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NPDES eReporting – Information and Resources for Authorized Programs

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This page is intended to provide National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) authorized programs information on implementing the NPDES eReporting rule (40 CFR Part 127). An NPDES authorized program is a state, tribal or territorial government authorized by the EPA to perform many of the permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects of the NPDES program. In states authorized to implement CWA programs, EPA retains oversight responsibilities. Currently 46 states and one territory are authorized to implement the NPDES program.

UPDATE: On September 23, 2020, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the NPDES eRule Phase 2 Extension final rule which would provide states and EPA additional time to implement electronic reporting for certain Clean Water Act discharge permitting requirements. In this final rule, EPA extended the compliance deadline for implementation of Phase 2 of the eRule by five years, from December 21, 2020 to December 21, 2025.

Authorized NPDES Program Responsibilities and Milestones

The transition from paper-based to electronic reporting will require close coordination and cooperation between EPA and authorized NPDES programs. The table below lists the actions authorized NPDES programs will need to take to be ready for electronic reporting, including intermediate milestones established by the rule. For more information on each of these actions and milestones, see EPA's brochures on Authorized Program Responsibilities.

State - NPDES eRule Authorized Program Responsibilities Brochure (DOC)(5 pp, 312 K, October 9, 2020)

Region - NPDES eRule Authorized Program Responsibilities Brochure - EPA Regions (DOC)(5 pp, 609 K, October 9, 2020)

Milestone for Authorized NPDES Programs Date
Incorporate electronic reporting requirements into permits issued after the effective date of the rule (December 21, 2016) December 21, 2015
Make initial recipient decisions April 19, 2016
Transmit initial facility and permit data for Phase 1 September 21, 2016
Implement electronic reporting tools and begin sharing Phase 1 data December 21, 2016
Submit implementation plan for Phase 2 electronic reporting December 21, 2016
Complete any necessary regulatory or statutory changes December 21, 2016 (regulatory)
December 21, 2017 (statutory)
Transmit initial data for Phase 2 September 21, 2020
Implement electronic reporting tools and begin sharing Phase 2 data December 21, 2020
Re-submit waiver process descriptions December 21, 2020 (and every five years thereafter)
Stop generating certain summary reports December 21, 2021

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Current Initial Recipient Status

The electronic reporting rule requires that authorized NPDES programs decide whether or not they would like to be the initial recipient for each NPDES data group. For this rule, the term “initial recipient” means the governmental entity, either the state or EPA, who first receives the NPDES program data from permittees. The initial recipient designation is necessary so that permittees can know how to submit their electronic data and where to send the data. Specifically, for each NPDES data group:

  • If EPA is the initial recipient, the permittees will submit data to EPA using EPA’s reporting tools. EPA will then share the data electronically with the authorized NPDES program.
  • If the state is the initial recipient, the permittees will submit data to the state. The state will then share the data electronically with EPA.

EPA’s goal is to help all authorized NPDES programs be the initial recipient for any data group (e.g., DMRs) for which they would like to first receive the data. Therefore, the initial recipient determination is an “opt-out” process. An authorized NPDES program must notify EPA if it wishes EPA to be the initial recipient for a particular NPDES data group. Otherwise, EPA will designate the authorized NPDES program as the initial recipient for all NPDES data groups.

The following states have informed EPA that they wish to opt out of being the initial recipient for all or some NPDES data group:


State Elected for EPA to be Initial Recipient for General Permit Reports

(NPDES Data Group No. 2)

State Elected for EPA to be Initial Recipient for DMRs

(NPDES Data Group No. 3)

State Elected for EPA to be Initial Recipient for Program Reports

(NPDES Data Group Nos. 4 through 10)




Yes (only for Biosolids Annal Report)


Yes (All)


Yes (All)

New Jersey



Yes (only for CAFO Annual Program Report)

North Carolina

Yes (only for Low Erosivity Waivers and No Exposure Certifications)


Yes (only for CAFO Annual Program Report, MS4 Program Report, and the 316(b) Annual Report)


Yes (All)


Yes (All)

Rhode Island

Yes (All)


Yes (All)

Initial Recipient Federal Register Notice (FRN)

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Outreach Materials for Authorized Programs

EPA has developed the following materials to help authorized NPDES programs educate permittees about their reporting responsibilities under the rule. EPA recognizes that NPDES electronic rule stakeholders come from a wide range of backgrounds. These materials serve as a starting point for key messages, materials and resources to share with permittees and other interested stakeholders. These materials are meant to be customized by each authorized program (e.g., by adding in contact information, changing logos as necessary), and are intended to provide a consistent starting point for communications.

Informational Brochure for Permittees

This brochure is intended for delivery (either electronically or in printed form) to permittees and other regulated entities that will need to report electronically. This brochure highlights key messages to convey to permittees (e.g., why EPA is requiring electronic reporting, what must be reported and when), as well as where to locate more information. States can tailor it as necessary to each sector that will need to report (e.g., CAFOs, Biosolids).

Newsletter Article

This brief article summarizes the key reporting requirements, milestones, and deadlines of the rule.

Sample Web Content

EPA encourages authorized NPDES programs to develop a webpage dedicated to the rule and include a link to the NPDES eReporting Web Site.

Informational Post Card

The sample post card is designed to complement the brochure as a method of reaching all permittees to notify them of the NPDES electronic reporting rule.

Model Permit Language

State NPDES permit writers can use this draft language to incorporate electronic reporting requirements into NPDES permits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

These FAQs are designed to provide simple, clear answers to commonly anticipated rule-related questions. They are intended for a broad or general audience as a supplement to the more detailed audience-specific material used for outreach (e.g., brochures for permittees). Please consider including these on your website and updating the list on a rolling basis.

Draft Presentation

This draft presentation contains information and pictures that you can use in your presentations to NPDES permittees and other stakeholders interested in NPDES electronic reporting.

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Data Entry Guidance and Technical Papers

The final rule requires regulated entities and state and Federal regulators to use available information technology to electronically report data required by the NPDES permit program instead of filing written paper reports.  EPA developed data entry guidance and technical papers to: 

  • provide guidance to authorized NPDES programs regarding how they should manage data for unusual circumstances with permittees; and
  • describe how EPA’s NPDES data system will handle DMR non-receipt violations for non-majors so that authorized NPDES programs will not need to spend much time addressing erroneous DMR non-receipt violations in ICIS-NPDES. 

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Other Resources for Authorized Programs

  • GovDelivery Subscription Request - To receive, from EPA, our rule-related updates, meetings, webinars, notices and more.
  • Draft Temporary Waiver Request Form - This draft form includes the information that permittees must submit to request a temporary waiver. It is important to note that temporary waivers can have a duration of no more than 5 years; upon expiration, permittees with a temporary waiver must re-apply to get a new temporary waiver; and temporary waivers are not transferable.
  • Model Process of Minor Modification of Multiple NPDES Permits - This memorandum provides an example process for authorized NPDES programs to perform minor modification of multiple NPDES permits to incorporate electronic reporting requirements. This will allow authorized NPDES programs to efficiently incorporate the new electronic reporting requirements into NPDES permits.
  • Implementation Plan Template Exit - In accordance with the Final Rule [40 CFR 127.26(h)], authorized NPDES programs must submit an Implementation Plan (IP) to EPA by December 21, 2016, for EPA’s review. The IP is meant to help authorized states, territories, and tribes identify all the major tasks related to Phase 2 electronic reporting. The IP should be seen as a “living document” that can and should be updated as unexpected issues and problems occur during Phase 2 implementation. This document is a template that authorized NPDES program can elect to use. This template was developed jointly between EPA and states through the Exchange Network NPDES E-Reporting Rule Implementation Plan Integrated Project Team.
  • Sample Outreach Letter to Permittee (DOC)(1 pg, 50 K, 19 JUL 2016)
  • Authorized NPDES program may be interested in participating in the ICIS-NPDES Electronic Data Transfer Integrated Project Team (IPT) Exit. This IPT held its Kickoff Call on April 13, 2016 and meets regularly. IPT contact information are located at the bottom of the Exchange Network Exitwebsite.

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Tools and Training Materials

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