LPDES) permit holders to submit Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) electronically through a department-approved electronic document receiving system, unless granted a waiver by the department.
LDEQ’s water enforcement division will be utilizing EPA’s NetDMR system, a web-based tool that allows permittees to electronically sign and submit their DMRs to EPA's Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS-NPDES) via the Environmental Information Exchange Network. This proposed rule stems from the federal National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule, which was promulgated in September 2015. The federal rule replaces several paper-based Clean Water Act (CWA) NPDES permitting and compliance monitoring reporting requirements with electronic reporting, and is to be implemented in two phases.
Electronic DMR submittals are Phase 1 with a one (1) year or September 2016 deadline. Implementation of Phase 2 has a five (5) year or September 2020 deadline and will include electronic submittal of items such as general permit reports (notices of intent, notices of termination, no exposure certificates, sewage sludge/biosolids annual reports) and all other remaining NPDES program reports (pretreatment reports, sewer overflow/bypass reports, annual cooling water intake reports).
In order to use the NetDMR system, each LPDES permittee must follow the electronic document procedures set forth at LAC 33:I.Chapter 21. To submit an electronic document in lieu of a paper document, a permittee must execute the proper Subscriber Agreement. Each Subscriber Agreement must have one or more handwritten wet ink signatures, receive approval from the department, and be retained on file with LDEQ while the Subscriber Agreement is active and thereafter for an additional five years. Compilation of a NetDMR Subscriber Agreement requires a permit holder to create an account with the NetDMR system:
The department will conduct NetDMR training sessions at LDEQ’s headquarters, as well as across the state. Training manuals are available at LDEQ’s NetDMR web address.
While waivers will be considered, LDEQ’s water enforcement division has indicated that waivers will be strictly reviewed and granted only in extreme instances such as when no reasonable access to high speed internet or public library computer resources is available.
Hearing Date: March 31, 2016
Comment Deadline: April 6, 2016
PROPOSED RULE: WQ094
Electronic Submittal of Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs)
LDEQ Expands Expedited Penalty Program
LDEQ has added new qualifying violations to its expedited penalty program in the areas of air quality, hazardous waste, solid waste, water quality, underground storage tanks and radiation. A majority of the new qualifying violations involve failure to comply with routine reporting/recordkeeping/notification requirements. In addition, several existing penalty amounts have been increased.
Expedited Penalty Amendments and Updates
LAC 33:I.801 and 807